Review: Come and Take it: 1 England, 2 Texas by Julia Talbot

Come and Take it 1: England

Leland August goes to London to work for the embassy of the failing Texas Republic. Feeling like a stranger in a strange land, Leland fears he’ll never understand his English peers. Ford Mayhew seems no exception, especially when the man all but calls Leland out for running him down on the street.

Ford is willing to forgive and forget. He likes what he sees in Leland, and wants to become friends, or perhaps more. When politics and scheming bosses intrude, though, both Leland and Ford turn their suspicions on each other. Can they learn to stand together against forces much larger than they are?

Come & Take It 2: Texas

Leland August is thrilled to be back home in Texas where things are familiar and he has his family with him. His lover Ford isn’t so sure, finding the whole country abrasive and hard to handle.

Things only get worse when Ford’s business associates ask him to do the impossible, and illegal. He decides to trust Leland to help him, confessing his difficulties, and the two hatch a plan to avert the threat to Ford’s life and love. Can Leland and Ford manage to stay one step ahead of trouble, and stay together?

Review by Erastes

This is a duet of short stories (about 40 pages each) set around 1845.  The first one, as the name implies is set in England, and the second in Texas.

These were originally part of the Torquere Press serial fiction line which is coming to an end at the close of 2010. As far as I can see, there should have been a third in this series, and there was no sign of it that I could find, which is a shame, because the story is left rather up in the air, leaving me a little disappointed. However, what there is is well done, I have generally liked Talbot’s work, and her characterisation is always sound. She manages to outline the differences between the rather stodgy Englishman and the more free-ranging Texan. It’s a shame that the stories are so short, really, because I’d have really liked to see their relationship in more detail as it built up.

There’s simply not enough time and space to give more than a outline of this, and I’d have loved to know more about the life and times when the story moves to Texas–there are far too many stories set in England, really.

It’s an interesting plot too, for all its brevity, spies and mistrust on each side which works well, but as I say, we don’t get to see how it was resolved and I hope that Talbot finishes the series off!

As much as I enjoyed this little series, I haven’t given it a higher mark for two reasons: There are few anachronisms (such as “dosh”) that jarred me, and although the final part says “to be continued in part three coming soon” which was in 2007 and as far as I can see there was never a part three, leaving our heroes in a perilous position for far too long.

Author’s website

Buy at Torquere England Texas

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