THE BACHELOR’S VALET by Arden Powell
Review by Shaggy Shepherd
Alphonse Hollyhock is blessed with wealth, class, and more beauty than brains. Though he hasn’t got a lick of wit or magic to his name, he’s perfectly content living life as an airheaded bachelor with his valet—the clever, unflappable Jacobi—by his side to ensure everything runs smoothly. All he lacks, according to his mother, is a wife.
Despite Alphonse’s protests, he’s to marry Aaliyah Kaddour: a bright, headstrong young woman who would probably be charming company if she didn’t threaten everything about Alphonse’s way of life. Marrying means giving up his fashionable flat, his fast car, and, worst of all, it means losing Jacobi.
Perhaps most distressingly, this talk of marriage is bringing all sorts of confusing feelings to the forefront. Because rather than falling for the beautiful girl being pushed into his arms, Alphonse seems to be falling for his valet. Except a man can’t fall in love with another man. Can he?
Meanwhile, Aaliyah has plans of her own. She’s as devious as she is pretty, but if Alphonse wants to get through this marriage business in one piece, he’ll have to trust her. Her and Jacobi, and, most dangerously, his own feelings.
The Bachelor’s Valet is a cute queer fantasy that I enjoyed quite a bit. It was like a little breather in between the heavier fantasy and sci-fi reading I’ve been doing. I cuddled up on the couch with my kindle and a hot cup of tea to enjoy my time with this entertaining ensemble of characters.
The writing felt smooth and easy, which made the chapters (that had cute names by the way) fly by in no time. The setting was easy to picture, though I would’ve liked to learn more about the magic, how it’s used in everyday life, why they don’t use it more in polite society, etc. The characters were charming and fun to follow, though I do honestly prefer my MCs to have a little bit more than just hot air in their heads. It was oddly endearing at times though and the others made up for it well, especially with the humor dispersed throughout.
I’ll definitely be returning to this series when I need a little break again. It’s not often that I laugh out loud and feel so charmed by a book. And adorable animal characters are always a nice bonus as well. This book gave me exactly what it promised and I really appreciate that as a reader.
Congrats to Arden Powell: Before We Go is delighted to announce that THE BACHELOR’S VALET is a semi-finalist for SPFBO9!
If this book sounds like your cup of tea, please find it on Goodreads or hop over to Amazon to snag your copy!