An Unnatural Vice / An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities 1 & 2) by KJ Charles-Reviews
AN UNNATURAL VICE ( Sins of the Cities #2) by KJ Charles
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date June 6, 2017
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: AN UNNATURAL VICE is the second installment in KJ Charles’s adult, Victorian, historical Sins of the Cities M/M romance, murder-mystery series. This is journalist and former lawyer Nathaniel Roy, and Seer of London Justin Lazarus’s story line. AN UNNATURAL VICE can be read as a stand alone but for cohesion and backstory I recommend reading the series in order as there is an ongoing premise and plot throughout the series. Some of the events of An Unnatural Vice cross over and run parallel to the events of book one-An Unseen Attraction
NOTE: AN UNNATURAL VICE and the SINS OF THE CITIES series contain scenes of M/M sexual situations and may not be suitable for all readers.
Told from dual third person points of view (Justin and Nathaniel) AN UNNATURAL VICE follows the enemies to lovers relationship between the Seer of London (Medium) Justin Lazarus, and journalist Nathaniel Roy. Nathaniel’s latest assignment is to uncover the truth behind self-proclaimed Seer Justin Lazarus-a proclamation Nathaniel is determined to prove fraudulent and deceitful. But Justin has information that could prove helpful to Nathaniel’s friend Clem Talleyfer (An Unseen Attraction #1) as the group of friends endeavors to find the missing heir to the Taillefer fortune and title holder to the Earl of Moreton. What ensues are Justin and Nathaniel’s attempts to stay one step ahead of the people hired to destroy any evidence of an heir, and Justin and Nathaniel’s growing love between two people whose lives follow different paths towards the future.
The relationship between Nathaniel and Justin is slow to build. Their acrimonious but tepid friendship requires cooperation when Justin is targeted by someone in control; Nathaniel is determined to protect the man with whom he is falling in love sweeping his lover to a secreted location fearing for their lives. The $ex scenes are intimate and provocative without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.
AN UNNATURAL VICE follows the search for the missing heir, although most of the investigation is behind the scenes as the story line focuses on our leading couple. The requisite evil has many faces but the ultimate villain has yet to be revealed.
The world building continues to look at the friendships and relationships of a group of ‘gay’ men in Victorian, England although AN UNNATURAL VICE primarily focuses on Nathaniel and Justin’s struggle to stay alive. Once again, the tone of the story is not conducive to the era or the time-I was expecting a tighter interpretation of the language e.g. euphemisms, slang, sentence structure, and because of this, the story line reads more modern than historic (see my review of book one). The back and forth banter between Justin and Nathaniel is witty and entertaining. The premise is much more detailed and descriptive than the first installment as the author brings to life the dreary and wretched world of Victorian England; the characters are colorful and dynamic although I would have liked more information about Nathaniel’s earlier years; the romance is seductive and intense. AN UNNATURAL VICE is an entertaining story line; a fast paced and intriguing story of mystery, suspense, romance and love.
Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley
Reviewed by Sandy
AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION
(Sins of the City #1)
Genre: adult, Victorian, M/M, historical romance
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 21, 2017
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: AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION is the first installment in KJ Charles’s adult, SINS OF THE CITY Victorian, M/M, historical romance, murder-mystery series. This is lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer, and stuffer (taxidermist) Rowley Green’s story line.
NOTE: AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION contains scenes of M/M sexual situations and may not be suitable for all readers.
Told from dual third person perspectives (Clem and Rowley) AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION follows two paths and focuses on the forbidden relationship between two men: lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer, and taxidermist Rowley Green. The year is 1873, and Clem Talleyfer manages, on behalf of his brother, a lodging house for single men. Enter Rowley Green, the local taxidermist, and the man who has caught the eye of the lodging-house manager. When one of the tenants disappears and is found dead several days later, Clem and Rowley face the wrath of not only the local law enforcement but Clem’s brother as well. What ensues is the investigation into the who, what and why, and the building but forbidden love between two men caught in a game of secrets and lies.
AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION is a slow building story line; a murder /mystery plot where our leading couple find themselves targeted for reasons unknown. As the investigation grows, so too does the realization that the person(s) responsible is all too familiar to the lodging house manager.
The relationship between Clem and Rowley is one of immediate attraction but the fear of the unknown and public scrutiny have kept their relationship at a slow burn for several months. When Rowley invites Clem for an evening out, Clem soon realizes that his attraction to the local taxidermist is one of mutual want and need. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.
AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION is, first and foremost, a story of murder, mystery and suspense. Clem and Rowley’s backstories are heartbreaking; family history is something no one wants to share. The slow reveal of clues is well paced; the identity of the person ultimately responsible was (for me) easily deduced early on. The language and text is simple; the tone of the story is not conducive to the era or the time-I was expecting a tighter interpretation of the language e.g. euphemisms, slang, sentence structure, and because of this, the story line reads more modern than historic. The premise is entertaining; the characters are colorful and energetic; the romance is sweet and seductive.
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Reviewed by Sandy
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.