Even though I’ve only recently discovered her, I love KJ Charles. She does M/M historical romance as it should be, realistically. Homosexuality was a crime back then, with a punishment of imprisonment. They weren’t able to build a normal life together. They were left with sneaking around and hiding. Maybe it sounds weird, but I like that Ms Charles doesn’t bend that reality by pretending that equality was accepted. I prefer historically accurate, even when I vehemently disagree.
In An Unseen Attraction KJ Charles introduces us to Clem, who’s grown up in England but has an Indian mother. In addition to being a racially diverse character, I believe he also had a touch of autism which made interacting with his peers difficult for him. Clem has a crush on Rowley, who was slight in stature, awkward in his own way, and works as a taxidermist. It was a set up unlike any I’ve read before, and I really loved how both of these awkward characters found security with each other.
I also thought there was amazing heat between the characters. This was a really sexy read, with the perfect amount of attraction to make the intimate moments everything they should be. Rowley and Clem were well suited in the bedroom, with Rowley wanting Clem to take control and Clem needing to control and move at his own pace. That dynamic made all of the physical scenes in the story so hot.
I would say I loved about 75% of An Unseen Attraction. My only issue with the story was in how the characters interacted during times of stress. Clem was ruled by a need to not let his family down, despite the fact that they didn’t treat him well, and he often put that ahead of everything. I would have loved to see Rowley stick up for himself more, kind of force Clem into seeing what he truly had to lose. BUT, I recognize that Clem and Rowley were acting in character. I can appreciate that sometimes we just don’t agree with the direction a character goes, but it’s not due to bad writing or the author dropping the ball. I just wouldn’t have handled things as well as Rowley, I guess.
Now, it looks like this is an on going series, which seems to be Ms Charles style. I know that I’m not going to get my way, but I’d really love it if all the books were about Clem and Rowley. I feel like their story isn’t over. They have a lot more to discover about themselves and I’m not ready for a couple switch.
Reading the synopsis on the back of book two, I have no doubt that it will quickly change my mind.
Thank you to Loveswept for providing a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.