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Historical M/M Romance Audiobook Review: A Fashionable Indulgence by K.J. Charles

A Fashionable Indulgence by K.J. Charles (A Society of Gentlemen #1)

Audio copy courtesy of Audible

Synopsis from  Goodreads
In the first novel of an explosive new series from K. J. Charles, a young gentleman and his elegant mentor fight for love in a world of wealth, power, and manipulation.
When he learns that he could be the heir to an unexpected fortune, Harry Vane rejects his past as a Radical fighting for government reform and sets about wooing his lovely cousin. But his heart is captured instead by the most beautiful, chic man he’s ever met: the dandy tasked with instructing him in the manners and style of the ton. Harry’s new station demands conformity—and yet the one thing he desires is a taste of the wrong pair of lips.

After witnessing firsthand the horrors of Waterloo, Julius Norreys sought refuge behind the luxurious facade of the upper crust. Now he concerns himself exclusively with the cut of his coat and the quality of his boots. And yet his protégé is so unblemished by cynicism that he inspires the first flare of genuine desire Julius has felt in years. He cannot protect Harry from the worst excesses of society. But together they can withstand the high price of passion.

Amazon kindle US/UK | Audible US/UK


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I'm a fairly recent fan of K.J. Charles, and I find everything she writes witty and charming. So far both her historical fantasy series and an Edwardian mystery I read proved to be very entertaining, and so as her high octane contemporary thriller.

This new series, A Society of Gentlemen, will take a little more time to warm up to, but I've no doubt, will be just as successful.

A Fashionable Indulgence starts with Harry working in a bookshop which secretly prints radical literature. He is a Radical at heart just as his parents were, but not averse to becoming rich and titled which is what might happen if his grandad who disinherited his rebel father deems him worthy. All Harry needs to do is learn how to behave like a gentleman, marry a good noblewoman and continue the family line.

Easier said than done. Essentially, this book reenacts Pygmalion/My Fair Lady on a more subtle and complex level. Julian Norreys who becomes Harry's teacher on a bet, is an epitome of an accomplished gentleman - elegant, confident, witty and striking. Harry is not only awestruck, he is plagued with untoward thoughts about his mentor the more time they spend together.

On the other hand, Julius, tired, jaded and in mourning after a tragic loss, is in need of inspiration, and his new project suddenly becomes his salvation. Harry is exuberant, drunk on life and new experiences, clever and direct. Julius can't help but fancy his pupil.

Both hide their thoughts not knowing if they share same inclinations until something happens to bring it all out in the open.

There is a slight mystery plot going on which I loved as it's not often the topic of sedition and revolution and problems English people battled with after the war ended brought up in Regency romances, but mostly the book is full of rich dialogues, both Harry and Julius's sharp observations and gorgeous background. The secondary characters are fabulous as well.

The narrator, Matthew Lloyd Davies (about whom I'm in two minds), certainly adds to the atmosphere with his stuffy upper class British accent, but at the same time he doesn't have much fluidity. He sounds the same as Harry, his cousin, his valet, or his grandad, which dampened my enjoyment from the narration. To my surprise and delight it's Harry who is driving force in couple's relationship, he is the catalyst of all changes.

Overall, a lovely quick listen, witty, intimate and comforting. Enjoyed it and recommend it as a start of a promising series.

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Я - искренняя поклонница творчества К.Дж. Чарльз, будь это её серия исторического фэнтэзи и эдвардианский детектив или полный экшна современный триллер, поэтому Модную Прихоть я читала и рецензировала с удовольствием.

Книга эта - начало новой серии об Обществе Джентельменов в Англии эпохи Регентства, и во многом обыгрывает сюжет Пигмалиона/Моей Прекрасной Леди.

Гарри Вэйн работает в книжном магазине, тайно печатающем радикальную литературу. Как и его отец с матерью он - бунтовщик и революционер, однако если кто-то предложит ему деньги и титул, от них он тоже не откажется. И такое предложение приходит к нему со стороны забытого деда, который лишил его отца наследства годы назад. Если Гарри выучит манеры джентельмена, женится на аристократке и продолжит родовую линию, дед впишет его обратно в завещание.

Джулиус Норрейс - эпитом элегантного, уверенного в себе, безупречного джентельмена, однако он дрейфует по жизни последние несколько лет, выздоравливая после потери брата-близнеца и ему нужен новый проект, который бы его вдохновил. Учить Гарри он задаётся на дружеское пари, однако быстро проникается к жизнерадостному, идеалистичному и прямолинейному ученику совершенно неджентельменскими чувствами.

Сам Гарри Джулиуса с его фасадом неприкосновенности, цинизма и тонкого юмора чуть ли не боготворит, но чем больше его узнаёт, тем больше его чувства превращаются во влечение.

Книга полна насыщенных, тонких, безупречных диалогов, шикарной атмосферы и прекрасных второстепенных персонажей. Отношения между главными героями честны, интимны и милы. К моему сюрпризу, именно Гарри, а не Джулиус берёт на себя ведущую роль. Рассказчик, Мэтью Ллойд Дэвис, своим чопорным британским акцентом добавляет атмосферы и в то же время, преподносит нам характер Гарри и многих второстепенных героев неудачно. Ему не хватает гибкости именно из-за такого яркого акцента. Я надеюсь, что его заменят в последующих книгах.

В общем, книгу рекомендую. Слушала с удовольствием, тема радикального движения масс в романах эпохи регентства мало раскрыта, поэтому добавление её здесь мне было необычайно интересно. Читайте или слушайте!

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