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Summary

A brand new historical m/m novella from award-winning author Isobel Starling.

Monday, December 20, 1897. Mr. Benedict Hannan, the owner of Hannan’s Auction House in Fitzrovia, receives a letter inviting him to attend the sale of a private collection of fine art and antiquities belonging to the late Lord Percival Ardmillan. Ardmillan is known to Benedict, or rather, his son Euan is, and so, Benedict hurriedly travels to the West Highlands to fulfill his dream of owning a particular item from the Lord’s collection - something that he has coveted for 30 years.

In Scotland, Benedict meets the collectors who were invited to bid in the auction. He discovers that the auction of the private collection is not as straightforward as he had imagined. Forced to come to terms with his past and present desires, Benedict finds himself in the thrall of a mysterious traveler, and in turn, he gets more than he bargained for this Christmas!

©2019 Isobel Starling/ Decent Fellows Press (P)2019 Isobel Starling/ Decent Fellows Press

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A little gem of a tale

I was given this book as an advanced listener. I have read and listened to several of Isobel Starling's books but these have been books set in the modern era. I initially I found the book slow and the lead character Benedict quite heavy going. However, as the tale developed you understood why he was like he was. Also, as the mystery developed the pace sped up. I was then gripped, growing to like Benedict more and more but also seriously taking against one particular character. I hope there will be another this series in which we get to meet the two main protagonist. I enjoyed the period feel and the clever but not overly elaborate twist. It is useful reminder that it is major change in recent times to be able to talk about being gay so freely. Gary Furlong is gem of a narrator. I had not realised he was so versatile.

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Audio perfection

Wonderful writing, wonderful narration. If you love mm romance you cannot go wrong with an audiobook by Starling and Furlong!

1 person found this helpful

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It gets better as it goes on!

I do like a short first book, to see if you like the gist before you start on a long series. This was very well narrated, that always helps.

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Deliciously Dastardly Deceptions

Fantastically penned romp, fantastically narrated. Benedict and Sebastian meet, better late than never. Such a delightful tale, well written, well set in the art world of Georgian England. Why in the height of Imperial times, are measurements in meters, especially when the narrator is Gary Furlong? The scenic descriptions of train travel, clothing, and houses of the period all augment this tale. VERY ENJOYABLE

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Fantastic historic M/M

At first, I thought this story was going to be dry and boring. Fortunately, it sped up quickly and I wanted to know about Benedict's journey, his past, his predilections, and the mysterious man(men) he meets. It really left me wanting to know more about the mysterious Mr. Cavell. They are some truly funny, if dryly so, comments in this story, and I think if you blink you could miss them. Don't blink! I've already listened to the second book, which is longer, and provides more mystery, funny moments, disguises, and steamy connection between Benedict and Sebastian. I am eager for the next installment. Gary does his usual excellent job of voicing the characters, perfectly capturing the accents, and distinguishing all the different characters and personas. Honestly, I can't imagine anyone else narrating Isobel's stories. I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook and am voluntarily leaving this honest review.

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An historical story.

A nice easy book to listen to, not my normal read but I enjoyed it. Great narration as well, which really helped.

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Entertaining!

Although this story got off to a slow start, it became very engaging. Once again the writing of Starling and performance Furlong make for great entertainment.

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A Wonderful Surprise!

I will admit that I'm not usually a fan of historical novels, but, being a fan of this author and narrator, I decided that I'd give the story a chance and I wasn't disappointed :). For such a short tale, there's plenty of plot and the characters are well-developed. I'm looking forward to the next book, especially with how Benedict and Sebastian's relationship develops.

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Something different

I absolutely loved both the story and the narration. Told solely from the point of view of a rather proper Benedict, I love how Gary Furlong brings him to life, yet never misses an opportunity to be creative with the secondary characters. I particularly enjoyed the many voices of Sebastian. I can't wait to hear more of his work. The author captured the late 19th century excellently and this is indicative of thorough research. I certainly learnt several new things and will never look at plums the same way again! I like how Benedict is a more mature man of 50 (at a time when this might have been considered old). I definitely want to see him to continue to blossom after being so set in his way for 30 years. I hope that Sebastian is a large part of his rebirth. Looking forward to the next in the series.

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  • Vania
  • 22-05-20

Lovely historical romance.

Loved this historical romance by Isobel Starling, which, narrated by Gary Furlong, became a masterpiece!

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  • Nica Flor
  • 25-01-20

Delicious novella

What a lovely story! Benedict Hannan is a buttoned up, aloof gentleman whose only delight in life is collecting valuables and treasures for his auction house, and finding comfort in his religion. He's on his way to Scotland with business in mind, but he can't help but feel trepidation, as he is to meet with his one and only lover, whom he hasn't seen in thirty years, after the beautiful man broke his heart in pieces. Benedict never fully recovered from his heartbreak, and feels tremendously guilty about his "unnatural feelings," and never acts out on his lust and stews in his loneliness, trying to find comfort in his religion. He is a very likable character, with a snarky yet endearingly shy personality, who tries to hide his desires behind the stolid dignity of his fifty years of age. I really enjoyed Benedict, his attempts at being a curmudgeon are stifled by his cute reactions, and I couldn't help but feel sad at his denial and loneliness. There's a little mystery subplot dealing with a very exciting gentleman thief, and Benedict's former lover, and both men may not be all what they seem. The intimate scenes are hot and sensual without overtaking the plot, and though it is a fairly quick read, the novella does an excellent job of developing Benedict's character. There's a happy ending and a promise of a sequel, to which I am looking forward, because this was a delightful story and I really would like to see where the happy couple goes to. Gary Furlong is a masterful performer, I would love to be able to pronounce "anxiety " with as much haughtiness as he does, he really brings a delicious arrogance and cuteness to Benedict, not to mention the playfulness of the gentleman thief. The sensuality of the intimate scenes is always on point, and I just loved the audiobook, it kept me engaged the whole time. Very recommended.

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  • Gabriella West
  • 02-11-20

Surprisingly good!!

The pacing of this MM historical was slow, but it turned into a delicious character study, helped along by really MASTERFUL narration by Gary Furlong. I waited so long to listen to it that there is a sequel, which I eagerly bought! I received a free copy of the audiobook for my honest review.

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  • Lady Di
  • 14-10-20

Awesome 👏

Really enjoyable story. I’m so glad I took a chance in this book. First of all I love the narrator Gary furlong. This author is new to me and I think this will not be the last book I purchase by Isobel Starling. Definitely worth the money.

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  • B. Lane
  • 23-09-20

Excellent Period Drama

Benedict Hannon receives an invitation to Scotland for an auction of the late Lord Armillan's fine arts and antiquities. There is an object the Hannon has been waiting 30 years to obtain. But he is also confronted by his past in the form of Sebastian Ardmillan, his lover from his university days. But he has repressed that part of himself ever since due to the morals of the times. He has been lonely all this time. Things get complicated for Hannon while trying to obtain this special object.... Gary Furlong hits another one out of the park. This man is fantastic in all of his narrations. He gives the perfect air of high society to the voices and just takes you back to the 1890's for 3 hours. Isobel Starling has written a period piece with very in depth characters and information of the times. I can't wait for the next in the series. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • alias11
  • 30-08-20

Fantastic historic M/M

At first, I thought this story was going to be dull and boring. Fortunately, it sped up quickly and I wanted to know about Benedict's journey, his past, his predilections, and the mysterious man(men) he meets. It really left me wanting to know more about the mysterious Mr. Cavell. They are some truly funny, if dryly so, comments in this story, and I think if you blink you could miss them. Don't blink! I've already listened to the second book, which is longer, and provides more mystery, funny moments, disguises, and steamy connection between Benedict and Sebastian. I am eager for the next installment. Gary does his usual excellent job of voicing the characters, perfectly capturing the accents, and distinguishing all the different characters and personas. Honestly, I can't imagine anyone else narrating Isobel's stories. I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook and am voluntarily leaving this honest review.

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  • Zinnia Rodriguez
  • 25-08-20

Gentlemanly Romance

I really enjoyed this audiobook. It's always a pleasure to hear Gary Furlong's voice bring Isobel Starling' characters and stories to life. I'm intrigued by Mr. Sebastian Cavell. I found it so sad that Benedict hid himself for so many years but glad that he met Sebastian. Ewan was a piece of work. He deserved what he got. Can't wait for the sequel. Highly recommended.

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  • Sunshine
  • 23-08-20

Very Nice

The story grabbed me from the beginning. There is so must detail, that I could visualize what was happening. Great story and wonderful plot. This book got me out of my reading slump.

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  • Trio
  • 22-08-20

Tempting Start to the Series Furlong is Fantastic!

I love the depth a charmingly flawed character brings to a story, and Isobel Starling has crafted a gem in Benedict Hannan. Naïve and a bit dim, Benedict has a way to go before he figures it all out, and the goings on in The Shooting Season are just the beginning of his education. Set up to initiate him into the ways of the world is humble American traveller John Edwards, or is it art collector Artur Engels, or master thief Sebastian Cavell? Well, whatever alias he’s using at the moment, I love the chemistry between him and Benedict and I can’t wait to see what Isobel Starling is going to do with these two gents! Regardless of his pompous piety, do not let Benedict’s buffoonery put you off. Ms. Starling has plans for him and The Resurrectionist series continues in episode two, The Gentleman’s Thief. I’m diving straight into the audio version of this one, and here’s hoping there will be many more episodes to come. I know it can't possibly be true, but I can't help but wonder if Isobel Starling writes her novels to be read by the spectacular voice actor, Gary Furlong. Knowing his amazing strengths, she capitalizes on Mr. Furlong's unparalleled skills with accents and makes the most of his many other talents. A bonus to this clever, creative mystery, listening to Mr. Furlong's narration is always an immense pleasure.

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  • Sue C
  • 18-08-20

... "You fascinate me." - Sebastian to Ben

All I want from a book is to be lost in a good story for a few hours and this one ticks that box 😊 Delightfully entertaining, The Shooting Season sets up the characters for what I expect will be an entertaining series, this is a story of intrigue and deception, the descriptions are vivid and the characters easily coming to life off the page. Would I listen to it again: yes Did the story keep me engaged: yes Was I invested in the characters: yes Narrator comment: Gary Furlong is a perfect choice for proper English gentleman - both reputable and scoundrel. I had no problem distinguishing characters and the rhythm, inflections and intonations all worked to make the book come alive.