An Unnatural Vice (CrabbyPatty’s Review)

Title: An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the City #2)
Author: K.J. Charles
Publisher: Penquin Random House – Loveswept
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Genre(s): Historical Mystery
Page Count: 250
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

In the sordid streets of Victorian London, unwanted desire flares between two bitter enemies brought together by a deadly secret.

Crusading journalist Nathaniel Roy is determined to expose spiritualists who exploit the grief of bereaved and vulnerable people. First on his list is the so-called Seer of London, Justin Lazarus. Nathaniel expects him to be a cheap, heartless fraud. He doesn’t expect to meet a man with a sinful smile and the eyes of a fallen angel—or that a shameless swindler will spark his desires for the first time in years.

Justin feels no remorse for the lies he spins during his séances. His gullible clients simply bore him. Hostile, disbelieving, utterly irresistible Nathaniel is a fascinating challenge. And as their battle of wills and wits heats up, Justin finds he can’t stop thinking about the man who’s determined to ruin him.

But Justin and Nathaniel are linked by more than their fast-growing obsession with one another. They are both caught up in an aristocratic family’s secrets, and Justin holds information that could be lethal. As killers, fanatics, and fog close in, Nathaniel is the only man Justin can trust—and, perhaps, the only man he could love.

“An Unnatural Vice” is the second book in K.J. Charles’ Sins of the City series. The two books occur pretty much concurrently and you really need to read “An Unseen Attraction” first.

Nathaniel Roy is an impressive man – wealthy, handsome, sure of his position in the world and absolute in his convictions. Formerly a lawyer, he is now an investigative reporter and he’s got his sights on Justin Lazarus, a despicable low-life spiritualist who calls himself the Seer of London. Nathaniel is confident that Lazarus is nothing but a scam artist … until he attends a seance and Lazarus gives him the name “Tony” – Nathaniel’s beloved gentle merry-hearted partner who died unexpectedly 5 years ago, leaving Nathaniel mired in grief.

Every morning Justin Lazarus awakes – in his own bed, alone and safe – is a luxury. To say he’s known hard times is to trivialize his rise from the gutters, solely by the strength of his will and intellect. He’s got no sympathy for the gullible sheep who come to him for spiritual guidance “beyond the veil.”

Lazarus and Nathaniel despite one another, but their unresolved sexual tension positively electrifies their interactions. And when the men first fuck (“one of the better fucks of the nineteenth century”) it’s accompanied by endearments such as fraud, prick, bloody liar and “you self-righteous piece of shit.” But soon they are thrust head-first into the Talleyfer inheritance mystery (begun in “An Unseen Attraction”) and are forced to leave London and hide away in Nathaniel’s country estate to escape a truly frightening murderer who cuts off fingers and pulls teeth to get information.

Their interlude away is beautifully nuanced as K.J. Charles slowly reveals Lazarus’ background and we begin to see how these two dissimilar men may be perfect for one another. Like its predecessor, “An Unnatural Vice” solves a bit more of the underlying mystery of the Talleyfer heir, and it appears that the third book in the series (“An Unsuitable Heir” to be published October 3, 2017) runs concurrently with much of this book. I think this is the best book of the series so far, I definitely recommend it and can’t wait for the final book in the series!

Sins of the Cities

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Galley copy of An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the City #2) provided by Publisher in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas

I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend.

My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh … not in my wheelhouse, but I’m a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre.

Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more.

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