Gwen & Art Are Not in Love / Lex Croucher / Book Review


Gwendoline and Arthur have been betrothed since birth, and the only thing they agree on is that they absolutely hate each other. For prim and proper princess Gwendoline, Arthur's casually scandalous charades will never not be annoying. And a lord like Arthur can't stand being bossed around by someone so stuffy.

Which is why being forced to spend the summer together at Camelot this tournament season just isn't going to go well for them. Especially not when they have their nuptials to look forward to at the end of it.

And... Arthur has a secret. One that Gwen has, too. When Gwen catches Arthur kissing a boy near the stables, she knows that they might just be better friends than enemies. So they make a reluctant pact to have each other's backs... and maybe help each other out in other ways. 



This book is delightful! Despite the impression that the title may give, it is not a retelling of Arthurian legend. It is instead a medieval romcom with particularly modern sensibilities. While I don't usually like historical romances where contemporary values weigh too heavily on the plot, this book was particularly unserious--in a way that made it good fun instead of historically irritating. Could it ever happen? Absolutely not. But that's not why we're reading it.


Great Atmosphere This book might not be strictly historically accurate, but it does a good job of rendering a pseudo-medieval environment anyhow. There are boiling tensions between Arthurian cultists and Catholic forces. There are brothers and cousins and uncles all vying for power. And there is plenty of jousting and witty banter and meta-jokes. This book isn't meant to be the peak of historical accuracy. Instead, it's just a whole lot of fun.

Lavender Romance The main couple, for reasons that become immediately obvious, just aren't going to work out. But a classic sort of fake dating scheme is comprised, one that nods to quite a bit of queer history. They're each other's shields, each other's alibis, and it's nice to have that twist on a generic romance trope. There's a reason to fake date here, and they're not falling for each other in the end (at least not in that way).

In It Together All of these characters are so different from each other, and the constraints of their lives, their slice of history, their particular personalities are all so acute that you really can't help rooting for them. What happily ever after looks like in this particular setting might be hard to say, but you can't help wanting that for them. All of them.


I know I wanted happily ever after for these characters... but the ending just felt a bit too neat for me. Or, I guess, "neat" might not be exactly the right word. It felt too hopeful and optimistic. I know we're not dealing with real history (and I'm not going to spoil exactly how everything wraps up), but it just didn't quite feel real enough to have the payoff I wanted from this story, even if it's a romcom. Neat Ending

I really enjoyed Arthur and his man Sidney as characters, but I don't particularly enjoy drunkenness being played up in a book for laughs. I know this is more of a personal nitpick, and I overall didn't mind. But a few times, this particular element rubbed me the wrong way. Drunkards

Gwen and Art might not be in love... but you immediately know in this book who the end-game romances are. Or at least I did. Maybe I'm just jaded. Maybe I'm too familiar with writing tropes and the clues authors weave throughout a story. But the ultimate couples weren't really a surprise to me, even though sometimes it felt like the characters were being played up as though these pairings were meant to be surprising. Predictable Romances



Fans of Erin Cotter's Shakespearean adventure By Any Other Name will like this new queer twist on English history. Those who enjoyed Sophie Gonalez's Perfect on Paper will like this plot full of mismatched meet-cutes and a bit of romantic scheming.


Publisher: Wednesday Books
Date: November 28, 2023
Series: N/A
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Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


  1. This sounds like a lovely read! Something traditional but with a twist, so pleased you enjoyed it so much too :)

  2. This sounds like a wonderful read for those that appreciate historical romances. I’m glad that you enjoyed it!

  3. "that's not why we're reading it" Well said! I usually don't like stories set in an earlier time but with contemporary values either, but sometimes... you just gotta go with it! I like that they were each others alibis, as you put it. It does sound fun!

  4. I think I might see how it ends now and yes those time, hmm

  5. love the story with intrigues.... this sound very interesting.
    thank you for sharing.

  6. Oh this does sound like a great read. Nothing to serious but I think we could use a little of that right now.

    Allie of

  7. I'm happy to hear you enjoyed this book! The atmosphere sounds beautifully done!

  8. This sounds like a really fun romcom, and I appreciate the thoroughness of your review!

  9. I wouldn't be a fan of the drunkness thing either! But it sounds great apart from that!

    Corinne x

  10. I didn't know I'm gonna enjoy fake dating tropes but I actually do! Especially when they slowly realize that the other person is not too bad and they start falling. Fun and exciting. I'll add this to my list.


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