Society of Gentlemen: A Fashionable Indulgence – K.J. Charles
In the first novel of an explosive new series from K. J. Charles, a young gentleman and his elegant mentor fight for love in a world of wealth, power, and manipulation.
When he learns that he could be the heir to an unexpected fortune, Harry Vane rejects his past as a Radical fighting for government reform and sets about wooing his lovely cousin. But his heart is captured instead by the most beautiful, chic man he’s ever met: the dandy tasked with instructing him in the manners and style of the ton. Harry’s new station demands conformity—and yet the one thing he desires is a taste of the wrong pair of lips.
After witnessing firsthand the horrors of Waterloo, Julius Norreys sought refuge behind the luxurious facade of the upper crust. Now he concerns himself exclusively with the cut of his coat and the quality of his boots. And yet his protégé is so unblemished by cynicism that he inspires the first flare of genuine desire Julius has felt in years. He cannot protect Harry from the worst excesses of society. But together they can withstand the high price of passion.
The Society of Gentlemen series follows the affairs of the Richardians, a group of friends led by Richard Vane. Book one is from the POV of Julius Norreys and Harry Vane.
Harry is a likable fellow, plucked out of a seditionary bookstore to inherit a fortune and underwent training to become a gentleman under Julius at the behest of Richard who is Harry’s cousin. Harry’s parents are radicals but he wasn’t really as political as them and wants to leave the world of poverty behind so he’s a willing student.
Truth be told, I couldn’t imagine Julius’s outfit to be as good in real life as it is in words. Pink embroidered with silver looks like the frou-frou abominations I was forced to wear back in the days as a part of my relatives’ wedding entourage. But beautiful clothes on beautiful people is my gig so I love me some dandy. Well this dandy shines like moonlight, pale, blond and skinny and of course, our boy can’t resist him.
The story is very well-written (this is K.J. Charles after all) however I’m pretty meh about the love angle. I was more interested in the Richardians as a whole on which the author did not disappoint.
The rest of the gentlemen were very much in on the affair leaving hints of what’s coming in the successive books. I love how the Richardians are so supportive of one another. You can’t help but like all of them, especially Ash (cinammon roll <3). They have their own hangout and nobody’s kink shaming anyone.
This is the first book in the series which suffers from what I call, the first book syndrome. It didn’t blow my mind but it delivered enough goods to make me continue with the rest of the series. Meaning, the later books are better (personally, I can’t wait to get started on Richard and Cyprian’s book).
3.5 Stars – that place between like and love
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