A Fashionable Indulgence, A Society of Gentlemen Novel, K.J. Charles


A Fashionable Indulgence, A Society of Gentlemen Novel, K.J. Charles
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre:  Romance, women’s literature
I adored K.J.Charles Magpie series so much that I was a bit concerned that it might overshadow this when I began reading. Once again it’s a historical read, but this time without the side of magic that made Magpie so entrancing for me. The characters here though as so well drawn, so vivid that I was soon pulled in to their world.
Harry – who couldn’t like him. He’s so enthusiastic even though control of his life has been out of his hands for most of the time, and he’s verged on losing his life due to his circumstances. He’s been supported by his parents radical friend Silas since they died, and he returned to England. Silas gives him work, though it isn’t just running the bookshop but helping with the printing of illegal leaflets…..What can he do though? He owes his life to Silas, was brought up by very radical parents, and its a time when one is stuck in the world one’s born into. Without money or work he can’t do anything else. Plus of course these are his friends and he feels loyalty to them. He believes that people should have more rights, more protection, and this kind of protest is all he can do. Then he gets a complete change of fortune, and is brought into a different world, the moneyed classes from which his father sprung. Last of the line, his grandfather wants to see it continued, and he seeks to mould Harry into someone worthy (in his eyes) of the Vane name, and wants him to continue it.
His grandfather Gideon is a very strict, conventional and harsh man, but before he settles money on Harry he wants him properly presented. Harry’s cousin Richard is tasked with making the change, and seems the help of his good friend Julius. When Harry sees Julius he’s astonished at his beauty, entranced by this man. Harry loves sex, with ladies or men, and has to work hard to keep his attraction to Julius secret. He doesn’t know that Richard and Julius belong to a secret group, the Ricardians, that share a love of men, illegal in this time, and so the need for secrecy is paramount. Then Harry sees something he shouldn’t and all is revealed…..
Julius, I so felt for him, such a lonely man ( in fact most of the characters are in a way, lots of stiff upper lips, hidden feelings, and outward shows of content that mask so much unhappiness – it’s going to be interesting to see the series develop, there’s lots of scope with this group). Julius is drawn to Harry’s simple happiness. He’s someone who’s had such a traumatic upbringing, is now pulled into a world in which he wants to belong but struggles to reconcile his radical thoughts, and yet he’s always happy, finds pleasure in such simple things. They make a great pair, him and Julius but they know once he’s engaged it all comes to an end. Richard has made that very clear, his help comes only while Harry is single. Then an arranged marriage gets put forward by Gideon, and poor Harry can’t face losing Julius…
Its a real heart wringer at times, not just from Harry and Julius, but from the other characters too. Men with desires forbidden by law and yet all they want to do is love and be loved…and there’s no prospect of change, so an unhappy future all round is faced. Harry’s fiancée seems to despise him, Julius will withdraw back to the shadow person he was before Harry came along, someone superficial and lost. Among all the romantic drama is also some real danger for Harry, from his prior upbringing that risks him losing everything.
Once again its a fabulous read, that had me engrossed and really caring, worrying about the characters, just rooting for everything to work out for them. There’s a richness of language as ever from this author that had me using the kindle lookup function to see exact definition – its easy to guess from the context, but I like to know more about words. Language has a genuine beauty of its own properly used, and its a real treat to find someone that brings in forgotten words, and this enhances the historical feel of the story. I’ll definitely be looking out for more in this series
.
Stars: Five, a wonderful read, full of emotion, and beautifully written
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, in case I’ve inadvertently added a spoiler and need to edit.

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About jeanniezelos

I'm an avid reader, love my kindle and I have my head in a novel for hours daily : ) Mum used to say I'd read toilet paper if it was printed- it wasn't, so i had to contend myself with the back and sides of the cereal packets. I've always Needed to read and we had few books when i was a child hence my penchant for reading anything including adverts then... I review mainly contemporary, erotic and paranormal romance books though dystopian and urban fantasy also appeal. I'm currently rated around the 300 mark on amazon.co.uk for my reviews. I try to keep them structured and to say what I do and don't like about a book so other readers can use my review as a guide to whether they may enjoy the book.

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