Author ~ K.J. Charles
Publisher ~ Loveswept
Published ~ 5th April 2016
Genre ~ Historical M/M Romance
Power, privilege, and the rigid rules of class leave two hearts yearning for connection in the sizzling new Society of Gentlemen novel from K. J. Charles.
Among his eccentric though strictly principled group of friends, Lord Richard Vane is the confidant on whom everyone depends for advice, moral rectitude, and discreet assistance. Yet when Richard has a problem, he turns to his valet, a fixer of unparalleled genius—and the object of Richard’s deepest desires. If there is one rule a gentleman must follow, it is never to dally with servants. But when David is close enough to touch, the rules of class collide with the basest sort of animal instinct: overpowering lust.
For David Cyprian, burglary and blackmail are as much in a day’s work as bootblacking—anything for the man he’s devoted to. But the one thing he wants for himself is the one thing Richard refuses to give: his heart. With the tension between them growing to be unbearable, David’s seemingly incorruptible master has left him no choice. Putting his finely honed skills of seduction and manipulation to good use, he will convince Richard to forget all about his well-meaning objections and give in to sweet, sinful temptation.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
Sometimes I visit Tumblr – mainly for the pictures, to be honest [don’t judge me] rather than for the text. But there’s a phrase that I’ve often seen attached to a photo of someone like Tom Hiddleston or Jensen Ackles standing looking photogenic. That phrase is “I can’t even…” I never really understood what it meant – until now.
I have finally read the entire Society of Gentlemen opus – three and a half titles beginning with the short erotic shenanigans of The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh in the Another Place in Time Anthology, getting more romantic and infinitely more political in A Fashionable Indulgence, going balls to the wall serious in A Seditious Affair and finally – finally! *pauses to hyperventilate* - rounding off with the most delectable, and gingerest, of heroes in Gentleman’s Position. You can certainly read Ruin as a standalone and Fashionable Indulgence works as a single story too, but to truly appreciate the magnificence of this series you need to read the whole lot of them, preferably one after the other.
This is because the stories are as intimately entwined as the lovers. In Book 1 characters A and B burst into a room to interrupt a conversation between characters C and D. In Book 2 you discover what C and D were discussing and how the interruption affected their decisions and in Book 3 how the decisions impact adversely on character E. I spent a lot of my time yelping “Oh oh oh so THAT’S what that meant. So that’s why he … So that’s why they [did that thing I can’t talk about because spoilers]”. It’s such FUN! It’s also wicked, morally dubious and sometimes quite cruel, but then they were wicked times and even good people sometimes had to do quite bad things because they had no real choice.
Foremost amongst the morally dubious ‘doers’ is our ginger darling, David Cyprian, valet officially but so much more to Lord Richard Vane, leader of the little band of men known as Ricardians. Cyprian is Richard’s greatest asset, both for his ability to dress Richard to the most exquisite standards and for his shady connections and utter ruthlessness in protecting Richard’s interests and those of his friends. Anything falls within Cyprians remit – procuring services of all kinds, obtaining information by any means necessary, arranging for opponents to cease opposing by fair means or foul – all Richard has to do is say “Deal with it, Cyprian” and not ask any questions and the problem just goes away. In return Cyprian is paid lavishly, has access to a luxurious lifestyle and has the envy of all his peers, but that’s not enough. Cyprian wants Richard, has loved Richard for years and suspects that Richard loves him, but there are reasons to do with class and status that mean anything between them is impossible. Then there’s Richard’s personality to take into account and that makes it all impossibility squared
There were times when I wanted to slap both heroes in this story but Cyprian just merited a fairly gentle smack on the leg while there were many times I wanted to give Richard the full Monty Python fish slap business
Luckily he had the whole cast of the books around him to bring him to his senses. And speaking of the full cast, it’s such a joy to see the hero of one book being a total dick when seen again in a different context in another. There are so many layers to the personalities of all these men and it’s impossible not to appreciate them faults and all. Gabriel Ashleigh is such an idiot, bless him, Julius Norreys is a supercilious git, Richard’s arrogance knows no bounds. Okay I must admit to having a deep and unconditional love for Silas, but even he has moments when I’m rolling my eyes and thinking ‘oh you ratbag’.
As usual with KJ the history is spot on but not to the point where one feels as though one is being educated, there’s far too much plot and incident for that. Also character is the most important thing in the story arc. Every single plot point, every action, is derived from the fundamental character of the man performing it so even the most extravagant gestures are absolutely plausible. The conflicts are real and the dangers are deadly and when the chips are down the only man for the job is little foxy Cyprian.
Oh it’s glorious. The only downside is that the story is finished and I’m devastated about that. I really can’t imagine how K J Charles must feel
Society of Gentlemen Series
From Book 1: In the first novel of an explosive new series from K. J. Charles, a young gentleman and his elegant mentor fight for love in a world of wealth, power, and manipulation.
When he learns that he could be the heir to an unexpected fortune, Harry Vane rejects his past as a Radical fighting for government reform and sets about wooing his lovely cousin. But his heart is captured instead by the most beautiful, chic man he’s ever met: the dandy tasked with instructing him in the manners and style of the ton. Harry’s new station demands conformity—and yet the one thing he desires is a taste of the wrong pair of lips.
After witnessing firsthand the horrors of Waterloo, Julius Norreys sought refuge behind the luxurious facade of the upper crust. Now he concerns himself exclusively with the cut of his coat and the quality of his boots. And yet his protégé is so unblemished by cynicism that he inspires the first flare of genuine desire Julius has felt in years. He cannot protect Harry from the worst excesses of society. But together they can withstand the high price of passion.
Meet KJ Charles
KJ Charles is a writer and freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, an out-of-control garden and an increasingly murderous cat.
KJ writes mostly romance, gay and straight, frequently historical, and usually with some fantasy or horror in there. She specialises in editing romance, especially historical and fantasy, and also edits children’s fiction.