Recommended Read, Review

Review: Wanted, a Gentleman; Or, Virtue Over-Rated by K.J. Charles (2017)

Heat Factor: Oh no! There’s only ONE BED! (Too bad we forgot to bring lube.) 

Character Chemistry: I completely bought both the immediate sexual attraction and the slowly burgeoning friendship. 

Plot: We must stop this elopement!

Overall: This is the perfect book.

Do you ever have that experience where you read the last page of the book and quietly close it and then just sit there holding it to your chest because you are just so satisfied with the universe? I finished Wanted, A Gentleman and felt like an ineffable glow had permeated my soul. Because this book is perfect. I have no criticisms. 

Theo and Martin are wonderful protagonists, both singly and together. They are both complicated men who agree to embark on a wild goose chase (and believe me, Miss Jennifer is nothing if not a goose) because of a mix of obligation and affection in Martin’s case and economic need in Theo’s. Martin’s motivations are particularly interesting; he was once a house slave for Jennifer’s family, and feels anger and guilt and gratitude and also maybe love for his former masters, who freed him and gifted him with £100 on his 18th birthday. Theo seems more straightforward; he wants that cold hard cash that Martin promises in exchange for his help, but he also has hidden layers. 

Even though this is a short book, clocking in at just over 100 pages, the plot device of sending Martin and Theo on a road trip gives them plenty of space to just be together. They have conversations about matters both trivial and deeply personal, which allow Charles to develop them as characters as they slowly reveal themselves to each other. Overall, the writing is really tight; there are no wasted scenes or unnecessary repetitions, and minor details reveal more than one might expect. 

Of course, there has to be some drama. The Betrayal genuinely shocked me, though in retrospect, it all made perfect sense given everything we knew about the characters. Luckily, the Rapprochement is beautifully executed and ties up all our loose threads nicely, but not in a way that felt too tidy. 

Bonus feature! Theo writes gothic romances under a pen name. Martin looooooves gothic romances, and has read all of Theo’s books, which makes for a hilarious little exchange about halfway through the book. 

Buy Now: Amazon

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