ARC Review: The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian

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Kit Webb has left his stand-and-deliver days behind him. But dreary days at his coffee shop have begun to make him pine for the heady rush of thievery. When a handsome yet arrogant aristocrat storms into his shop, Kit quickly realizes he may be unable to deny whatever this highborn man desires.

In order to save himself and a beloved friend, Percy, Lord Holland must go against every gentlemanly behavior he holds dear to gain what he needs most: a book that once belonged to his mother, a book his father never lets out of his sight and could be Percy’s savior. More comfortable in silk-filled ballrooms than coffee shops frequented by criminals, his attempts to hire the roughly hewn highwayman, formerly known as Gladhand Jack, proves equal parts frustrating and electrifying.

Kit refuses to participate in the robbery but agrees to teach Percy how to do the deed. Percy knows he has little choice but to submit and as the lessons in thievery begin, he discovers thievery isn’t the only crime he’s desperate to commit with Kit.

But when their careful plan goes dangerously wrong and shocking revelations threaten to tear them apart, can these stolen hearts withstand the impediments in their path?

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Thank you very much to Avon and Harper Voyager for providing me with a review copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

The Queer Principles of Kit Webb is out June 8, 2021

Buy the novel:
Harper CollinsDymocks | Amazon | Booktopia

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Percy had hoped that consorting with the criminal classes would at least be interesting, and was quite depressed by the reality.

Cat Sebastian is one of my favourite historical romance authors — I know that when I pick up her books, I’m in for a fun romp of a time, and The Queer Principles of Kit Webb is no exception.

Lord Holland, also known as Percy, is desperate to get his hands on a book that his father, the Duke of Clare, never lets out of his sight, thinking it might be the only way he can save himself and his stepmother, a close friend. The only way to do so is to seek help from Gladhand Jack, an infamous highwayman who has pulled off some of the most notorious crimes. However, Gladhand Jack has left his life of crime behind and now goes by Kit Webb and works as a coffee store owner. Kit refuses to participate in the robbery, but agrees to help Percy plan it, the two men must set aside their differences, and attraction, to pull off the heist of a lifetime. But very soon, their plans go horribly awry…

While a large part of this novel revolves around planning a robbery, the heart of it the romantic development between Kit and Percy, and I was absolutely there for it. The flirtation involves a wide array of outrageous costume, changes, communicating during pouts of pugilism, bonding over how corrupt the aristocracy is, and protecting a tiny little spider in the corner of a coffee shop. And once the two have flirted enough, Kit and Percy come to understand one another despite their difficult pasts — a life of crime, and a life of immense aristocratic privilege that benefits from the abuse and exploitation of the lower class.

Sebastian’s books always do an incredible job of discussing class issues, and how the aristocracy continually abuse their power, and we have those same discussions in The Queer Principles of Kit Webb. Kit has a personal vendetta against the upper class, while Percy has to come to terms with understanding that the life he has led was on the backs of the less privileged, and one he’s not even entitled to anymore. So the question becomes: what do you do with a life that has become upended? Do you carry on in your self-imposed misery, like Kit does, or do you hold tight to a life that you’ve always known, like Percy? Or do you find the courage to take a chance and leave it all behind for the good of yourself?

The Queer Principles of Kit Webb is a typical Cat Sebastian book: it has a beautiful romance, humour for days, silly hijinks, and two very different men learning what love is. I highly recommend picking this up the second it’s out! You won’t regret it!

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