Saturday, March 4, 2023

BOOK REVIEW: The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen by KJ Charles

 I received this book for free from Netgalley. That did not influence this review.

The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen by KJ Charles is a page-turner of a Regency Romance adventure. 

Sir Gareth Inglis was abandoned by his father (a baronet) and raised by a begrudging, unscrupulous uncle. After his father’s death, Gareth inherits the title and a property in the marshes of Kent, along with a half-sister he didn’t know he had. He soon discovers the marshes are riddled with smugglers, and his part of the county is controlled by the smuggling family, the Doomsdays.

Joss (Josiah Doomsday) is the head man. Aside from coordinating the smuggling operation, he also has to rule his unruly family. Although he has always worked alongside his strong-willed mother, they are heading for a clash since she continues to throw her support behind her useless younger brother Elijah, who wants all the perks of being head man (mainly free alcohol) while doing none of the work. And now, there is a new baronet in town, one who disapproves of smuggling.

The difficulty is: Gareth and Joss have met before. At a tavern in London where men strive for anonymity and sneak off into private rooms. Their secret could spell ruin for them both. They come from two different worlds and have very different outlooks. But the attraction between them brings them back together. Together they must deal with a missing fortune and violent men who wrongly believe Gareth knows where it is and will do anything to wrench it from him.

This is a well-crafted, high-stakes adventure with sympathetic protagonists and believable villains. The love story is compelling and emotionally satisfying. The sex is graphic but not gratuitous. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

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