It Takes Two to Tumble

It Takes Two to Tumble

"Sebastian proves she is a new force to be reckoned with in historical romances.”--Booklist Some of Ben Sedgwick’s favorite things:Helping his poor parishionersBaby animalsShamelessly flirting with the handsome Captain Phillip DacreAfter an unconventional upbringing, Ben is perfectly content with the quiet, predictable life of a country vicar, free of strife or turmoil. Wh...

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Title:It Takes Two to Tumble
Author:Cat Sebastian
Rating:

It Takes Two to Tumble Reviews

  • Chris

    Ohhhh swoon ! Loved this book and I have decided I’m a Cat fan - I have enjoyed all of her books so far and have found a new joy for historical romance. This was sweet, beautifully written and had me totally hooked. Ben, the local vicar, found himself the guardian of three unruly children. By using unique strategies, he won the love and respect of the children and began to make a positive change in their lives. Phillip, their father arrives home after two years at sea and is a virtual stranger i

    Ohhhh swoon ! Loved this book and I have decided I’m a Cat fan - I have enjoyed all of her books so far and have found a new joy for historical romance. This was sweet, beautifully written and had me totally hooked. Ben, the local vicar, found himself the guardian of three unruly children. By using unique strategies, he won the love and respect of the children and began to make a positive change in their lives. Phillip, their father arrives home after two years at sea and is a virtual stranger in their lives. Ben realizes Phillip actually needs him more than the children. This is a story of friendship, courage and love ... with lots of warmth thrown in for good measure. It’s was great !!

  • Eugenia

    I liked it. I enjoyed it. There was some nice UST. Great writing by Cat Sebastian. It made me want to eat gooseberry pie.

    But it wasn’t my favorite work of hers. She’s still a pre-order author for me. And I think she’s a great stepping stone into MM land for MF romance readers.

    I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, which I’m assuming will be about foppish Hartley Sedgwick. He seems like fun!

  • Hollis

    You know it was a great read when it takes you almost ten swipes to get to the top of your list of notes in order to compile quotes for a review.

    So, I don't know if the aut

    You know it was a great read when it takes you almost ten swipes to get to the top of your list of notes in order to compile quotes for a review.

    So, I don't know if the author intended it or if my brain just made random (and completely fanciful) connections but IT TAKES TWO TO TUMBLE kind of gave me shades of

    . Without the Germans and the twelve children, though. Or the singing. Or the clothing made of drapery. And about a million other relevant points. But the mischievous children, the out of touch father, the charming delightful younger person with ties to the church who is able to connect with them and help them learn in creative if non-traditional ways, who simultaneously manages to slip in under the skin (and into the bed!) of his pseudo-employer and fall in love..? Well, that sounds

    -y to me. Or just the makings of a great story. Which was this.

    Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings.. these are a few of my faaavouuuurite thiiiings.. uh, ahem. Anyway.

    Sebastian's writing is such a delight for me. I mentioned before that her writing is like a warm blanket and I honestly don't think I'll ever find a truer description of it. With clever characters with problems both great and small, she gives us couples that often come from complete opposite sides of class or experience or profession and deftly entangles their lives in ways that feel natural and so right without the scenarios ever feeling manufactured. The stories have depth and emotional resonance to them, there are challenges to overcome, of course, but ultimately the overall experience is so full of light and love that you feel good from beginning to end.

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    The first in her new series,

    , features a broody sea Captain with a learning disability, a somewhat radical young vicar who had a very scandalous upbringing, and a host of supporting characters I absolutely adored (Hartley's story has to be next.. right? right!). Even the 'villain' isn't a villain and instead just a tragic young man in a lot of pain with a tendency to be lead astray (I hope we haven't seen the last of Easterbrook). With one of the leads being a man of the cloth, Sebastian could've spent a lot of time debating the merits of religion vs loving outside the lines as dictated by the church and/or God, had her characters caught up in shame and guilt and uncertainty, but instead that never became the default or the focus. It was obviously a point of discussion, it had to be, but it was handled so well and never overwhelmed what was truly at the heart of this love story.

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    Sebastian never fails to include representation and diversity in her stories and as I briefly mentioned above this one is no exception. I love how naturally she includes these elements to her plots and how her characters never feel like props or caricatures or that their personality is nothing more than what hinders them. It's part of them but doesn't make up the whole of them. It's the same as in life. Too often, however, fiction doesn't show that; but this author always does. It is only one of the many things I love about losing myself in her words.

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    If you're looking for sweetness; first second and third chances at love; ducklings, dogs and delightful children; dialogue about what one deserves, disability, and deliciously described dalliances, you'll want to read this book. If you haven't read anything by this author yet, number one, what are you still waiting for, number two, you have three books to read until this one comes out, so hop to it. As always : I recommend.

    4.25 "was everyone determined to be gracious and charming when all Phillip wanted to do was scowl?" stars

    ** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

  • Bubu

    I'll make this short and sweet, since my last two reviews were a little long-winded. Well, Ill try.

    is the story of sea captain, Philip Dacre, and the vicar, Benedict Sedgwick, who grudgingly agree to work together to stop Philip's three children from running roughshod, which they have been doing ever since their mother's death.

    It's a character driven story that flows easily and which I found engrossing. Philip is in a seemingly perpetual state of anger, while Ben is a mild

    I'll make this short and sweet, since my last two reviews were a little long-winded. Well, Ill try.

    is the story of sea captain, Philip Dacre, and the vicar, Benedict Sedgwick, who grudgingly agree to work together to stop Philip's three children from running roughshod, which they have been doing ever since their mother's death.

    It's a character driven story that flows easily and which I found engrossing. Philip is in a seemingly perpetual state of anger, while Ben is a mild-mannered vicar who tries to achieve the sort of stability that he missed growing up. His parents were quite the libertines and thought their five boys should simply grow up feeling free. That lead to a sort of chaos that Ben tries to avoid at all cost.

    Until he meets Philip and all his suppressed feelings towards men come to the surface. Philip, who knows which way he leans to and who, on his voyages gave freely into his homosexuality, is still reeling from the death of his lieutenant who was also his lover. His anger stems not only from the fact, that, with the death of his wife, he needs to sort out his children until he's due back to his ship in two months, but also from the inability to grief freely for the man he loved.

    Ben is trying to make Philip understand that the children need a father who listens and doesn't command them like he commands his men on his ship. At the same time, he tries to give Philip moral support and makes it clear that, even though a clergyman, he doesn't judge him. Philip, on the other hand, is tired of meaningless sex, but also knows that with the life he lives as a sea captain of the British admiralty, he can't bind himself emotionally.

    What complicates matters is that Ben is betrothed to his best friend Alice, but he pretty quickly acknowledges the growing sexual attraction between him and Philip. That the Church of England condemns homosexuality - well, it is the Regency Era - also prompts him to question his vocation under the rigid rules. His feelings for Philip feel natural, and yet he finds himself between a rock and a hard place.

    is by now means perfect, and I could be nit-picking at all the irregularities, the neatness of the ending and how the sub plot surrounding the children is handled, as I did with

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    But I won't. At the end of the day, I enjoyed their journey very much; could relate to their fears and worries. Most importantly, however, I believed in their romance. The decisions and sacrifices on both sides are not easily brushed under the carpet, despite the neat ending.

    is not as good as

    . which I will have to reread as I want to continue with the series and it's been a while since I read it.

    But I've had fun, felt the angst and the happiness for them both at the end of the book. And that's all that matters to me.

  • ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~

    is a delightful historical romance, not particularly angsty (which is a plus for me) but terribly romantic, brimming with Ben's good nature and easy smiles and Phillip's grumpy ways that mask a lonely heart. The story ends with a HEA (realistic for the time and place, but no less sweet because of it).

    is a delightful historical romance, not particularly angsty (which is a plus for me) but terribly romantic, brimming with Ben's good nature and easy smiles and Phillip's grumpy ways that mask a lonely heart. The story ends with a HEA (realistic for the time and place, but no less sweet because of it).

    I loved both men and all the secondary characters. I wanted to hate on Ben's betrothed, Alice, but I couldn't; she was witty and spirited, and I adored her.

    Ben's dad was also a great character, much more perceptive and kind than Ben gave him credit for. I don't think he was the best father to his boys, mind you, but he was . . . well, enlightened, a true free spirit.

    Phillip's children, the wild ragamuffins that they were, made the story. I loved Ned, Jamie, and Peg. And the dog too, of course!

    I'm a big fan of the enemies-to-lovers trope, and while Ben and Phillip are not quite enemies, they aren't friends either. The attraction comes before the friendship, and their chemistry is combustible.

    I so enjoy Cat Sebastian's writing. She writes wonderful dialogue and always does her research (her books feel historically accurate, at least to this non-historian).

    I cannot wait for Hartley's book coming next! I'm intrigued by his droll sense of humour and generous heart (however much he tries to hide it).

  • Caz

     is the first book in a new series from Cat Sebastian entitled 

    , which features a group of siblings who had a most unconventional, bohemian upbringing in a household comprising their father, his wife, his mistress and various itinerant hangers-on.  This first instalment features the eldest son, Benedict, the vicar of the parish of St. Aelred’s in Cumberland, a deeply compassionate, kind, sensitive man w

     is the first book in a new series from Cat Sebastian entitled 

    , which features a group of siblings who had a most unconventional, bohemian upbringing in a household comprising their father, his wife, his mistress and various itinerant hangers-on.  This first instalment features the eldest son, Benedict, the vicar of the parish of St. Aelred’s in Cumberland, a deeply compassionate, kind, sensitive man who yearns for the ‘normal’ life he never had while growing up.  The arrival at nearby Barton Hall of gruff, authoritarian naval captain Philip Dacre sees Benedict  gradually coming to the realisation that perhaps he needs to re-define exactly what ‘normal’ means to him, in this touching, beautifully written, character-driven romance from the pen of Cat Sebastian.

    Benedict Sedgwick is content with his lot.  He is very well-liked by his parishioners, he has a secure living, and he is looking forward to marrying Alice Crawford, a young woman he has known since his youth and whom he regards as his best friend.  For many years, the Crawfords:

    Alice and her parents were thus Ben’s refuge from the chaos and unpredictability of his own home when he was growing up. He cares greatly for them all, although while he loves Alice, he isn’t IN love with her… yet many couples marry without love, and his and Alice’s friendship is, surely, a strong basis for a lasting marriage.  He firmly suppresses that little niggle at the back of his brain that tells him he is drawn to men rather than women; not that he’s ashamed of his preferences, it’s just he’s never really allowed his desires to take shape beyond that nebulous admission of a truth he has learned to supress in order to pursue his goal of living an unexceptional, ordinary life.

    Philip Dacre, a captain in the Royal Navy, has spent the majority of his life at sea and has carved himself a successful career.  But his childhood memories are tainted by his struggles with a learning difficulty and the feelings of inadequacy that rarely bother him aboard ship resurface at the prospect of returning home – something he has managed to avoid as often as possible.

    You can read the rest of this review at

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  • Kaje Harper

    This was sweet and engaging. Ben is a clergyman whose flock includes the orphaned children of sea captain Phillip Dacre at the local manor. The children are running wild after their mother's death, having successfully driven off several tutors. Ben is cajoled by the locals into moving into the manor to exert some kind of control over them, until their father returns. Because Ben is intelligent, calm, unconventional, and imaginative, he's able to focus on only the things that really matter, and t

    This was sweet and engaging. Ben is a clergyman whose flock includes the orphaned children of sea captain Phillip Dacre at the local manor. The children are running wild after their mother's death, having successfully driven off several tutors. Ben is cajoled by the locals into moving into the manor to exert some kind of control over them, until their father returns. Because Ben is intelligent, calm, unconventional, and imaginative, he's able to focus on only the things that really matter, and to divert the children's mischief rather than trying to forbid it. They're beginning to get along well together when Phillip Dacre returns home.

    Phillip would much rather be back on his ship, where he runs a fair but autocratic command, than in the home where he passed a miserable childhood, and where his wife died, and his children seem to be running wild. His attitude is not improved by the presence of an unfairly mellow, intrusive, and attractive young vicar. Phillip had planned to see his children safely settled under someone else's care and schooling, and then head back to his beloved ship. But nothing is going to be that easy.

    The parallels to

    are clearly deliberate, as shown by the blurb, although this Captain only has three children (who sometimes seem like seven.) But this is very much an original story, without the looming external enemy, and with the presence of Ben's fiancée, Ben's scandalous father, and a romance that no nun would sing happily about.

    Ben grew up in a household where romance was allowed to triumph over social mores. His desire to be a vicar stems not from a deep religiosity, but from a desire for order, security, and a drive to help others. This means that he doesn't suffer the guilt and religious pangs of conscience that most gay vicars of that era would. In some ways, it makes the development of the relationship too easy. I wanted Ben's commitment to his position to have a deeper impact on his attitudes. But it gives him the sunny optimism that lets him be a good foil to Phillip.

    Phillip is a pessimist, still grieving the loss of his Lieutenant and lover back on his ship over a year before. He left his children to his wife's care, except for occasional brief visits, and really doesn't know much about them. He has a long way to go to become more than an outsider in their lives. But Ben has some of the keys to beginning to connect with them. And in so doing, Phillip realizes that part of him would like to connect with Ben too.

    This was a fun read, and all the characters were engaging. For the era in which it is set, there was very little angst in this slow-burn gay romance. The ending is sweet and solid, (as much as any such can be in an era when sodomy was a serious crime, and discovery will be a huge and constant risk). There were some moments and phrases that didn't fit the time, place, and station of the characters (including a few Americanisms that grated on me.) This is not a book of socio-historical commentary and accuracy, but a delightful comfort read historical romance.

  • WhiskeyintheJar/Kyraryker

    3.5 stars

    I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    Phillip has spent most of his life at sea, as the Captain, he knows his place and is effective in managing his people. When his ship finally berths after two years, his shore leave allows him to go home for awhile, a home where letters have informed him that his wife has died and his three children are running wild.

    Ben enjoys his job as the vicar; it a

    3.5 stars

    I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    Phillip has spent most of his life at sea, as the Captain, he knows his place and is effective in managing his people. When his ship finally berths after two years, his shore leave allows him to go home for awhile, a home where letters have informed him that his wife has died and his three children are running wild.

    Ben enjoys his job as the vicar; it allows him to see to everyone. When he gets tasked with taking care of the absent Captain's children, he may be in over head.

    Phillip and Ben haven't been able to fully admit certain truths to themselves but as their relationship grows, they begin to become whole through each other.

     

     

    The first in a new series, the author introduces us to Phillip, the stern rigid naval captain and Ben, the affable mellow vicar. Both characters were very contained people in their own way. Phillip has dyslexia but has managed to figure out how to hide it and be effective as captain and he also carries around some melancholy which seems to be due to not being able to fully be his self. Ben had to essentially be the father to his brothers as theirs ascribed to a very bohemian philosophy that led to a lack of structure or responsibility. Both acknowledged their attraction to men but kept it in a contained box that as long as they didn't make it personal, putting real feeling in to it, they could lead "normal" lives. When they meet each other and start to develop those more emotional feelings, beyond just sexual, hard truths have to be recognized.

     

     

    I loved how Ben and Phillip's personalities played off each other. Ben's effortless charm and lightness cracked open Phillip's hard walls and helped him be at ease more, while Phillip's strength and willing to prod at Ben helped Ben release his more passionate side. They became more themselves through the other and there is nothing more romantic than that. For how much Phillip's children played a part in the story plot, I thought they were strangely more absent from the story than warranted. We get some scenes with Phillip bonding but I never felt like I knew them; they felt like obvious plot elements instead of woven into the story. I also thought Phillip's relationship with his former Lt. McCarthy needed to be flushed out more. It started off like there was a big emotional attachment but then it seemed to be more on the physical side, not quite fully explained well enough.

     

     

    This is my first book by this author and I was impressed with the ease of her writing flow, how secondary characters felt complete and added so much to the story, and the historical feel. This had faint whisperings of the Sound of Music to it and I could read all day of Ben taking some starch out of the Captain and Phillip igniting some fire in the vicar. There's a slow burn feel as their relationship starts off challenging, to tentative, to heated and I enjoyed how they both were, somewhat, virgins not only emotionally but physically and we got see them explore and learn together. There's also a hot desk scene that you won't want to miss.

     

    I missed interaction scenes with Phillip's children to get to know them better which in turn would have created more depth in Phillip's character, the middle seemed to meander a smidgen as the outer story took over more, but I delighted in Ben and Phillip's relationship. There's some bitter sweetness to the ending as Phillip and Ben don't quite get the full happily ever after they deserve due to the time period and country they live in, but they worked for and got more than most do. The author's talent with emotions will have me searching out her books from here on out.

  • Anna

    I can never review these books properly because all I want to do is bounce up and down and say:

    OMG READ THIS! REEEEEEEEEAD THIS!

    Cause a happy gay vicar. A grumpy sea captain. Kids that are rounded characters and not plot devices!

    DUCKLINGS ON BEN'S HEAD.

    It's such a happy book. And so well-written I want to fling my laptop out the window, 'cause damn, Cat.

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