Review: The Craft of Love by E. E. Ottoman

The Craft of Love is such a delicate historical romance book that made my heart flutter and my head swim with good emotions. I adored every bit of this book starting with the tentative relationship that blossomed between Benjamin and Remembrance and the strong family presence that Benjamin had.

When professional respect leads to something more …

Craft of Love CoverBenjamin Lewis has created a life for himself as one of the most respected silversmiths and engravers in New York City. For Benjamin, his work is his passion and he has never sought out companionship beyond the close ties of family. Stumbling across dresses sew by his late mother, however, reawakens painful memories from his past. Now he is determined to forge something beautiful from the remains of the life and identity he left behind. In the process, he discovers stunning and fiercely intelligent Miss Quincy who might just have the power to tempt him out of his quiet isolation.

Remembrance Quincy’s talent is as undeniable as her needlework is exquisite. She has made a name for herself crafting quilts and embroidery pieces for all the wealthiest ladies in the city. When soft-spoken, yet charming, Mr. Lewis comes to her with a particular project in mind she is intrigued both by his artistic design and by the man himself. He treats her like an equal, values her work and makes her smile, but Remembrance already gave her heart away once, now can she risk doing it again? Goodreads

I received an eARC of The Craft of Love from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The plot kicks up when Benjamin receives dresses from his sister, which she informs him,  were made by his mother. As you can deduct from this point, Benjamin is transgender and his mother’s lack of understanding is quite dysphoric for him. This point in the plot made my heart ache. I could feel that the pressure of his mother’s expectations had left Benjamin feeling quite unsettled. Ottoman is so talented at capturing such deep emotions in the smallest of ways. I found myself breathlessly waiting for Benjamin’s HEA.

He meets Remembrance through those dresses, which he wishes to commission into a quilt. Remembrance is the woman for the job. She owns a shop and is quite talented. I loved those moments where she’d visit his workshop where he creates his trinkets (he’s a silversmith and an excellent engraver) and where he’d see her work in person. I love a romance between characters who understand art in such a way. Ben and Remembrance are so very compatible. You’ll find yourself drawn into their soft and gentle romance.

Another aspect I loved about this book is that Remembrance is a queer woman with very conflicted emotions about romance. I loved that she came with her own baggage and that she had worries about starting a relationship that didn’t center friendship. I felt incredible solidarity with Remembrance. Her pain felt so real to me. Remembrance is also an activist as well as a quilt maker. I loved hearing her speak about politics she was passionate about. 

I believe Ottoman has a talent for creating such poignant characters and incredibly touching stories. As a non-binary reader, I deeply appreciated this book. Purchase a copy on Amazon and try out this five star read for yourself.


Title: The Craft of Love

Author: E. E. Ottoman

Publisher: Self-Published

Length: 107 Pages

Release Date: October 19, 2018

Rating: ★★★★★ / Five stars

Genre: Historical Romance

Representation: Transgender hero, Queer heroine

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