By Tqwana B.
5 out of 5 stars ★★★★★
Silas Mason has no illusions about himself. He’s not lovable, or even likable. He’s an overbearing idealist, a Radical bookseller and pamphleteer who lives for revolution . . . and for Wednesday nights. Every week he meets anonymously with the same man, in whom Silas has discovered the ideal meld of intellectual companionship and absolute obedience to his sexual commands. But unbeknownst to Silas, his closest friend is also his greatest enemy, with the power to see him hanged—or spare his life.
A loyal, well-born gentleman official, Dominic Frey is torn apart by his affair with Silas. By the light of day, he cannot fathom the intoxicating lust that drives him to meet with the Radical week after week. In the bedroom, everything else falls away. Their needs match, and they are united by sympathy for each other’s deepest vulnerabilities. But when Silas’s politics earn him a death sentence, desire clashes with duty, and Dominic finds himself doing everything he can to save the man who stole his heart.
Call it irony or kismet, but as I was thinking about how to approach this review, I had a conversation with a friend, trying to convince him to read this novel. His statement that he can’t relate to historical romance because of the history is ironic. Historical romance and A Seditious Affair in particular, prove that no matter the time period, we are — in most ways — still the same.
The politics may be different (though not really when you think about the 1% argument), but Silas and Dominic could easily be a Black Lives Matter supporter and a Blue Lives Matter Supporter, a difference that we today are letting pull us apart instead of working together to make things better for everyone. They could easily be a Trump and a Clinton supporter. A conservative Christian and an pro-choice advocate. It’s easy to say that these two men shouldn’t be together, and not simply because their same-sex relationship was illegal (hey, didn’t we just have a Supreme Court decision on gay marriage or something?), but also that Dom works for the very government that Silas opposes.
Agreeing to disagree, without compromising your integrity? Imagine that. Being respectful of other’s opinions and believes without condemning them? Novel idea, that.
Also compelling about A Seditious Affair is that those closest to Dominic, his former lover and best friend Richard especially, who share his social status and politics are the ones who actually don’t understand his wants and desires the way Silas does. It’s Richard, the life-long friend that makes Dom feel different and ashamed.
Sounds pretty relatable to me.
ARC provided by NetGalley