Title: Wanted, A Gentleman
Author: KJ Charles
Series: Sins of the City #1
Genre: M/M Regency Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: 9th Jan
By the good offices of Riptide Publishing
KJ Charles’s new Entertainment
WANTED, A GENTLEMAN
Or, Virtue Over-Rated
the grand romance of
Mr. Martin St. Vincent . . . a Merchant with a Mission, also a Problem
Mr. Theodore Swann . . . a humble Scribbler and Advertiser for Love
Act the First:
the offices of the Matrimonial Advertiser, London
where Lonely Hearts may seek one another for the cost of a shilling
Act the Second:
a Pursuit to Gretna Green (or thereabouts)
a speedy Carriage
sundry rustic Inns
a private Bed-chamber
In the course of which are presented
Romance, Revenge, and Redemption
Deceptions, Discoveries, and Desires
the particulars of which are too numerous to impart.
Source: ARC from Riptide Publishing via NetGalley
I found this to be a delightful, zesty read. It’s short and swift and unquestionably Theo’s tale, though he’s not your regular kind of hero, being often deceitful and underhand and out to earn a shilling anyway that he can. Martin is much more honourable, but sadly a little less interesting as Theo steals the show in every scene that he’s in.
Considering the subjects of slavery, freedom, anger and despised obligation that crop up throughout the tale, this is largely a light hearted read that romps along at a vast rate (fourteen miles an hour!), running from London up the Great North Road towards Gretna. There are plenty of delightful historical details along the way, not least the lonely hearts adverts and the writings of Dorothea Swann, though a few more descriptions of the countryside might have been nice. But the language definitely evokes a time and a place, even with Theo’s dirty mouth.
I liked both Theo and Martin, even if there were times when I wasn’t convinced about their attraction. Theo is by far the more developed character, with plenty of grubby grey shades to his soul, a talent for talking and a slight penchant for villainy. Martin by contrast is good and honourable, trying to overcome his past and his anger, though he has every right to feel it. I loved how Theo saw Martin for who he really was and grew angry that others didn’t do the same. It might have been nice to have seen more of why Martin liked Theo, especially given his first thoughts upon them meeting.
Overall, though, this was fun. The action skips along, Theo is never boring and it’s always wonderful to read a well-written, well-researched hero of colour in a historical romance. It might have been nice to have explored a few plans for Theo’s future, but for a short historical read this was wonderfully entertaining.
Wanted, A Gentleman is out January 9th.
Visit KJ Charles for more details.