Some of Ben Sedgwick’s favorite things:
- Helping his poor parishioners
- Baby animals
- Shamelessly flirting with the handsome Captain Phillip Dacre
After an unconventional upbringing, Ben is perfectly content with the quiet, predictable life of a country vicar, free of strife or turmoil. When he’s asked to look after an absent naval captain’s three wild children, he reluctantly agrees, but instantly falls for the hellions. And when their stern but gloriously handsome father arrives, Ben is tempted in ways that make him doubt everything.
Some of Phillip Dacre’s favorite things:
- His ship
- People doing precisely as they’re told
- Touching the irresistible vicar at every opportunity
Phillip can’t wait to leave England’s shores and be back on his ship, away from the grief that haunts him. But his children have driven off a succession of governesses and tutors and he must set things right. The unexpected presence of the cheerful, adorable vicar sets his world on its head and now he can’t seem to live without Ben’s winning smiles or devastating kisses.
In the midst of runaway children, a plot to blackmail Ben’s family, and torturous nights of pleasure, Ben and Phillip must decide if a safe life is worth losing the one thing that makes them come alive.
Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating perspectives.
This is book 1 in Cat Sebastian’s Seducing the Sedgwick’s series. I absolutely adored this audiobook. I admit that it has a lot of my favorite tropes – age gap, grumpy/sunshine, and a variation of nanny. Cat Sebastian’s writing and Joel Leslie’s terrific narration made this one I’ll be happy to listen to over and over again.
I loved Phillip’s growth as a man and a father. I particularly appreciated Sebastian’s approach to writing about children, their inclusion in the story, and respect for them as vibrant individuals worthy of respect. Ben was also a fantastic character and witnessing his heartache at disappointing those he loved because he needed to honor himself was simultaneously sad and beautiful. The relationship between the two men was somewhat of a slow burn but in the best of ways. There were also a lot of laughs which made this a delight to listen to.
I’m looking forward to Heartly’s story in A Gentleman Never Keeps Score.
Joel Leslie’s narration was amazing. His accents were perfect. Delivery, timing, and emotions were impeccable. This is the sort of narration that can be held as a standard to which all narrators should aspire.
About the author:
Cat Sebastian writes historical romance about LGBTQ+ people. She lives in a swampy part of the South but also on twitter.
You can connect with Cat Sebastian here:
About the narrator:
Joel Leslie is a UK transplant, growing up with American parents in a British commonwealth. A classically trained actor with an MFA in theatre from USC, he is often cast for his unique ability to deliver native, authentic combinations of American and British sounds. His great range and ability to bring characters to life with honesty, wit and versatility delights producers and listeners alike.
You can connect with Joel Leslie here:
My Favorite Quotes
“The more he thought, the clearer it was that he didn’t want a life that didn’t include soft kisses and steady hands, whispered praise and shared touches.”
“He was a damned good sailor, and he knew it, but he was useless on land.”
“He was waiting, he realized, for this to feel wrong, for it to feel shameful or traitorous, but it only felt good, and safe, and honest.”