Brigham’s Recommendations – “The Bohemian and the Banker” by Bonnie Dee and
A night lost in Paris finds two hearts changed—forever.
Sent to Paris on business, Nigel Warren doesn’t quite understand why his colleagues’ eyes twinkle as they tell him to meet them at a local night spot.
When he discovers it’s a drag cabaret and his acquaintances aren’t there, he realizes he’s the butt of a joke. Yet he finds himself quite undone by a singer dressed in an elegant gown, crooning a spellbinding ballad.
It’s not unusual for Jay, a former Londoner, to bring a new “friend” home from the cabaret, but he’s never had a guest quite like Nigel, whose straitlaced manner hides an unexpected passionate streak.
One romantic night on a rooftop under starry skies, followed by an afternoon enjoying the excitement of the 1901 Paris Exposition, bonds these opposites in a way neither can forget—even after they part.
Their spark reignites when Jay comes to London, but he’s not sure he can go back to hiding his true self, not even for the sake of love…unless Nigel is willing to shed his cloak of staid respectability and take a leap of faith.
I’ll be the first to say I’m a sucker for a well-written historical romance. Thankfully, “The Bohemian and the Banker” falls squarely into that category. I wouldn’t claim to be an expert in history, but I know enough that errors can be pretty glaring and pull me out of the story. This book was beautifully written though. The historical accuracy kept me rooted in the time period and immersed in the plot
I adored the characters. Nigel, an uptight British banker, and Jay, an American expatriate living in Paris and working as a performer at a drag cabaret, were perfect for each other. Nigel’s naiveté was a great foil to Jay’s somewhat jaded attitude. The cast of French artists who wandered in and out of Jay’s apartment were well-written and added a wonderful depth and bohemian flavor to the story. It was a such a contrast to Nigel’s reserved anti-social life in London.
Their meeting and first night together was electric, and the struggles they both faced were very realistic. I never felt that either the conflict or the resolution was contrived and the way the story wrapped up was extremely satisfying. The authors did an excellent job making both Paris and London come to life.
Both characters’ journeys were interesting and well thought out, although I particularly liked Nigel’s understanding of the two sides of Jay. Jay, the everyday man he fell in love with, and Jean Michel, the drag performer. His growing appreciation and understanding of the man he loved really made the story something special. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more books by these authors.
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