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The Masterpiece

Narrated by: Mark James
Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Built from the bottom up: one perfect gentleman. 

Man about town Arthur Lawton spends his days pursuing entertainment while shoeshine Joe Sprat labors to better his family’s lives. When an argument about nature versus nurture sparks a wager, Arthur swears to a friend he can turn this working man into a gentleman who will pass at a society function. 

Joe is happy to participate in the experiment for a fee, but receives more than he bargained for after moving into Lawton’s house. Arthur is determined Joe won’t merely wear a veneer of sophistication, but educates him in every way. As he creates his new and improved man, Arthur grows more deeply infatuated with him, while Joe falls equally hard for his charismatic mentor.

Underneath a growing friendship, desire simmers, and one day explodes. After their relationship escalates, the pair exists in a dream bubble until the threat of exposure sharply reminds them they belong in different worlds. When the ball is over, each must resume his own life, changed by their encounter but destined for different courses. 

Find out if love is strong enough to bridge the gap between peer and pauper in this twist on the tale of My Fair Lady.

©2019 Bonnie Dee (P)2019 Bonnie Dee

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

You really are my masterpiece

Audrey Hepburn is my favorite actress ever and of course, I loved “My Fair Lady” and Eliza Doolittle character. 😁💜 And you guys already know that Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon are my favorite MM historical romance authors. And again, I think Mark James is one of the few narrators who does British accent always right. 👍 So imagine my delight when I heard Bonnie Dee is writing a “My fair lady” retelling and Mark James is narrating? I squealed like a little piggy. 😁🐷 And you know what? My expectations were more than met and beyond. 👏

Mr. Arthur Lawton is pretty tired of his daily routine. Sure, his life used to fun and somewhat fulfilling but now it has gotten quite repetitive and dreadful. Until a faithful day when a certain shoe shine caught his eye while he was arguing with his best friend, Lord Granville. Granville argues that to be a gentleman, you have to come from certain breed. And Arthur debates that with some training and intensive care, anyone can become a gentleman. And our shoe shine, Joe Sprat becomes the experiment of these two gentlemen’s wager. Joe is to stay with Arthur and learn the way of the gentlemen. The problem is that Arthur and Joe are more interested in each other than learning to become a gentleman. Joe may be a mere shoe shine but Arthur has never met a man like him. And Joe can’t help but fall for his kind, gentle and loving mentor/employer. But Joe’s stay in Arthur’s house has an expiration date and they are from two very different worlds. What will happen after the ball when Joe and Arthur have one last final dance?

Oh my god, you guys! 😱 All the tender feels! ❤️ The emotions, the feelings, the romance and that scorching UST! That was a one sweet ride. 😍 The gradual development of relationship and romance between Joe and Arthur was beautiful to witness. Joe is afraid to fall for Arthur, of course he did, he is a working class and Arthur comes from an aristocratic family. 😢 And Arthur also couldn’t understand his feelings for Joe in the beginning. But when they finally accepted that they were made for each other? Ooooooooooo, these two sure knew how to tumble! 🔥🔥🔥 And I also loved that they had to work for their HEA. They had to be separated for a while so that when they reunited, they understood that they really are made for each other. As always, Mark James deserves a shout out for such a stellar narration. 👏 And although this is a retelling, Bonnie Dee did such an excellent job that I never once thought of the original story. And that epilogue was EVERYTHING!!! 😱😍 I couldn’t be happier for these two and their fairytale happily ever after. 💜 Highly recommended to anyone who loves MM historical romances with a sexy British narration. 😉


5 You really are my masterpiece stars
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️








Audio rating

Story - 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Narration- 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Performance - 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Overall - 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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    4 out of 5 stars

Clever Romance, Mark James is Wondeful

The M/M version of Pygmalion, Bonnie Dee’s, The Masterpiece is a truly enjoyable audiobook. Mark James’ stunning performance captures every moment of warmth and charm in this sweet and clever story. This is the fourth historical romance I’ve heard Mr. James perform and I hope he continues to narrate stories in the M/M genre.

Who doesn’t love the plot of a wager which turns a sow’s ear into a silk purse? Reducing a man’s future to nothing more than a bet is just the kind of thing two idle upper-class gentlemen would do for a lark...

For me, the best part is watching Joe react to all the waste and frivolity in Arthur’s life. (The comparisons he makes to his own life are pretty depressing.) But Joe not only retains his integrity, his example helps to transform the wastrel lordling into a man of honor.

I enjoyed getting to know Joe and Arthur. They’re both likable men, and it’s a pleasure to see them work through all the challenges thrown at them and figure it all out together. The Masterpiece is a clever, well written romance and I guarantee a happily-ever-after ending that you'll love :)!

an audiobook copy of The Masterpiece was provided to me by the author for the purpose of my review

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Masterpiece!

I absolutely loved this story about a Joe the bootblack and Author the gentlemen. The two are wonderful together and really touched my heart. Their story was engaging, and I found myself rooting for both of them. Not only for Joe to pass and Author to win, but also for the two to get their HEA.

Mark James does an exquisite job and brought the story to a whole new level. I love is voice and could listen to him all day.

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Heartwarming, sweet and humorous!

🌟🌟🌟🌟 4.5 stars
🔥🔥🔥 Heat Level: 4
🎧🎧🎧🎧 Narration: 4.5 (Love an English accent)

I loved Joe and Arthur. Heartwarming, sweet and humorous.

An interesting journey of remaking a lower class shoe shine into a noble gentleman. The connection sparks between Joe and Arthur and I love Arthur's lack of classism in this story. Their connection is so sweet, then hot, and caring. Very dynamic and surprisingly loved the historical setting.

Joe is so funny, with his sass and desire to learn, but his truth and dislike of being dishonest plays really well with Arthur and his feelings, as they change for the man Joe is and has become. I loved how Joe tries (and succeeds) to change his speech. He's a great character and I love watching him become refined but not losing his unique sass or big, honest heart. His desire for Arthur was sweet and hot. I loved the journey these two men take to become better people and eventually find their way back to each other. 

A great historical romance with heart and heat! I thoroughly enjoyed the journey!

Thanks for reading!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Ok.

This book did not manage to keep my attention, I never skip ahead in books but in this one I think I skipped like half the book. And I still didn't feel like I missed anything of the story.
It was to much on details and stuff, and not really enough of a personality of the characters.
Very good narrator, but not enough to save the book .

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    5 out of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this m/m take on My Fair Lady.

I really enjoyed this m/m take on My Fair Lady.

Gentleman Arthur takes on shoe shine Joe after a bet with a friend to transform Joe as someone who will fit into high society.

The story was interesting and engaging. I became invested in their story, keen to see how it turns out for both of them, wanting them both to succeed.

I think the narrator did a fantastic job of bringing these men to life. His tone and accents seemed spot on to me, really enhancing the story.

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A true masterpiece.

I loved this sort of mm version of Pygmalyon...
Arthur and Joe were wonderful characters and I enjoyed the story and the early 1900s atmosphere.
Bonnie Dee's a new to me author and I enjoyed the take on historical romance a lot.

Mark James narration always adds an extra layer of wonderful to any London based story, and in this instance he was great at the low vs. high class accents.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story, I love Mark James performance.

The Masterpiece takes a classic story and flips it with a man in the role of Eliza Doolittle and I loved it. Joe is a simple working man, shining shoes for a living. He dreams of one day owning his own shop where he would sell fancy shoes to society gentlemen.

Arthur is a man about town whose friend goads him into making a wager. The bet is that Arthur can't teach Joe to speak correctly and pass for a gentleman among their high society friends.

As Arthur and Joe work together to win the bet they soon discover that they have more things in common than one would think and a romance develops.

This was a very enjoyable book with the performance by Mark James turning it into something quite wonderful to listen to. I love his voice and the various accents he does for this story. He kept me entertained during what would normally be a boring day of doing laundry and other housework.

The author of the book provided me with a free Audible code but no review was required and the gift did not influence my review of the story.

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A Wonderful Spin on an Old Tale

In the interest of transparency, I was given an Audible credit for this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Joe is a bootblack who works on the streets of London with no higher hopes than to one day own his own fine shoe shop. Arthur is a dreadfully bored second son of a lord who is seeking something to keep him occupied lest he waste his life of luxury. When Arthur and his friend (Granville? I haven't seen the print edition, so I'm guessing the spelling here) make a wager, Joe's life gets turned on its head.

Arthur has six weeks to polish up the bootblack into a proper gentleman, and it is exactly what he needs to keep his interest. Not only is Joe a quick study, he's positively tasty, and Arthur is pretty sure Joe likes him just as much. Lucky Arthur, he's not wrong.

The book follows Joe and Arthur as they work together over the course of six weeks before Granville's party; the idea is that Joe must receive invitations to other social events following the party for Arthur to win his bet.

I really enjoyed this book, having read the original story it's based on; I thought it was a refreshing (and gay, so gay) take on a classic. I found the romance well-paced and satisfying, hitting all the beats at the right time to keep my interest. There's a lot of character commentary on the chasm between classes at this time period, and I found that to be especially poignant for today.

The narrator for the audiobook was wonderful, as well; I was fully engaged listening to the book on my work commute all week, and I was bummed that it was over so soon.

I will definitely be on the lookout for more historicals by Bonnie Dee!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing!

One of my favorite movies is My Fair Lady. So I am loving this twisted. Joe and Arthur's story is definitely something I loved. Then Mark James did an amazing job in bring this story to life. I especially love that when Joe is talking proper he had a different voice. It just give the story more.

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  • choccygrl
  • 05-20-19

Fun historical

I thoroughly enjoyed this reworking of My Fair Lady. There were some lovely touches that referred back to the original and made me smile.

Arthur and Joe were great and I love the way Joe made Arthur's life better when you would expect it to be the other way around.

Well-written and narrated. Highly recommended.