Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander

Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander : a Bisexual Regency Romance rating
(No Series)

Andrew Carrington is the ideal Regency gentleman: heir to an earldom, wealthy, handsome, athletic-and gay. When he decides to do his duty to his family, he wants marriage on his terms: an honest arrangement, with no disruption to his way of life. But in the penniless, spirited-and curvaceous-Phyllida Lewis, a self-educated author of romances, Andrew gets more than he bargained for, perhaps even love. And when he meets honorable, shrewd-and hunky-Matthew Thornby, son of a self-made baronet, Andrew seems to have everything a man could desire, until a spy and blackmailer tries to ruin him and his friends.

Moving from familiar scenes of society balls, theater parties and midnight suppers, to the witty conversations, games of chance and intimate pleasures at London's most aristocratic "madge club," "Phyllida" takes the reader into a little-known side of Regency life. In this unusual romantic comedy, a bisexual man may make the best husband-for both his wife and his lover.

This book was one of those odd novel that was hard to put down, with a beginning half that outshone the second part.

It's not a romantic book, nor - surprisingly - an erotic one. You would think it would at least win erotic favors considering the storyline, yet the sexual scenes were abbreviated and brash, not erotic. There were some sweet connections, especially between Phyllida and Andrew, but hardly anything I'd call romantic. What won me with the book was the humor and creative verbal banter play between the two main characters. Funny lines, awkward scenarios, cute stuff.

For the second half, I'm not sure what went wrong. The author suddenly became more interested in exploring other side characters and their political manuevering, probably to give a deeper story and explain how the book page count is so high for the basic story it held. Matthew was a likeable character but I didn't see a bonding I wanted to. I just lost interest as the story began losing steam - never completely, but slowly started inflaming. The ending was supposed to be sweet but it seemed a little forced and not something I was completely happy with. The frustrating thing is I can't exactly put my finger on why it wasn't completely satisfying for me.

This book wins in that it's unique and creative with it's story, playful with the characters, but I'd like to have seem more genuineness later with developed emotion. Genuine erotic moments between all the characters would have been welcome. As it stands, it seemed a little too rushed and without enough realistic buildup.

I do wish at some point Phyllida would have left him and made him realize what he was losing. I also didn't care for some of the language Andrew used in the bedroom, such as calling as his lovers sluts.

I noted comments on how unrealistic things were - and yes, it is. This is a complete fantasy retelling where the author invented some stuff, true, but it is fiction so why this is an issue for some completely escapes me.

Overall I dug this story, don't regret reading it, and will remember it fondly when I glance at the cover on my shelves. I wish it kept the momentum the first half promised, but it stayed hard to put down.

   Book Quotes:

“You think money can solve any problem, but all it s good for is buying the things it can, and leaving you free to pursue the things it can't.”