Published by Carina UK on 22 January 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Roger Dalby is a lucky man. He inherits a manor house in Devon and a huge fortune. But all he wants is to study medieval history and marry Linda, the love of his life. His problem is managing to find the courage to tell her how he feels about her. His friend Duggie, on the other hand, has less honourable intentions. A Royal decree from the Middle Ages means that the Manor is the only legally licensed house of ill repute in England. He decides to return it to its former glory. Unknown to Roger, the second floor of the manor is soon filled with a disreputable collection of people getting up to some very naughty antics. And as if that were not enough, somebody is trying to kill Roger. As attempt after attempt is made upon his life, he begins to wonder if the inheritance was such a good thing after all. Even with Jasper the dog there to keep an eye on things, it all starts to get very scary. This is a book about love, some the good type and some the less noble type. It is a very English story, written with a very English sense of humour, set in very English surroundings. Will Roger find the happiness he seeks?
*I received a free ARC of The Room on the Second Floor from Carina UK via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
The Room on the Second Floor is the second book by T.A. Williams that I’ve read, and while it was full of fun, quirky characters, and even some nice medieval historical facts, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Dirty Minds. I think the main reason for this less enjoyment, is that the plot was more than a little confused. And I don’t mean confusing – it was confused – because there were too many plot-lines going on at once in this relatively short story. And while those plot-lines were all good, I think my overall enjoyment would have been greater if they didn’t all take place inside of the same story.
The main characters, Roger and Linda, were both really likeable, shy, intelligent, and easy to get to know. At the very beginning of The Room on the Second Floor, the readers realize that Linda and Roger are in love with each other, even if neither will admit it to the other for fear of the attraction not being mutual. Roger is a very smart, distinguished and more than a little distracted by his medieval research into the life of St. Bernard. When he inherits a manor and a fortune, he decided to retire, and brings his assistant – Linda – and his best friend, Duggie, with him to work at the manor as well.
Once at the manor, Roger finds an old parchment signed by a king several hundred years ago. This parchment makes it legal for the manor to actually have a brothel on the grounds, and it is without limit in time. Roger just wants to frame the parchment because of its historical value, Duggie, however would like nothing more than to actually be the boss of a legal brothel, even if he’ll have to hide this from his best friend. The manor is quite big, and he’s sure Roger’s mind will be in the 12th century more often than not. Soon, after they all arrive at the manor, there is an attempt on Roger’s life, and it seems it’s not the first time someone tries to eliminate him.
So, we have a romance, a second romance between Duggie and Tina, a possible murder and the mystery of who it could be and why, a brothel hidden form the owner, a new manger of the brother who is pretty unhinged, and it’s all pretty fast-paced. Now, I’m not one to say I don’t like a fast-paced story, but fast-paced with this many plots going on at the same time just made The Room on the Second Floor feel a little bit crowded, rather than a spacious country home where the story about the romance and setting up a country club and/ or the brothel could have been enough. Adding in the would-be murder to the mix, as well just made it a little too much for me.
The characters are well developed, though, and I got to know both Linda and Roger, Duggie and Tina as well as I wanted to, and it was easy to understand them, and to follow them on their adventures. The details of Duggie’s shenanigans were funny, and for me, the story of The Room on the Second Floor would have been close to perfect if the story had been about just the couples and the hidden-in-plain-view brothel. The scenery was beautiful, and the writing was very much showing and little telling, which is always a good thing in my opinion.
If you are looking for a story that is full of intrigue and with several plots and story-lines to follow, The Room on the Second Floor is the book for you! The dry humor, and the cute stereotypical servants of the manor alone make for enjoyment. I guess the mix just become a little too mixed for my taste.
‘Sorry about that. I wasn’t really paying attention.’ Nothing new there. He rarely left the twelfth century. She leant forward to give him a hand. Just at that very moment, the box finally gave way.
Linda stood beside the chair and debated whether a peck on the cheek would be appropriate, given the circumstance. All her instincts were crying out to throw her arms around his neck and smother him in kisses, but, as ever, she controlled herself.
Stan was a tall, rather gangly, individual, with one of those cavernous, morose faces that so rarely look happy, even if the owner is. As so often happens, the face had given up trying. As a result, Stan constantly looked as though he had just stepped in something.