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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Wanted, a Gentleman by K.J. Charles


I gotta say, took me time to warm up to both Theo and Martin, maybe somehow like it took both characters to feel about each other. But once I actually SAW both men for who they are and what they are (including the unexpected reveals along the way) I was more than hooked and couldn't wait for them to finish their pursuit of a young lady to one of their own.

Theodore "Theo" Swann is the publisher of "Matrimonial Advertiser", might not be the most respectable newspaper to be a publisher of, but it pays the bills.. Also Theo is pragmatic and realistic - matrimony is a business exchange and he doesn't mind being the one to publish people's "offers" of their own. He also spends time writing romantic novels finding himself being FAR better at interesting and conniving villains than the much less appealing heroes. When Martin St. Vincent comes to his office and accuses him of his business, Theo isn't impressed or threatened but he expects to be paid for his services - honestly Martin didn't expect less of him.

Martin St. Vincent is a black man living in London, more than than he is a FREE man. He wasn't free for most of his life and his relationship with his current state lies between resentment and gratefulness. It's GREAT being free, for sure, but it also doesn't feel RIGHT to be grateful for something that shouldn't have been taken from him in the first place as well as something other men and women aren't offered. That also makes his current mission from his previous owner a bit muddled. It seems the reckless daughter of said owner has gone missing with a man she has found through the pages of Theo's newspaper and so he came to ask his help in finding the couple before the young girl makes a decision she can't go back from and find herself in who knows what awful future.



At first Theo isn't exactly enthusiastic in helping Martin, but as money is involved, and money is something Theo needs, he accepts only to find himself riding days on end in a fast riding cart. The exchanged horses might get a break at each of their stops but they don't. Yet even with every bone and muscle in their bodies aching from the uncomfortable ride, something between THEM becomes more and more comfortable as the journey continues. Martin finds himself talking, that's surprising as he is not a talker, what he finds even more fascination is the fact Theo actually LISTENS and not with pity in his eyes, but with understanding and compassion. Theo might share far less about himself yet he finds himself drawn to the exceptional man, a tender and caring one, he is forced to spend time with.

When they finally get to Miss Jennifer Conroy as they say "the plot thickens" and with it Theo as an author needs to find a way to untangle himself, Martin and Jennifer from the mess they are in but he still needs to hope and trust his actions will be repaid in kind.

I loved the whole feel of this novel. Though it was a slow start with two men resenting one another (without any real reason) once they got to know each other it was interesting seeing the similarities in what they hold dear - not the things they would have said out loud, but what's in their hearts.

Wanted, An Author: This short free read (available for download on KJ's website) is a sweet glimpse into the future, a happy one, not just for Theo and Martin. It also offers a reveal on the mysterious author of "Johnathan" the much sought after novel Gilbert Lawless from "Unfit to Print" found in his brother's possession. Also if after reading this one you're interested in learning who John Raven and Viscount Corvin are you'll get quite a lot of them in "Band Sinister" which is a SUPERB read.

Rating:
★★½
E-Book
Edition
138
pages
Read on:
20-21 April 2020
     

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