Size: 5.50 x 8.50 in
After Oliver Twist commits murder to protect Jack Dawkins (The Artful Dodger), both flee London’s now dangerous streets. Along the way, Jack becomes gravely ill, and Oliver is forced to gut fish by hand to pay for the doctor’s bills.
While Oliver tries to balance his desire for respectability against his growing love for Jack, Jack balks against staying in bed, and wants to pick pockets, and both their tempers flare. But in spite of their personal struggles, and in the face of dire circumstances, they discover the depth of their love for each other.
Oliver & Jack: At Lodgings In Lyme is the second book in Christina E. Pilz’s Oliver & Jack series, a gay historical romance. If you like nuanced characters and forbidden love overcoming adversity, then you’ll love this story, so pick up a copy today!
- 2 To Be Read lists
- 1 Read list
Publisher: Christina E. Pilz
Heat Level: 3
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: Under 18
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Class Differences, First Time, Forbidden Love, Friends to Lovers, Hurt / Comfort, Slow Burning Love
Word Count: 147,000
Setting: Devon, England
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
Jack stepped out into the yard, his half top hat slanted on the back of his head, feeling the weight of his jacket cuffs on his wrists, the rain on his cheekbones. It didn’t matter the rain, nor the fact that the back of his shoulders felt as though they’d been slammed with an iron bar, for he had his sights on a score: a rich old gentleman, the best kind of mark, puffed up on his own importance, and distracted by the difficulties of getting to his destination. This was made even better by the fact that, in spite of his disapproval, Nolly had picked the mark out, just for Jack. The heist would be easy; Jack would be able to deal with Nolly when he presented him with a good hot supper, and something sweet besides.READ MORE
It was too bad if Nolly didn’t like the task at hand, for how else were they to eat, to get shelter? Besides the fact that Jack refused to sleep under a hedgerow, did Nolly truly imagine that they’d be taken in by some kind soul who would not question from whence they had come, or why?
Turning back over his shoulder, Jack looked at Nolly, at those blue eyes round and scared as he followed Jack, and that mouth clamped tight over whatever timorous warnings of dire consequences that were surely running rampant just beneath the surface. Or perhaps not even that deep, for Nolly was licking his lips and clutching his books to them as if he was afraid that Jack might want to trade them for something far more useful. But didn’t he know that Jack would never do such a thing? Those books were Nolly’s heart, and Jack would never break that. Though it might be useful if Nolly didn’t look quite so nervous.
“Hey,” said Jack. “This will only take a moment, right? I’m on my game, you’ll see.”
He was proud of what he could do, and Nolly would be more pleased with him, he was sure, once this was over. So he was going to make it quick. He was going to do a grand job, one that Fagin would have been proud of. And besides, he was picking the richest gent in the yard, in spite of there being slightly easier marks, like the pair of gentlemen who had their heads together over a conversation that Jack might determine was not altogether legal, but that left them without a single shred of defense from Jack’s agile hands. Or the lady in the blue cape, with ermine at the collar; she was holding her little white dog in her hands, and was paying a great deal less attention to the beaded reticule hanging from her gloved wrist. She would have been a much easier take, indeed, but the gentleman in the bottle-green coat it was, as per Nolly’s request.COLLAPSE
Svetlana on Svetlana's Reviews wrote:
Oliver and Jack are forced to flee London or face their deaths after Oliver commits a murder to save his thieving companion Jack. They decide to head to Lyme Regis as Oliver desires to find his family and then hopefully he and Jack can have a better life together. However on the way Jack becomes very ill from a concussion. Oliver manages to find them shelter but as Jack recuperates the doctor’s bills add up and Oliver has no choice but to go to work cleaning fish. Needless to say Oliver is not exactly cut out for manual labor but he’ll do anything for Jack. That’s really where the struggle for Oliver lays. He’s so concerned with being respectable and not sinning but he can’t deny his feelings for Jack any longer… and neither can Jack and in a time when gay relationships weren’t acceptable it can be a very dangerous path to take.
Did I Fancy It…
I really enjoyed this second installment in the series. Oliver is really coming into his own and becoming the man he’s meant to be and I’ve always liked the straight talking Jack. It’s interesting to watch their love come alive and grow and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series to see how it all unfolds especially as this book ended on a note that makes me anxious to see what happens next. Recommended for those who have loved Oliver Twist and are curious to see one author’s take on how his life may have evolved. I’ve very much enjoyed the series so far!
Dana on Rainbow Gold Reviews wrote:
The author really built up the world to cause me to feel as if I was being there, watching the days go by and enjoying the seaside town with Oliver and Jack. I guess its more from modern perspective, but I honestly feel sad for Oliver because of the teachings that existed and continue to exist. I am wondering about why couldn't Oliver and Jack explain their true purpose in a certain deed and that it was a misunderstanding?
Melissa on Biblioteca wrote:
This book is a bit more exciting as they travel to the town where Oliver’s mom was born, looking for some connection and possibly somewhere to stay. Things do get a bit rougher when Jack becomes ill and they are forced to rely on the good Christian servants of a wealthy household outside the town of Lyme. The servants seem a bit judgmental and critical belying their Christian goodness, and Oliver has to work to pay back their hospitality.
Jack is a unapologetic character that I really liked because of his honesty about who he is. He knows he’s not a fine gentleman and he doesn’t believe in acting like one in order to fit in. Oliver who had been trying to have a simple, honest life is no longer a gentleman though he still carries the trappings of propriety and it gives him a bit of a superiority complex over Jack. It causes trouble between them, and Oliver’s desire to take care of Jack without telling him the truth of the so-called charity they receive doesn’t help them. The extreme bouts of temper that Oliver displayed in Fagin’s Boy, rear up in this book as well and we see how protective he feels about Jack.
This story is on the longer side at 448 pages and plenty happens while they stay on at the house in Lyme. Their relationship does grow, but to call their romance a slow burn is almost an understatement. It appears to me that Oliver has never really quite thought about anything sexual in his life regarding men or women. It might be a result of his own church-going upbringing or just all the troubles he has seen by the young age of 17 or 18. But he discovers how much he needs Jack, who appears to have traumatic experiences in his own past regarding sex. The pace of this story is slow and steady with characters that I really like. It also has a surprise ending that brings Oliver face to face with the worst parts of his past and I really want to read the next book of this series.
Patty Woodland on Broken Teepee wrote:
From the start, I really loved Christina E. Pilz’s writing style. This is an historical novel, but the language is completely accessible while still retaining that ‘period’ feel. I especially appreciate that she didn’t try to emulate Dickens, because that would have taken this story, this beautiful, beautiful story, into the realm of pastiche, or worse, parody.
And it is a beautiful story, one that involves deep friendship that turns into real love, and addresses everything from the roles society expects us to play to our own great expectations about how our lives will turn out. Oliver is a bit self-entitled, Jack is a bit too attached to his ‘career’ as a pickpocket (one he excels at, but still…) and each has issues with class as well as the relationship forming between them. Oh, and there’s a healthy amount of hurt/comfort, as well, but that works in the context of the novel.
This next tale picks up with Oliver and Jack on the run – they ultimately decide to go to a town called Lyme Regis since that is where Oliver’s mother is from. They need to get out of London and this is as good as any place to go. Problems arise when Jack falls ill from the effects of a concussion – Oliver is exceptionally worried about him. They do manage to find shelter in a a great house but the doctor still needs to be paid which sets Oliver off to work at a very rough job. But he will do anything for Jack.