Review: A Shore Thing by Joanna Lowell

Posted June 12, 2024 by Jen in Historical Romance, LGBTQ, Rating B, Reviews Tags: , , ,

book cover of A Shore Thing by Joanna LowellA Shore Thing
Joanna Lowell
Rating: B

What I’m Talking About:

Spending the summer in St. Ives collecting seaweed samples, Muriel is searching for a special (and specific) painter who can capture the seaweeds’ beauty for her lectures in New York. Kit is that painter; however, he finds himself unable to sketch or paint after a falling out with his Sisterhood of painters. In an effort to convince Kit to take the commission, Muriel agrees to participate in a bicycle race with Kit to prove women can ride as well as men.

A Shore Thing is a lovely romance set in the historic England coast near Land’s End. Lowell creates beautiful scenery using words as her paint and the page as her canvas. I visualized each scene as though it was a painting capturing the light, land, and sea for all to witness. 

Muriel and Kit’s romance begins with lust at first sight; however Muriel thinks Kit is too arrogant and self-assured. I believe it’s a combination of the locale, changing times, and her status as a widow that allows for overt flirtation and more between the pair. The bicycle race, while adding some value to the overall plot, is a vehicle for the pair to spend time alone together where they slowly open up and share secrets. Muriel’s marriage was a lonely one and a childhood fear of dogs is paralyzing. Kit was born a girl and uses romance and flings to hide from his true feelings. While there are some uncomfortable times when Kit is deadnamed, the author takes great care to share a story of hope and love, focusing on a new romance, falling in love, and loving one’s self. 

The start of my read of A Shore Thing was slow and often disjointed. The period-appropriate language and dialogue made it difficult to follow at times, slowing down my reading. Additionally, the POV changes from Kit to Muriel and back within each chapter and without notification, causing the need to re-read passages so I better understood the story. However, once the pair is on their cycling trip, I found the story flowed, and I was able to immerse myself in their journey.

A Shore Thing is a feel-good romance, filled with adventure, love, and laughs. I recommend reading the author’s historical note at the conclusion of the book for more insight into gender roles and sexuality of the period. 

My Rating: B Liked It — Recommend

About the Book:

A delightful queer Victorian love story, featuring a boldly brash trans hero, the beguiling botanist who captures his heart, and a buoyant bicycle race by the British seaside — from the author of The Duke Undone.

Former painter and unreformed rake Kit Griffith is forging a new life in Cornwall, choosing freedom over an identity that didn’t fit. He knew that leaving his Sisterhood of women artists might mean forfeiting artistic community forever. He didn’t realize he would lose his ability to paint altogether. Luckily, he has other talents. Why not devote himself to selling bicycles and trysting with the holidaymakers?

Enter Muriel Pendrake, the feisty New-York-bound botanist who has come to St. Ives to commission Kit for illustrations of British seaweeds. Kit shouldn’t accept Muriel’s offer, but he must enlist her help to prove to an all-male cycling club that women can ride as well as men. And she won’t agree unless he gives her what she wants. Maybe that’s exactly the challenge he needs.

As Kit and Muriel spend their days cycling together, their desire begins to burn with the heat of the summer sun. But are they pedaling toward something impossible? The past is bound to catch up to them, and at the season’s end, their paths will diverge. With only their hearts as guides, Kit and Muriel must decide if they’re willing to race into the unknown for the adventure of a lifetime.

Release Date: June 18, 2024
Historical Romance, LGBTQ+
paperback (368 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher / NetGalley

Purchase Info:
Amazon (affiliate link)