cover image Patience and Esther: An Edwardian Romance

Patience and Esther: An Edwardian Romance

S.W. Searle. Iron Circus, $20 (280p) ISBN 978-1-945820-70-0

This heart-melting lesbian romance blends historical fiction with explicit sexual scenes to create a sweet and smutty celebration of unexpected love. In 1910, Patience, oldest daughter of a poor Scottish family, goes into service at Honeycutt Estate. Esther, the Indian-born ladies maid, takes Patience under her wing, helping her navigate the unfamiliar social customs and trickier aspects of the job. They share an immediate spark of attraction, but both are too shy to admit it—until a tentative kiss. Their growing erotic and emotional connection is put to a sudden test when the lord of the estate dies and his widow decides to give up the house and dissolve the staff. Esther is offered a position in London with the lord’s independent, sexually adventurous suffragette niece—but will Patience be able to follow? What kind of lasting life could they make together in the city? Searle draws her characters with fondness, representing diverse body types in all their glory. Patience’s scar, stretch marks, and rounded abundance are tenderly portrayed, entwined with wiry Esther. Panels are lit up with expressive, warm coloring. For genre fans eager for inclusive casts, this charmer serves scorching heat in a sugar coating. (Jan.)