Title: An Unseen Attraction
Author: KJ Charles
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Genre(s): Historical (Victorian)
Page Count: 247
Reviewed by: Lenalena
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A slow-burning romance and a chilling mystery bind two singular men in the suspenseful first book of a new Victorian series from K. J. Charles.
Lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer prefers a quiet life. He’s happy with his hobbies, his work—and especially with his lodger Rowley Green, who becomes a friend over their long fireside evenings together. If only neat, precise, irresistible Mr. Green were interested in more than friendship…
Rowley just wants to be left alone—at least until he meets Clem, with his odd, charming ways and his glorious eyes. Two quiet men, lodging in the same house, coming to an understanding… it could be perfect. Then the brutally murdered corpse of another lodger is dumped on their doorstep and their peaceful life is shattered.
Now Clem and Rowley find themselves caught up in a mystery, threatened on all sides by violent men, with a deadly London fog closing in on them. If they’re to see their way through, the pair must learn to share their secrets—and their hearts.
An Unseen Attraction is the first book in a trilogy set in Victorian London. It starts a little… mundane. Not quite so bad I’d call it boring, but it certainly isn’t overly exciting. Not even the main characters getting together (quite a bit before I expected them to) wasn’t causing fireworks. And that was okay, actually. Because it was very in character.
I really did love the characters. Clem is half Indian and probably is, what we would call nowadays “on the spectrum”. (In case you’re not familiar with that term, I am talking about a range of neurological disorders that encompasses autism, Asperger’s and some say even ADHD). I liked how this wasn’t just reduced to a few stereotypical symptoms, but that Rowley had to really work to understand him and couldn’t make assumptions. That he came to realize that one person on the spectrum can be similar, yet totally different than another person with the same affliction. Rowley himself is dealing with a lot of past trauma, and that makes for an interesting back and forth between the characters. The arguments between these two are relatable and understandable. Which is actually not that common in Romance, I find.
Once the mayhem starts happening, the pace picks up considerably and the books becomes more fun. It gets a little over the top dramatic at the end, but hey, for a Victorian novel (or a Charles novel) it is actually quite restrained.
One issue I had with the book is that it is a little heavy handed with the inner dialog explaining the characters to the readers. We’re not stupid, and I’d much rather ‘read’ the character from subtler hints rather than having them explain to me (several times) why they are feeling what they are feeling.
Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to the next installment!