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.
I love K.J. Charles work — I’ve always found her novels to be the sort that you pick up and just cannot put down. They always take the reader on a fantastic and fun ride. She has a gift for drawing readers into relationships so that we just do not want to let go — which is a great talent and necessary for authors who want to write series. As an author, I really admire that. It takes a lot of patience, I think, and dedication, to carry on stories with characters.
I think that their romantic and intimate connection was done perfectly. Their communication was so excellent, born of both a willingness to take a risk and talk to each other but also their understanding of each other. Communication in sex is super sexy to me. And DAYUM if Clem didn’t impress me with his command and ease with giving Rowley what he wanted. So well done. Their dynamic explores how submission in a way that demonstrates great care and respect. As a sub, I always love to read characters who understand the gift that submission is, and also the gift of caring to meet your subs needs. K.J. Charles captured their dynamic in a way that was as easy as breathing. It didn’t over explain. It felt natural and so true to them and in no way didactic. Wonderful.
This book has a great story. The characters are unique; I really appreciated how each man had his own struggles, and the way they worked to understand each other, to navigate being together with care and love that they’ve struggled to get from the world. I also enjoyed the mystery aspect of the book. However, and this is why I had to give this one a 4, I feel like it was drawn out a little too long, and that Clem’s reticence to believe the truth of the facts presented, began to feel contrived after a while. The thing is, that when Clem balked at what the clues pointed to initially, it completely made sense. It was true to his character, to his way of thinking, to his way of processing. At a certain point though, personally, I became frustrated with it because it felt a tad like too much.
That said, there is no way I will not read the next book in this series. The main characters were fantastic. The secondary characters were compelling, and I would love to know more about them and their stories.
Jude Sierra is a Latinx poet, author, academic and mother who began her writing career at the age of eight when she immortalized her summer vacation with ten entries in a row that read “pool+tv”. Jude began writing long-form fiction by tackling her first National Novel Writing Month project in 2007.
Jude is currently working toward her PhD in Writing and Rhetoric, looking at the intersections of Queer, Feminist and Pop Culture Studies. She also works as an LGBTQAI+ book reviewer for From Top to Bottom Reviews. Her novels include Hush, What it Takes, and Idlewild, a contemporary queer romance set in Detroit’s renaissance, which was named a Best Book of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews. Her most recent novel A Tiny Piece of Something Greater was released in May of 2018. Shadows you Left, a co-written novel with Taylor Brooke will arrive spring of 2019 from Entangled Press.