Review: Valet (Rose Family Chronicles #1) by Jet Mykles
Following the deaths of his parents, Earl Johnathan “Johnnie” Rose has come into his inheritance. Now he's returned home to Rose Hall with his siblings to settle in as lord of the manor and earl of Roseton. Then his eye falls on the stunning new footman with the blond curls and shy smile. From that moment, Lord Johnnie's intention to settle in takes on a whole new meaning.
Longing for a relationship more intimate than master to servant, and determined to taste those pretty lips, Johnnie offers Tyler a promotion as his personal valet. Thrilled by the promotion and the chance to tend his lord, Tyler's naivete and sense of propriety don’t let him see the offer for what it is--until he’s lured into the earl's bed.
Jet Mykles is a new-to-me author, and whilst quite frankly suspension of disbelief is a bit of a necessity even in this alternate universe, the writing is sumptuous. The story is utterly delightful and I am a sucker for books in which description of costume and place is as detailed as the interaction between the characters.
Apparently this is a reworking of characters originally from a contemporary romance transposed into the past to meet and fall in love all over again. No doubt this will be a double delight for fans of the Heaven Sent series, but it doesn't detract from the story for those of us previously unfamiliar with their romance.
Tyler is a hardworking guy who finds himself caught in hard times and in need of new employment. He has built his experience as a concierge in a large hotel and uses his transferable skills to win a new position as a footman at the Rose family's country seat.
It would seem that Tyler is a bit of a conformist, and he has to negotiate the more bohemian approach to life and liberal attitudes of his employers. My best guess is that the story resonates with social mores from the 1800s, however different names for the days of the week, geographical locations and so forth are used giving it a slightly different vibe.
Lord Rose (Johnnie) has inherited the role and responsibilities of head of the family following the recent death of his father. He and his siblings have a passion for theatre and plan and produce a drama festival following the established tradition of their family, as enthusiastic patrons of the arts.
When the Rose family notice the new doorman they are certain he is perfect for Johnnie. As predicted, the attraction sparks almost immediately and Johnnie quickly offers Tyler the role of Valet with hugely increased salary and prospects.
Whilst Tyler is concerned both with proprietary and the vulnerability of his position, the Rose family do their best to welcome and reassure him, nudging him to consider a potential relationship with Johnnie.
Regardless of the potential romance, Tyler is drawn to Jonnie's passion for art and theatre and uses his organisational skills to help ensure the festival is a success.
Tyler balks at the idea that a long-term romance is possible because of their very different social status. His fears are confirmed by his disapproving uncle, and become manifest with the arrival of a group of aristocratic house guests. One of the young ladies has her sights set on Johnnie. The circles that Johnnie moves in, anticipate him marrying and fathering an heir. The lady makes her plans more than clear to Tyler playing directly into his paranoia.
Like Tyler, I find it hard to believe that Johnnie could find himself quite so enamoured with his new member of staff, however this story is a delight. It lavishly describes the decadent lifestyle, and the social interactions of an elite who rank the Queen and her entourage amongst their close personal friends.
I loved the will they, won't they, dramatic tension. Tyler is dubious, whilst Johnnie is determined to catch his man. The chemistry behind closed doors sizzles. I recommend this as a guilty pleasure read for lovers of historical romance.
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