Saturday, October 7, 2017

A Fashionable Indulgence (Society of Gentlemen, #1) [Harry & Julius] by K.J. Charles

This book started a bit slow for my liking. It was interesting and even though the the pace was decent for the time frame it was still slow going. There was much to unravel, mostly about Julius and a lot needed to happen for them to build a true relationship which made for a rather slow going of the first third of the book. After that it started get VERY engaging in a way I truly didn't want to put the book down. 

Harry Gordon Vane grew up to a revolutionist parents intended on showing their democratic ideas as loud as they can. He hated this life. One of constant fear with food being scarce on the table. When he was 12 after a certain riot they needed to flee the country. He returned at the age of 17 after their death. Not knowing what to do he found his way to their revolutionist friend Silas Mason. Silas might be a true radical but he also has a good heart, he couldn't refuse taking Harry in, even though food and jobs were as difficult as they were back then. A few years went by and even though Harry still hates this sort of life, he also understand (at least in his heart) that Silas is right in what he is saying even though he hates the way it needs to be demonstrated with the constant risk it puts on everyone's lives.

It all changes when he discovers he is the 'lost heir' to the Vale family through his grandfather Gideon Vane. After losing his son to a low class revolutionist wife, years later he loses his other son and grandson to a fire. Not knowing what to do he finds Harry and decides he"ll make a gentleman of him and marry him to Harry"s cousin Verona. But first things first - he needs to make sure he can make him into a proper gentleman. For that he turns to his nephew Richard Vane. Richard, accepts the challenge but also passes it to his good friend Julius Norreys who knows everything and anything about fashion and playing the gentlemany way. At first bored with the idea, once he meets Harry and after a bet is being made he accepts. 

As the month goes by, Julius and Harry grows closer together. Julius might be "inclined the same way" as Harry but he won't make a move on him because he realizes in order for Harry to be happy he need to obey his grandfather. Otherwise he'll be thrown back to the filthy streets of London. He personally wouldn't mind being Harry's lover after he marries Verona but Richard won't accept this kind of behavior and he wouldn't cross him just for a bit of fun.. Harry had his own share of dilemmas, Including wanting Julius and NOT wanting to marry a women who only plays nice when people are around.. 

Besides the romantic side there is also a lot of politics. Silas is in trouble and since Harry used to work for him, his past is knocking on his door as well and the whole Vale family is put in a very uncomfortable place when he is close to being charged with acts of treason. This part was interesting yet confusing for me, first because I don't know that much about the politics of back then and second because this book is written in a archaic language which left me at a loss too many times.. Also I'm not sure how I feel about the way the sex was described. I'm not sure if it's just Julius' fault but it almost felt.. well.. dirty. That was a bit strange. But again, it might be me adjusting to the language.

The romance between Harry and Julius was slow going which made it a lot more realistic. Julius might look like he's got everything figured out yet he is almost half a man with how broken he is on the inside. I LOVED him, he is smart and funny but mostly witty. He has such a big heart even though he plays at being careless and carefree.

I was partial to Harry. He was between the hammer and the anvil and yet he felt, as Silas said - selfish. He wanted Julius he wanted his grandfather's money and he wasn't willing to pay the price for choosing only one. Yet he grew up a lot in these few months learned about what it means to be a gentleman but also not to put ALL of his past behind. He was a good friend to Silas even if he left him behind for his family's money and also to Verona once they became friends. 

Richard and his band of "Merry Men" were interesting together. I can't wait for the next two books in the series, one of Dominic and the other of Richard. Actually the Dominic romance starts even before the timeline of this one so I'm intrigued to how it will play. It sounds like a REALLY difficult relationship! and i'm not going to say more not to spoiler.

I really enjoyed this one. It was a difficult read - language wise, and also too slow at the beginning and yet I LOVED the way it developed and ended.

Read on:
2-5 October 2017

Society of Gentlemen is a HIGHLY recommended Historical MM Romance series by K.J. Charles. It follows the Richardians' a group of high born (or rich) gay man in London of the early 1800s. Lord Richard Vane is their leader, he and his valet David Cyprian allows them to live their lives in relative ease but politics and scandals are never far away. There's a bit of politics (more in the first two novels) but mostly there are love stories that are the best match even if at first glance seem unlikely.

The first novella was published in an Anthology, it was a sexy read mostly and a nice add to the series. These ones MUST be read in order, the 1st and 2nd ones sharing most of the timeline and the third concluded the series perfectly - I keep close to my heart as one of the best books I've ever read. Richard and David are RIGHT THERE from the start, making everything possible but for them to be a couple on their own.. well.. I won't say more..

KJ gifted us with two free reads (both can be downloaded through her website). First is a deleted scene from the 2nd installment of a conversation between Slias and David. In the second we get to meet the guys again a year and a half after the end of the 3rd novel.  


0.5. The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh [& Francis Webster] (Published 27 October 2015*) ★
1. A Fashionable Indulgence [Harry Vane & Julius Norreys] (Published 11 August 2015) 
2. A Seditious Affair [Silas Mason & Dominic Frey] (Published 15 December 2015) ★½
[ 2.5 A Confidential Problem [Silas Mason & Dominic Frey] (Published 1 April 2016) ]
3. A Gentleman's Position [Lord Richard Vane & David Cyprian] (Published 5 April 2016) ★
[ 3.5 A Private Miscellany (Published 20 December 2016) ] 

* Originally published in the "Another Place in Time" Anthology (1 October 2014)

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