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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.7 out of 5
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All Book Reviews

  • A Great Comfort Read

    While the number of male/male historical romances has increased greatly from the days of Charles' first book, *The Magpie Lord*, I still can't think of many that really focus on the 'marriage mart' and navigating The Season, the time when aristocratic society is in full force. Even Charles' own catalogue -- when it isn't dealing in the supernatural or the fantastical --generally shies away from these conventions. A part of me really enjoys reading these kind of stories, and *The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting* scratched that itch very well. The main characters are a delight, but Hart and Marianne especially so. Both of them can be pretty awful, even towards people they care about. I really admire Charles' commitment to keeping the rough edges on these characters, and making me root for them anyways. As is the case with many of Charles’ novels, the entire supporting cast is well-drawn (well, except for Tachbrook and Hart's mother, which are the antagonists of this story). For all that Edwina and Alice don’t drive the plot nearly to the same extent that John, Robin, and Marianne do, they’re both interesting characters in their own right. The other characters get less time on-page and less development as a result, but they don’t feel two-dimensional. Moving past that, I feel like this story was very tightly constructed, and there was a really nice sense of momentum leading towards the Big Climax, which was everything I read these kind of novels for. I especially enjoyed all the ways the emotional dominos came tumbling down, and the way all the story threads wrapped up also felt very true to the characters. I definitely would recommend this book if you, like me, would desperately like to read something just like those incredibly tropey romances set among British aristocracy, but gay. And if you would like something else from this author that strikes a similar chord, Band Sinister is an excellent choice.

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    6 person found this review helpful

    6 people found this review helpful

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Intelligent, witty Regency escapism

    With all the general ghastliness that's going on at the moment I really needed some high quality escapist fluff, and you can't get much higher quality than KJ Charles, who to my everlasting gratitude sent me an ARC copy in exchange for a review. I finished the thing in two large gulps (the hiatus being caused by the unfortunate necessity to get some sleep), and am looking forward to reading it again at, perhaps, a more leisurely pace so I can savour it. The characters are well drawn with real depth to them, especially (of course) the main characters; Robin is a delight, and Hart is splendid too, especially when he's being curmudgeonly, and among the supporting cast I particularly fell for Alice the mathematical niece. As one would expect, the relationships between the MCs and their friends and relations become gloriously tangled, and there are two or three Really Nasty People who it is a joy to loathe, and who get their comeuppance in no uncertain terms yay huzzah. But the real joy is KJC's writing. She does wonderfully sparky and naturalistic dialogue, her plotting and pacing are exemplary, her descriptions and sense of theatre are pretty much faultless, she REALLY does her research, and her prose is to die for - assured and elegant and frequently very very funny. Seriously, the woman is a genius. She knocks spots off nearly every other historical romance writer, and if you haven't read her you need to start now! Try this one; you won't regret it.

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    4 person found this review helpful

    4 people found this review helpful

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Fun and fluffy but insightful

    I was lucky enough to get an ARC in return for an honest review. :) Another lovely book from KJ Charles. In terms of the KJC scale from fluff (Band Sinister) to angst (Lilywhite Boys series) this is almost all the way to the fluff end. There isn't zero angst, but it's largely confined to the character backstories, which makes this a great lockdown read. It contains a number of things I have come to expect from a KJC book: - interesting and sympathetic characters driving the action - a broader swathe of society, looking beyond the extremely privileged people who populate many Regency romances - although the main focus is an M/M romance, there are several female characters with agency over their own fate, and men who respect them - satisfying resolution which enables our protagonists (and indeed everyone except the antagonists) to move forward in their own ways, treating each other with respect - obviously a hot central couple romance In addition, there is a lovely central theme here about characters learning to value themselves and learning to be loved. Highly recommended.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Brilliant

    Once again, KJ Charles masters the art of relationships that seem impossible or implausible, making the reader fully invest in the eventual HEA, even where, as here, one HEA results in a broken engagement after the most divine series of deserved put downs. The other is faithfully rendered with missteps and forgiveness littering the path, and lots of pleasant steamy satisfying scenes resulting in a committed relationship. There is no one currently writing who so successfully captures the yearning to be loved and all the self-sabotage that gets in the way until those yearning learn true vulnerability and trust is accepted and returned. Thank you for writing such a captivating novel about a duplicitous brother and sister who set off to marry a fortune but settle for true love instead.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

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  • Delightful

    This Regency tale begins with two poor siblings arriving at London to take part in Society and to find rich spouses. The brother sets his sights on an awkward 18-year-old, but her protective uncle is on to him and tries to thwart him. My absolute fave type of romance is the one where at the start of the story I have no idea how these two will get together. “How on earth is this going to happen?” Oh I love this feeling. Such torturous anticipation, esp when I trust the author, and I know she’ll work her magic and get them together. And KJC did: the pairing got together in the most delicious way. The tension was through the roof, I was all tingly, and we were rewarded with some lovely hot scenes between them. One of the things I really appreciate in queer romances (and KJC is a master at this) are the well-drawn and fleshed out female characters. Women that don't exist just to be there but they have agency and goals and dreams. Alice and Marianne are fascinating characters, and I loved both dearly; Edwina was also excellently drawn, a mother making her decisions out of pure love, even if those decisions weren't quite right for her daughter. As side characters go, I did appreciate the reveal of how disappointing Hart's friend, Giles, turned out to be, which illuminated the depth of Hart's loneliness. In tone, The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting is a much lighter romance than KJC typically writes (no murder!) and it reminded me of Band Sinister in the way that it felt so soothing and comforting. Just sinking into a world where people like each other, where no one is cruel, where people might make some wrong decisions but only because they're driven by care. It’s a sweet, heart-warming novel, just a wonderful place to be when the outside sucks. I know I will return to it again—and very soon. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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