Every single time I start a book by K.J. Charles I struggle. For the first quarter I wonder if I’m going feel it, like her previous books. I love historical romance, but too much “history” causes my attention to wander. I wish that weren’t true, but it is what it is. I am who I am, right? Anyway, it’s always how a K.J. Charles book starts out, with a lot of accuracy for the historical times and talk about the class differences, and the poor and the nobility.
What’s extra funny about it is, I love the historical precision in each of these novels. I wouldn’t want her to write the history as carelessly as I’ve read in other historical romances. I’ve said it previously, when I reviewed An Unseen Attraction, but I love how the author doesn’t romanticize what these men had to go through just to be with their partner. It’s more than that though, it’s also how she thinks to include the soot-like smog that covered London, blocking out the sun. It’s how she does take the time to include the social differences between people in the lower society, like Justin Lazarus, and Nathaniel Roy who has wealth. So, while at times I find the descriptions trying, I wouldn’t change them in any way.
Plus, regardless of how slow the books start, I know halfway through I’ll be addicted. The plot continued the thread of An Unseen Attraction, but it was the love story between Justin and Nathaniel that really hooked me. Particularly, I fell in love with Justin at the same time Nathaniel did. Society saw him as a deviant, and in a way he was, but as the reader you could see beyond his lies and his cons to the vulnerable and kind man inside. I loved how, even though they were complete opposites, Justin and Nathaniel were drawn to each other. It was very sweet.
I also love the way K.J. Charles sets up a series, especially Sins of the Cities. Even though each book was about an individual man/couple, the overall story arc of Clem’s family is really well outlined and paced. What started in An Unseen Attraction was built upon in An Unnatural Vice, and I think will be completed in the final book, The Unsuitable Heir. I loved Justin and Nathaniel, but I have a feeling the final book is going to be the pinnacle of the series. I can’t wait to find out what happens with Mark, and with the earldom.
I can’t wait to see what K.J. Charles has up her sleeve next. Come on, October!
Thank you to Loveswept for providing a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.