Band Sinister – K.J. Charles
Sir Philip Rookwood is the disgrace of the county. He’s a rake and an atheist, and the rumours about his hellfire club, the Murder, can only be spoken in whispers. (Orgies. It’s orgies.)
Guy Frisby and his sister Amanda live in rural seclusion after a family scandal. But when Amanda breaks her leg in a riding accident, she’s forced to recuperate at Rookwood Hall, where Sir Philip is hosting the Murder.
Guy rushes to protect her, but the Murder aren’t what he expects. They’re educated, fascinating people, and the notorious Sir Philip turns out to be charming, kind—and dangerously attractive.
In this private space where anything goes, the longings Guy has stifled all his life are impossible to resist…and so is Philip. But all too soon the rural rumour mill threatens both Guy and Amanda. The innocent country gentleman has lost his heart to the bastard baronet—but does he dare lose his reputation too?
I haven’t read Georgette Heyer but if her works are as fun-tastic as this, I’d gladly read her entire oeuvre.
Band Sinister is KJ Charles “going full Heyer” and there’s lots to love.
First, the characters all stood out, even the secondaries and extras who had minimal page time. She made me curious about all the cast that I started wishing for a book for many of them. Especially Corvin! Give us Corvin’s book, please please please!!! He’s just too good to pass up.
The rake and the virgin trope was executed perfectly! A lot of times, this trope could get rapey so a million points for the big emphasis on consent. I loved Philip Rookwood for being simultaneously a devilish gentleman and golden-hearted rake. Who could resist such combination!
“Let me be frank. I find you intriguing, and extremely appealing, and delightful company, and very much a man who deserves more pleasure in his life. If you’d like to take that pleasure with me, I’d be honoured. If you aren’t so minded, don’t take offence at the offer, and I shan’t at the refusal. And if you decide you’d prefer Corvin, for example, I shall bow out like a gentleman, although I shall probably kick him in the shins at some point from pure envy.”
Certainly not Guy! Who soon discovered there is so much more to their neighbor and his hellfire club than their unspeakable activities. Who was intrigued and curious despite himself. Who found the courage to be honest and go after what he wanted. And who was the best brother any sister could hope for.
Guy and Amanda’s relationship was one of the most enjoyable part of the book. The siblings stuck together no matter what and I’m glad that both of them got their HEA in equally adorable ways.
Needless to say, I love the Murder! I wanted to join the club. A Facebook friend once said, our country is stuck in perma-Victorian times, and although Band Sinister is set in the Regency period, the small town small minded atmosphere is similar to the oppressiveness of Guy and Amanda’s village. A club like the Murder would be like a breath of fresh air. I could totally understand the sense of liberation Guy felt when he was with Philip and his friends.
KJC has always been a great storyteller and her writing was sharp as always. There were many lines that had me chuckling and laughing out loud. Her writing works wonderfully well with Cornell Collins’ narration whose delivery of upper crust sarcasm practically “dripped to the carpet”
Band Sinister is the type of book you could enjoy reading over and over again. It is peopled with characters you’d love to be friends with. It takes well-worn tropes and turn them on their heads, and in doing so gave them polish and edge. I would love more of this sensational world of hellfire clubs, gothic novelists and free-spirited individuals. I would certainly love another rendezvous with our polyamorous gang so more Murder please!
4.5 Stars – perfection is only half a step away