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!
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.
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.
While I don’t want to take too much time talking about myself in a book review, I do want to explain my sporadic review writing over the last few months. In short, 2020 was a year to be remembered, and it was often difficult to find the motivation to read and write. Fortunately, thanks to many—to borrow a word from this very book—charming things to read, I am hopefully back on the road to productivity.
But on to the book!
Jane Kent is a penniless waif who shows up on the doorstep of the esteemed Penhallow manse. She claims to have a connection to the family, and the letter she produces, as well as the strong family resemblance, is all the Penhallows need to take her in as one of their own.
Although Jane is twenty years old, she has never received a formal education, and arrangements are made for her receive tutelage from the local vicar, whose only other pupil is eight-year-old Wakefield Farr, the only son of the Duke of Radcliffe, the titular worst duke in the world.
Ten Things I Hate About the Duke is the second book in the Dangerous Dukes series, and it begins immediately after the events of A Duke in Shining Armor. The Duke of Ashmont—His Grace with the Angel Face—whom readers last saw [redacted spoiler] has retired to a pub, where he encounters the headstrong Cassandra. Through a series of unfortunate events due entirely to his carelessness, Ashmont puts Cassandra’s already-shaky reputation into even greater peril.
This leads to what is known in modern vernacular to a “come to Jesus” moment for Ashmont, who after being left at the altar in the previous book, has begun to realize that he is a hot mess. He wants to make amends, but Cassandra wants nothing to do with this disastrous duke. Ashmont is persistent—but not in an invasive way—and he’s determined to prove to her that he is more than a party boy scandal-maker.
As a young widow in Victorian England, Lady Katherine’s social station provides her with more opportunities than a less-connected widow in the same position, but nevertheless, there are some things that are frowned upon, such as using her journalistic skills to uncover a serial killer
NB: The text doesn’t refer to the perpetrator as a serial killer, but there’s a clear pattern between a series of killings around London.
When Kate runs afoul of Detective Inspector Andrew Eversham, she retires to the countryside and runs right into (quite literally) another victim.
And guess who shows up to investigate? Yes, that’s right—none other than infuriating…handsome Detective Eversham. At first, this development annoys Kate, but perhaps Andrew is not so bad after all.
One of the huge jokes in the historical romance community is the overabundance of dukes. Everywhere you look, there’s yet another handsome young(ish) duke in want of a wife. So what did these five amazing authors do?
They made an entire anthology with nothing but dukes, baby! Hot dukes! Dukes I’d like to f***.
And wow, buckle up friends, this is going to be a bumpy ride. No pun intended.
Gabriel and Edward were childhood friends, but then Edward went to London as the heir to the Caddonfell dukedom, and Gabriel (who has some sort of minor title) became a vicar.
They have not seen each other for over a decade, so it comes as a surprise when Edward returns to the ducal manor to find Gabriel passed out in the flowerbeds. Edward—scandal personified—is on the run from the vengeful Duke of Sussex, and Gabriel—who has always avoided scandal—quickly becomes entwined with Edward, both metaphorically and physically.
This is the second book in the Will Darling series of 1920s queer pulp action/adventure novels. It is absolutely imperative that readers begin with Slippery Creatures, the first book in the series. There won’t be any spoilers for The Sugared Game, but I’ll be discussing some of the events of Slippery Creatures over the course of this review, so please proceed with caution.