Title: Sweet William
Author: Dianne Hartsock
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 56 Pages
At a Glance: An enjoyable novella, but a quick ending.
Blurb: William Wilkerson leads the life of the privileged rich. Head of his father’s shipping business, he indulges to his heart’s content in the pleasures of the flesh with Boston’s finest young men.
That is, until he reunites with Fredrick: his former tutor and the one man who captured his heart.
But William’s father has declared Fredrick off limits. And Fredrick, himself, believes he’s beneath the attention of the Wilkerson heir.
After having lost his current pupil to graduation, and with no prospects of a replacement, Frederick is homeless, hungry, and easy pickings for the men on the docks.
When Frederick is shanghaied into service on William’s own merchant ship, will William discover his plight in time to rescue him?
Review: Overall I enjoyed this novella, even if I felt that parts of it were rushed and would have been stronger if the story was further developed. I felt for Frederick and William and their situation, and I hoped that everything would work out in the end.
When William was sixteen, nineteen-year-old Frederick became his tutor. It wasn’t long before the two fell in love and acted on their desires. Unfortunately for the two, William’s father discovered something going on between them, and had Frederick dismissed. Several years later the two meet up again in Boston, and they discover their attraction to each other has not faded. The problem? William is still the heir to a wealthy shipping business, and Frederick is still a poor tutor. What are they to do?
Sweet William is a bit of a misnomer, as he’s grown to be a little less than sweet. But he knows business and he’s getting pretty good at it. Frederick, on the other hand, appears not to have changed. He’s all too aware of his station in life and while he wants William, he’s afraid of their class difference. I did like how there was hesitation on both parts to re-engage their relationship as time had passed, and yet their feelings were still there and clear on the page.
The parts that threw me a bit came towards the end, regarding one of William’s vessels. I felt that the events were forced in order to throw William and Frederick together, and the ending seemed implausible given the time period. While I did want a happy ending for the two, had there been higher stakes or more time to develop the events, then I would have enjoyed it all the more. As it stands, it ended a touch too soon.
I do recommend this book, however, for readers who are looking for a quick, fun historical story. There are some interesting characters and some you will love to hate. It is a quick read and an enjoyable way to pass an hour or two.
You can buy Sweet William here: