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Search tags: k-j-charles
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review 2017-10-20 03:34
Ending of a series, nice wrap up.
An Unsuitable Heir - K.J. Charles

This is the third installment of the series. I found this one a bit hard to get into to start, but once it got going, I enjoyed it. Mark has been in all the stories, and he is the focus of this one. He has found the heir, Pen, and falls in love. Their relationship is different than most but it brings out the best in both of them. Pen is sweet and wishes to go unnoticed. He tries to keep up a brave face when doing things he would rather not, but his heart is almost always apparent. The series has a lot of darkness to it but is balanced out by the HEAs of these M/M pairs.

I received a copy of this story through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.

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review 2017-10-08 01:14
An Unsuitable Heir by KJ Charles - My Thoughts
An Unsuitable Heir - K.J. Charles

This book was amazing. I loved the first 2 books of the trilogy and this final one lives up to every expectation. 

KJ Charles is a masterful writer.  Her books always leave me searching for a way to do these review things with some sort of coherence and intelligence, but I'm constantly blown away by the characters, the storytelling, the depth, the authenticity and the atmosphere. 

The main characters... Mark and Pen.  Another wonderful couple who take a hold of your heart and refuse to let go.  Straightforward Mark, the enquiry agent (P.I.) who one of his friends terms a "plain penny" is the very picture of stalwart dependability.  He has the challenge of having only one arm, and I'll be honest, I forgot all about it until the few times it was focused on by Pen.  There is one scene, early on in the book, where Pen explores the arm that was so touching and honest to God, so sexy that again, I tip my hat to KJ.  I liked Mark a whole lot.  I liked his sensibility, I liked his fumbling to get the right words out when he didn't want to hurt anyone, I liked his sense of humour and I loved the way he treated Pen. 

Pen.  Pen is gender fluid and this is not the first time I've come across gender fluid characters, but it's one of the best times.  All Pen wants, really, is for people to see him as Pen - and I say him, because he says him - he's not a man, he's not a woman, he's Pen.  And I liked him SO much.  He's funny, he's sensitive, he's smart, he's not let the shit of his early years make him sad and bitter.  And he gave me an insight into understanding gender fluid a little better and that's without KJ having to turn her book into a lecture.  And Mark is perfect for him.  :)  I've seen some say that they felt they needed more about how Pen felt about Mark, but honestly?  For me, it was all laid out right there on the page, obvious by their actions and reactions.  I didn't need any deep pages long introspection or long drawn-out speeches.

The secondary characters are wonderful as well.  Phyllis at the Jack and Knave pub, the servants at the estate, the members of the Taillefer family and of course our old friends, Nathanial, Justin and Clem.  (Rowley was very busy with his work, I guess.)  And Clem.  Damn, I love Clem, he's just so calm and soothing, I was glad to see him again.

And then there's the mystery that has been woven through the trilogy finally coming to a conclusion.  And it WORKED!  It worked well!  I had no idea who the real culprit was until near the end.  That's some masterful plotting!  And all the while, the Victorian atmosphere of the setting is accurately and interestingly portrayed. 

While there wasn't as much of the sexytimes in this book, I felt there was more than enough romance.  There was a wealth of feeling and desire in the simplest of touches so I didn't feel short-changed at all.  It worked for these characters and it worked for me.

Read the trilogy, it's really fabulous!

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review 2017-09-01 03:51
This one's definitely a little bit on me...
Wanted, A Gentleman - K.J. Charles

I was really looking forward to this one. I've heard some really good things about KJ Charles and I've only had the chance to read a couple of short stories by this author but I admit I really liked them. My only reservation here was that the stories a historical and that's not always a winning genre for me but when I like it I usually really, really love it...Joanna Chambers' 'Enlightenment' series...love it! J.L. Hawk's Griffin and Whyborne series...again love it! And that's about it for me and historical books in the M/M genre so...I'm a pretty tough sell in this area.

 

Even though I didn't feel totally wowed with this one. I found a lot of stuff in this one. I like the pacing of the story. Both Martin and Theodore were both likable and interesting characters. The story was definitely interesting and while it wasn't what I would call riveting, it definitely held my attention.  

 

'Wanted a Gentleman' takes place during the early 1800's in England. Theodore runs a local paper called the Matrimonial Advertiser and needless to say the name of his paper pretty much says it all. It's the 1800's version of 'OkCupid' or 'Match.com' open a profile or in this case place an add and see what happens. It's also the perfect way for lovers to pass messages back and forth as Theo finds out when a rather irate Martin appears in his offices one day demanding information about a certain add. Martin St. Vincent is a freeman and a respected merchant who is in search of a young lady at the request of her parents. He's determined to find the girl and return her home before anything untoward should happen to her and if this means conscripting a less than willing Theo to aide him...so be it.

 

While Theo at times appears to be a less than willing participant in this grand chase, his reasons are not readily apparent and as their journey progresses Theo's reluctance seems to fade at time but it's the reasons for his reluctance that may end things between these two men before they truly get a chance to begin. 

 

For me this was  one of those times when I just didn't fully connect the story and really haven't been able to fully define why. But I did find that there were two things about this audio book that definitely contributed to holding my attention and making me want to hear the entire story. 

 

The first was the authors writing style. I liked it and found that I'm definitely open to the idea of reading more of their books...of which I thankfully have several.  One of the things that will put me off of an historical novel really quickly is when the author's writing doesn't feel like it fits the period that they're writing about and for me that was not a problem with this story as it was the authors writing style that drew me in allowed me to envision the setting and time frame effortlessly.

 

The other thing that worked incredibly well for me was the the narration of Greg Patmore. I felt that he did a wonderful job of capturing both the voices of the characters and the time in which they lived as much as the authors writing style Mr. Patmore's delivery of this story was a big plus in getting and holding my interest. 

 

'Wanted a Gentleman' may have only been a 3 star audio book for me but as well as entertaining me for nearly 5 hrs, it was also a pleasant reminder that I have yet another talented author whose books need more of my attention and it introduced me to a new narrator that definitely bares further investigation...so all in all it's a 3 star book that did it's job well.

 

********************

An audio book of 'Wanted, A Gentleman' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-06-29 18:08
Rag and Bone (Rag and Bone #1)
Rag and Bone - K.J. Charles

KJ Charles is a great writer, and this is one of her only series I'm aware of where one of the MCs isn't a raging blowhole. We've got Ned and Crispin, who certainly have their conflicts to work out, since Ned doesn't trust magic and Crispin is trying to unlearn so bad magical practices he was taught by his first mentor. They care about each other, and support each other, but they have their hangups and their insecurities and much of this is about how they navigate a relationship with each other given all these conflicts. That doesn't even bring into account that if the wrong person finds out about their relationship, they could end up in jail or hung. 

 

Crispin finally finds a new teacher who is interested in helping use his magical abilities, and while this is a bit too close to the prequel's plot, there is a mystery involving the strange deaths of some rag and bottle store owners to help detract from that. There's a lot of tension built into the climax, and it doesn't just fizzle out afterward, since there are still other issues to resolve.

 

Since I've only read the first book in the Magpie Lord series, I only recognized Stephan Day from that series here. I'm sure there were others, but it wasn't necessary to have prior knowledge of them, or even of Day. If you know the other characters' backstories, you'd obviously get a lot more out of seeing them, but if you don't know then you're not going to be confused or lost.

 

I hope Ms. Charles writes more about these two. I love her writing, but since I'm allergic to her douche MCs I usually avoid her books. This series is the exception.

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review 2017-06-12 05:28
An Unnatural Vice by KJ Charles - My Thoughts
An Unnatural Vice - K.J. Charles

I honestly have yet to be disappointed in a KJ Charles book.  An Unnatural Vice continues that positive string.  It was terrific!

In An Unnatural Vice, we get the story of Nathaniel Roy who we met in the first book of the series, a friend of Clem's, the illegitimate earl's son and a journalist.  He's out to expose a spiritualist, Justin Lazarus, who just happens to be tied to the over-arching plot of the trilogy.

Of course, the two men are drawn to each other despite their mutual distrust.  There's just some kind of spark that quickly grows into a bonfire and it works!  It's not insta-love, it's insta-lust.  And that's okay because the author is just that good that we can see why they're so drawn to each other and it makes sense.

Alot of the reviews etc... that I've read of this book indicate that Justin is a total bastard, but you know what?  I never saw him that way. Yes, he's not exactly an honest or upright man, but it's clear from the beginning, at least it was to me, that he had his own code of morals and while they might not be all pure and altruistic, they are constant and he lives by them.  Sure, he makes his living by bilking what folks would consider innocent people, but those were the cards he was dealt and what was the alternative?  So no, I didn't think he was a right bastard at all.

I will say that Justin was the more intriguing character of  the two men.  Nathaniel, the crusading journalist doesn't have many grey areas and at times he even came across as a tad snotty about being 'the good guy', but he's also charming and amusingly deprecating at times and this warmed me to him. He is really the perfect foil for Justin and the two of them falling in love was fun to read.

There is lots of action, both in and out of the bedroom and the mystery plot barrels along to an interesting and satisfying second act climax.  I am looking forward to Book 3 - already pre-ordered, something I very seldom do - and seeing what comes of Mark, another of the friends, the private investigator, excuse me, the private enquiry agent and Pen, the young man he's discovered.  I only have to wait until October.  :)

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