Convincing Leopold by Ava March
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Convincing Leopold is a decent sequel to Convincing Arthur. You should really read the first book to fully appreciate the main couple and their relationship but I found that the same frustrations I had with the first book are still present in this sequel. It’s an easy novella to read and March is a good writer but my main annoyance is with Arthur and those issues aren’t solved in the sequel. If you’ve read the first book and quite liked the couple, definitely continue with this one. Other March fans are also likely to enjoy the familiar tropes and writing that make a smooth, albeit delightfully steamy regency read.
The sequel begins a few months after the last book ended with Thorn and Arthur happy together. Unfortunately minor misunderstandings and the general chaos of life starts to encroach on their time together. Leopold, having given up drinking and any and all other vices, is starting to get anxious about the amount of Arthur is spending at the office while Arthur is too engrossed in work to notice. The two come to a turning point in their relationship and must decide how to proceed.
The story runs along the same format as the first book except Thorn and Arthur are already together. Yet Arthur is not giving Thorn the time he promised and indeed, he spends much of the story taking Thorn for granted. This is where I had the biggest problem with the story and the series in general. I never really could warm up to Arthur and didn’t understand why Thorn held such love and devotion for the man. In the first book Arthur pretty much tries to use Thorn for sex before making demands about how Thorn spends his time when they’re not together. So now in the sequel Thorn has done everything Arthur’s asked and still Arthur takes him for granted and treats him like an annoying pet.
Arthur does realize how selfish he is being towards the end but I’m disappointed it took so long for him to understand. He also realizes he takes Thorn for granted, another nice feature, but as a reader it’s too little too late for me. I simply couldn’t appreciate Arthur as a romantic lead by this point ; he comes across as way too self centered and uptight to really understand why Thorn has been in love with him for so long and thus didn’t care if he and Thorn work things out. I realize not every reader will feel this way and if you didn’t mind Arthur or liked him from the first book, then the repetitive behavior shouldn’t really bother. The writing does a commendable job in explaining the circumstances and details that lead to the problems, all of which make sense and seem very realistic.
This leads to the real strength of the story, which is the writing. March knows how to write an easy to read and steamy regency and CL runs along very familiar lines. The situations, language, and descriptions are very similar from book to book so fans are likely to find this offering in line with others from March. The novella is quick with plenty of erotica and never really slows down. It’s easy to read in one sitting and mostly clean of mistakes. This particular series is not my favorite of the author’s due to my issue with the main character Arthur but it’s still a fun read and one I’d recommend.