Thursday, May 27, 2021

A Husband for Hartwell by J.A. Rock & Lisa Henry Blog Tour

Blog Tour. J.A. Rock & Lisa Henry’s A Husband for Hartwell.

He must marry, or risk his fortune.

The whole of London Society has long assumed Lord William Hartwell will marry his childhood best friend, Lady Rebecca Warrington. After two Seasons, Hartwell remains quite content with bachelorhood—his parents do not. When Hartwell learns they intend to cut his purse strings unless he makes a match this Season, he resigns himself to a marriage of convenience with Becca, and yet he can't help but be drawn to her younger brother, Warry.

He must marry, or risk his sister's ruin.

The Viscount "Warry" Warrington is used to being viewed as the tagalong little brother. Now a grown man about to enter his second Season, Warry is desperate to be seen. When Lord Balfour, a handsome older peer, takes Warry under his wing, Warry thinks his dream is finally coming true. Until Balfour reveals his true intent—to make public a letter that will destroy Becca's reputation, unless Warry agrees to marry him.

Time is running out for both of them.

When an injury forces Warry to recover at Hartwell House, the two succumb to a secret flirtation. But Warry's sudden announcement of his engagement to Balfour drives Hartwell near mad with jealousy—and right into Becca's arms. With the clock ticking for Warry to save his sister, will Hartwell discover the truth of Warry's feelings before it's too late?

A Husband for Hartwell is the first book in the Lords of Bucknall Club series, where the Regency meets m/m romance.


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A Husband for Hartwell by J.A. Rock & Lisa Henry

Book 1
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Hartwell crossed an ankle over his knee. “I have a proposal. An arrangement that may benefit us both.”

Warry leaned back against the pillows but still held himself stiff.

“You may stay here until your bruises fade, and in return, you must help me learn to court your sister.”

Warry frowned. “You wish to court my sister?”

“Yes,” Hartwell said. “There is no need to sound quite so astonished about it. If she and I are to be married, then I must know her as more than simply a friend.”

“You’re not going to marry her.” It was said with a certainty that dug at Hartwell.

“Of course I am. It was all but decided before we were out of leading strings.”

Warry wrinkled his nose. “She doesn’t want to marry you.”

“She said she did yesterday.”

“She doesn’t want to marry anyone.”

“Well, she must. As must I. And so, we will marry each other. That is decided, Warry. That is not what this conversation is about.”

“It is now.”

This was the Warry Hartwell remembered—an obnoxious little pup, answering back over everything. Hartwell would have carried him outside and dunked him in a pond if he hadn’t looked so bruised and pathetic.

“I know nothing of her romantic tastes. We’ve always avoided talking of such since neither of us…” He shook his head. “Well, we have both, of late, been reminded of our duty, and we have come to an arrangement, but there is no need for that duty to be unpleasant, is there?”

The furrows in Warry’s brow seemed in danger of becoming permanent. “You believe I spend my days thinking on how to court my sister?”

Hartwell sighed impatiently. “No, but I know your sister has had admirers, and I’m certain you’ve seen her reaction to certain types of flowers or… or chocolates or sweet sayings in cards. I want you to teach me what she likes so we might present as a convincing match to Society. And more importantly, to my parents.”

He marvelled at just how simple a solution it was. It was as Becca had said: they would feign courtship in front of their parents. They would marry as friends and live their own lives. She would never hold him back from anything he wanted nor he her. He only wished he hadn’t been too pig-headed to see it that way in the first place.

“If you’re just putting on appearances,” Warry said, “surely she can pretend to like any flower.”

Hartwell struggled to keep the frustration from his voice. “Well, it’s not just pretend now, is it? I love your sister dearly. I wish her to feel I can be a husband to her as well as a friend.”

Warry’s scowl twitched into a near smile before re-etching itself firmly onto his face. “She’s going to laugh at you.”

Hartwell couldn’t hold back a snort of amusement. “Brat.” He stood, stretching, and then winced at the pop of his joints. He noted with some surprise that Warry’s gaze dropped to where the tie of Hartwell’s dressing gown had loosened. “Of course she will. But when she sees the lengths I have gone to in order to make myself a satisfactory suitor, she will be properly awed.”

Now Warry outright snickered, and Hartwell suddenly felt he could sit there all day, trying to make little Joseph Warrington laugh. He reached out to tousle the sandy hair as he had done many times before and halted as Warry flinched away. Hartwell studied the bruises again. Perhaps that was all—Warry flinched because he ached and did not want Hartwell making him ache further.

But a niggling voice in his mind said that perhaps he and Warry had never really been chums. That his only friend was Rebecca, that she was his sole safeguard against a lifetime of loneliness, and that he must now learn to love her as a wife, even though, in all his unformed daydreams, if he had ever imagined himself with someone by his side at all, it had been a man and not a woman.

“Do not laugh at me, Warry,” he said with feigned severity, which only made Warry laugh harder. Hartwell felt a rush of warmth rise up in him, both tender and acute, and for a moment he wished…

But no.

Where on earth had that thought come from?

Even if he had ever thought of Warry as anything but Becca’s younger brother, which he most certainly had not, he was an only son. And Warry was an oldest son, and wishes were for children, not for men who had a duty to their families.



It is all right to indulge in the lesser vices, Warry. A game of faro is hardly murder. It is not a sin to enjoy yourself.



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

A Husband for Hartwell is the first installment of The Lords of Bucknall Club, a MM historical romance set in an alternate era where same-sex marriage was legal.

The driving force of the entire novel is miscommunication, where a single conversation would clear everything up and there would be nothing driving the plot. While I'm a fan of angst, seeking it out at every turn, A Husband for Hartwell bordered on pure frustration, because I was disappointed in the actions of one of the characters.

No doubt, I viewed the novel from a different perspective than most readers, where I didn't see Warry as a victim, nor selfless. I saw his actions worse than those we're to think were horrific from childhood, because Warry is a grown man, using his insecurity as an excuse to lie, be manipulative, steal, and cheat, where his inner monologue is all about how it is everyone else's fault.

Hartwell and Becca have been thick as thieves since birth, followed everywhere by her baby brother, Warry. They teased him relentlessly, where we're to feel as if they were bullies. But frogs do not bullies make, especially when they were just as likely to do these same antics to one another.

The reader is meant to feel sorry for Warry, to understand his animosity toward Hartwell. (I understood his animosity toward Becca. The animosity was also his issue, since he was keeping secrets from her, secrets stemming from him stealing from her, where in turn it was stolen from him, used to haunt them both later.)

But, to me, it felt as if all of this was a Warry problem, not a Hartwell or Becca problem. Warry is struggling with insecurity, so everything said around him is painted with that brush. What I saw as a gentle tease by Hartwell, showing how well he knows Warry, like an inside joke, where even his friends only saw it as a ribbing between men (a way to show affection), Warry took it as if Hartwell was bullying him but he never once said anything. God forbid Warry ever said anything to the people that mattered, instead of spilling secrets to the ones who could hurt them all. Obviously, this vulnerability makes Warry the perfect blackmail target – the personality type drives me nuts in real life too.

To be honest, I couldn't connect with Warry. I didn't feel badly for him, because I felt his actions were worse than the actions he was stuck on stemming from his sister and her could-be fiancé acting like elder siblings during childhood. Other than our villain of the tale, Warry was the only one lying, manipulating, and using emotional extortion on his friends and family. Nothing is worse than using the silent treatment as a weapon. Insecurity is not an excuse for Warry's behavior, where he told Hartwell one thing, behaved in an immoral manner, then got mad at the person he was lying to.

Where I'm supposed to see Hartwell as a bully, supposed to see this as a enemies-to-lovers type of scenario, I enjoyed Hartwell's character. He was solid, firm in his choices, and truthful. If Warry was driven to paint every scenario with his insecurity, Hartwell painted everything with a daddy issues brush, but he at least persevered to go after what he wanted and stand up to his own father. Warry continued to lie to everyone until he was caught.

A single conversation, allowing an entire family, especially the two people who have always had his back, to support him, there wouldn't have been a conflict at all.

Instead of entertained, I was frustrated, because I felt as if I was being emotionally manipulated by the authors. Warry's shown actions contradicted/conflicted with what I was being told. Stole from his sister to be vindictive, lied at every turn, gave the silent treatment, manipulated everyone, appeared unfaithful to the one he said he adored, where the authors wanted me to see him as selfless and wounded. I love angst as much as I love a flawed character, but I don't enjoy being spoon-fed how I'm to pity a character who is his sister and her best friend's actual villain.



Hartwell slid his thumb to the pulse on Warry’s wrist and pressed lightly, then leaned forward and kissed Warry’s palm.


Author Bio

J.A. Rock. Queer fiction that doesn't hold back.

J.A. ROCK is the author of over twenty LGBTQ romance, suspense, and horror novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A.'s books have received Lambda Literary, INDIEFAB, and EPIC Award nominations, and The Subs Club received the 2016 National Leather Association-International Novel Award. 24/7 was named one of the best books of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Connect with J.A.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads



Lisa Henry. Male Male Romance.

LISA HENRY likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn't know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she's too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Lisa has been published since 2012, and was a LAMBDA finalist for her quirky, awkward coming-of-age romance Adulting 101, and a Rainbow Awards finalist for 2019’s Anhaga.

Connect with Lisa

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Lisa Henry's Hangout





Warry had always been a skulker. And a tattler, & a gabster, & a damn bloody nuisance.


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Gay Romance Reviews Tours & Promo

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of A Husband for Hartwell (The Lords of Bucknall Club #1) by J.A. Rock & Lisa Henry to read and review for this tour.

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