The Good, the Bad and the Unread, Stevie, A
I love the way both are able to overcome their various fears and obstacles and reach a resolution that works well for both men, given the era they’re living in. I definitely want to read more from both authors, and fortunately they seem to have a huge joint back catalogue.
Top 2 Bottom Reviews, Gabbi 5 kisses
I thought both men were sexy, humanly flawed heroes that were able to work through their own insecurities so they could develop something truly special between them. Both Daniel and Tobin go through a lot of personal growth and as a reader, I enjoyed watching these men learn to work together as a team.
The Novel Approach, Jennifer 4 stars
From the rolling hills to the small cottage Bennet lives in, I could easily picture it and wanted to be there with the men. If you’re looking for a read with two different yet strong male leads, set in the country of historical England, look no further.
Gay Book Reviews, Ele 4.4 stars
The slow burn was delicious and the tension palpable through the story. And they lead to an explosive first time. The HEA is swoon worthy and real, always according to the era’s standards. For the lovers of Historical romance, highly recommended!
Diverse Reader Blog, Mere
This slow burn love story is one with lingering lust and deep characters. I love the tangle these two get into and how Gregory and Daniel are together. Their love is emotional. You feel it right to the core.
Dear Author, Sirius
The romantic in me was very happy after I finished reading this story.
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Reviews, MelanieM 4.5 stars
I highly recommend this story. Even if you normally don’t read historic romance, you will love this couple and their story of love and devotion. Its heartwarming and beautifully written.
Wicked Reads, Jacki 4 stars
The chemistry between the main characters kept me reading right until the end. One strong, serious man and his balanced gentle, playful mate made for a well-rounded and pleasant read. I would recommend this to M/M and historical romance lovers.
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews, Leigh 4 stars
This story was sweet and touching with just the right amount of heat. I enjoyed seeing a romance where each person was better together than they were apart. It wasn’t just the love and affection that they gained from one another, but the strength to be a better person.
The Blogger Girls, Heather C 4 stars
The Shepherd and the Solicitor completely hits the mark for what I expect from these two authors. I loved how secluded this story is!! Bennet and Tobin are alone together for such a large portion of the story…the perfect setting for tons of sexual tension without any distractions from outside forces.
Joyfully Jay, Jay 4.25 stars
Bennet’s farm is so remote that once the guys are there, the era could be almost anything. What works so well is the isolation they face and the way that leads to this incredible bond between them very fast. I loved these guys together and I really liked seeing Bennet open up, face his past, and move forward.
Books To Get Lost In, 4 stars
If I had to summarize this book, I wouldn’t hesitate one second: UST. The main charaters’ chemistry is palpable and you never know if Daniel will give in to his desires or if his fear is just too great to do so. You really can feel and understand his struggles.
The Book Vixen, J9 4 stars
I also really enjoyed the ending where readers are given a glimpse into Tobin and Daniel’s HEA—it was perfect for the historical setting and totally satisfied the romance lover in me.
Midnight Amie, 4 stars
The pace between Bennet’s first reaction of Tobin disrupting his life until he realized how much Tobin meant for him was nicely done. I loved their conversations — it felt quiet but important — and I especially LOVED the part with the farm animals. Tobin helping the birth of ewes was one of the highlights.
My Fiction Nook, 4 stars
Whenever I see these two author’s names together, I don’t hesitate, I just BUY. I swear, these authors have one heck of a mind meld! They smush their thoughts together and out comes some of the most consistent and well conceived historical M/Ms in publication.
Padme’s Library, 5 stars
The characters are intriguing with integrity and determination that makes you want to know them and not let them go once the final page is reached.
Crystal’s Many Reviewers, Andrea, 5 stars
I love these two together, The sass of Tobin and the gruff of Daniel is a perfect balance. You know, like all of Dee and Devon books we will get an HEA, but with these two, it was hard to see how. Well done for pulling it off.
The road circled far around the field and would add on several more miles. Tobin elected to cut across the broad tract of land instead. He made his stiff-legged way to the stone wall, clambered over—it was taller than it looked—and began the long hike to the Bennet farm, wondering if the farmer would turn out to be Daniel Pierce or just another dead end.
The landscape wasn’t as flat as he’d thought when looking across the field. Tobin trudged up and down rises and falls of land—mostly up—with a hard wind pushing him along like a hand to his back. Tobin glanced up at the swirling gray clouds that stretched across the horizon and wondered if he’d make it to shelter before the looming storm broke and drenched him. The house and outbuildings didn’t seem to be getting any closer.
He was so focused on his destination that he didn’t notice the stalking beast coming up behind him until it made him jump nearly out of his skin with a loud baaah. Tobin whirled to face a large sheep with dirty gray wool and a black face. It gazed at him curiously and bleated again.
Tobin clapped his hands at the thing, trying to drive it away. “Go on. Go home.”
But the adorable farm creature didn’t run away like Alfie the horse. Instead, it crunched a mouthful of grass between surprisingly large teeth and moved closer. At the same time, a crowd of its brethren crested the low hill. One sheep might be rather charming and pastoral, but an entire herd of them was entirely too much. Tobin had never spent any time around animals, other than his great aunt’s ill-tempered poodle. He wasn’t comfortable with the way the black-faced sheep all stared at him and headed directly toward him.
He clapped his hands again. “Go on now. Run away.” But the beasts seemed merely intrigued by his clapping. Perhaps they thought he was a dinner bell calling them to food. They swarmed toward him in a great baaing bundle.
Rather than turning and running, Tobin made the mistake of moving backward. His foot caught on a hummock of grass, or perhaps a badger hole, and he lost his balance, falling hard on his arse for the second time that day. The flock stampeded toward him, their combined weight shaking the ground and the noise of their infernal bleating deafening. He would be crushed by at least a hundred great fluffy tubs of wool!
Tobin threw his arms around his head, opened his mouth and screamed at the top of his lungs.
But instead of sharp hooves and heavy woolly bodies stomping him to a pulp, he felt something grab him by the coat collar and drag him upright. Then two strong bands of iron pulled him tight against a slab of warm living granite, away from the rush of bleating sheep.
He opened his tight-squeezed eyes and blinked away grit and dust. Staring back at him was a pair of eyes as green as the grassy meadow set in a face that could have been hewn from the same granite as that body—it was that hard and unyielding. This man was nothing like the slender and rather unformed young man pictured in the Pierce family photographs.
Except that underneath the hard muscles and shapeless jumper, perhaps the grim farmer’s build was the same. And the hair, although longer than that in the photograph, was equally fair. That heavy beard and moustache might hide full lips and a rounded chin. The photos were in black-and-white, but the family had described the missing heir as having “emerald-green” eyes.
These eyes were certainly that bright and luminescent.
Before Tobin could clear his throat and introduce himself, the man in the grubby boots thrust him away with a shove. “Who are you, and what are you doing on my land?”
Daniel Pierce the gentleman would never in his life have treated a visitor so roughly. That civilized young man had been soft-spoken, pleasant, agreeable to a fault and utterly incapable of rudeness. But Jacob Bennet said and did whatever he pleased without any consideration for people’s feelings. He was a coarse fellow who spoke with a bit of a Yorkshire accent after living four years in the North Country. Daniel had rarely been outside of a city and had considered a walk through the park exercise. Jacob enjoyed hiking miles over windswept moors when he wasn’t striding across his own field rescuing strange men from marauding sheep.
Daniel liked the freedom being Jacob Bennet gave him. Now that he was Bennet, he’d almost lost his fear of the world.
He glared at the dirt-streaked, sweating man who had wandered off some city’s streets. The fellow looked as if he’d started the day starched and pressed, but now his white shirt collar was grimy, and streaks of mud, or worse, marked his trousers. His tie was askew, and his face was almost as red as his bright hair. He had the extremely pale, freckled skin that so often went with coppery hair. Even his eyebrows and lashes were golden-red. Blue eyes stared back at Bennet as if this man somehow knew him.
He grew too aware of the other man—and did not need that part of his nature awakened.
“I’m sorry for trespassing. The horse I rented threw me, and rather than walk the long way around by road, I thought I could cut across to your house.” The man straightened, including his tie, and held out a hand toward Bennet. “My name is Mr. Gregory Tobin.”
The accent assured Bennet that Tobin was definitely a stranger in these parts. What reason might an upper-class twit, likely from London, have in traveling so far to the back of nowhere? Nothing good.
Bennet stared at the man’s hand, then walked past him. “I’ve work to do. No time for salesmen.”
Tobin hurried alongside him. “I’m not a salesman. I’m… I’m traveling on business.”
“Then I suggest you get back to it and leave me be.” Bennet had introduced two ewes and their week-old lambs to the flock and had come to make sure they would find their way to the shelter. It was a job he considered giving to Dickon, but the young man was a bit lackadaisical about his work as shepherd.
He’d noticed some of the younger sheep were grazing too far away and decided to push them back toward their older, wiser companions who kept to their heft, their area, without straying far. The younger ones had surged forward, probably to get a good look at this stranger.
“I apologize again for bothering you.” The stranger huffed along at his side, trying to keep up with Bennet’s long stride and actually doing a fair job of it. “But I can see from the sky a storm is coming. I’m stranded without a horse, and yours appears to be the only house in miles. Might I prevail on you to take pity on a traveler and give shelter…and perhaps a bit of lunch…and maybe later a ride to town? If it’s not too much trouble?”
Bennet shot a sideways glance at the man with the charming smile and the long list of requests. A rogue. He’s used to getting his way with that smile and the cheeky patter. The ladies must fawn all over him.
“I have work to do,” he repeated gruffly, walking even faster toward the tail end of several sheep straggling away from the group, heading toward a boggy patch. Last thing he wanted was to have to haul sheep out of the mud, especially if it started raining. “I can’t help you.”
“You’re honestly going to leave me on foot and helpless in the rain?” The too-charming man clasped his hands together in an attitude of prayer. “Please, take pity on a wandering stranger, sir,” he teased with a glint of laughter in those wide blue eyes.
“The sky is often cloudy around here. It’s not going to rain. You can start walking back the way you came. You should reach Faircliffe before nightfall if you hurry.” Bennet hurried toward several of the flock that were wandering off, reached out with his crook and tapped the side of the leader, driving it away from the swampy ground. The sheep turned in the direction he wanted it to go, and the others followed.
“Well done.” Tobin sounded quite breathless now as he continued to chug along behind Bennet as closely as a lamb following a ewe. “But don’t shepherds generally have collies to do this sort of thing?”
“Mind your shoes,” Bennet snapped gruffly.
But it was too late. The pair of shiny Oxfords splashed into a puddle and pulled out of sucking mud. Their owner gazed at them in dismay. “Oh dear. Ruined.”
Bennet fought a smile that suddenly sprang to his lips. The rueful expression on the ginger-haired man’s face was too comical, and his mournful tone suggested the death of a loved one rather than of a pair of shoes that clearly didn’t belong in this country.