January 18, 2017 by Anne Barwell
PETER AND WENDELL by Bonnie Dee
A historical romance with a wink and a nod toward Peter Pan.
Peter Woods is content to live a gadfly life, darting from one experience to the next with no thought of responsibility, commitment or the future. He has no desire to grow up.
Stable, sober banker Wendell Rhodes has only recently discovered an underground London club where men meet and briefly mingle. At Ever Lads, Wendell encounters Peter and flint strikes tinder. The two opposites discover in the other what each lacks, but the journey from lust to love isn’t easy.
Determined to make a man of his son at last, Peter’s father attempts to curtail his hedonistic lifestyle. When Wendell’s reputation is threatened, will Peter sacrifice his freedom to protect the man he’s grown to care deeply for, or is there another way for crafty Peter to save the day?
Previously published as Loving Peter.
Review written by Christopher Hawthorne Moss
Now here is a charming conceit… Peter Pan and Wendy, reborn as Wendell, and with the quotes from J M. Barrie’s novel and the original story rewritten with a 1880s interpretation, the book should be quite familiar. In fact, I liked Wendell better than Wendy. He had more freedom and self determination than the turn of the century female Londoner.
Peter is the spoiled scion of his family but unable to grow up and act like an adult. His Lost Boys are much the same, joining him in madcap adventures like releasing animals from the zoo and making the round of good-looking men at the male club and brothel.
His father is annoyed and has been cutting his stipend bit by bit. The timing of this coincides with Peter’s growing attached to Wendell, a middle class boy enamored of Peter’s limitless cheer and adventure.
So how does one gay Lost Boy make his way in a time when classes are changing and personal fortunes and expectations are going the way of all flesh?
I enjoyed this book and its blend of the lighthearted and severe. You know a flesh and blood Peter Pan will have to find a way to live in the real world, and Bonnie Dee did a masterful and inspiring job reinterpreting the child’s fantasy story for fans of MM romance.