Review: The Craft of Love by EE Ottoman (2018)

Heat Factor: 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨

Character Chemistry: Super duper wholesome

Plot: A Courtship

Overall: This novella is lovely and soft

The Craft of Love has been on my TBR for some time, and I’m shaking my head a little at having waited so long to read it. It’s a novella, and it’s very tender and wholesome, so if you’re looking for a read that’s sweet and warm and not very long, this is a great choice! It also has some lovely substance that made for an engaging read. 

Benjamin is a silversmith and Remembrance is a quiltmaker, and they come together thanks to a business exchange. Benjamin’s courtship of Remembrance is very gentle and respectful a la period dramas in which the most exciting thing is when the couple brushes bare hands. (It’s not on the same scale, because Remembrance does take Benjamin’s arm when he escorts her home, but it did put me in mind of Holly swooning over the beard touching in Ayesha At Last.)

They both have some hangups – Benjamin because he’s never courted anyone before and is unsure of himself, Remembrance because she was unexpectedly dumped by the one person she gave her heart to. Even Benjamin’s fear of rejection and Remembrance’s fear of putting herself out there again were gentle. 

Benjamin is a trans man, and although some people don’t accept him for who he is, most people he interacts with do. His mother’s refusal to see Benjamin forms one thread of the story, but this one is not fraught with tragedy and trauma, which gives it a very optimistic and open-hearted cast. 

For her part, Remembrance is politically zealous, but although she wants to fight the good fight, she also chooses to pick her battles so that she’s able to live to fight another day. As a student of radical movements, I really enjoyed the nuanced consideration of the benefits and pitfalls of the women needleworkers organizing. I also appreciated reading a politically zealous heroine who also did not self-sabotage. It’s not a characterization often found in historical romance.

I suppose if you really like a dramatic plot or if you like a lot of sexy sex, this might not be a good fit for you. But it was a lovely, lovely read.

Buy Now: Amazon

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