Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: June 8, 2021
Series or Standalone: London Highwaymen #1
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
CW: Gun violence; death; blood; homophobia; death of a child; death of a parent
The Queer Principles of Kit Webb was so fun and so unexpected! Not only did I love the romance, but these characters stole a piece of my heart.
Kit Webb has left his days as a highwayman behind him and just wants to run his coffee shop in peace. But when a handsome and arrogant aristocrat barges into his shop, Kit’s plan to leave the highway robbery in the past may be going out the window. Percy, Lord Holland, is willing to do anything to help out a dear friend and save himself from blackmail by exposing the truth about his father, the Duke of Clare. He approaches Kit to help steal a book that once belonged to his mother, a book his father never lets out of his sight. While Kit refuses to participate in the robbery, he agrees to teach Percy how to do the deed. As they spend more time together, the two cannot deny the growing connection and relationship between them.
The characters are what sold me on this book. Kit and Percy, along with Marian and others in Kit’s orbit, were a delightful bunch. I loved how open and accepting the core group is of everyone’s sexuality – there is no shame or judgment from any of them.
I thought Kit would be this loveable rogue, given he’s a notorious highwayman, but I so called the personality of Kit and Percy wrong in my head at the start. This book gives off grump/sunshine vibes – with Kit being the grump. Kit is very gruff and stubborn and VERY set in his ways since he gave up being a highwayman. He’s got a lot of pain in his past, especially for someone who isn’t even 30 yet! He hates the aristocracy because of the power they wield. His feelings towards the aristocracy were shaped by things that happened in his past, so it felt incredibly valid.
Given his feelings toward the aristocracy, the last person on earth he’d ever think of falling for is Percy, the son of the Duke of Clare, a man Kitt despises. Where Kit is a grump, Percy is the epitome of sunshine. He’s a bit of a dandy, yet he owns that title and his sexuality without shame. He’s a flirt and very charismatic and manages to coax Kit out of his shell and out of retirement. And even though he’s willing to risk everything, he somehow still manages to remain optimistic and remain a steady force for Marian as they plot to take down his father.
Kit and Percy on paper shouldn’t work, yet they somehow do. I found the romance between them to be incredibly sweet, and I loved the pacing of it. Their relationship had the perfect amount of chemistry, tenderness and sexiness to make it work. I loved how the romantic scenes weren’t just thrown in to add spice, but they really advanced Kit and Percy’s relationship. I will say, there was a moment I was incredibly worried about them getting a happily ever after because as much as the book characters accept a same-sex relationship, society and the law of the time weren’t. But they do get their HEA and find a plausible way to make it work.
Outside of Kit and Percy, I have to shout out to one of my favorite characters in this book – Marian. As soon as she, the Duchess of Clare, showed up dressed in men’s clothing, I knew she would be my favorite. Something about her personality and story piqued my interest as soon as she appeared on the page. There is so much more to her than meets the eye, and I was excited that she is the focus of book two, especially considering how this ends!
Side note – do NOT read the summary for book two, The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes, if you do not want to be spoiled for some of the major plot points of this book. I accidentally did that, and it took some of the fun out of the plot and reveals.
Also, this book was thoroughly enjoyable as an audiobook! Joel Leslie, the narrator, brought so much life and personality to these characters. It did take me a minute to adjust to Kit’s voice as it was so not what I had expected in my head, but now it’s the only voice that seems to fit him. I read book two, The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes, as an ebook and Leslie’s voice stuck with me so much that I felt I could hear them in my head while I was reading that.
This is my first book by Cat Sebastian, but I don’t think it will be my last! As soon as I finished this, I couldn’t wait to dive into book two, and I’m so glad I didn’t have long to wait to do that. If you’re looking for a charming romance with a fantastic cast of characters, this book is perfect for you!