Wanted, a Gentleman

K.J. Charles. Riptide, $15.99 trade paperback (155p) ISBN 978-1-62649-472-5
In this short, eloquent novel, randy adventures ensue in a lighthearted feel-good but historically plausible early-19th- century setting, with just enough intrigue to stay interesting. Merchant Martin St. Vincent, a black freedman, goes into the offices of London’s Matrimonal Advertiser to compel the publisher, white Englishman Theodore Swann, to disclose the identity of a correspondent to the paper who is pursuing the daughter of St. Vincent’s former owner despite her family’s objections. When the daughter and her swain try to elope, St. Vincent brings Swann on a recovery mission that allows the two men a great deal of private time together. Charles (Rag and Bone) elegantly uses period language to support the feeling of the era in a way that’s easy to read, and is honest about 19th-century race relations while meticulously avoiding clichés and stereotypes. The sex scenes between St. Vincent and Swann are always mutually enthusiastic but still have an aggressive, testosterone-driven heat. The eloping couple serve a plot role rather than becoming a secondary romance, but their characterization is strong. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/14/2016
Release date: 01/07/2017
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