Posts Tagged With: k.j. charles

book review | The Henchmen of Zenda by K.J. Charles

henchmen of zenda kj charles book coverAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: The Henchmen of Zenda
Series: –
Genre: LGBT+ Literature; Adventures
Pages: 232
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

Finally! At last I got to read The Henchmen of Zenda by K.J. Charles, a book for which I’ve read The Prisoner of Zenda. You don’t need to, but it definitely adds an amusement factor to already know a great deal about some villains, and then see them in KJC spotlight.

About the Book: A tale as old as time, two brothers fighting for a throne. Yet, usually it is pretty clear who’s the good guy in this all, and so you’d know whom to cheer on. But Jasper Detchard, Black Michael’s man, can see neither of them to be good or proper, fit to lead the whole country. Still, his job is to get rid of the opponent in such a manner that the blame doesn’t fall on Black Michael. Which turns out is not such an easy feat, even with a drunkard like the king of Ruritania. It’s just that they just had the king. And yet there he is, getting crowned. Almost like he could be in two places at once. Or had a doppelganger!

My Opinion: This is such a classic adventure book, full of sword fights, villains, princesses, courtesans, imposters, and so on. The plot is thick with intrigue, double-crossing, allies in unlikely places, brave souls, attacks on stormy nights, and consolation in lover’s arms. I loved this book, it was the best damn thing, and I will re-read it as time allows at last.

A great book. 5 out of 5, I’ll spare you the words.

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

book review | Any Old Diamonds by K.J. Charles | Lilywhite Boys 1

any old diamonds charles kj book coverAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: Any Old Diamonds
Series: Lilywhite Boys 1
Genre: LGBT literature, Historical Romance
Pages: 320
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Sometimes it’s great to read at nights. Other times I get very mad with myself. Reading Any Old Diamonds by K.J. Charles I was the latter. For you want to read more, you’re mad curious, but… Your ereader is threatening to smack you in the face if you don’t go to sleep right now.

About the Book: Alec’s father murdered his own wife, their mother, to marry an archetype of an evil, greedy stepmother. Driven by the woman’s fury he kicked his children out too, and cut them off on basis of disrespect. Alec’s older brother took it upon himself to support their sisters of whom one was very sickly and eventually died due to lack of care. Alec, seeking to relieve his brother of any burden, took up illustration. So, naturally, everyone were very surprised and angry with him, when he said he intends to make amends to father and ask for allowance.

But Alec has a plan. Via his sources he made contact with the best jewelry thieves, the Lilywhite boys, and has full intention of taking them right into the heart of his former home, where his dragon of a stepmother is sitting on all her jewels, and those of their mother. It’s time to pay the debts.

My Opinion: Alec had a very strong moral compass that eventually loosened up, but you could really see the struggle and the overcoming. And if character development like that is not enough, then just wait until that plot twist turns everything upside down. I don’t remember the last time I’ve read anything this tricky that I’ve not even suspected! It was very, very good. But, of course, I am a little bit biased. I mean, can you blame me? Jewelry thieves, criminals who are very good at their job… (recommend me more of those, preferably in modern times, please)

Yes, this was a great book, and I’ll happily put it among my favorites. It gets a firm 5 out of 5 from me, and I’m looking forwards to the second.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Romance, heists, historical romance, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

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

diversity |”Unfit to Print” by K.J. Charles

2Author: K.J. Charles
Title: Unfit to Print
Series: –
Genre: Historical, LGBT Literature
Pages: 145
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

You know, this book almost smells of noir detectives, fancy suits, cigars, and private-eyes. It isn’t that, but the vibes were very right.

About: Vikram Pandey is a lawyer doing a lot of pro bono work for people to whom not everyone cares to ever help: immigrants. He goes out of his way to find missing people, help those who found themselves in need to sell themselves or their services, and is honestly distraught whenever he finds them dead.

This time a missing fella leads him straight to a bookstore where his childhood friend works. It’s one of the bookstores that sell filth if you ask right: a forbidden romance novel, an accommodating picture or two. Gil Lawless got here through hardships and horrible experiences that began when he himself went missing. Vikram then thought him dead, so a blow after a blow, his day is getting worse. For on top of this all, Gil seems to be aware of the missing lad. He might even suspect him to be connected to one already dead. But he doesn’t feel much need to help, no. Nobody helped him, after all.

Mine: Oh wow, okay, I really liked this one. A dangerous investigation in KJC’s style, really worked well, since she’s not afraid to hurt her characters. So the fear you feel reading is very real: that damn ax might just land where it was aimed at. I really like this kind of a complex but not messy and absolutely sensible detective story. On top of that, if I didn’t sell this to you yet: there’s a very mean kitty cat named Satan.

A great short little book for a quick rest. Damn how I missed me a good detective, I didn’t even realize. 5 out of 5, for sure.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Detective 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

Bookish | Some Damned Help

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And this is just one of the reasons why I so love Lucien Vaudrey, Lord Crane.
I made the necklace there, you can see if it’s still available here: BLACKWOOD

|IG|

Categories: Artwork, Books: Everything, My Work | 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 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

Bookish | October releases that must be noted

While I don’t normally do release notes, I feel like there’s so many that I would like to read due to author, or will read due to author, or will read, because it’s a sequel to something I’ve read, and I have a hard time quitting series, I figured I’ll just go ahead and fill you in on what to expect too. Which, I know, is pretty darn pointless since you can go and find it on your own via goodreads!

Anyway. Here’s the octoberish spooky books that I know to work genre-wise:

  1. Elevation by Stephen King – I’m doing my best to slowly befriend King as an author. It’s going well so far, so I might even read this one.
  2. An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris – first in the new series “Gunnie Rose“. I don’t know if I’ll read it, I need to get over another set of books with Quinn in them first. But in the future…
  3. Shades of Wicked by Jeaniene Frost – first in new series “Night Rebel“. Don’t know whether I’ll read this one too, but I really do love her Dracula series, so I might just. Hey, maybe she even has her characters mention the Father in Darkness.
  4. Blood Communion by Anne Rice – another book in “Vampire Chronicles“, now better known as “Tales of Prince Lestat“. I don’t want to, but I will read it.

And then here’s for the things I am actually looking forwards to due to reasons:

  1. Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor – second book in Strange the Dreamer duology.
  2. The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee – second book in Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, this one about Monty’s sister.
  3. Band Sinister by K.J. Charles – I will read anything she writes.
  4. Shades of Magic #1: The Steel Prince by V.E. Schwab – apparently a prequel comic to Shades of Magic, I’d not miss this, nono.
  5. Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco – not a hundred percent sure yet if I’ll read this one in Stalking Jack the Ripper series, we’ll see. I’ve nothing against the series, but I’d rather have seen Hyde’s story, am not much into real life magicians.
Categories: book facts, Books: Everything | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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