An Unseen Attraction by K.J Charles (Sins of the Cities #1)
Released: February 21, 2017
Historical M/M Romance
Reviewed by Mandi
What a cute and lovely story. As someone on Twitter said, it’s a gentle romance, and that’s a great way to describe it. We have two beta heroes in love, but stand up for each other when it counts.
Clem Talleyfer is a lodging-house keeper, meaning he is in charge of a houseful of tenants – keeping them locked up safe at night, and making sure his staff keeps a clean house. His half-brother Edward, twenty years his senior, owns the house and lets Clem work in it. Edward and Clem have a frosty relationship at best, and Clem does everything he can to keep his brother happy and an infrequent visitor. Edward and Clem share the same father, but Clem’s mother is Indian, making him feel like an outcast around all the white people growing up. Throw in the fact he is gay, and Clem lives inside a very quiet, and private world. He is most intrigued by one of his newer tenants however.
Rowley Green owns the shop right next door to the lodging house, and is a taxidermist. KJ Charles out did herself with writing this character. I feel like I could become a taxidermist at this point. Her descriptions of Rowley’s profession, the birds and other animals , the way it’s done – the shop itself. I loved every detail. Rowley loves to have tea at night with Clem in the parlor. Rowley is a great listener – and with Clem, that is needed. It’s not that Clem is super talkative, but Clem can change course in his conversation very quickly, and it’s just better to sit back and listen to all he has to say. Clem has a hard time with some things – picking up on hints, humor and sarcasm. Rowley recognizes this and is very patient.
As these two discuss everything and anything together over tea, a fondness develops. This isn’t a book where one passionately throws the other against the door and kisses him until he can’t breathe. This romance is more – methodically worked out. First they must carefully make sure the other is gay before doing any type of advance. But they talk it out a lot:
“I think I’d like to be lovers, though,” Rowley said softly. “What does it mean to you?”
Cleam leaned forward, reaching out, until Rowley’s fingers met his. He wasn’t entirely sure of his answer.
Although it sounds a bit dry, their chemistry and romance really worked for me. It did take me some time to feel these two together, but after a while it felt like they fit perfectly together.
He, Rowley Green, nondescript, quiet Rowley Green with his thick spectaces and peculiar solitary occupation, was Clem Talleyfer’s lover. Clem, who needed a quiet man, and who found Rowley’s yearning for passivity in bed not boring or lazy or selfish, but perfect. They were two such odd-shaped men, and they fit together so naturally, he and Clem, with his stunning eyes and his achingly open heart and his trust like a gift.
There is also a significant murder mystery, blackmail, family drama suspense to be held in this book. I don’t want to give anything away so I won’t go into detail, but the suspense is well done and takes over in the second half of the book.
A lovely romance – looking forward to book two.