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REVIEW: To Catch A Fallen Leaf – Fearne Hill

To Catch A Fallen Leaf - Fearne Hill

Genre: Contemporary

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Tony

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About The Book

Take one shy French gardener, mix in a naughty aristocrat, add a splash of water, a dash of sunshine, and wait for love to grow.

If only it were that easy.

Reuben Costaud counts his blessings daily. His run-in with crime is firmly behind him. He has a wonderful job gardening on the Rossingley estate, a tiny cottage all to himself, an orphaned cat named Obélix, and a friendly bunch of workmates. The last thing he needs is a tall, blond aristocrat strolling across the manicured lawns towards him.

Falling in love is not part of his plan.

Viscount Aloysius Frederick Lloyd Duchamps-Avery, Freddie to his friends, is in big trouble with everyone, from his father and his modelling agency, to his controlling older boyfriend. Seeking solace and refuge, he escapes to Rossingley and his adored cousin Lucien, the sixteenth earl. To take his mind off his woes, Lucien finds him a job with the estate gardening team.

Mutual attraction blossoms amongst the gardening tools, and Freddie charms his way through Reuben’s defences. But as spring turns to summer and Freddie’s London life collides with their Rossingley idyll, Reuben’s trust in him is ruptured. Will their love flourish or is it destined for the compost bin?

To Catch a Fallen Leaf is a full-length MM contemporary romance, the second in the Rossingley trilogy.

The Review

Viscount Aloysius Frederick Duchamps-Avery, Freddie to his friends, super model extraordinaire and party animal, is not a happy man. His life is one of indulgence and excess.

His love life is another story altogether. When he makes another mistake, he has to get out of the USA fast, or end up in prison for being found in possession of drugs. He decides to end it with Vincent, his older lover, and head for his cousin’s pile in the countryside to sort his head out.

There he comes in contact with Reuben, a quiet gardener with a mane of chestnut hair and very little in terms of the luxuries of life. He has a kitten, a love of plants and a dark secret. Unlike Freddie, Reuben knows where he is going and what he needs to do to get there – hard work and dedication.

This story is a surprise in many ways. There are a few gross moments at the beginning, which almost made me DNF the book, but that would have been a mistake. What you have here is a love story starting from its unlikely beginnings to its happy conclusion.

You meet a range of different characters, some wonderful, some horrible and some just a bundle of fun. It all unfolds in a beautiful country house garden maintained by a team of gardeners who all have something in common that makes them a family – a very accepting if unconventional family. Freddie’s cousin, Lucien Duchamps-Avery, the sixteenth Earl of Rossingley, seems to float around in a cloud of chiffon, but runs a very tight ship based on common sense and fairness.

He provides a home for waifs and strays, and that includes Freddie, but most definitely not his hunky boyfriend, Dr Jay Sorrentino. He’s enough to bring most of the characters out in a hot sweat.

There is a lot going on here, but give it time and this book get under your skin. It’s controversial, anarchic, arch, funny, sexy, wicked and heart warming. Lovely stuff.

The Reviewer

Tony is an Englishman living amongst the Welsh and the Other Folk in the mountains of Wales. He lives with his partner of thirty-six years, four dogs, two ponies, various birds, and his bees. He is a retired lecturer and a writer of no renown but that doesn’t stop him enjoying what he used to think of as ‘sensible’ fantasy and sf. He’s surprised to find that if the story is well written and has likeable characters undergoing the trails of life, i.e. falling in love, falling out of love, having a bit of nooky (but not all the time), fending off foes, aliens and monsters, etc., he’ll be happy as a sandperson who has just offloaded a wagon of sand at the going market price. As long as there’s a story, he’s in. He aims to write fair and honest reviews. If he finds he is not the target reader he’ll move on. 

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