A Fashionable Indulgence by K.J. Charles

(Society of Gentlemen, #1)

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.

I have a K.J. Charles thing - seriously, my favorite romance novelist, and I usually don't do favorites of any kind, any format, any media, any genre. She's clearly the winner for me with this, though, because how could I not fall head over heels with Think of England, get glued to the trilogy of The Magpie Lord and chuckle at the humor and strangeness that is The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal? She does historical m/m like no other so I couldn't wait to jump into this one.

While I didn't like it quite as much as Think of England and The Magpie series, it's still - of course - a winner. There's a lot going on in this story, taking place as Harry finds his way through inheritance into upper society, falls in love, falls into family ties and betrayals while fighting off sedition and protecting friends from the street who illegally fight back.

The relationship makes sense - they have weeks to get to know each other and fall for personality, not insta-lightning-unrealistic lust. The whole Ricardian crew rocks - like the idea of the upper style secret man-club. Their relationship tugs on the heartstrings big time - I didn't feel as much pizazz bedroom wise as some of her other books and agh on some of the frank dialogue - but it still of course works. I love all her couples so far.

At first I didn't dig Julius - actually to the point to where he was a turn off. This has never happened to me before with one of her books. I fell for him eventually when his personality did a turn around, but it takes me awhile to thaw to him. Harry was always fun and I fell for him from page one.

Besides the relationship, there's a big over-arching plot of him not being discovered for not being a real gentleman, the dangers of his background and rioter parents, and where he should let his loyalties lie when it fights between money and morals. Like Charles other stuff, this is a romance with a story as well as a heart, not just random love scenes thrown together in a nauseating stew mix.

I can't wait until the next book comes out because it's going to focus on Silas (dreamy) and Dominic (intriguing). It's going be a little bit of the D/s feel I saw in the Magpie Lord. The times will overlap so I hope we get to see their first meeting and whole story while going toward the future. I was hooked on them from the scenes they had in this book alone. The huge bonus is that book will already be coming out this year - December, you just got even more exciting.

   Book Quotes:

“I should rather be a loyal liar than an honest traitor.”

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