: Standish (): Erastes: Books. Standish and millions of other books are available for instant access. view Kindle eBook | view . Posted by girluknow Standish is a lush, intensely romantic love story between scholarly Ambrose Standish and worldly Rafe Goshawk. Though. by Erastes A great house. A family dispossessed. A sensitive young man. A powerful landowner. An epic love that springs up between two men. Set in the.

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Standish by Erastes Book Review: Standish by Erastes by Wardog. I have to say I like some pretty lame things.

Standish by Erastes

William Shatner, for example. Things you probably shouldn’t admit to liking on the internet while your mother is still alive. But I’m also an absolute sucker for Regency romances. Men in tight breeches and women with bosoms. What’s not to stanfish But the reason I’m ‘fessing up here is to give you a bit of background on why I should, of all things, find myself reading Standisha gay Regency romance. Penned by the mysterious self-styled Erastes, it’s pretty typical of the regency romance genre.

Except with more cocks. The plot goes something stxndish this: The Great House of Standish has stood abandoned for decades since its dissolute owner gambled it away in a card game tsk tsk. His descendant, the delicate and scholarly Ambrose Standish, lives with his two sisters in genteel, hopeless poverty.


But then Rafe Goshawk, the current owner of the estate, who is precisely the sort of cold, saturnine, rakish conveniently widowed fellow you would expect of a romantic hero returns to Standish to live, bringing with him his beloved son. In search of a tutor, Rafe consults romance novel convention as opposed to common sense and offers the position to Ambrose.

Despite their initial antipathy the two men soon fall in love but basically Rafe is an utter tit and things fall apart. He gets entangled with the immoral Italian Count Alvisi who, by the way, despite or, perhaps because of, being evil with a capital Eeeeeee is as hot as mustard and Ambrose flees. However, his supposedly sodomitical relationship with Rafe lands him in Newgate Prison where he is rescued and romanced by an Irish highwayman called Fleury who, by the way, is utterly fabulous and should have been the hero.

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Things eventually reconcile themselves appropriately, on inappropriately depending on whether you think Rafe even remotely deserves to get Ambrose. I have perhaps been a little reductive in describing Standish as “typical” of the Regency romance genre; I think it’s fairer to say that it feels stylistically like a Regency romance in some respects but and I’m not sure whether it’s because it has two male protagonists or because it’s not bound by expectations of the genre the events of the book are quite a bit darker than one might expect etastes Rafe cheats on Ambrose quite comprehensively, for example, which is a bit of a no-no in heterosexual historical category romance, there’s more than a little non-consensual sex, and Ambrose goes to prison and nearly gets himself hung.

I suppose it’s impossible to write about teh historical gay without some sense wtandish the hostility one would face but Standish actually handles it reasonably well. I was afraid it would bog down in horror and grimitude but, although it skirts close and definitely doesn’t sugar coat the harsher aspects of life and public attitudes, it never lets the romance of the story become overwhelmed by self righteous moralising about how mean people were to homosexuals.

Erastes (author) – Wikipedia

Also I suspect I just have horrendous double standards because the rape of a heroine unless by the hero because, as we know, nothing says I love you like non-consensual sex would have me up in arms but I just standdish of shrugged and read on erasges poor Ambrose got reamed by Rafe’s vengeful ex-lover.


Again, this isn’t handled trivially or sensationally but it’s certainly slightly out of what might called the mainstream romance comfort zone.

Ditto Rafe’s relationship with Alvisi; it’s utterly destructive and never presented as anything but a reflection of Rafe’s conviction that he is undeserving of happiness or goodness In a messed up way. This wasn’t my point. My point was going to be that there are those for whom, I think sgandish, a hero who spends more half the book in the staneish and up the fundament of someone other than their beloved would merit very little sympathy indeed.

On the other hand, Standish does seem to employ many of the typical Regency tropes: Perhaps it’s just me, but the spare cock did seem rather incidental. Rafe is your typical broken alpha and Ambrose – the delicate scholarly youth – could just as well, in my opinion, have been a woman.

Despite developing a certain quantity of inner strength over the course of the book thank God and surviving some pretty nasty shit, he really is little more than a damsel in distress; he swoons, he weeps, standidh gets rescued. This is not a criticism; it just struck me as I was reading, although I imagine there could be those who found Ambrose’s terminal case of being wet a little efastes. Standish is, for the most part, elegantly written and absorbing; it has a fine but not overpowering sense of the period bar a few gaffs – I can’t imagine Fleury, Irish peasant as he is, penning the sort of letter he writes to Ambrose at the end: How ironic that the one place on this earth where we were equal was Newgate” and I was genuinely emotionally involved in the fates of the characters.

It is not, however, erastex problems. For a start, the pacing is dreadful; the whole novel races past you as if it’s on fire, careening from one incident to the next, or rrastes you into flashbacks that are standihs more efastes narrative, or changing POV without warning.

Because the characters are so well drawn, it’s actually annoying to be rushed through scenes where a little lingering or attention to detail would be welcome. Ambrose and Rafe are declaratively and gushingly in love by page 53, for example.

I feel somewhat ambivalent towards this; on one level it is quite interesting to watch their relationship fall apart and be restored but on the other hand it does puncture the sexual tension severely, especially since they began the book disliking each other. I know it was always inevitable that Ambrose would fall for his employer but I would have liked a slightly more protracted deferral.

And I also know it’s trite as all hell but “show don’t tell” is a romance novel maxim for a reason; I think I might have believed more in Ambrose and Stadnish if I’d seen more of their relationship.

He loved his strength and passion and he loved the sweet dependence and trust he displayed to himself. Ambrose had thought Eraste had despised him, and soon found out that he had been mistaken in that belief.

Under the lethal charm and sarcasm, Ambrose had discovered a vulnerable, desperate, lonely man. Despite having the coolest name in the world, I couldn’t shake the conviction that he was a complete tit and that Ambrose should have ended up with Fleury.

Rafe has been terribly damaged by a cruel upbringing, and takes refuge from his own feelings of worthlessness and damnation in coldness and promiscuity. Just once I’d like to see a romance hero take refuge from his feelings of worthlessness and damnation in, I don’t know, being nice to kittens. Anyway, Ambrose sees through his social faade to the lonely man within and the two establish their disastrously uncommunicative relationship. They promptly head off to see the world together only then Rafe’s psychotically infatuated ex shows up, is sinister at Ambrose and then rapes him.

Rafe promptly kills or attempts to kill his ex in a duel, but otherwise abandons Ambrose to his trauma, promising him as much time as he needs Catching the two together, Ambrose leaves whereupon Rafe moves in with Alvisi and starts to pen a deluge of whiny letters to Ambrose, the selfsame letters that come to light in England and land Ambrose in Newgate.


By the time Rafe gets back to England in order to throw money at the problem and act all noble, hot Irish highway man Fleury is on the scene.

Fleury is genuinely very cool indeed: Furthermore, everything that Rafe fails to do, Fleury does. He protects Ambrose in prison, makes sure he isn’t raped, helps him deal emotionally with the various traumas he has endured and, later, when he runs into Alvisi whose eeeevil shtick is ruining people’s lives for no apparent reason, who cares, he’s hot who attempts to manipulate him as he did Rafe, he kills him.

Basically Fleury is superior to Rafe in every conceivable way; I’m not sure how far the parallels between them are intentional but I was unable to ignore them. And the peculiar fragile incongruous intimacy of the Newgate scenes between Ambrose and Fleury is genuinely lovely.

Unfortunately, life for Fleury and Ambrose on the outside is not likely to be easy or simple – they are both, after all, impoverished and it seems to be an unwritten rule of romantic fiction that at least one of the partners has to be rich for happiness to be assured. But by this time, a humbled Rafe is willing to do whatever he can to preserve Ambrose’s happiness even it means his own misery – spotting this, and, apparently, the love that’s still there between the two men, Fleury runs off for the New World alone.

Rafe and Ambrose then live happily after.

Although I was happy they were happy – this is the point of a romance after all – I remain convinced Fleury was the superior man. And between Rafe being such a tit and the novel feeling so rushed, I couldn’t quite believe in the relationship between Rafe and Ambrose as I could between Ambrose and Fleury.

The rest of my concerns were entirely trivial. The female characters, such as they are, are rather uninspiring – I suppose women aren’t the natural focus of the novel but I might have liked to encounter some who weren’t pointless ciphers.

It also struck me as cheating, somehow, that it made no attempt to deal with Rafe’s marriage – I mean, was she a bitch, were they happy, did she know, what was going on there? The sex scenes were generally well done; although not mechanically graphic they were nevertheless quite, err, stirring.

However, early on, as Ambrose bathes the unconscious Rafe after a spurious authorially engineered horse riding accident, he finds himself admiring Rafe’s fine manly physique To my mind this is an alien rod: This, however, is not: One ill-advised phrase and my minor concerns aside, however, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Standish.

And, if anything my complaints about pacing are partially related to the fact I was so caught up in the story and characters that I wanted more detail than a mere pages could supply. Not being a gay man, I couldn’t tell you whether it was especially hot or good in terms of the man lovin’ but as an evidently gender-indiscriminate lover of the Regency romance genre it certainly seemed to, err, hit the spot for me.

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