I have discovered KJ Charles, and you should too.
I don’t usually read M-M romance—and that’s her thing—although I actually think there is a greater social purpose in straight women writing gay romance for the consumption of straight women. (Short version: smashing patriarchy, exploring power dynamics outside of the male-female heteronormative gender norm and the baggage it carries, promoting the gay agenda even when they don’t actually know how to write anal sex, which I’m always, always for.) (I’m always for promoting the gay agenda. To clarify. Anal sex, it depends on the mood and the availability of lube. OMG, this book review totally got off track…)
Anyway. KJ Charles. I read An Unsuitable Heir first, and, although it is the third book in the Sins of the City series, it functions perfectly as a stand-alone. I am about to read books 2 and 3… but while I’m waiting for those holds at the library to come through, I devoured Any Old Diamonds (Lilywhite Boys Book 1)—which takes place about 20 years after the events in An Unsuitable Heir and has cameos by some of the books characters—which was lovely, and which led me to discover that this is what Charles often does.
But, the reason I fell in love with her is this:
“I want to do things the way you want them done. That’s it, Pen, mate. I like men, I like women, and I’m not here to tell anyone which they are. I like men who wear dresses, and women who strap on extra bits, and—I just like people, see? I’d say I’m not fussy if that didn’t sound rude under the circumstances.”
Also, her sex scenes, yes.
If you wanna know what the books are about:
An Unsuitable Heir (Sins of the Cities Book 3)
by KJ Charles (Author)
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.
Any Old Diamonds (Lilywhite Boys Book 1)
by KJ Charles
Lord Alexander Pyne-ffoulkes, the younger son of the Duke of Ilvar, holds a bitter grudge against his wealthy father. The Duke intends to give his Duchess a priceless diamond parure on their wedding anniversary—so Alec hires a pair of jewel thieves to steal it.
The Duke’s remote castle is a difficult target, and Alec needs a way to get the thieves in. Soldier-turned-criminal Jerry Crozier has the answer: he’ll pose as a Society gentleman and become Alec’s new best friend.
But Jerry is a dangerous man: controlling, remote, and devastating. He effortlessly teases out the lonely young nobleman’s most secret desires, and soon he’s got Alec in his bed—and the palm of his hand.
Or maybe not. Because as the plot thickens, betrayals, secrets, new loves, and old evils come to light. Now the jewel thief and the aristocrat must keep up the pretence, find their way through a maze of privilege and deceit, and confront the truth of what’s between them…all without getting caught.
About the Author
After twenty years in UK publishing including a stint at Mills & Boon, KJ Charles is now a full-time writer. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, an out-of-control garden and an increasingly murderous cat.
KJ writes mostly historical romance, often with some fantasy or horror in there. Her paranormal romance Spectred Isle is a 2018 RITA® nominee.
Find her on Twitter @kj_charles or on Facebook, join her Facebook group, or email kjcharleswriter[at]gmail.com.
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