Publication date: January 9, 2017
Genre: M/M romance/Historical
Length: 131 pages
Review Summary: An unusual historical gay romance bringing together a shady publisher and a stalwart merchant and former slave, from the reliably brilliant pen of K.J. Charles.
Londoner Theo Swann is scraping a dodgy living as the publisher of a “matrimonial advertiser” or lonely hearts ad sheet. Among the ads are cryptic messages between lovers, setting up secret assignations.
Martin St. Vincent is a former slave, now a free man and a prosperous merchant. His former owner’s daughter has been putting messages in Theo’s paper, and now she’s about to elope with a golddigger. Can Martin stop her before her fortune is lost and/or her virtue is compromised?
He enlists Theo’s help on a mad dash (at the stunning speed of 14 miles per hour) to the Scottish borders where underage young people can marry without their parents’ permission, hoping to overtake the fleeing couple before it’s too late.
A standalone Regency period gay historical romance from K.J. Charles.
Wanted, A Gentleman Review
There was a lot about this story that I loved. Theo is a funny guy and an entertaining character – slippery, and a little bit rat-like. Fun to read about. Martin is interesting and I loved the way that his background was brought out, along with his conflicting feelings about having been brought up kindly, as if adopted, by an English family, while in fact being their owned slave.
I also enjoyed all the period touches, which K. J. Charles is so good at. The personal ads, the staging post inns, the livestock market in a country town, the detail of journeys, furnishings and attitudes – all these were superbly done.
If I have a criticism, I wasn’t totally convinced by the romance, I guess. It was hard to imagine these two very different men having more than a physical connection. Theo’s moral turnaround didn’t totally win me over to him. I thought he would want somebody more exciting in personality, while Martin would be better with somebody more trustworthy, who shared his values. Still, it definitely works as a Happy For Now, and it gets a strong 4.5 stars.
I love K.J. Charles’s writing, and this was no exception.