Sebastian, Cat. A Gentleman Never Keeps Score. New York: Avon Impulse, 2018.
Mass Market Paperback | $5.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0062821584 | 310 pages | Regency Romance
A Gentleman Never Keeps Score is a decent second installment in Cat Sebastian’s Seducing the Sedgwicks series. And as I’ve come to expect with her books, she excels at creating complex, yet relatable characters.
I was excited to see that she was tackling issues related to the life of free black people in this one, and she did it brilliantly, touching on the racial issues of the time period, and highlighting the rich free black community that existed in the Regency that isn’t often talked about in the genre. The character of Sam was well fleshed-out in this regard.
And I also loved the exploration of the trauma of sexual abuse through Hartley’s character, and how it is essentially at war with his attraction to other men, due to the fact that his godfather was his abuser. But this led to such beautiful moments of nurturing on Sam’s part toward Hartley.
Some of the other elements do feel a little lacking, however, such as with the mystery element surrounding the paintings not feeling fully resolved, and there being a secondary romance that develops and comes to fruition that I didn’t really care about (even though both characters were perfectly fine, just not particularly memorable). As for the former, I do wonder if it will be addressed in a future book, given the rumors I’ve been hearing about book three, not to mention one of the surprise appearances at the end of the book. As for the latter, I was almost sure they would have gotten their own book, and honestly would have preferred that, to give me more time to really get invested in them.
This seems to be a book that people are mixed on due to the issues I’ve discussed, but I wouldn’t let that discourage you from reading it for what it is. If you like Cat Sebastian’s books, or books with cinnamon roll heroes, you may enjoy it regardless of its flaws.