A Society of Gentlemen: A Private Miscellany – K.J. Charles
A short (7.5K words) free coda to the Society of Gentlemen series, catching up on the main characters a year and a half later.
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Portrait with Fox!!! Somebody make a fanart of that quick!
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
Soundtrack: All My Friends
Artist: LCD Soundsystem
Album: Sound of Silver
Society of Gentlemen: A Confidential Problem – K.J. Charles
‘A Confidential Problem’ is a 4,000 word scene which takes place between chapters 15 and 16 of A Seditious Affair (after Silas has gone down to Arrandene, but before the finale). It’s not standalone, and won’t make any sense if you haven’t read A Seditious Affair.
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I still couldn’t get over this series! This short story features the development of Silas and Cyprian’s friendship. Cyprian was his cool, cunning self all throughout the conversation but when Silas turned the tables by asking the pertinent question, BAM! Right at the kokoro!
5 Stars – absolutely perfect
Soundtrack: Are Everything
A Society of Gentlemen: A Gentleman’s Position – K.J. Charles
Among his eccentric though strictly principled group of friends, Lord Richard Vane is the confidant on whom everyone depends for advice, moral rectitude, and discreet assistance. Yet when Richard has a problem, he turns to his valet, a fixer of unparalleled genius—and the object of Richard’s deepest desires. If there is one rule a gentleman must follow, it is never to dally with servants. But when David is close enough to touch, the rules of class collide with the basest sort of animal instinct: overpowering lust.
For David Cyprian, burglary and blackmail are as much in a day’s work as bootblacking—anything for the man he’s devoted to. But the one thing he wants for himself is the one thing Richard refuses to give: his heart. With the tension between them growing to be unbearable, David’s seemingly incorruptible master has left him no choice. Putting his finely honed skills of seduction and manipulation to good use, he will convince Richard to forget all about his well-meaning objections and give in to sweet, sinful temptation.
I suppose that topless guy up there is Lord Richard Vane. Not bad. Alas, no Foxy. But look, he’s on the Italian edition!
A Gentleman’s Position is my most anticipated book of the series and it was as brilliant as I had expected. There was so much unresolved sexual tension between Lord Richard Vane and his ever loyal and devoted valet Cyprian. Oh, happy goosebumps!
Cyprian or Foxy David is the character I was most excited to get to know. He is an unprincipled, scheming genius whom Richard depends on to deal with unsavory business. He is in love with Richard since forever and when he finally blurted out his feeling to his lord, the damn fool pushed him away.
I’m not really feeling Richard very much. I must be dense but I needed it spelled out: what on earth does David like about Richard?. Richard is so morally absolute and stuck in the mud to the point of being an idiot. He’s a good guy though and would do everything for his friends but apart from that, all he does is roughshod all over people. He means well but he’s a mess especially without Cyprian. When Richard finally did good and they got together, the feels overflowed!
The other part of the story involves the rest of the gentlemen. Their enemy Maltravers stole a letter poor Ash had written to Francis, the contents of which details their affair. Maltravers plans to blackmail his brother and bring down Silas along with Harry which has dire consequences on the rest of the gentlemen. How Cyprian pulled all the strings and made his puppets dance to save everyone was really ingenious and one of the things I really liked about this story and with the entire series in general is that even if you take away the love stories and let it just be about schemes, political intrigue, family scandals and class conflicts, it would still be as riveting as it is with the M/M angle.
Overall, I couldn’t ask for ask for a more perfect conclusion to this great series.
5 Stars – absolutely perfect
Soundtrack: If You Want Me
Artist: Graham Coxon
Album: The Spinning Top
Society of Gentlemen: A Seditious Affair – K.J. Charles
Silas Mason has no illusions about himself. He’s not lovable, or even likable. He’s an overbearing idealist, a Radical bookseller and pamphleteer who lives for revolution … and for Wednesday nights. Every week he meets anonymously with the same man, in whom Silas has discovered the ideal meld of intellectual companionship and absolute obedience to his sexual commands. But unbeknownst to Silas, his closest friend is also his greatest enemy, with the power to see him hanged—or spare his life.
A loyal, well-born gentleman official, Dominic Frey is torn apart by his affair with Silas. By the light of day, he cannot fathom the intoxicating lust that drives him to meet with the Radical week after week. In the bedroom, everything else falls away. Their needs match, and they are united by sympathy for each other’s deepest vulnerabilities. But when Silas’s politics earn him a death sentence, desire clashes with duty, and Dominic finds himself doing everything he can to save the man who stole his heart.
It should be said that although A Society of Gentlemen is a brilliant historical romance series, the cover designs are terrible. Look at that one on top. Who is that suppose to be? The models don’t look anything like the characters they’re suppose to represent. There wasn’t even any blond guy on the cover of A Fashionable Indulgence.
A Seditious Affair focuses on Silas and Dominic who regularly meets anonymously every Wednesday for some BDSM fun. Silas is a firebrand radical who writes the most libelous pamphlets around and Dominic is a dyed in the wool Tory who works in the Home Office. They never get into their heads to ask each other names and so when the Home Office people raids Silas’ bookshop in search for incriminating materials, they were both in for a surprise. The rest of the book deals with the events after.
This is definitely much better than the first. For one, Harry and Julius from the POV of somebody else, Silas for example, turned out to be more likable, funnier and snarkier than in book one. Second, people often use the phrase “the struggle is real” in memes. Here, the phrase applies in several, heart wrenching levels. I really felt for Silas and Dominic and how they fought to be together and how they dealt with external and internal conflicts. I love how Silas is so non-judgmental and accepting of people and their unique preferences and helped Dominic step out of Richard’s shadow and accept himself. For some reason, I get a kick out of Silas calling Dominic “Tory”.
Third, there were some very real historical events interwoven with the different scandals involving our gentlemen. The author kept some of the dialogue as accurate as possible based on historical accounts. The resolution was complicated but very believable and satisfying. All the gentlemen pitched in even Ash (watch out for a very “Ashish” moment). Of course, it was all Foxy’s doing.
Overall, great love story between two men with opposing political views plus a good historical account of some dark period in Regency England.
5 Stars – absolutely perfect
Soundtrack: White Knuckle Ride
Album: Are You Satisfied?
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
Soundtrack: Pretty Green
Artist: The Jam
Album: Sound Affects
A Society of Gentlemen: The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh – K.J. Charles
Passion is on the cards for two reckless rogues as K. J. Charles ups the ante in her Society of Gentlemen series with a sizzling eBook short story.
The youngest son and the blackest sheep in his family, Lord Gabriel Ashleigh never imagined he could sink so low. Though he’s a notoriously bad gambler, he takes on the formidable but strangely alluring Francis Webster, only to lose everything: all his money, the lovely estate he inherited from his aunt, and any hope of future happiness. So it’s a shock when Webster summons him to a private game for a chance to win back his possessions. The stake? If he fails, Ash must surrender his body.
Francis has been waiting years for this moment. At Eton, Ash’s elder brother harassed him relentlessly. Now, consumed by lust and rage, Francis is only too happy to exploit Ash’s foolish indiscretions. But as Francis strips the magnificently built youth—first of his family assets, then his clothes—he begins to wonder whether he’s been plotting revenge … or exquisite seduction.
I love short stories and quick reads because I have a short attention span but sometimes you need a full length book or at least a novella to flesh out the development of a relationship. They, here, need at least a couple more card games. Still this did a good job of making me want to read the series. K.J. Charles can do no wrong.
3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it