Title: An Unseen Attraction
Author: KJ Charles
Release Date: February 21, 2017
The Breakfast Octopus’ rating: A
Thanks to Loveswept for this review copy!
Lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer prefers a quiet life. He’s happy with his hobbies, his work—and especially with his lodger Rowley Green, who becomes a friend over their long fireside evenings together. If only neat, precise, irresistible Mr. Green were interested in more than friendship. . . .
Rowley just wants to be left alone—at least until he meets Clem, with his odd, charming ways and his glorious eyes. Two quiet men, lodging in the same house, coming to an understanding . . . it could be perfect. Then the brutally murdered corpse of another lodger is dumped on their doorstep and their peaceful life is shattered.
Now Clem and Rowley find themselves caught up in a mystery, threatened on all sides by violent men, with a deadly London fog closing in on them. If they’re to see their way through, the pair must learn to share their secrets—and their hearts.
I’ve read and loved everything that KJ Charles has written, but An Unseen Attraction is a standout. Rowley and Clem are adorable together and separately, while each battles his own demons. I love that Charles intentionally brings in some of the diversity that was absolutely present in Victorian England; it’s too easy to find historical fiction that seems like historical fantasy with no people of color anywhere to be found.
Clem has a disability is handled respectfully, without seeming like shorthand for anything else, and without trying to be just another way to distinguish someone. The conflict and mystery central to the story keep things moving along, and I can’t wait to see the continuation of the story in the next book.
As a point of interest, my mind’s eye kept trying to paint Rowley as the half-Indian, half-white character, and Clem as the white guy. I can’t tell why, exactly, but it makes me want to examine my own ideas of race a little more closely.
An Unseen Attraction is out now from Loveswept and will be followed in June by An Unnatural Vice. If you can, get the Audible version of An Unseen Attraction as well- Matthew Lloyd Davies’ voice is divine!