Review: The Masterpiece by Bonnie Dee

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.

Can we just have a moment of silence to admire the suit porn gracing the cover of this thing?

The blurb pretty much tells you all you need to know about the story, though this is certainly a sweeter version of the classic movie. Arthur is nowhere near as stern a taskmaster as Professor Higgins and Joe seems to get the hang of things much faster than Eliza ever did but other than that the story is the same. Minus all the singing. *sad face* But with some nice dancing scenes. 

My Fair Lady being one of my favorite movies made this hard to resist and I'm glad I didn't because this was a lighthearted and entertaining introduction to Bonnie Dee. The narrative flowed easily and I liked both of these characters. They're both charming in their own ways, but if you're looking for a whole lot of substance or depth this probably isn't the read for you.

Dee built some tension between them before the sexy times began but not a huge amount. I wouldn't categorize The Masterpiece as being sex heavy if that's a turn off for you, but they do have chemistry. Since it was told from both of their perspectives the desire they have for each other is clear to see. I liked that even though Arthur's trying to teach Joe how to pass as a peer he still enjoys Joe's cockney accent and his levelheadedness; he likes Joe for Joe. For Joe's part, he believes Arthur is selling himself short in regards to his capabilities and isn't afraid to tell him so on a regular basis, so they compliment each other well despite the class disparity.

There isn't a whole lot of conflict or angst. It's just a sweet little treat of a story about a fancy toff and a lowly shoeshiner falling in love. 

A review copy was provided.

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