Thanks to an early review copy from Loveswept, I’m excited to be able to share my thoughts on this book before it’s released!
Title: A Fashionable Indulgence
Author: KJ Charles
Release Date: August 11, 2015
The Breakfast Octopus’ rating: A
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.
KJ Charles excels at writing m/m stories with plots that extend beyond her main characters’ arc, whether it’s magical malfeasance in her Charm of Magpies series or country house derring-do in Think of England, and A Fashionable Indulgence delivers. In fact, it does so almost too well. I liked reading about Harry and Julius, but I know the names of the couples who are going to feature in the next two books of the series, and I found my attention diverted by the secondary characters in this one. I think my fellow bus riders probably found it disconcerting to hear me mutter “I know who bruised him!” and “Thwarted love causes grumpiness; that’s why he’s acting so moralistic!” as we rode to work. The upcoming books’ timelines overlap with A Fashionable Indulgence, so I had the feeling that if I just looked a little harder, I could follow the characters off the pages of this book and into theirs.
That said, A Fashionable Indulgence is great on its own. Harry Vane is the son of two fierce radicals who believe fervently in the cause. Harry believes in the cause, sure, but he’d really rather not have to worry about arrest, flogging, gaol, or worse. Julius Norreys is the cool and unperturbable man set to transform Harry’s appearance and manners so that Harry won’t embarrass his newfound relations.