Historical gay fictions by Ruby Moone – I.

Regency Rouges series

I really like to read historical fictions, and if it has a layer of gay romance in it all the better. As an amateur historian, I am really interested in the way of life of the marginal groups of society like courtesans, natural children and members of various LGBTQ groups. Their lives couldn’t have been be easy due to the countless restrictions and laws against them.

Besides the historical aspects the other factors I think that the huge advantage of Ruby Moone’s books is the language usage. English is not my native language, so I always jump to opportunities to learn new words and expressions – even if they are barely used or archaic. And lucky for me I learned a lot of new words.

I’m an enthusiastic hobby linguist who likes to observe how gifted writers imitate the accent and the way of speaking of the characters coming from different parts of society. I still have a long way to go until I master the skill of imitating various kinds of lingos making my own characters sound more authentic. So my ultimate goal is to learn how to apply different English dialects/lingos of the different social and geographic groups.

After this long prelude let’s check out the books. All the 4 volumes of the series takes place in the early 19th century not much time apart from each other. Spoilers may be lurking ahead so proceed with caution. *wink*


Source: Goodreads

Short explanation of the story:

Major Oliver Thornley finds private Daniel laying ill and starving on the streets. Daniel saved Oliver’s life on the battlefield of Waterloo. So Oliver feels compelled to do everything for Daniel by saving him from the streets and nurse him back to health in return for his own life. Oliver always felt more for the man under his command than friendship and obligation, and always feared to be discovered and be hated by the most important person in his life. He never expected from Daniel to feel the same. After discovering Daniel’s feelings Oliver has to overcome his self-loathing beaten into him by his bully of a father.

My opinion about the book:

I liked the book though it doesn’t figure among my favorites from Ruby Moone. Oliver and Daniel were OK as characters, I liked the part of the book when Daniel was recuperating under Oliver’s tender care. To tell you the truth the scenes with Oliver’s flashbacks of his abusive father felt a bit pointless. Compared to the book’s length it was way too over the top for me, that page count could have been used for other purposes like description of characters’ past together. Parallel to this Oliver’s insecurities and self-hate could have been presented/ described satisfactorily based on social rules and expectations.

I understand the intention of this part of the storyline though. It was used to show how hurtful is the hate and ill-intentioned words coming from important persons like a father. Or to demonstrate how wrong directed is his self-loathing, because if he is deplorable, then so is Daniel too. So the first step is to realize and accept the wrongness of his father’ ways. Because if Oliver could accept himself, and could see himself in a different light (as a normal and accomplished man) that means his father was wrong all along. Case closed. But in my opinion the page count was a bit too few to let this side of Oliver’s life unfold properly.

Therefore this part of the novella seemed a bit rushed, but the story was overall good. The characters’ feelings for each other seemed genuine, and they were very likeable together.

Length of the book: 41 pages

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (upper part of the 4 star spectrum)

🌟The Heat of the Moment🌟

Source: Goodreads

Short explanation of the story:

Since his childhood Milo is crippled by a disease first weakening his legs then rendering them completely numb and paralyzed. He believes that the disease is his punishment for his feelings (he only gets aroused by men and lusting only for men). His paralyzed and helpless state turns him sour and bitter, he is always in a foul mood with everyone. Until a new valet enters his service. Robert changes everything around and inside him, and Milo is unable to accept the unconditional love and he’s always waiting for the other shoe to drop. So he does his best to push Robert away. Needless to say, he very nearly succeeds.

My opinion about the book:

I daresay that The Heat of the Moment is my least favorite of the series. Milo is not just simply sour and bitter in the majority of times, but he’s vile pure and simple. I get his insecurities, I really do, but his vileness is unreasonable in most of the cases. Don’t get me wrong, his fear to be abandoned and played for a fool in order to take advantage of his lineage is totally reasonable and understandable, but poor Robert never did a thing to be suspected of ulterior motives.

Robert is genuinely in love with Milo and when he offers his heart to his lord, he means it. He’s willing to take good and bad and to submit himself to Milo’s needs and whims. He’s ready to endure everything coming from Milo, but after each stunt the lord’s mood turns even sourer surpassing his previous insults and vile acts. He pushes Robert over the edge, making him decide that he would be better off without Milo.

The feelings of the two men were so beautifully described, my heart hurt for them. My main problem with the novella was again its length. I understand that Milo’s vileness was necessary to accelerate the events and get the whole story done within its limited page count, but maybe with a 20 pages of extra relationship development and interactions between the characters it could have been even better. Same as the novella “Fallen” this story seemed also rushed and too vague.

Length of the book: 44 pages

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (lower part of the 4 star spectrum)

Originally I planned to do one long post about the four books, but halfway through writing this article I realized it would be far too long, so I’d decided to cut it in two parts. And this is is the end of the first part.

But don’t worry I will certainly continue with the other two books of the Regency Rouge series. The remaining ones are the longer novels (the real novels) of the series, so expect a trough post about them. 😉


Source of cover image: Ruby Moone on Twitter (@RubyMooneWriter)

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