While I absolutely love everything KJ Charles has ever written and everything she has yet to write, I have to say that the Regency-era stories are my most favorite among the sea of five star reads. Needless to say, I was excited about the opportunity of jumping into an all-new queer Regency romance.
Robin and Marianne Loxleigh have come to London with a singular purpose: scam the good people of the ton, and if they play their cards right, walk away with a wealthy bride and groom, setting themselves up for life.
Their plan grinds to a halt when Sir John Hartlebury catches on to the grift. In order to avoid utter ruination, they come to an… agreement of sorts. But surely—anything that happens as a result of this…indecent proposal… is just part of the terms, right? Neither of them is going to do anything silly like catch feelings for each other? Oh, what a lark that would be!
Book Description: A man who’s been moving his whole life finally finds a reason to stay put.
Charlie Matheson has spent his life taking care of things. When his parents died two days before his eighteenth birthday, he took care of his younger brother, even though that meant putting his own dreams on hold. He took care of his father’s hardware store, building it into something known several towns over. He took care of the cat he found in the woods…so now he has a cat.
When a stranger with epic tattoos and a glare to match starts coming into Matheson’s Hardware, buying things seemingly at random and lugging them off in a car so beat-up Charlie feels bad for it, his instinct is to help. When the man comes in for the fifth time in a week, Charlie can’t resist intervening.
Rye Janssen has spent his life breaking things. Promises. His parents’ hearts. Leases. He isn’t used to people wanting to put things back together—not the crumbling house he just inherited, not his future and certainly not him. But the longer he stays in Garnet Run, the more he can see himself belonging there. And the more time he spends with Charlie, the more he can see himself falling asleep in Charlie’s arms…and waking up in them.
Is this what it feels like to have a home—and someone to share it with?
After the tumultuous events in Sword Dance, Varazda is looking forward to hosting his new friend Damiskos at his home in Boukos. The plan is for a sedate sojourn and the opportunity to get to know each other better in a lowkey environment free from the high-stakes political intrigue and drama that affected their introduction to each other.
Apparently, this is too much to ask for—between another assassination plot and the vicious attack [checks notes]… goose, this second meeting is just as chaotic as the first. It seems as though poor Varazda and Dami will never get their well deserved vacation together.
Readers who are familiar with The Union of the Rakes series remember McCameron from his secondary role in the previous books, and they will also remember Beatrice from her appearance in Would I Lie to the Duke.
Now these two characters have been thrust together (pun intended) as the protagonists in the final book in a most delightful series.
Beatrice, the Dowager Lady Farris, intends to attend a house party, but it’s not just any run-of-the-mill house party, it’s an orgy! And that’s exactly where Beatrice intends to start living her life.
The event is several days’ journey away, and her friend the Duke of Rotherby arranges for his friend Major McCameron to accompany her on the journey. This proves to be rather fortuitous because calamity strikes at every turn, each disaster bringing the unlikely duo closer and closer together. But Beatrice remains undeterred, determined to get to that orgy if it’s the last thing she does!
Book Description: Billy Daley hasn’t been home in years, and he likes it that way. He’s just fine on his own—he has a cash-in-hand job at a scrapyard, a half-feral cat to keep him company, and many miles between him, his hometown and all the baggage that comes with it.
Until the job goes sideways. Suddenly he’s back in Rushmere, working for none other than his brother’s best friend—a man whose kiss Billy can’t seem to forget.
Gus Amour’s memories of Billy Daley are all spiky edges, lips crushed against lips and a reckless streak that always ended in trouble. But when Billy needs a place to stay, Gus steps in. He’d do anything for the Daley family, including living, and working, side by side with a man who makes his heart beat too fast and his blood run too hot—two things he’s been running from for years.
It doesn’t take long before their easy banter, lingering touches and heated glances become a temptation too hard to resist. But falling into bed and falling in love are two different things, and love has never come easy to either Billy or Gus. Only when fate threatens to steal away their opportunity for a second chance will they realize they don’t need easy.
Books that take place at a boarding school are my favorite, so needless to say, I was very excited about the opportunity to read All Girls.
As the prestigious Atwater School prepares to welcome its students back for a new school year, they encounter an unexpected surprise: signboards along the local roads, except instead of presenting a jovial message like the Burma Shave ads of almost a century ago, they announce that the school is harboring a rapist.
Naturally, this sends shockwaves through the entire Atwater community. Rather than presenting one girl’s experience at school like Sittenfeld’s Prep, this book presents a cohesive narrative of the school year through the eyes of a series of girls. While the scandal—a student from 25 years ago has accused an unnamed male faculty member of coercing her into a sexual relationship when she was a senior—is always in the background, the main themes are much more about American girlhood than this particular scandal. The students are from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds; they also have different interests, presenting the breadth of the student body at a place like Atwater.
After graduating from high school a year early, Marty moves to London. He’s a talented oboe player, but he’s not going to the conservatory like he planned, but his parents don’t exactly know that. He’s supposed to be going to church every Sunday, but he’s not doing that either. Marty came out to his parents last year, but it didn’t go very well. Still, they’ve allowed him to go to London, and Marty’s determined to make the most of it.
Marty is always looking for places to showcase his musical talent; there isn’t a lot of demand for an oboe player, but the opportunities he finds prove to be rewarding. He’s also coming to terms with being out. Back home, he’s only out to his parents and his two best friends, but in London, he can be fully out, and that means that he can find a boyfriend.
I have been waiting for the conclusion of the Magic in Manhattan trilogy for nine months, and now it’s finally here! The plot picks up after the events of Starcrossed. Ace and Rory and their supernatural friends are still trying to stop the big villains before they unleash utter destruction on the world. This probably doesn’t make sense if you haven’t read the rest of the series, but I’m keeping the details vague so as to not spoil the first 2/3 of a trilogy.
But for those of you who have read the other books, Wonderstruck is an absolute treat. Rory is still as grumpy as ever, and some of the funniest scenes involved defending slights—both real and perceived—against his beloved Ace. As Rory would say, this book isn’t just mushy lovey dovey stuff: there’s plenty of action and a couple of real close moments where you aren’t sure if everybody is going to come out okay.
Annika Dev is the founder of Make Up, a dating app to help couples with relationship problems. She’s horrified to find out that her company is going to be in the same building as Break Up, an app that helps people end relationships. Ani had a summer fling with Hudson Craft—Break Up’s founder—and she’s pretty sure that he stole the idea for his app from her. Needless to say, she’s less than thrilled to see him again, especially since he’s so different from the man she met over the summer.
And of course, all of a sudden, Hudson is *everywhere* and Ani can’t avoid him. Not only does she run into him at the office, but she also finds him at her yoga class and at the same restaurant—the man is practically omnipresent, but not in a creepy way.