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.
Don’t miss any of the captivating Sins of the Cities novels:
AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION | AN UNNATURAL VICE | AN UNSUITABLE HEIR
And look for the enticing Society of Gentlemen series by KJ Charles:
THE RUIN OF GABRIEL ASHLEIGH | A FASHIONABLE INDULGENCE | A SEDITIOUS AFFAIR | A GENTLEMAN’S POSITION
Praise for An Unseen Attraction
“A particular pleasure of [K. J.] Charles’s work is spending time with her articulate (and often scathing) protagonists, who skewer their interlocutors and make agonizing admissions with fluency that is a joy to behold. Now, in contrast, comes Clem. . . . Rowley has no problem with words; he simply chooses not to reveal his well-armored heart. What they see in each other is a generosity of spirit revealed in everyday gestures.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“K. J. Charles is a superb storyteller and has once again crafted both an intriguing and engrossing story and a tender romance between two well-drawn protagonists whose unique personality traits inform their emotional and sexual relationships. Add to that the way she so thoroughly immerses the reader in the sights, sounds and smells of Victorian London, and the strong cast of secondary characters—some of whom will star in future books—and it’s fair to say that she’s got another winning series on her hands.”—All About Romance
Includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
A particular pleasure of Charles's work is spending time with her articulate (and often scathing) protagonists, who skewer their interlocutors and make agonizing admissions with fluency that is a joy to behold. Now, in contrast, comes Clem Talleyfer: neuroatypical, mixed race, and dependent on the begrudged help of others to maintain his painstakingly crafted niche as a boardinghouse keeper in 19th-century Clerkenwell, England. For eight months he has wordlessly courted one of his lodgers, Rowley Green, who has a taxidermy shop next door. Rowley has no problem with words; he simply chooses not to reveal his well-armored heart. What they see in each other is a generosity of spirit revealed in everyday gestures more often than not, considerate silence. But they are not immune to silence's corrosive effects, and when a fellow lodger is murdered, toxic secrets spill. Charles (A Gentleman's Position) indulges in a plot that's unabashed pulp, made poignant by its effects on the two bruised souls at its center.
Unusual couple, nicely suspenseful
Clem is a simple man with a complex history. Roxley also had a rough beginning and learned that a solitary existence was best for him. Clem runs the lodging at his brother's request, following his rules. Roxley is one of the few lodgers. They are an unlikely couple. Clem, handsome, tall, yet simple. Roxley is shorter, private, with an unusual occupation. There is an attraction between the two, but they are hesitant to act on it. Bad things begin to happen, murder, arson, brutal attacks, that show them the strength of their feelings for each other. As the suspense builds, I found it harder to put down the book, and I did enjoy the twists and turns of the story.
I received a copy of this story through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.
True to the period
Angst runs high as our nervous lovers explore the joy it is illegal and immoral to know. They come under attack from arcane villains in schemes unrelated to their vice. All in all, this suspenseful drama has sufficient romance to endear itself and sufficient lust to keep everyone interested.
An interesting and entertaining book.
I first became acquainted with KJ Charles writing through her Society of Gentleman stories and I loved each of those stories. An Unseen Attraction was a quite a bit different from those and is set in the Victorian period. The writing is great but the storyline and characters didn't connect with me quite as much as the SOG books.
Clem Talleyfer is a rather backwards type of fellow who manages a boarding house. Rowley Green is a stuffer (taxidermist) who rents a room and also has his shop in the building next door. They strike up a friendship but it is quite some time before they both realize that they are of the same persuasion (they like men).
Things get rather complicated when one of the lodgers is found murdered in front of the boarding house. Then the stuffer's shop is broken into and set on fire. While the story became rather complicated in places I found it entertaining and I never felt like it was difficult or a chore to read.
Although Clem and Rowley get a HFN (happy for now) the bigger mystery part of the story is not resolved and will continue in the next two books. I would not call this one a cliffhanger because I felt satisfied with how things were left for Clem and Rowley but I would like to know how everything else comes out so I plan to read the next books in this series.
A review copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley but this did not influence my opinion or rating of the book.