An Unsuitable Heir (Sins of the Cities #3) by KJ Charles-a review

AN UNSUITABLE HEIR (Sins of the Cities #3) by KJ Charles-a review

An Unsuitable Heir / / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 3, 2017

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


REVIEW: AN UNSUITABLE HEIR is the third and final installment in KJ Charles’ Victorian England, adult SIN OF THE CITIES M/M romance, mystery trilogy. This is private investigator Mark Braglewicz, and trapeze artist and reluctant earl Repentance ‘Pen’ Starling’s story line. AN UNSUITABLE HEIR 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 focusing on the search for the heir to the Earl of Moreton’s estate.

NOTE: AN UNSUITABLE HEIR and the SINS OF THE CITIES series contain scenes of M/M sexual situations and may not be suitable for all readers.

SOME BACKGROUND: Twenty three years earlier, sixteen year old and pregnant Emmeline Godfrey Taillefer’s life fell apart when the man that she married walked away without a backwards glance. Fast forward and the son to whom she gave birth is said to be the legitimate heir to the Earl of Moreton-a position coveted by more than one surviving relation.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Pen and Mark) AN UNSUITABLE HEIR focuses on the search for the truth as a group of friends endeavors to find the missing heir to the Taillefer fortune and title holder to the Earl of Moreton. Mark Braglewicz has been commissioned to locate a young man known a Pen Starling-one half of the Flying Starling trapeze artists, and the man who is quite possibly the missing heir to the Moreton estates. Enter Repentance Taillefer aka Pen Starling, a man whose lifestyle will never be conducive as the Earl of Moreton, and the man with whom Mark Braglewicz will fall in love. With a killer on the loose, searching for the missing Taillefer twins, Mark struggles to convince Pen and his sister Greta (Regret) that Pen’s life hangs in the balance as a killer sets his sights on the Moreton heir.

Pen Starling is an anomaly – a bi-gendered man living in Victoria England; a flamboyant trapeze artist whose ‘professional persona’ crosses over into his daily life including an attraction to men that must be hidden in light of the times. Pen’s ‘gender fluidity’ is expressed by the way he presents himself as a girl or a boy (woman or man) depending upon his current state of mind or emotions. Mark Braglewicz, a private investigator is a bisexual man (with a missing left arm) whose captivation with Pen is palpable and intense.

The relationship between Pen and Mark is one of mutual fascination; a forbidden romance between two men who must remain closeted at a time when homosexuality is criminal and a sin. Mark’s ongoing need to convince Pen to acknowledge his rightful title builds a wall between our leading couple, a wall that will harden the heart of Pen Starling as betrayal and lies force Pen to face the truth about the man with whom he is falling in love. Pen is a reluctant heir knowing his personal lifestyle will become fodder for the people in charge-his fears are legitimate and painful. The $ex scenes are intimate without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

The world building continues to focus on the hunt for a killer; the search for the missing Moreton heirs; and the developing friendships and relationships between a group of gay men in Victorian England. All of the previous story line couples and characters play secondary and supporting roles. 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 books one and two). The premise is entertaining and enlightening; the characters are colorful but flawed; the romance is seductive and intense.

I would like to add that political correctness did not exist in Victorian England, and to apply modern standards to an historical romance novel would alter the perceptive believability of the era. Some readers may take offense to the ‘presentation’ of Pen’s sexuality or Mark’s physical disability but for readers to apply contemporary criteria, standards, measurements or guidelines to this series and story line would be a grievous error that should be avoided.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
An Unseen Attraction
An Unnatural Vice
The Unsuitable Heir

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy


The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

THE ARCHITECT OF SONG (Haunted Hearts Legacy #1) by A.G. Howard-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

The Architect of Song Banner

Haunted Hearts Legacy #1
by A.G. Howard
Genre: new adult, gothic, Victorian, paranormal romance
Release Date: August 15, 2016

The Architect of Song / /

ABOUT THE BOOK : Release Date August 15, 2016

A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower – intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.

For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as – haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts – they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.


REVIEW: THE ARCHITECT OF SONG is the first installment in A.G. Howard’s new adult, Haunted Hearts romantic, Victorian era historical gothic, fantasy series.

Told from first person point of view (Juliet Emerline) THE ARCHITECT OF SONG follows nineteen year old Juliet, a young deaf woman, as she endeavors to uncover the truth. Following the death of her mother, our heroine witnesses a tragic scene between a man she will come to know as twenty seven year old recluse and architect Lord Nicolas Thornton who rages at a grave marked with the name ‘Hawk’. An unusual flower, at the base of the headstone, catches her eye, and as an amateur gardener, our heroine ‘steals’ the flower for herself. What ensues is a fantasy story line that traverses between the hereafter and earth, wherein the ghost of ‘Hawk’ becomes visible to anyone who touches the petals of the flower. Juliet and Hawk embark on a journey of research and discovery as Hawk searches for the truth about his early demise; his connection to Lord Nicolas Thornton-a man who has offered Juliet a different future, and Juliet’s struggle with her building love for two men- one who is no longer flesh and blood but has the ability to sing like an angel, and one whose secrets could destroy her heart.

THE ARCHITECT OF SONG is a fascinating story; a colorful, energetic, and sensual look at three people connected by the past-a past mired in family secrets, lies, and heartache for two families tethered by a young woman and an accident that happened years before. As Juliet’s love for both men builds, the seeds of doubt and mistrust begin to grow as the truth is slowly revealed.

A.G. Howard’s stunning words, prose and text bring the story line and characters to life. The emotions and drama are palpable; the energy is constant; the description and details so colorful your senses will be amazed. THE ARCHITECT OF SONG is dark but enlightened; gothic but enchanting; romantic but fantastical.

Copy supplied by the tour promoter

Reviewed by Sandy

About The Author Black and Red

A.G.HowardA.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would’ve happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.

When she’s not writing, A.G.’s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.


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