Historical Fiction Books

diversity |”The Price of Meat” by K.J. Charles

1Author: K.J. Charles
Title: The Price of Meat
Series: –
Genre: Horror, LGBT Literature
Pages: 73
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I have the worst luck choosing books I’ll read before bed time. Like this one, for instance. I know full well KJC can write real terrifying things. Still I take it. I suspect by the title what it’ll be. I still take it. Can’t say I didn’t love it though, for I did.

About: At the heart of London there’s rot called the liberty of Alsatia, where King’s law doesn’t exist, and where the worst of the worst gather. For to choose liberty in Alsatia just to avoid death, well, let’s just say some would have their doubts about which fate is worse. Here, in the dark narrow streets teeming with violence and hunger, rule the so called Freemen, elite of this nightmare. Men who found a way out of Alsatia, and their way back in, without getting killed on the spot by the law. They provide food, and they can deny it too. But here, again, some might opt to choose death by starvation over the meat Freemen serve…

Johanna Oakley has no other choice but to survive in this kingdom of darkness, ruled by monsters that were once men. She has to save her beloved, but to do so, she must gain evidence on Freemen. If she can survive it herself, that is.

Mine: If you have any fears of being eaten or cannibals in general – steer clear of this book. It was horrifying, people get torn to pieces while alive, eaten then and there, raw (not that cooking a human piece would make it better, but you get my meaning). Other than this terror, the book is really well written. Author used the full arsenal of knowledge about what extended cannibalism does to humans, and the legends about men like Sweeney Todd too. It was great, terrifying, but great.

A great and scary read. Not the first of this kind among KJC’s books, so I’ve only myself to blame. The book gets 5 out of 5 from me.

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Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, F/F Literature, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Wanted, A Gentleman” by K.J. Charles

2Author: K.J. Charles
Title: Wanted, A Gentleman
Series: –
Genre: Historical Romance, LGBT Literature
Pages: 131
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

It seems I am nearing the end of KJC’s bibliography. Which is both fun and sad. Fun, because who doesn’t want to read everything one of their favorite authors ever wrote? And sad, because this means I’ll have to wait for any other book to be written.

About: Theodore Swann publishes ads in papers. Not just any though, no. The Matrimonial kind, the dating kind. Basically he’s the middleman in ancient Tinder published in papers. One of these days, while work went as always, a fine tall man walks in, demanding information on one particular suitor. For the said fox seems to be attempting to lure an underage girl of a very wealthy family into a marriage without her parents consent. But Theodore’s whole livelihood depends on him being discreet! Who’d ever write him if he gave up addresses to anyone who asked. To not tell is to get a very possible thrashing and never seeing this handsome man again. To tell is to risk everything. But Swann has a secret: he earns a coin or two on the side by writing cheap romance novels, and is very, very familiar with the villains. Enough to maybe, just maybe find a solution that’d suit everyone.

Mine: It’s a very short, not the very best, but certainly amusing book of an ad writer, who has a secret life of an author good only in his villain writing. I really enjoyed the simplicity of this book, it was short, fast, and didn’t beat around the bush too much, nor did it have a band of evil doers in a cabal. On top of that, as always, it’s the characters that made my day. KJC doesn’t recycle.

It’s a good, if extremely short little book. Not my favorite, but hey, not all books can be of Magpies and Murder, right? 4 out of 5, firmly.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Uncommon Reader” by Alan Bennett

1Author: Alan Bennett
Title: The Uncommon Reader
Series: –
Genre: Fiction, Humor
Pages: 120
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I asked for a recommendation, and got this. A very light, humorous read that I can recommend to anyone who is currently having a reader’s block. It’s cozy, easy, and short.

About: On one of her walks with her corgis, queen felt obliged to take a book out of a mobile library. She didn’t really want to, but it didn’t feel right not to get one. And after she did, it was a shame to return it unread, so she did. The next time she again felt uneasy, but luckily there was this ginger boy from the kitchens, likely there due to his complexion, who gladly helped her choose. And so it all began.

Her advisers are doing their best to misdirect her luggage full of books. They sneak away with the books she stashed away, and excuse themselves later as fearing for her safety, assuming it was some kind of a threat, a bomb maybe. They all think that reading is infringing upon her duties, to a point, that was also the last straw, where they send out the boy who helped her to get an education. Far away. Queen has to gather her survival wits, it seems, and make a decision.

Mine: You know what’s the most interesting thing in this book? The queen is trying to read as much as she can, in a great hurry, for she is old, she started late, and she feels she needs to catch up. To those unwritten measures we readers have. It really kicks the reader’s block in the shins, I tell you. And the book itself is written so smoothly, with such marvelous humorous situations, that you really do feel like taking up a book afterwards, or in between chapters (of which there are none, just like, maybe a page that ends with a full sentence).

It’s a very light read. A day’s worth for when there’s time, maybe two when there’s none. I’ll give it a 4 out of 5, due to slow start that started rolling with no breaks later on. Now, tell me, my dear reader, what are your reading standards?

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Funny!, Historical Fiction Books | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Diversity | Bloodline by Jordan L. Hawk | Whyborne & Griffin 5

1Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Title: Bloodline
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 5
Genre: Paranormal, LGBT
Pages: 244
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I don’t even remember when was the last time I’ve read a book from Whyborne & Griffin series by Jordan L. Hawk, but I do recall I wanted to do so sooner. After all, while not my favorite books, they are easy to read, and fun enough to get to and through. But here I am.

About: Widdershins, yet again, is under threat. And once again it is coming from the sea. Whyborne’s sister apparently knows something about it, so, while reluctant, for she never was all that kind to him, he agrees to come and meet her in a more secretive place. She likely hoped her adversary wouldn’t find her there, but as Whyborne and Griffin got to the place, all they found was her brutally murdered body. And Whyborne family drama doesn’t even end there. Distant family drops in, Whyborne’s cousins and such, all sorcerers came prepared to purge the city of which the very streets were built by a necromancer. They meet Whyborne with open arms. But warm feelings soon start fading once they figure out the threat is being called upon Widdershins by Whyborne family blood.

Mine: This was one of those rare books where side stories and dramas were more interesting than the main plot line. Main plot line achieved reminding me how much I used to love all the ocean creatures, meremen and mermaids, sea hags and whatnots. And how proportionally I dislike all of them now. But at least there’s Griffin and Christine, with their sense of humor – everything goes.

It was a good, fun, easy read, with great little story threads, and interesting thoughts there and here. I can give it a strong 4 out of 5, and I guess I don’t have to say it anymore, but just in case, yes, I do intend to continue reading the series. I always do.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Supernatural, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Band Sinister” by K.J. Charles

1Author: K.J. Charles
Title: Band Sinister
Series: –
Genre: LGBT, Historical Fiction
Pages: 224
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

KJC has treated us to a soft, light-hearted romance, so how could I possibly not read it? “Band Sinister” was my night-time read, something to take my mind off things so I’d not dream work, translations. Instead I finished it at 4am. I REGRET NOTHING!

About: Guy and Amanda Frisbys live in disgrace, at their respectable aunt’s mercy, her charity. She’d like the kids of whom not even their parents seemed to care enough, to disappear or if that is not an option – pretend to not exist by staying in that remote country side, away from London and her respectable daughters in need of good husbands. And so, while Guy toiled away, having nothing better to do, Amanda wrote a gothic novel of a Hellfire club, club of devil worshipers and evil men. And she based the club on a notorious existing club Murder. A member from that club just happens to have some infamous history with their family. And an estate nearby, where he and the club currently reside, doing hell knows what, with hell knows who… One day Amanda doesn’t return from her horse riding, and Guy’s hopes that she merely found something interesting get crushed by the return of the horse, but not his sister. For Amanda broke her leg, nearly bled to death, and is now guarded away from death’s doorstep in no other place than the Murder club house, yes.

Mine: Murder, as most Hellfire clubs that actually did exist in England, consisted out of people who thought differently, and therefore were considered strange, odd, unpleasant, or otherwise – disreputable. From men who were not born such physically, to people whose hearts love many and all, to democrats, free thinkers, political artists who are hunted mercilessly even in this day and age. So imagine such a club, all these diverse characters, suddenly realize they have to behave, because there’s a lady in the house whom they mean no harm, but might very well tarnish her reputation by such an appalling act as staying in the same house as her. It was hilarious to say the least. The plot was predictable, but in a good way, for you want nothing but the best for all those wonderful people written in here.

Loved it. I think this is definitely my favorite book by KJC after Magpies. And since I marked down at least two pages worth of jokes and good thoughts, I can give it no less than 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Funny!, Books: LGBT, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dracul by Dacre Stoker

1Author: Dacre Stoker
Title: Dracul
Series: –
Genre: Gothic, Historical
Pages: 512
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’m a little overwhelmed. “Dracul” by Dacre Stoker definitely made me re-think all the books about vampire Dracula that I’ve ever read. And it got me real interested in Bram Stoker himself, so I hope to find books on the man, not just articles online that I’ve read extensively for hours after finishing this.

About: The book, at least at the start of it, is a loosely biographical on Bram Stoker. He was a very sickly child, bedridden. At age seven he almost died of fever, saved in a wicked dream by their mysterious nanna Ellen Crone. After he woke up, strong, and even able to get up, all healed and cured, everyone denied any help from Ellen, and claimed he was cured by his uncle and his leeches. Only his sister Matilda believed him. To add to the mystery, nanny herself packed up and disappeared without a word or anyone noticing, leaving kids on a wild investigation full of nightmares and more questions than answers, up until they had to abandon the cold trail. Nanna Ellen was gone for good. But only a few decades later Matilda spotted her in the streets of France, not aged a day, and the nightmares began again.

Mine: The whole search for Ellen Crone reminded me of Kostova’s “Historian“, and annoyed me to no end. There’s a lot of clue following, and a lot of nonsense too, like memories where you can look upon something from a different angle. What’s next, you open a locked door and know what’s behind it, all in a hypnotic memory? Dracul was a very childish and childishly stubborn idiot too, clever in his ways, but making no sense in his actions. There’s a lot of the “you’ll learn to love me” action that bothered me to no end too. And then the whole book was redeemed by author’s final word, which again makes me wonder: is the joke that had to be explained to be funny – really funny?

I will give this book a 4 out of 5, merely because it made me think and research things on my own. Anything that can evoke action or emotion in you in a book – is a well made thing. But honestly, make sure you love gothic classics, and that you don’t mind Kostova’s “Historian“, before picking this one up.

Categories: 4-5, About Msg2TheMing, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Gothic Books, Historical Fiction Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rag and Bone by K.J. Charles | Rag and Bone 1

2Author: K.J. Charles
Title: Rag and Bone
Series: Rag and Bone 1
Genre: LGBT, Historical Fiction
Pages: 202
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

K.J. Charles just never fails me. Perfect books to get some quality rest, boost, and inspiration. A while ago I’ve read the half-book, prequel to “Rag and Bone“, and now I finished this one. And all I can say is that I’m happy I’m not done with KJC bibliography just yet.

About: Ned was already growing resentful of magic and practitioners. But that peaceful night he was spending with Crispin was faithful. He woke in the middle of the night with strange sound of singing coming from the other side of the building, where a different store was. So Ned got up, ready to roll up his sleeves and instill some manners into whatever hooligans were disturbing his, and his neighbors property and sleep, but upon opening the doors he found hell. There, on the floor, in what seemed to be silent hellfire, his neighboring store-keeper was burning to a crisp, with a disembodied voice booming in a song that no one else have heard. Crispin went to seek help among his colleagues, other practitioners, as reluctantly as ever, for they branded him an unsuitable practitioner himself, and a warlock to that. While Ned conducted his own investigation, left alone to ponder upon all the hardships magic has brought upon the people.

Mine: Oh damn, I want to know more about necromancy! And, if at all possible, I’d like it told by Stephen Day, for he and Esther Gold appear in this book too, with their hilarious banter, and terrifying powers. The detective plot was definitely KJC quality, meaning it was good, and twisted, and turned, and tossed you right off the track enough times to make you believe things that didn’t happen. A damn fine read with scary monsters, and scary magic!

This was a good read. Loved the characters, loved the magic, loved the system from within that we didn’t get to see in Magpie Lord books. 5 out of 5, no less.

Categories: 5-5, Books of Occult, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Queer Trade by K.J. Charles | Rag and Bone 0.5

1.jpgAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: A Queer Trade
Series: Rag and Bone 0.5
Genre: Romance, Historical
Pages: 59
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Yes, I have full intentions of getting through whole of K.J. Charles bibliography. I was also told that Rag and Bone series are set in the same world as Magpie Lord. So I started at the beginning, with “A Queer Trade“.

About: Crispin is a magician. An apprentice to an old and powerful warlock, who died a couple days ago. Yet the fact has only reached him today, which means he’s already in a lot of trouble. For the family who owns the house is getting ready to flip all they can. They crammed what books seemed important into a tiny little office, and were in a great progress of selling everything else away. They had no intentions on waiting for Crispin, after all, he should’ve known, somehow, that his master is going to die. So, for instance, papers with weird scribbles on the floor got sold to waste vendors. And waste vendors would then sell those to the market sellers, who will then proceed to wrap you produce in those papers. I invite you to imagine the dread that washed over Crispin at this realization: say, you bought a gutted, dead fish, and brought it home wrapped in a blood written spell paper that reanimates dead things… Yes. Chaos erupts, and magical police gets informed, and Crispin is indeed in one hell-ton of trouble.

Mine: As I was reading, I was dreading this is going to be one of those movie stories, where someone tries to get some kind of an object out of market, but copies just keep appearing. But KJC once again proved she’s very good as steering the plot through all the nooks and crannies, and not take the obvious road. It was a great fun. Made even better by appearance of Esther Gold, Stephen Day’s best friend. Really, love that woman. People should listen to her more, and argue with her less.

I really did enjoy this short little tense adventure with unexpected turn of events. So it gets 5 out of 5 from me, and I’m moving onto the full length book next.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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