Review: A Fashionable Indulgence by K.J. Charles

A Fashionable IndulgenceA Fashionable Indulgence by K.J. Charles
Book #1 in Society of Gentlemen
Genre: Historical Romance

Publication Date: August 11th, 2015
Publisher: Loveswept

Synopsis from Goodreads: When he learns that he could be the heir to an unexpected fortune, Harry Vane rejects his past as a Radical fighting for government reform and sets about wooing his lovely cousin. But his heart is captured instead by the most beautiful, chic man he’s ever met: the dandy tasked with instructing him in the manners and style of the ton. Harry’s new station demands conformity—and yet the one thing he desires is a taste of the wrong pair of lips.

After witnessing firsthand the horrors of Waterloo, Julius Norreys sought refuge behind the luxurious facade of the upper crust. Now he concerns himself exclusively with the cut of his coat and the quality of his boots. And yet his protégé is so unblemished by cynicism that he inspires the first flare of genuine desire Julius has felt in years. He cannot protect Harry from the worst excesses of society. But together they can withstand the high price of passion.

Wendy’s Review

Upon starting Fashionable Indulgence, I was almost positive that I wasn’t going to like it.  Immediately I worried that the writing style felt too dry for me, and the characters felt too stuffy.  It was clearly very well written, just not usually my favorite style.  I was pretty disappointed, too.  It seems like most fans of M/M romance stories like K.J. Charles.

Thankfully, over the course of the read, it really grew on me.   Not only did I adapt to the characters, and pick up on the more subtle nuances of each of them, but I really began to appreciate the quiet passion of the story.  The world back then was so very different from our world now, and I’m actually really happy at how K.J. Charles didn’t just grab onto the sex as a way to tell the story, but kept the world and the characters true to the times.

It was very very hard to love men back then.  It was something that had to be conducted in the deepest of secrecy, and telling the story any other way adds a sense of inaccuracy to the history that would have been pretty unforgivable.

I have to add that I’m generally not a fan of politics in novels.  I know that there are times, especially in a historical novel, that politics are very important.  I like historical books, therefore I know I can’t avoid politicking completely, but it doesn’t mean that I have to find it interesting.  I don’t.  At all.  I usually get bored during that dialogue and tune out a bit.  However, in A Fashionable Indulgence there was just enough political intrigue to make the story better for me, which was a shock.  Perhaps it’s because I went into reading this book expecting more of a M/M bodice ripper historical romance, and what I actually got was more history than romance, and I personally really liked that.  It gave the book more meat, and I could never complain about that.

As far as the specific characters, Julius and Harry, I think my favorite was actually Julius.  Although, perhaps that’s because I really liked the way Julius was with Harry.  Harry was honest and he was charming, with a smile and a joyful glow, and Julius was none of that.  Harry brought a vulnerability to Julius that he doesn’t have at the start.  Of the two, Harry was the more relatable character, though.  He wasn’t the hero who fights brilliantly for the rights of the people.  He was afraid, and he just wanted security.  Pair that with Julius’s wit, and they were a really admirable couple.

Before leaving I want to just say that it looks like the next book is Silas, and man… after finishing this book and knowing what we know, I can not WAIT for that book!  I’ll be prowling Netgalley hoping for an advance copy so I don’t have to wait for the release!

Wendy’s Rating: ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  – B+

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