cover image A Rulebook for Restless Rogues

A Rulebook for Restless Rogues

Jess Everlee. Carina Adores, $18.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-335-68000-6

Everlee’s fabulous second Lucky Lovers of London Victorian romance (after The Gentleman’s Book of Vices) takes the series to new heights. It follows boarding school friends David Forester and Noah Clarke in their post-school life as, respectively, the proprietor of a “molly house,” an underground queer club, and an utterly respectable tailor on Savile Row. In-depth historical details enhance a classic friends-to-lovers tale as the men navigate Victorian social mores. Most refreshing is Everlee’s commitment to portraying gender fluidity in her characters—several of whom are drag queens—which not only make the characters themselves satisfyingly complex and endearing but also makes the sex scenes more interesting and intense. Gratifying also is the refusal to create unnecessary conflict between the main characters: instead, Everlee lets the men work together to overcome outside obstacles, a far more gripping and, in the end, satisfying arc. Equally sweet and steamy, this will delight Everlee’s fans while enticing many new ones. Agent: Laura Zats, Headwater Literary. (July)