Book Reviews

At Lodgings in Lyme (Oliver & Jack 2) by Jackie North at Blue Rain Press

Genre Gay / Historical / 19th Century / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 27-June-2022

Book Blurb

An orphan and his street thief companion flee London’s now-dangerous streets and the threat of the hangman’s noose. This is the love story of Oliver Twist and The Artful Dodger.


After Oliver commits murder to protect Jack, they head south to Lyme Regis. Along the way, Jack becomes ill, and Oliver is forced to gut fish to pay the doctor’s bills.


Oliver tries to balance his desire for respectability with his growing love for Jack, while Jack balks against the conventions of society and wants to ply his trade.


In spite of their personal struggles, and in the face of dire circumstances, they discover the depth of their love for each other—but can their love survive?



First edition published under author's pseudonym Christina E. Pilz by Blue Rain Press, June 2015.


Book Review

“It matters not how it seems. All that matters is what is, and I will simply have to deal with whatever that happens to be.” ~ The Artful Dodger (Jack Dawkins) ‘Oliver Twist’, Charles Dickens

 

Oliver and Jack, of ‘At Lodgings in Lyme’ by Jackie North, flee London, terrified of being caught and hanged. The weather is as miserable as they feel. Finally, Oliver tells Jack they are headed to Lyme Regis, where his family was from, hoping there is someone who can help them.

 

Jack picks the pocket of a wealthy man. With this money, they get food and a roof over their head. The next day, they take a coach to Lyme Regis. Oliver has noticed that Jack isn't himself, but when he asks, Jack makes some excuse but admits he has a horrible headache. When he then throws up on the coach, Oliver realizes the seriousness of his illness. As the coach continues, Jack gets worse. When they stop for a break, they find that the coach doesn't go to Lyme Regis, but the coach driver agrees to stop nearby, meaning they still have a distance to walk, in the torrential rain.

 

By now, Jack is so sick that Oliver practically has to carry him. Oliver needs to find shelter for them, and soon! They come upon a grand house and knock on the door. The butler answers. He is wary of them but calls Mrs. Heyland, who runs the household. Jack explains their shabby appearance by saying he used to be Oliver's manservant but that Oliver has lost his fortune and can no longer pay him. She's skeptical, but Oliver works his charm on her and agrees that it's her "Christian Duty" not to turn them away.

 

Jack is put to bed to recover. To pay for Jack's doctor bills, Oliver finds work gutting fish. While there, they enjoy a short respite from the trouble that always seems to follow them. When Jack's condition improves, he works with Oliver. All seems well until Jack is accused of stealing books. Unwilling to be separated, Oliver insists that he is guilty too. The authorities arrest both of them, but instead of going to jail to await trial, they take them to the Axminster workhouse.

 

‘At Lodging in Lyme’ is the second book in the ‘Oliver & Jack’ series. It was good to see Oliver and Jack get some peace providing them time to explore their relationship further. In other ways, it made it even harder when that peace was so cruelly taken away. Thanks, Jackie. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book was purchased by the reviewer.

 

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 426 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 24-May-2022
Price $4.99 ebook, $18.99 paperback
Buy Link https://www.amazon.com/At-Lodgings-Lyme-Historical-Romance-ebook/dp/B09QKB6T8B