Unfit to Print by KJ Charles

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Unfit to Print is a Victorian-era m/m historical romance novella by KJ Charles. I’ve read most (but not all) of Charles’ other books, so I was looking forward to reading this one.

Vikram is a lawyer who works tirelessly on behalf of those who have very few civil rights in England, helping them obtain wages and benefits that are rightfully theirs. When a family approaches them about their missing son, Vikram feels compelled to help. His quest takes him to a bookstore owned by Gil Lawless.

Vikram and Gil were once friends at boarding school, but Gil left abruptly one day, Vikram attempted to track him down over the years, but his efforts were fruitless. Read more

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Threshold (Whyborne & Griffin) by Jordan L. Hawk

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Threshold is the second book in Jordan L. Hawk’s Whyborne & Griffin series. I read this book almost as soon as I finished reading Widdershins, the first book in the series. If I could condense this series into a brief description, I would call it an action adventure supernatural mystery with m/m romance and elements of magic, all set in Victorian-era America.

Whyborne and Griffin have survived the events at the end of Widdershins, and just when they think that their lives are returning to normal, Whyborne’s father summons them to the family manse. There’s something odd happening at one of the family mines, and Mr. Whyborne wants Griffin to investigate. So, along with their friend Dr. Christine Putnam, out delightful duo hop on a train and head south to the town of Threshold. Read more

Widdershins (Whyborne&Griffin) by Jordan L. Hawk

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Widdershins is the first book in Jordan L. Hawk’s Whyborne & Griffin series. I’d heard quite a bit of buzz about this series in one of my reading groups. I took the plunge, and I have absolutely no regrets about this decision.

Percival Endicott Whyborne spends his days working in a museum as a comparative philologist, and he is perfectly content with his solitary life. When private detective Griffin Flaherty believes that an ancient book may be the key to his case, Whyborne offers to help with translation. Before he knows it, the shy and withdrawn Whyborne is thrown into the middle of something that defies explanation. Something truly terrifying is afoot, and Whyborne and Griffin must team up if they are going to defeat the evil that has been unleashed. As Whyborne spends more time with Griffin, he finds it more and more difficult to suppress his feelings. He thinks it impossible that Griffin could ever return those feelings. But after seeing some of the things that he has seen, Whyborne should know that anything is possible. Read more

My Name Is Victoria by Lucy Worsley

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My Name is Victoria is a YA novel written by Lucy Worsley. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because 19th century England is my favorite era in history. I also enjoyed the Victoria television series, as well as Daisy Goodwin’s companion novel and Julia Baird’s biography of Queen Victoria.

The story is told from the perspective of “Miss V”, the daughter of John Conrad, who oversaw the future Queen Victoria’s upbringing. The young Victoria was kept in isolation, and V is one of Victoria’s first friends. Victoria has been told that she needs to be kept apart from society because of her scheming uncles and cousins who might wish to harm her because of her proximity to the throne. Whether there is any merit to this claim, or whether this is intended to instill a sense of paranoia remains to be seen. Read more

A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

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A Perilous Undertaking is the second book in Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell series of Victorian era mystery. I enjoyed the first book in this series a couple of years ago, but I have only recently been able to read this book.

Readers should definitely read the first book in the series before tackling this one. Not only are there major revelations, but readers will appreciate the simmering tension between Veronica and Stoker. I will allude to some of these revelations from the first book because they are central to the second book, but I will not reveal anything outright.

Veronica finds herself tasked with another mystery to solve: Miles Ramsforth, a famous patron of the arts, has been accused of murdering his mistress. He has been convicted of the crime, and he is going to be hanged in less than a fortnight. However, someone very important- with connections to Veronica’s mysterious parentage- has reason to believe that Miles has been framed. Read more

An Unnatural Vice by K.J. Charles

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An Unnatural Vice is the second book in K.J. Charles’ Sins of the Cities series of Victorian-era m/m historical romance novels. I’ve read several of Charles’ other books, but this is the first book that I’ve read from this series.

Nathaniel is a journalist, and initially, he visits spiritual medium Justin with the intent of exposing him. Instead, Nathaniel is shocked with Justin is able to tell him things that he couldn’t possibly know. Nathaniel walks away frustrated, still convinced that it’s trickery, but now knowing how to prove it. He hopes that this is the last that he will see of the sham spiritualist, but then he learns that Justin may have some information about a case that he and his friends have been investigating.

Justin is quite different from Nathaniel. He grew up in abject poverty, and he justifies his occupation by believing that he is giving people what they want. And besides, it pays the bills and keeps him and his assistants fed. He finds Nathaniel arrogant, but there is a mutual attraction that neither of them can deny. Read more

The Hunter by Kerrigan Byrne

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The Hunter is the second book in Kerrigan Byrne’s Victorian Rebels series of historical romance novels. I’ve read a few of the books in this series, thanks to ARCs from Netgalley, but I recently read the first book in the series, The Highwayman. I absolutely loved it, and jumped right into The Hunter.

Christopher Argent works mostly for Dorian Blackwell, the protagonist of The Highwayman. Christopher earns his living as a killer for hire, and he has very few qualms about this vocation. But when he is tasked with killing Millie La Cour, he finds he cannot go through with the job. This is a first for him, and he feels unhinged by this loss of focus.

Millie doesn’t know what to make of this handsome stranger who keeps showing up at the most inopportune times. She knows he is a dangerous man, but she can’t control her attraction to him. Read more

House of Furies by Madeleine Roux

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House of Furies is a YA novel written by Madeleine Roux. I read this book several months ago, but I have fallen behind on my review writing, and I am just catching up now.

As the story begins, Louisa accepts a position as a maid at Coldthistle House. She does not particularly want to be a maid, but she finds herself in a precarious position and need a place to hide out, so the offer of employment seems infinitely more appealing than being on her own.

Coldthistle House is not an ordinary manor house, and there is something unusual about Mr. Morningside, the house’s enigmatic owner. He has transformed the home into a boarding house, and Louisa quickly makes friends with one of the guests, a charming young man. There is a shroud of malevolence hanging over the house, and Louisa does not know whether it would be more dangerous to flee or to remain in a house full of secrets.   Read more

The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne

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I am trying to be more responsible with my reading habits by reading and reviewing the ARCs that I receive. This plan was going along swimmingly until someone posted about The Highwayman in one of my book groups. It piqued my interest, and then someone else posted about it as well. There were now two separate posts with stacks of comments praising The Highwayman, and I knew that I could no longer ignore the siren’s call. I already owned the Kindle edition of the book, so it was quite easy to push aside everything else in my TBR pile and devour this book.

The Highwayman is a romance novel written by Kerrigan Byrne. It is the first book in her Victorian Rebels series. I have read two of the books in this series (The Duke and The Scot Beds His Wife), so I had a feeling I was going to enjoy this book. However, I could not have anticipated how much I was going to fall in love with this book.   Read more

Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley

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Death Below Stairs was written by Jennifer Ashley, and it is the first book in her new Below Stairs series of Victorian mysteries. Although this marks Ashley’s first foray into the mystery genre, she is best known for her books featuring the Mackenzie family, a series of Victorian historical romances. I have only read the first of her Mackenzies books- The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie– and it was absolutely amazing. Needless to say, as a fan of historical mysteries, I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book.

Kat Holloway is a young chef who begins a new position in the household of Lord Rankin. She immediately senses some irregularities, but she is caught off guard when Sinead, the girl she was hoping to train as her assistant, is found dead. While everyone is content to believe that the unfortunate girl was the victim of a burglar, Kat senses there is more to the story than that. Read more