An Unnatural Vice: Sins of the Cities, Book 2

K.J. Charles. Loveswept, $4.99 e-book (250p) ISBN 978-0-399-59397-0
After the meticulous, empathetic evocation of two quiet men in An Unseen Attraction, Charles piles it on thick in this Regency-era romance, pairing self-absorbed attention-seekers who dominate the room. Unsurprisingly, they clash titanically but can’t take their eyes off one another. Nathaniel Roy is an archbishop’s son turned atheist and journalist. Justin Lazarus is a workhouse brat who’s mastered a 19th-century grifter’s dream gig as a medium. Nathaniel begins investigating Justin, not knowing the charlatan’s all-too-material connection to a lost-heir drama unfolding in the lives of Nathaniel’s friends. The action here depends entirely upon the events of the earlier book. The romance is sexually explosive but Charles never puts in the work to make the protagonists’ exchange of revelations or character growth plausible. Like a lovely bit of clockwork, the story’s movements are precise and its figures are appealing, but readers can hear the mechanism ticking. Nathaniel and Justin are too abruptly swept into an emotional whirlwind after countless pages of antagonism that make it hard for the reader to like either of them or believe they like each other. Agent: Courtney Miller-Callihan, Handspun Literary. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/29/2017
Genre: Fiction
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