Title: An Unseen Attraction
Author: K.J. Charles
Series: Sins of the Cities
Genre: M/M Victorian Romance
A slow-burning romance and a chilling mystery bind two singular men in the suspenseful first book of a new Victorian series from K. J. Charles.
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.
Source: Bought it
The foggy streets of Victorian London are brought vividly to life in this new series, where two slightly offbeat men are thrown rather against their will into the midst of a dark and dangerous mystery. The romance is tentative at times, slow-moving yet passionate when necessary and I loved both Clem and Rowley in their very different ways.
Rowley is a quiet, unassuming taxidermist who prefers not to talk about his past. He’s rather short, wears thick spectacles and sees himself as plain and nothing special. The highlight of his day is taking tea with Clem, who runs the boardinghouse he lives in. Clem is tall, beautiful, and prefers not to talk about his family. He is also regarded as clumsy, naive and perhaps too simple and trusting by others who fail to understand him (and his dyspraxia). The highlight of his day is taking tea with Rowley.
The two of them might not seem to have a lot in common aside from both living in the same house, but I loved how they were together. Rowley is soothing for Clem and is patient without being patronising, while Clem sees sides of Rowley that he himself doesn’t believe exist. They are adorable together, especially when Rowley’s kink makes itself known. It might take a while for them to actually acknowledge their attraction, but I loved their friendship both before and after things change between them.
But this is not just a romance, there is also a mystery to be unravelled in the heart of this tale. One that starts with murder and gets worse. True, it took a while for the mystery to really take hold, some aspects of it seemed rather obvious and a certain character’s refusal to countenance important theories was a bit frustrating at times, but it also grew delightfully complicated in a (slightly silly) sensational fiction way, with a few truly exciting moments of action and danger that had my heart racing.
Yes, there were times when I felt like things were being dragged out a little unnecessarily, but it also brought out some interesting reactions from the main characters that helped me understand both of them a lot better. Plus it’s clear that not everything is over just yet and there are a few threads still to be picked up in future books.
So in all, I liked this. The characters are far from run-of-the-mill, the romance is both passionate and lovely, the setting is fabulously detailed and the mystery was intriguing enough to hold my interest – while also teaching me a few things I didn’t know about Somerset House. I’ll definitely be looking out for the next book and can’t wait to learn more about Clem’s friends at the Jack and Knave.
An Unseen Attraction is Out Now.
Visit K.J. Charles for more details.