Review: Division Bells by Iona Datt Sharma



Title: Division Bells 
Author: Iona Datt Sharma
Genre / Themes: m/m romance, British politics 
Release date: 13 October 2020

Author's links: Website / Twitter / Goodreads

My rating: 5 Stars


In politics, love is a stranger…

It’s a bitterly cold winter in London and Jules Elwin has no idea what he’s doing. As the newest special adviser to a government minister, he’s drowning in arcane procedures and party politics, and the civil servant who’s supposed to be helping him is doing nothing of the sort. Ari is sarcastic, intolerant and has no time for a special adviser who’s only there because his father is a peer of the realm.

Jules is only one of Ari’s many problems. As well as nursemaiding a special adviser, he’s got to get a Bill through Parliament, keep his irrepressible minister happy and stop his esteemed colleagues from hiding alcohol in their filing cabinets. And there’s something else, too: a deep, unspoken grief, that’s consuming him like frost.

But despite everything, Ari sees the world around him clearly––and Jules has been waiting all of his life to be seen.


This is a contemporary m/m romance between a civil servant and a spad (special advisor). I loved everything in this novella, the exquisite writing, the richly drawn characters, both main and secondary ones. The story is heavy with political and legal jargon which I didn't mind one bit because it is very much similar to my own professional life. 

The writing is most gorgeous and it gives a strong sense of place (London, the Parliament) and time. There is certain melancholy to both MCs, for different reasons and their romance was both understated and a most tender one. It's the kind of romance I love the most, one based on caring for the other, providing support and nourishment through though times. 

I am bit wary of the main conflict related to work of the MCs but I am willing to suspense belief and feel reassured that things worked out for the best for them. 

I would be happy read more romance by this author. 

Note: For those like me, who don't know it, Division Bell is the bell that rings to call members of the relevant chamber to vote 

CW for grief 

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