Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Release Day Review: An Unsuitable Heir (Sins of the Cities #3) by K.J. Charles

an unsuitable heirTitle ~ An Unsuitable Heir (Sins of the CIties #3)

Author ~ K.J. Charles

Publisher ~ Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept

Published ~ 3rd October 2017

Genre ~ Historical M/M Romance





A private detective finds passion, danger, and the love of a lifetime when he hunts down a lost earl in Victorian London.
On the trail of an aristocrat’s secret son, enquiry agent Mark Braglewicz finds his quarry in a music hall, performing as a trapeze artist with his twin sister. Graceful, beautiful, elusive, and strong, Pen Starling is like nobody Mark’s ever met—and everything he’s ever wanted. But the long-haired acrobat has an earldom and a fortune to claim.
Pen doesn’t want to live as any sort of man, least of all a nobleman. The thought of being wealthy, titled, and always in the public eye is horrifying. He likes his life now—his days on the trapeze, his nights with Mark. And he won’t be pushed into taking a title that would destroy his soul.
But there’s a killer stalking London’s foggy streets, and more lives than just Pen’s are at risk. Mark decides he must force the reluctant heir from music hall to manor house, to save Pen’s neck. Betrayed by the one man he thought he could trust, Pen never wants to see his lover again. But when the killer comes after him, Pen must find a way to forgive—or he might not live long enough for Mark to make amends.


Sally’s Review

So here it is – the long awaited final book in the Sins of the Cities series. I have reviewed book 1, An Unseen Attraction and book 2, An Unnatural Vice, and as you can probably imagine, have been counting the hours till October when we'd finally be able to find out who dunnit and what the future might hold for our heroes Clem and Rowley, and Nathaniel plus anti-hero Justin. But this book is really about Mark and his pursuit of the astounding Pen Starling, and the Taillefer family's complete rejection of Pen as a substitute for the officially approved stuffed shirt type of Earl they were expecting.

Mark has appeared in both the other books as a good, if slightly abrupt, friend who is sympathetic but not particularly indulgent. He's a one-armed hard man, ready with his fist or a gun if necessary, and tells it like it is to those people who come to hire him to solve their problems. Pity that in this book his own problems – how to save his friends from the frankly awful situation they have got into AND how to develop the attraction he feels for the gorgeous Pen into something a bit deeper – are very much at odds with each other. We were given an inkling of this at the end of Unnatural Vice where Mark fools Pen into appearing at the Taillefer family meeting, much to Pen's fury. As usual with these complex tales from KJ Charles, the action of this book overlaps with portions of the others so as one reads one has the pleasure of whooping "Oh, so that's why – yes, NOW I get it" which is always great fun.

Pen is wonderful. He is described as "slipping through the cracks of people's ideas" and that's it exactly. It's other people who have difficulties, but Pen always knows exactly who he is and where he wants to be. It's not his fault if people are too bound by tradition or expectation to accept that. Luckily Mark isn't one of them – he think Pen is the most gorgeous person he's ever met – but circumstances have put Mark in a position of having to betray Pen's confidence in a very public and brutal way. Quite a lot of the relationship drama in this book stems from that betrayal and from Mark's determination to make things up to both Pen and his sister Greta.

The plot, as already stated, is complex and I was glad I'd re-read the two previous books to refresh my memory of all the delicate little hints and clues. The twists, the action, the denouement, are all supremely satisfying as a way of rounding off the series – for all the characters, not just Mark and Pen. That there's a happy ending isn't a spoiler - this is romance, after all – but this one is a particularly nice one. Also there are the usual pieces of humour that make my face ache with smiling. One particular running gag means I can never look at poultry in quite the same way.

Fantastic stuff. Get it and read it, but read the other two first.5 stars for the series

Purchase Links



an unseen attractionAn Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities #1)

A slow-burning romance and a chilling mystery bind two singular men in the suspenseful first book of a new Victorian series from K. J. Charles.
Lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer prefers a quiet life. He’s happy with his hobbies, his work—and especially with his lodger Rowley Green, who becomes a friend over their long fireside evenings together. If only neat, precise, irresistible Mr. Green were interested in more than friendship...
Rowley just wants to be left alone—at least until he meets Clem, with his odd, charming ways and his glorious eyes. Two quiet men, lodging in the same house, coming to an understanding... it could be perfect. Then the brutally murdered corpse of another lodger is dumped on their doorstep and their peaceful life is shattered.
Now Clem and Rowley find themselves caught up in a mystery, threatened on all sides by violent men, with a deadly London fog closing in on them. If they’re to see their way through, the pair must learn to share their secrets—and their hearts.

Review :: Amazon

an unnatural viceAn Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities #2)

In the sordid streets of Victorian London, unwanted desire flares between two bitter enemies brought together by a deadly secret.
Crusading journalist Nathaniel Roy is determined to expose spiritualists who exploit the grief of bereaved and vulnerable people. First on his list is the so-called Seer of London, Justin Lazarus. Nathaniel expects him to be a cheap, heartless fraud. He doesn’t expect to meet a man with a sinful smile and the eyes of a fallen angel—or that a shameless swindler will spark his desires for the first time in years.
Justin feels no remorse for the lies he spins during his séances. His gullible clients simply bore him. Hostile, disbelieving, utterly irresistible Nathaniel is a fascinating challenge. And as their battle of wills and wits heats up, Justin finds he can’t stop thinking about the man who’s determined to ruin him.
But Justin and Nathaniel are linked by more than their fast-growing obsession with one another. They are both caught up in an aristocratic family’s secrets, and Justin holds information that could be lethal. As killers, fanatics, and fog close in, Nathaniel is the only man Justin can trust—and, perhaps, the only man he could love.

Review :: Amazon


Meet K.J. 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.

Find her on Twitter @kj_charles or on Facebook, join her Facebook group, or get the newsletter here. She is represented by Deidre Knight at The Knight Agency, and published by Samhain and Loveswept.



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