Built from the bottom up: one perfect gentleman.
Man about town Arthur Lawton spends his days pursuing entertainment while shoeshine Joe Sprat labors to better his family’s lives. When an argument about nature versus nurture sparks a wager, Arthur swears to a friend he can turn this working man into a gentleman who will pass at a society function.
Joe is happy to participate in the experiment for a fee but receives more than he bargained for after moving into Lawton’s house. Arthur is determined Joe won’t merely wear a veneer of sophistication but educates him in every way. As he creates his new and improved man, Arthur grows more deeply infatuated with him, while Joe falls equally hard for his charismatic mentor.
Underneath a growing friendship, desire simmers and one day explodes. After their relationship escalates, the pair exists in a dream bubble until the threat of exposure sharply reminds them they belong in different worlds. When the ball is over, each must resume his own life, changed by their encounter but destined for different courses.
I must start by saying, I simple love this authors work. And this book was no exception, for the most part.
This one, was set in a newer time than I’m used to, and I think that’s what threw me off. I know that Bonnie Dee’s research is flawless, but I was having a tough time wrapping my head around the fact that we had motor cars and other more modern features, and yet the characters were still going to balls, high society functions, wearing certain clothes etc. And because of that, I kept getting pulled out of the story.
We’ve two best friends, bored with life, find a third person willing to help them take a bet too far. And along the way the person we bet against and the person who was supposed to be making him better crossed that special line.
As Arthur and Joe work together finding a way to win the bet, they find each other and themselves. And that’s what really makes this story. The way that Arthur figures out he’s so much more. And Joe finds out, he doesn’t have to be.
The surprise twist and then the other twist at the end really add a special ending HEA ending.