The Finer Gentleman – a Novel – Icy Snow Blackstone
Reviewers: She Said – Gloria Lakritz / She Said – Penelope Adams
Tritomitian station owner Sarkin Trant has always known his great-grandfather was the illegitimate son of an Arcanian giarl, but he’s stunned when he learns a bizarre turn of events has made him the new Giarl of Craigsmere. With severe misgivings about leaving his home, Sar take son Hatch and Terran Katy and goes to claim his inheritance
As Sar emerges into Arcanian society, his outspokenness, naivity, and provincial manners slowly but surely charm everyone around him, from the Craigsmere cook to the Margrave himself. He enthusiastically throws himself into taking over the late Lord Craigsmere’s duties, especially those of passing certain bills giving the lowest members of society more rights, while son Hatch finds himself fitting in with the younger nobility and discovering an intriguing love interest.
Though Sar’s political endeavors are succeeding, things aren’t going so well on the home-front as he spend more time away from Katy and more and more time at the government meeting house and attending dinners and social gatherings to gain support to get his laws passed. One of the people he meets in his outings is Meva du Thane, a predatory female intending to snare a noble husband. Only a giarl will do, and she sets her sights on Sar…but the scheme she concocts may prove be a disaster for everyone involved…
Review by Gloria Lakritz
Sr Reviewer and Review Chair for the Paranormal Romance Guild
Finer Gentleman is the sequel to Ms Blackstone’s very enjoyable bookThree Moon Station. Katherine Rawls had ended up on planet Tritomis, miles and galaxies away from Earth, on a working ranch. Through a myriad of mis-communications, she was herded along with ladies from a local penitentiary who were being brought to Tritomis, to be auctioned off and married to locals there and possibly work off their sentences and become free. As I said, through mis-communications, Katy thinks she is becoming a maid and has no idea she is married when Sar wins her and brings her home to Three Moon station.
Sarkin Trant is half Arcanian on his father’s side. He is tall and handsome like his father’s people. He inherited the three moon station from his father who was an Arcanian exile. Sar fathered a son as a teenager and raised him alone. Hatch is half Arcanian and half aborigine. The relationship between these two is closer than brothers as father and son. The relationship between Sar and Katy at first is a cute comedy and then becomes a serious wooing with great sensual energy.
Katy is used to all the modern amenities that Earth had to offer. On this planet, Sar uses horseback, wood burning stoves, outhouses, and Katy has to learn what Little House on the Prairie is truly like. Now Sar is told he has Royal Bloodlines and the Margrave (king) of Arcanis is his cousin. He is to inherit a title and all it entails.
For our second story, A Finer Gentleman Sar decides for the sake of his son Hatch and his now unborn child (Katy is pregnant) he will step forward and see what Arcanis has to offer. Remember he is a simple man, very happy with his life now. His new title is The 28thGiarl of Craigsmere.
I loved this story. Because this author stepped up and had us learn about Sar and Katie and Hatch in her first book, we all know pretty much how these folks will act, with maids and butlers and the need to have an aide to help them dress, and bathe. This part has funny moments as you can imagine as Sar learns he has to wear underwear. It is a Cinderella tale meets The Clampet’s, yet all still very interesting. We see Sar taking an interest in the people who are within his keep and watch as he decides to change the laws of this planet to give more rights to the people at the bottom of the caste system.
Again Ms. Blackstone weaves a story and new faces… New friends for Hatch, new lovers, and new beginnings. Again we have dedicated villains Meva du Thane was wonderful in that part. Another wonderful side character was Anson lo Pitresca. aka Pit. He was a joy. I would love to see more of him in the future.
We pray the deceit and lies stripping Sar of all he has will be found out before it is too late. Sar is charged with deeds set up in such a way that even Katie has left him in the belief he has cheated on her. We watched the web getting tighter and tighter and yet Sar always seeing the best in people did not see it coming. I was furious at them both for they were not the same Katy and Sar in Three moon Station!
As a reader, my palms went damp, and I held my breath, hoping upon hope that all was not lost. After all I am invested in their lives now, and even though life is not always pretty you would not want this to happen to anyone you know especially an innocent such as Sar..
The colorful and three dimensional people we have met are so crisp, and real you cannot put these stories down for too long, they call to you from across the room.
Both of these are so worth your time as are many of the other books this author has written.
Review by Penelope Adams
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
When last we saw Sar, Katy and Hatch, in Three Moon Station, it looked like life was going to settle down for them. Katy was pregnant, Hatch was engaged, the bad guys had been defeated, yes things were looking up. Until one day a strange man appears in the kitchen doorway. He presents a card to Katy identifying himself as Anson Lo Pitresca from Arcanis, and asks to speak to Mr Trany.
Sar comes in soon thereafter, looking like some Wild West hero with his rugged good looks and gun holster. Sar’s look alone is enough to scare any fine bred young man but when Lo Pitresca informs them that Sar is Lord Sarkin, twenty-eighth Giarl of Craigsmere and needed in Arcanis, he soon finds himself rethinking whether it really was a privilege to come to Tritomis-2 to deliver the news.
After much deep thought, and maybe a little persuasion from his “sunshine” Katy, Sar decides it’s best for he and his family to accept the position and relocate to Arcanis on a temporary basis. Hatch is not thrilled with this idea at first, but circumstances soon evolve to make him decide it’s possibly the best thing for him as well. Soon the family boards a transport to take them to their new life. During the journey Lo Pitresca, who Sar dubs Pit, will take on the monumental task of teaching the family the ins and out of the royal court. Remember Mr Higgins???
After a few slow starts, the family settles into their new roles and Sar becomes enmeshed in court politics. They will all discover that the move to Arcanis will change their lives and they will learn if their love as a family can withstand the move.
In The Finer Gentleman, Ms. Blackstone transports the reader into the world of Arcanis created by her alter-ego, Tony Sweeney. While set well into the future and on another planet, the lives of royals are much like they may have been on Earth in the days where the Lords were absolute power on their estates and the lives of the serfs were well and truly theirs to command. It’s not hard for one to close their eyes and see huge feudal estates with large castles, land as far as the eye can see with thoroughbred horses in the stables and servants to meet all the needs of the royal family. Ms. Blackstone also shows us the seedier side to this lifestyle, the backbiting that goes on amongst the royals and the inside workings of the political system. This world is not all roses and sunshine, there are dark and dangerous people who inhabit it, making this book a little darker thanThree Moon Station.
Our little family of Sar, Katy and Hatch are still very much the stars of this book but we have some interesting supporting cast as well. I have to say Pit was by far my favorite; we meet him as a somewhat uptight young man who just wants his duty of transporting Sar and company to come to an end. We watch him loose some of his inhibitions and soon become a member of the family. He gave me some of my favorite moments in the book, watching Sar egg him on and his reaction is absolutely priceless. The scene where he has a tad too much to drink had me rolling on the floor.
There is a little thief who Hatch catches sneaking onto the estate and stealing grapes from the vineyard named Tris who will play a large role in Hatch’s life. I don’t want to give any spoilers away but suffice to say not everyone is who they seem to be.
A good story is not a good story without a truly villainous person and we certainly have an unusual one in this story. Again no spoilers but I can say it’s a woman named Meva Du Thane who will do just about anything to move up in the world.
I loved this book, but I did have a few issues with some of the plot lines, again without giving away spoilers, all I will say is that there were decisions made by Sar and Katy that I thought were a bit out of character from the people we met in the first book. While I struggled with these issues, I liked the rest of the book so much that I found myself putting them in the back of my mind.
There is much to enjoy in this book, if you like historical romance its there, if you like psy-fi/fantasy it’s there, if you enjoy a good giggle and maybe even a belly laugh or two it’s there, if you enjoy drama it’s there. Oh, what the heck, if you just like a good book, here you go, Ms. Blackstone delivers.
Now that the reviewers have read each other’s thoughts…
Hi Penny, we can’t stay away from reading and reviewing the other world of Icy Snow Blackstone aka Toni V Sweeney. Finer Gentleman is the second book in the series Three Moon Station was the first, Finer Gentleman is the follow up to this enchanting story.
She is fast becoming one of my favorite authors, I’ve fallen in love with the planet Arcanis and its inhabitants. While Finer Gentleman continues the story of Sar, Katy and Hatch it certainly wasn’t the simple romance Three Moon was. It pulled more emotion out of me and seemed a little darker. I like dark, I like emotion (which was at times just plain ole anger) so Finer Gentleman was right up my alley. I know we both had problems with Sar and Katy’s reactions to problems that arose but I think you may have forgiven Katy a little easier than I did. I’m not sure I have yet, but part of it may be my general love of a man with a Scots accent.
First let me say I loved this series!!! Pit was a fabulous addition. As I said in my review it was the Clampetts go to Hollywood. Sar with his Wild West manners and dress. Pit like Professor Higgins …How humorous it was. Yes Ms Blackstone, after the romance and relationship that depicted Sar and Katy inThree Moon Station I was hard pressed to see Sar ‘fall’ and be so gullible, and for Katy to believe the lies. I could forgive her easier being very ,very pregnant and being left so much as Sar became embroiled in all the politics of Arcanis.
Pit was one of my favorites. I could just picture Sar being a devil and egging him on and poor Pit having to put up with it. I think I forgave Sar’s being so gullible quicker than I did Katy because to borrow your analogy, he was a bit like Jed Clampett and so out of his element. I may could have bought a temper tantrum, a few days of not speaking and blamed that on pregnant hormones but Katy went way over board. She just struck me as more level headed in Three Moon Station to have pulled the stunt she did. Oh well, I guess any time an author has people talking about the book, whether good or bad, they’ve accomplished what they set out to. Even though I haven’t totally forgiven Katy, I can’t wait for the next book to see what happens next in Katy, Sar and Hatch’s lives. I’m sure it won’t be boring.
I agree, Pit was great ! I am hoping Ms Blackstone continues with Hatch and we can follow his life. It wouldn’t feel too badly if we see what happens to the two young ladies who returned to the station with Sar and Katy. That might prove fun. All I can say is I was very happy to read the beginning of this series and so look for more !! Thank you Penny for your time.
Yes, it looks like no matter what direction she takes, Ms. Blackstone has definitely got my attention. Can’t wait for the next installment. Good night Gracie.
Night Georgie and you also Ms Blackstone!
Q&A with author Icy Snow Blackstone
- Since we now know that Icy Snow and Toni Sweeney are one and the same, will there be a bridge series between Aric’s series and this?
Only in that Sar’s now an Arcanian noble and he’s related to the royal family. Giving away a spoiler here…this story takes place many years after Aric’s reign. Although the kan Ingans are still around, a new family has ascended to the throne.
- I got a little lost in Sar’s bloodline, could you give us an abbreviated family tree with his link to the Margrave?
Sar’s great-great-grandfather, Hinder kan Ingan (25th Giarl of Craigsmere) was an eighth cousin to the present Margrave, Darien-Marcus, which makes Darien-Marcus and Sar 13th cousins and Sar 13th in line to the Throne. He’s also the 28th Giarl of Craigsmere. (A giarl is the equivalent of an earl.)
Apparently, having the Margrave give you permission to have a child also puts enough legitimacy on it to enable Sar to inherit the title.
- Do you plan on expanding this series? We have other characters we would love to still follow.
There’s a lot to be resolved between Crissa and Hatch, especially now that Tris has entered the picture. And there should definitely be a tale of how Meva and Theron fare in their imprisonment. They were being sent to Tritomis-2 to serve their sentences, remember? And then there’s the story of the two ranch hands who wanted Sar to find them brides… A lot of expanding can be done if I have time.