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1.0 out of 5 starsZzzzz
Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2020
I love Scarlett Peckham, but girl please. This book was boring AF. If you are into uptight Christians, by all means read this book. The hero is not sexy at all. He’s awkward in a creepy way and super-religious. He’s literally Captain Save A Ho. The sex is terrible and I feel bad for all parties involved, especially the readers. If the protagonists aren’t in a church, they are talking about religion. I’m a feminist and a sex worker ally (like it’s lit’rilly my job), but the author was very heavy handed/preachy with the sex worker’s rights part. It was like Sex Work for Dummies, I did not need to read the boring-ass hero’s report on sex work in days of yore London.
5.0 out of 5 starsBrilliant. Positively Brilliant.
Reviewed in the United States on January 31, 2020
The Lord I Left is a glorious slow burn romance that will make you believe that it has stolen your heart, but you will in fact give it up freely.
This book is the third in Scarlett Peckham’s Charlotte Street Series — Let just say, GO! GO! GO! Get your hands on the first two books, they are downright fabulous. Scarlett Peckham does an amazing job of painting scenes, where everything simply comes alive in your mind’s eye and you could swear you are reading the book with all your senses. I love her use of words that are of the time and I relished the opportunity to expand my vocabulary.
While Henry and Alice might just be on opposite sides of the oldest debate, over the oldest profession, deep down, they are very much alike. Each is looking to find their way in the world while familial expectations breathe down their respective necks. It’s on a journey to get home to their families that they face challenges that was nothing short of a voyage of the damned.
Alice Hull is a revelation. She is unapologetic about her pleasures and profanity. I loved her. While many brushed her aside because the sin of her gender, her musical talents were pure magic. But her wit and grace are the absolute showstoppers.
Henry Evesham is a dear, sweet man with an evangelical faith that has him blinded to all that he is worthy of. He is trying to save the sinners, but in a way that subjects them to worse poverty and judgement.
The beauty of this story is how Henry and Alice respect what each is hoping accomplish. Does it always go smoothly? Nope. But in their frustrations, we are rewarded with a love story for the ages.
5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent use of flipping established character tropes
Reviewed in the United States on July 1, 2020
For a series that centers around the members of a secret club on Charlotte Street, it amuses me that we learn almost nothing about this club until the third book. And then the main characters of this book promptly leave town for a road trip of epically disastrous proportions.
Obviously, now they have to fall in love. That’s how road trips in books work. With Henry and Alice, however, Peckham flips the script in so many delightful ways. Henry is the conservative, religious prude yearning for sexual freedoms he thinks are beyond his grasp. Alice is a liberal, worldly woman who does not hesitate to speak her mind. Even breaking the mold to have Alice more sexually experienced than Henry makes for a fascinating, almost unique read.
Their love story is not easy, and the roles each of their families play do their best to tear them apart. I prepared to dislike Henry immediately based on his character in the previous books in this series, but Peckham rehabilitates him in an immensely satisfying way.
I’m sad to have reached the end of what is currently available in this series. As usual, the best review I can give is to express my desire for the next book – and I anxiously await the next installment in this fantastic series.
5.0 out of 5 starsStunningly human characters! Excellent!
Reviewed in the United States on January 28, 2020
In the third book in her Secrets of Charlotte Street series, Scarlett Peckham tells the story of a minister who preaches to prostitutes and a woman who aspires to be a whipping governess - a most unlikely duo, but somehow Peckham weaves a tale that is both believable and full of emotion.
The most striking thing about this novel was how real the characters felt while you were reading. Lord Lieutenant Henry Evesham, a Methodist evangelical, who had appeared as an antagonist in the previous book in the series (The Earl I Ruined), is in this novel humanized as a man who is constantly struggling between faith and earthly desires. Both from his point of view (full of parenthetical asides that add needed levity to an otherwise heavy book) and from snippets of his journal, we see him grappling with himself and his faith in a way that feels fully authentic. The heroine, Alice Hull, who is a housekeeper at the highly secretive Charlotte Street whipping club, also deals with her own issues of lost faith and balancing one’s own desires with doing what one believes to be the right thing.
Overall this is another excellent book by Scarlett Peckham. As in the previous two books in the series, this novel is especially angst-ridden, and it is a hard-won battle for the protagonists to get to their happy-ever-after. In the end, though, the struggle (and the read) is worth it! Can’t wait to see what this author does next!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 29, 2020
Bought this after seeing a very curious promo from the author on twitter and boy am I glad I did. This is a super book. Wonderful, well drawn and interesting characters and a naturally evolving storyline, well paced and really quite addictive, I read it in one sitting. Adored the dynamic between Alice and Henry, how different they were, but how they made a connection through their similarities and understanding of each other. And holy hell (!) it was hot. Will be buying more from this author.
I loved the second book in the series, but this one just didn't live up to my expectations. I enjoyed the way she was presenting Evesham's thoughts, but his shift in views didn't feel natural to me. If you haven't I would highly recommend reading the second and first book in the series and if you are looking for a character grappling with morality and sexuality I can recommend Courtney Milan's Unclaimed.
Despite the flaws I am looking forward to Peckham's next book.