JLG: October was really stressful for me, in terms of politics and worldwide events. So, comfort reading became a bit of a priority. For the next two months or so, please enjoy this ride through my adventures with the excellent writing of author K.J. Charles.
This novella was a delightful read, perfect for a quiet night at home. Charles continues to impress me with her seemingly effortless way of immersing me into England of the past, with the bonus of portraying nontraditional characters that history has otherwise tried to erase.
Vikram and Gil were a precious find, as two characters of color, both fully formed and natural features of a real London. (Many bonus points for bisexual representation, as well!) Vikram especially appealed to me with his complicated relationship between his dual identity of Englishman and India — it reminded me greatly of my own strange relationship with aspects of my heritage.
The relationship between the two characters is a delicious slow burn, as Vikram and Gil navigate resuming a friendship both had thought lost for over a decade. They are pushed together in the service of a fantastic missing person mystery, where both plots intertwine and satisfy at the same time. This story also explores, as the title implies, the pornography and erotica of the time period. It’s fascinating to see that even as time passes and laws change, some social interpretations and hang-ups remain.
I highly recommend this story to anyone looking for LGBT romance set in nineteenth-century London that goes far beyond white nobility.