Review: A Gathering Storm by Joanna Chambers


Title: A Gathering Storm (Porthkennack #2)
Author: Joanna Chambers 
Genre: Historical, MM romance
Release Date: 17 April 2017

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My rating: 4 Stars


A Porthkennack novel

When grief-stricken scientist Sir Edward Fitzwilliam provokes public scorn by defending a sham spiritualist, he’s forced to retreat to Porthkennack to lick his wounds. Ward’s reputation is in tatters, but he’s determined to continue the work he began after the death of his beloved brother. 

In Porthkennack, Ward meets Nicholas Hearn, land steward to the Roscarrock family. Ward becomes convinced that Nick, whose Romany mother was reportedly clairvoyant, is the perfect man to assist with his work. But Nick—who has reason to distrust the whims of wealthy men—is loath to agree. Until Fate steps in to lend a hand.

Despite Nick’s misgivings, he discovers that Ward is not the high-handed aristocrat he first thought. And when passion ignites between them, Nick learns there’s much more to love than the rushed, clandestine encounters he’s used to. Nevertheless, Nick’s sure that wealthy, educated Ward will never see him as an equal.

A storm is gathering, but with Nick’s self-doubts and Ward’s growing obsession, the fragile bond between the two men may not be strong enough to withstand it.


Joanna Chambers is a favourite author of mine and her historical romances are always a pleasure for me to indulge in. She didn't publish anything last year and when her latest release, A Gathering Storm came out earlier this month I couldn't wait to read it. And what a lovely story this turned out to be.

I went into this book almost completely blind, just knowing it was a historical romance set in a fictional town and that it was part of a series where other authors write stories set in same place but at different times. And I loved every bit of this mix of sciency bits and love story and social commentary, all presented in exquisite writing.

I found the story very moving, tender and passionate. It's about dealing with grief and loss (my heart truly ached for Ward). There is also an interesting exploration of the sense of place and (not)belonging in the character of Nick. And the collision of such opposite characters going from enemies to friends to lovers was explosive and rather spectacular.

The complex relationship of Nick with his Romani heritage and his bastard aristocratic heritage was also very interesting for me to read. We this juxtaposed with Ward's high social status which was somewhat tarnished by recent events, yet still allowed him to act aloof and be totally oblivious of the intricacies of how class division works and how much it shapes the interactions between people.

We see a lot of the inner thoughts of both Nick and Ward and I felt like I got to know them really well, slowly and gradually they way they got to know each other. I loved how the author presented their struggles to come together despite their different social status and background. Their past, their position in society was very much part of who they were and it took conscious efforts on both sides to see and accept the other person's perspective on life. Naturally, mistakes were made, and wrong assumptions corrected while we see them grow and change as people in order to find happiness together.

As usual for Joanna Chambers' novels the historical atmosphere was vividly presented through all the little details that take us back in time. The science elements were so much fun to read - storm chasing, mesmerism, hypnosis, even weather forecasting at the end.

All in all, this was a highly enjoyable queer historical romance, moving and tender, beautifully written. I can highly recommend it to all fans of the genre.

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / iBooks

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