An Unsuitable Heir (NeRdyWYRM’s Review)


review master
Title: An Unsuitable Heir (Sins of the Cities, #3)
Author: K.J. Charles
Publisher: Loveswept
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Genre(s): Historical Romance
Page Count: 211 pages
Reviewed by: NeRdyWYRM
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Blurb:

A private detective finds passion, danger, and the love of a lifetime when he hunts down a lost earl in Victorian London.

On the trail of an aristocrat’s secret son, enquiry agent Mark Braglewicz finds his quarry in a music hall, performing as a trapeze artist with his twin sister. Graceful, beautiful, elusive, and strong, Pen Starling is like nobody Mark’s ever met—and everything he’s ever wanted. But the long-haired acrobat has an earldom and a fortune to claim.

Pen doesn’t want to live as any sort of man, least of all a nobleman. The thought of being wealthy, titled, and always in the public eye is horrifying. He likes his life now—his days on the trapeze, his nights with Mark. And he won’t be pushed into taking a title that would destroy his soul.

But there’s a killer stalking London’s foggy streets, and more lives than just Pen’s are at risk. Mark decides he must force the reluctant heir from music hall to manor house, to save Pen’s neck. Betrayed by the one man he thought he could trust, Pen never wants to see his lover again. But when the killer comes after him, Pen must find a way to forgive—or he might not live long enough for Mark to make amends.


Didn’t Swing My Trapeze

Yeah, well, the story was decent, but it just didn’t swing my trapeze, make my socks roll up and down, float my boat … you get the drift. The whodunit was too predictable and even though I didn’t really know who was doing the killing for a while, I knew who was behind it. And then the murderer slipped up and I caught it out right away, so I was disappointed.

I was also not really enamored with Pen’s character. I was a little confused as to where he stood off and on. Gender-fluid? Transgender? Back and forth I went for most of the book until it became a little more clear overall. I’ve read a lot of titles this week with characters that fit either or both of those “labels” for lack of a better word and this one did the least successful job of explaining it to the reader.

I don’t know. There were things to like about it, there truly were. And maybe I just have a hard time with gay historicals because it doesn’t seem like the vitriol and censure the characters do encounter fits what would have actually happened back then, so it tweaks my sense of realism. Like I said, I don’t know. I enjoyed the story itself but just couldn’t suspend all disbelief to really get into it. It also didn’t make me want to backtrack and read previous stories from the series. Take from that what you will.

This review cross-posted at Goodreads.
Other reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be read here.

Images (when present) may be subject to copyright.


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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of An Unsuitable Heir (Sins of the Cities) provided by Loveswept in exchange of an honest review.

Author

I am a life-long reader and an avid learner. I remember reading books without pictures when I was about four, and raided every title on my parents’ full and intimidating book shelves—well, the ones they would let me read, anyway—from then on. Characters written by authors like Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Robert Jordan, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Raymond E. Feist, Mercedes Lackey, Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, and Anne McCaffrey were my childhood playmates.

Back then, I went nowhere unless I had a book in my hand. While the rest of my generation was shifting from cassettes to CDs and from Atari to Nintendo, Sega, and Playstation, I spent my allowance on Myth & Magic pewter figurines and on books at the Stars and Stripes bookstore. These days I don’t have a book in my hand anymore, at least not the printed variety. Instead, it’s any device with a Kindle app.

I stubbornly held on to the printed page until a military move weighed my book collection in at over a ton. Oops. Sorry-not-sorry, but I did have to exercise some pragmatism in that area, unfortunately. Now I only buy hardbacks from my favorite authors, the classics, or long-running series. Otherwise, I’ve surrendered to the times and our weight allowance and have gone all digital.

I stay strictly on the fiction side of the fence because non-fiction is generally too dry to hold my interest. I was always a scholar, and so have read enough textbook-like titles and required reading for school and college to last me a lifetime, thank you very much. So, non-fiction? No, thanks. However, barring non-fiction and biographies (ewww people), there’s not much out there I won’t read.

I have loved romance novels since I was prepubescent. Something about historicals and anything with horses, i.e., Native American inspired romances just did it for me. My grandmother was appalled that my parents let me read that ‘smut’ as she called it. I’d already justified my position on being allowed to read those controversial titles with a logical argument that there were a lot of historical facts in those books that couldn’t be learned in the classroom alone. And to this day, I maintain that stance. I have learned more from books, specifically romance and fantasy novels, than I ever did in a classroom.

~~wink-wink~~

My dad always said I was too smart for my own good. Looking back, he was probably right! I could logically talk my way into and out of just about anything. It’s served me well, but caused me no end of problems, too. That said, despite my love for the romance genre in general and the m/m romance genre in particular, there is little chance that a decent book of any kind will fail to catch my interest, and there’s nothing at all I’m unwilling to learn. So bring it on. I hope you enjoy my reviews.

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