Title: Forever Holds His Peace
Author: Rebecca Cohen
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 5.00 of 5 Stars
Sequel to Duty to the Crown
The Crofton Chronicles: Book Three
Sebastian Hewel has never been happier. But his life playing the role of his twin sister Bronwyn, the wife of Anthony Redbourn, Earl of Crofton, is about to change. Rumors abound that Bronwyn is using witchcraft to enthrall her husband, and false evidence has been found. Practicing witchcraft is a crime that could have Bronwyn brought in for questioning by the sheriff, and that would reveal Sebastian and Anthony’s secret.
Together they must decide whether it is time to lay Bronwyn to rest. Anthony intends to ensure that whoever implicated Bronwyn pays for the treacherous deed. Whatever happens, Sebastian and Anthony must prepare to face an unknown future together.
A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.
Forever Hold His Peace is the third and final part of Rebecca Cohen’s trilogy The Crofton Chronicles, her wonderful historical series set in the time of Elizabeth 1. I reviewed the previous two books at Mrsconditreadsbooks. Book one is The Actor and the Earl, and book two is Duty to the Crown. Those reviews can be found on the links below.
In The Actor and the Earl, Sebastian Hewel is manipulated into impersonating his twin sister Bronwyn at her wedding to Anthony Crofton, Earl of Redbourn. Luckily Anthony desired Sebastian from their first meeting, and they both settled down to enjoy their ‘marriage’ for as long as they could, even though they risked death and dishonor if their ruse was discovered. Now entering their third year of marriage, they are happy, settled into a routine, and are used to flitting between Anthony’s estates and the court of Elizabeth 1st at Richmond Place.
In order to allow Sebastian time to be himself Lady Crofton has become known as a woman who suffers from ongoing bouts of illness which force her to retire from public. During those times Sebastian, as himself, visits Crofton Hall, and has become a recognized friend and confidant of Anthony’s. They both aware though that the longer they carry on the ruse of Sebastian playing Bronwyn the greater the chance of discovery and Anthony has been careful to lay plans in readiness for the day when Lady Crofton needs to be laid to rest. Little does Anthony know that he has an enemy close at hand that forces this to happen much sooner than he or Sebastian would have liked.
One of the worst things to be accused of in Elizabethan times is witchcraft and soon rumors start to spread that Lady Crofton has been using spells to ensnare Anthony, after all how could such a plain woman catch and hold such a vital and passionate man as Anthony. Herbs associated with witchcraft, such as mugwort and mandrake are even found in Crofton Hall, giving credence to the rumors. Things come to a head when the real Bronwyn, visiting with Sebastian and playing the role of Lady Crofton herself so that she and Sebastian could be seen in public together, is placed in danger when the local sheriff demands to question Lady Crofton over the witchcraft rumors. As Sebastian frantically gets his sister to safety Anthony puts the plans for his wife’s sad passing into action. It’s time for Lady Crofton to die. But who wanted the charade to end, after all very few people knew about the deception, and what will Anthony do when he finds out?
From the moment I opened the first page of The Actor and the Earl I fell I love with Sebastian and Anthony. Each book has been a pleasure and a joy to read. The whole trilogy has not only lived up to my expectations, but exceeded them. As I have stated in previous reviews Rebecca Cohen’s writing is simple and elegant, it flows easily and from the moment I picked up Forever Holds His Peace I couldn’t put it down. One of the things that makes this series so good, and so unique, is the way Sebastian steps easily into the role of Bronwyn. Rebecca Cohen has written Sebastian so convincingly that I’ve never considered the deception he plays as unbelievable, or strange in any way. It all seems so natural. In Forever Holds His Peace I expected Lady Crofton to die, what I didn’t expect was the way it all happened, the intricacies of the plot were believable, and I was cheering Anthony on as he pursued his enemy. The chemistry between both men is still as strong as ever, and it’s obvious that they are and will always be devoted to each other. A nice touch was how we got to see Sebastian treading the boards again, with Bronwyn now in the past it’s nice to think he can have his acting again.
I’ve always dreaded the end of Lady Crofton and what this would mean for Anthony and Sebastian’s relationship but I shouldn’t have worried; its resolution is believable and realistic and we even have an epilogue to round things off nicely. I don’t hesitate to recommend The Crofton Chronicles to any lover of historical MM and to anyone who wants to read something a little bit different. You could read each book as a standalone but I highly recommended reading them in the correct order, pick them up and fall in love with Anthony and Sebastian as I did.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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