Sunday, June 6, 2021

Review: The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian

The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Male/Male Historical Romance 
The Queer Principles of Kit Webb cover
ISBN: 978-0063026216
Release Date: June 8, 2021
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

Kit Webb has left his stand-and-deliver days behind him. But dreary days at his coffee shop have begun to make him pine for the heady rush of thievery. When a handsome yet arrogant aristocrat storms into his shop, Kit quickly realizes he may be unable to deny whatever this highborn man desires.

In order to save himself and a beloved friend, Percy, Lord Holland must go against every gentlemanly behavior he holds dear to gain what he needs most: a book that once belonged to his mother, a book his father never lets out of his sight and could be Percy’s savior. More comfortable in silk-filled ballrooms than coffee shops frequented by criminals, his attempts to hire the roughly hewn highwayman, formerly known as Gladhand Jack, proves equal parts frustrating and electrifying.

Kit refuses to participate in the robbery but agrees to teach Percy how to do the deed. Percy knows he has little choice but to submit and as the lessons in thievery begin, he discovers thievery isn’t the only crime he’s desperate to commit with Kit.

But when their careful plan goes dangerously wrong and shocking revelations threaten to tear them apart, can these stolen hearts overcome the impediments in their path?

A retired highwayman is pulled in for one last job by an aristocrat too tempting for his own good in The Queer Principles of Kit Webb. After a job went terribly wrong, Kit put his role as Gladhand Jack behind him and now makes his living as a respectable coffee shop owner. He’s bored out of his mind and more than a bit grumpy when a flamboyant lord waltzes into his shop and makes a tempting proposition: he knows Kit’s alter ego and wants to hire him for a heist that tempts Kit beyond belief.

Edward Percy, Lord Holland, is running out of time to save himself and his best friend (now stepmother) from losing everything. Kit is his only chance and though it takes him a while, Percy manages to convince Kit to teach him how to rob his father. The two men should have nothing in common and indeed, have lived incredibly different lives. Kit has known loss and heartbreak, but also has known love and friendship. Percy has survived growing up in a viper pit and knows how to keep everyone at arm’s length. He has blind spots a mile wide, especially when it comes to seeing what the rich and titled do to regular folk, but Percy isn’t a bad person. I enjoyed watching his eyes open and see Percy come into his own, into a man who is not only happy but comfortable living a life unlike he had expected. And Kit, who has a lonely air about him sometimes struggles to adjust to his disability, comes alive bantering with Percy. The two of them are an excellent match and they had extremely entertaining chemistry. Percy is gay and Kit is bi and both are fully aware of the dangers they face in 1750s London, but I really appreciated that there was no questioning or shame about their sexuality.

The one downside to The Queer Principles of Kit Webb is that the first half of the book is incredibly slow. I did enjoy how Percy tweaked Kit’s nose, but banter alone wasn’t enough to keep the story going. However, at the halfway point the book picked up and became incredibly addictive. Kit and Percy are both flawed, interesting, kind-hearted characters who have their own code they abide by. It was easy to fall into their romance and root for them to find the happily ever after they so deserved.

The heist runs through the background of The Queer Principles of Kit Webb and was the other issue I had with the story. It was fine, but not particularly exciting for reasons other than it brought Percy and Kit together. The climax of the story felt rushed and though I could see where the pieces were coming together I was still left wanting a bit more. I won’t spoil the story but a few things felt unfinished, though if Cat Sebastian plans to write a sequel (and the door is definitely left open for one) then I’m sure the bits left hanging will come together. Even with the issues I had, I still really enjoyed Kit and Percy’s story and devoured it in one day. I do hope to see them again in a future book because they’re such a delight and Sebastian penned a few supporting cast members who are just begging for a story.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.