Hello, everyone! Some days ago, I received a book called The Tutor, from Bonnie Dee, to review. It’s her newest release and I got pretty excited to read it, as I’m a big fan of Bonnie. This work was a standalone solo from Bonnie – she and Summer Devon write many books together, but they also publish alone 🙂 Thanks again, Bonnie Dee!
Let’s head to the story: Graham Cowrie is a poor guy from London that is desperate for a scenario change as the winter approaches and his house is not even remotely close of being prepared to endure extreme weathers. After applying for a position at Yorkshire, as a tutor for two 9-year-old twin boys and making his résumé way prettier than it actually was, Graham reads to the country, hoping only for a roof over his head and food inside his belly.
However, as soon as he lay eyes on Allinson Hall, his future winter home, he’s mortified. The house looked like a depressing asylum and has an awful aura about it. The house staff is also intimidating and far from welcome. Graham soon learns that his employer, Sir Richard Allison, lost his wife about a year ago and that the loss was hard for the children, as the circumstances of Lavinia Allinson death were pretty obscure.
Whitney and Clive Allison, Graham’s charges, prove to be elusive and smart boys, but Graham knew how to deal with children despite his résumé lies and soon wins, at least, their respect. Soon, he learns that the twins are different as day and night, despite being completely devoted to each other. Whitney is easy going and talkative, open to his tutor, while Clive completely muted after their mother’s death, being shy and suspicious all the time. Graham also learns that Sir Richard Allison, their father, is a smoking hot man and a burning desire grows between the two men.
As Graham fights to earn Whit and Clive’s trust and to attract Richard’s attention to physical matters – all the while maintaining his own part in place -, weird accidents start to happen and Graham discovers that not believing something doesn’t mean that it is not there.
Now, let’s go to the analysis! Just wanted to remind that this is my opinion of the book and my impressions while reading it 🙂
This book left me so hangover. It’s a fast read: the book has 184 pages and you can read it on a sitting (it took me two days to finish it because I’m already back to college classes and this is my last semester, so I have to write my dissertation and all, haha!). But, when I finished it, I wasn’t ready for it to be over. Every element of the story was so good… I do have some critics, but, overall, the book is 5 starts worth!
The story narrator is Graham himself and he is a very fun and optimistic character. He’s that kind of person that always seems to notice everything around him and can tell other people’s sentiments just by looking at them. He truly has an inside light that can melt any heart – ask Sir Richard to see if I’m lying 😉
It’s not uncommon for me to have issues with narrator-characters; they usually annoy me with their actions and I get frustrated. This didn’t happen with The Tutor. Graham had me with him since the first sentence. What I really liked about him is that he is no martyr or self-centered: he has his moments just like you and me. Sometimes, he gets cocky and thinks that he’s awesome, other times he loafs himself and his lies. He can be honest even when he lies – how one does that?! He also is very describing, I dreamed with Allinson Hall the other night thanks to him… And it was creepy as hell, haha!
That leads us to the describing part. All the scenarios and characters are vivid in the readers mind. Dee mixes Graham’s thoughts with the book events in such a perfect harmony that it’s easy to feel like you are reading, that it’s not real and happening in front of you. One of the things that I liked more in this section was when Graham describes Richard’s first real and happy smile. My eyes got moist in that scene ❤
In characters matters, overall, I liked how Dee constructed one type of person for each personality and social role without falling into stereotypes. The twins were adorable, each in one kind of way, Richard was a prince of his own, Tom was a sweeting, the staff was cold, resentful and impatient (what was totally understandable, as they worked in a house with death reminders in every corner and wall). I just got a little disappointed with Richard, thanks to his behavior towards his children even after some key events in the book that should have put him into action to connect with his boys. And that’s why he won’t be featured on my vast bookish boyfriends list (but Graham is, haha! And no, it does not matter that they are both gay characters and I’m a girl, lol). I mean, he has a good heart, good actions, but he can’t make a move into two nine year olds? Come on!
The plot wasn’t overly complicated and was very obvious, but I’m not the kind of person who gets bothered by that. I don’t mind knowing where the story is going and how it is going to end; I like to see the details. I want to know how things happen. I get annoyed when I can even predict how events will turn in a book, you know? Not the case. I already read some books by Dee in the past to know what to wait of the plot, but not even one scene came out as I imagined. It was always better. But I guess that’s mostly Graham’s fault, as he was a very surprising character and his actions were also never obvious.
One thing that disappointed me in the book were the sex scenes – or the lack of them. As I said, I already read some previous works from Dee (all of them in her partnership with Summer Devon) and I was expecting more. The scenes from the book are good, but they are so few and there were many bedroom subjects to cover and justify the increase of such passages in the plot. Graham and Richard’s first time is very nice, but it’s all the actual sex we get. Everything else is just foreplay or Graham’s fantasies. The funny thing is that a solo work from Summer Devon disappointed me earlier this year for the very same reason: the sex scenes. I know their potential, so I guess Dee and Devon are soul writing mates, haha! They complete each other to make better scenes 😀
The supernatural element of the book, the very heart of the book problem, was a bit bipolar as well. In the beginning and in the middle, it was very good. Made me shiver and look twice at every shadow that I spotted. But, in the end, the problem was solved in a silly way. The answer itself was beautiful and it’s message is awesome, but I don’t know, I felt like it could have been harder. The ghost marketing didn’t matched his product, for say, haha!
Oh, bonus point, haha! I’m that kind of reader that collects quotes. I have a notebook full of them from pretty much all the parts of my life: movies, tv shows, celebrities, books, my friends, my family, my own… It’s a nice quote? I probably will write it down there. And this book had some amazing ones! This is very subjective, I know, but I’ll leave the best ones among the ones that I took note here (I’m sorry, I forgot to mark the pages’ numbers…):
“He would believe my lies only if I believed them myself.”
“What does every boy know and every man forget? That having fun is the prime purpose of life.”
“It was my nature to try to fix things and offer comfort where I could.”
“I was determinate to out-kiss a man I’d ever met (…)”
That’s it, guys! Thanks for reading and thanks again to Bonnie Dee, for sending me this! I loved The Tutor and it was one of my best reads of the year ❤
And I want to also share some news from Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon’s partnerships! They entered the Kindle Scout program with the book The Merchant and the Clergyman (you can read the blurb and chapter one on the page of the program, here).
That means that US residents with an Amazon account can vote on the book for it to be published by Amazon! I sadly couldn’t vote for them, as I live in Brazil, but I’m determinate to spread the world and get this amazing authors published everywhere they see fit. If you could spare a moment, don’t forget to vote! You’ll win a copy of their book if it gets chosen for publishing!
And their last news is that their new book together, The Shepherd and the Solicitor, will be out in September!
Meaning, next freaking month!! *–* Don’t forget to check this book out too!