‘Gentleman’s Position’ adds to KJ’s impressive position in genre
KJ Charles has positioned herself to earn more fans in historic gay romance with the upcoming release of “A Gentleman’s Position.”
As I waded into the third novel in the Society of Gentleman series, I was a bit like the blind test in a study. By that I mean I had no idea what I’d be getting into. I’d heard of KJ Charles, of course. I knew she was a well-loved author. But I’d never read any of her books, not even the earlier books in the series.
Admittedly, I played a bit of catch up in the first few page as references were made to a variety of characters I would have known if I’d read the earlier novels. But I read on, and once I got past the first few pages, it didn’t matter — because the two protagonists in this book captivated me.
KJ Charles brought Lord Richard Vane and his valet David Cyprian to life with amazing skill, drawing on an interesting contrast of principles and prejudices of the time period. The conflicts in the story line very much reflected the characters’ inner beliefs. Unlike some poorly developed romances, where you want to throttle the characters and tell them to just talk to each other and every problem will be solved, the conflicts between Vane and Cyprian were more complex.
Lord Richard Vane is an aristocrat who believes in his principles to the exclusion of everything else, even his own heart. The man wrestles with his desires, and ingrained prejudices, as he falls for his valet. David Cyprian, on the other hand, rose from very low prospects to become the most admired valet in Society, and he uses a combination of cleverness and manipulation — sometimes quite illegal manipulation — to fulfill all of Vane’s wishes. Still, he very much has his own set of principles that guide his actions throughout the novel.
David Cyprian is really the star of this novel. He’s an amazingly smart, strong character. While he’s first seen as a servant who only wishes to please his lord, he evolves over the course of the story to reveal a cunning, resilient young man who is very much his own master.
Through it all, KJ Charles sets a pace that keeps you turning the page, alternatively hopeful and pained by the push and pull of their romance.
“A Gentleman’s Position” has everything you’d want out of historical romance: impressive interweaving of historical themes and language; a heart-wrenching love story; and powerful, passionate love scenes that make you desperate to see these two men get their happy ending.
KJ Charles has definitely positioned herself to gain more fans with this beautifully written novel, starting with me.
Note: I was given a free advance copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.