Utterly compelling end to this Regency series

A Gentleman's Position (Society of Gentlemen, #3)A Gentleman’s Position by K.J. Charles

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh Richard, you and your sense of position and fear of abusing your power, you beautiful idiot. And David, brilliantly clever David, what a pair you made.

This book stunningly brings to a close Charles’ Society of Gentlemen stories with a pairing which is both utterly compelling and also extremely frustrating as society position and hide-bound adherence to the rules of the Ton keep two men so obviously perfect for each other apart.

There’s not as much overt politics on this one, it’s much closer in tone to a traditional Regency romance with the hero fighting to overcome obstacles in his way and learning a few painful home truths along the way.

There’s also more of a sense of adventuring in this one as the Ricardians must rely once more on David’s impressive talents to keep their secrets and see off once and for all an enemy of the group.

There were odd bits which I didn’t think worked quite as well as the previous novels when Charles used actual political events to twist her plot around. Richard’s trip to the wilds of Yorkshire to visit his estranged mother seemed simply to be a vehicle through which he and David could be alone enough to ‘have a moment’ rather than a necessary journey.

However, that’s the only real niggle in what is another wonderfully realised glimpse into a period of history which saw huge political unrest and change in Britain.

Oh and a final thought, Charles brilliantly places people of colour and a ftm transgender character right into the heart of this world with narry a second thought. Their skin colour and sexual identities are referred to only in passing and only as part of a deeper exploration of the incredibly dangerous line this group of men were following simply because they loved within their own gender.
I think sometimes it pays us well as a society to see how far things have changed and why they still need to go further and why we should never stop fighting for people to be allowed to love.

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A triumphant trip through Regency England

A Fashionable Indulgence (Society of Gentlemen, #1)A Fashionable Indulgence by K.J. Charles

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Regency period is my favourite historical setting and while this romance skirts much of the ‘traditional’ tropes found within a MF story, it does still include the might and power of the Ton, the rules and strict conventions which kept everyone in their place and touches on the beginnings of both political and industrial revolution which came from the North and inflamed the capital.

Harry is a wonderful character, fully torn between two worlds, noble born but cast aside due to his parents’ actions, brought back into the fold by a grandfather who must have an heir.
But Julius, he is a true Regency hero, both rake and reluctant participant in the trial of society, hurting from a personal loss more deep than most and unwilling to lower his guard.

These books are strangely erotic given that most of the action, outside of oral sex, happens in an aside, off page or in a fade to black. KJ Charles does well to convey the language of early 19th century lovemaking.

The Regency was a time of great change for Britain, and this is also well developed in the setting, with the French Revolution and Bonaparte’s rampage through Europe only a few short years before providing a critical backdrop to everything happening in London at that time.

The Peterloo Massacre was a tragedy, that the unarmed attendees at the speech calling for political representation were so brutally attacked and then made to be the originators of events is a shame that will always stain our history. Charles handles it with sensitivity and with dignity as one of the primary plot points in this story.

Ultimately, it is a tale of love, love at a time when men could literally die from it, from loving the wrong person. I look forward to seeing where else the series goes.

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