|Cover Art: Garrett Leigh|
After his tumultuous teenage years, Smudge has settled into his quiet life in the sleepy English village of Slopy Bottom. He’s his own boss with the time and space to indulge his artistic creativity. And he has friends. He’s happy. Satisfied. Lonely. And the pool of potential soulmates is almost non-existent. His friends, Rick and Mal, flush with their own happy romance, keep trying to set him up with the most incompatible men, and he's never finding true love on Grindr. Hell, he's not even going to manage a hook up based on the kinky messages he’s been getting recently. He'll just have to slake his desire to find his own HEA in the pages of bosom-heaving romance novels.
Raleigh is the darling of Slopy Bottom’s blue rinse brigade: church organist, mobile librarian, and apparently wedded to his trademark cardigans. He seems to be the polar opposite of the artistic Smudge, whose brightly coloured mohawk and piercings should be a red flag to Raleigh. Yet he’s yearning for company too. It’s just that Raleigh has less expectation and definitely less courage to chase after it, for reasons that he keeps very close to his chest. Reasons that don’t stop him from being drawn irresistibly to Smudge.
Smudge is sure that the way Raleigh runs from him whenever he sees him is cruelly deliberate. A reflection on his bad boy looks and his disdain for Raleigh’s precious church. So why can’t he stop thinking about the softness of Raleigh’s curls and his delicate body? Then Raleigh offers an olive branch of sugar and caffeine, Smudge’s favourite combination, starting them on a road to an awkward truce. And when they are conned into working together on a community project at the local hospital, the proximity ignites a spark that can’t be ignored. But navigating the murky waters that could take their relationship beyond tentative friendship all depends on whether Raleigh can release his secret fears – and whether Smudge is the man to share and allay them.
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"Oh my. Renaissance was nothing like I expected it to be. It was so much better than whatever expectations I had!"
"This was more of a slow burn romance, a journey of sorts as Smudge and Raleigh realized that they actually could be friends and maybe even something more, if they gave themselves half a chance and if they believed they were worthy of the other's affections."
"Without a doubt, Renaissance deserves five stars. ♥"
"Renaissance by Lillian Francis was a pure joy to read."
"...there is no sex scenes and it was perfect. Imo it shouldn’t have been different and I want to thank the author for the respect she showed to Raleigh with this choice."
"The writing was so engaging, it made the reading easy to follow and I particularly enjoyed it in the descriptive scenes. With her style Lillian brought me to Sloppy Bottom and its people and it was a great place."
"I feel to highly recommend Renaissance by Lillian Francis, one of the best book I read in 2017."
4.5 stars from Stella at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
"The story is well written and held my attention right up to the last page. I didn’t put it down once, which is a compliment."
"I highly recommend this series if you’re looking for a sweet, miscommunication, enemies to friends sort of book. It is totally outside my normal dark reads, but I’m enjoying the series. Give it a try."
"I’m hoping for a story that includes Bruce the big bear who loves bacon… but we’ll have to see what she brings us. I personally can’t wait to see what is next."
"I think I liked this one the best so far. The story is told with the same level of writing as the first two, and the various characters that we met previously, tie directly over into this one. I would definitely tell you to read the two previous installments before reading this one, since they aren’t long. I think it is important so that you know who everyone is. I love the residents of Slopy Bottom, and I’m sure you will as well."
4.5 hearts. Dan at Love Bytes Reviews
"This was what I would describe as a very sweet book, they very slowly develop in to friends, then friends who sometimes kiss but thats where it ends.
I know all books can't be wildly passionate and full of fun under the covers and I'm glad this one wasn't as it wouldn't have fitted the story.
We get to meet back up with Rick, Mal and the villagers from book 1 and they all play a part in bringing the two characters together.
This author always writes a good book and this didn't let me down.
Looking forward to book 3.
4 out of 5 stars."
Sue at Books Laid Bare