An Unnatural Vice By K.J. Charles

Book Review

Impressions
My first time reading this author and I am going back to the well. Her descriptive language pulled me into the world of a London that has fascinated me. This is a view of the raw unvarnished realities of a time when monochrome morality was worsen by pollution leaden fog and “poor houses”. I am in London. Slipping and sliding on fog-wet pavers and stepping onto high kerbs.

This writing developed beautifully with its careful transition to faith fulfillment and an unrepentant love between two men who are polar opposites.

Seduction

“The sane, sensible, lawyer part of Nathaniel’s mind was screaming Danger! But it was being drowned out by the blood pounding in his ears. Lazarus’s slightly parted lips, those wicked eyes, the scruffy half-grown beard, all of those were making his mouth dry, but it was the sheer unrelenting will of the man opposite him that was turning attraction into urgent need.” – An Unnatural Vice

Halfway through the read and my favorite character is Justin Lazarus. His seduction of Nathaniel is haunting. Justin’s jaunty arrogance that belies self-hate and extreme cynicism, for me, was heart stealing. It seems Nathaniel’s notice of the charlatan’s unusual and perhaps uncanny good looks begin this tale of love and self-discoveries. This was a story begun in a drawing room on Hanging Sword Alley and it began nicely for me.

It is one thing to include jargon of period and culture and another thing completely to weave it into the read in ways that add ambiance. It is wonderful to receive an education while being seduced between the covers of this book.

Of course, this is also a tale that never seems to grow old, the seeming endless breach between the obstinacy of conservative ideologies versus preachers of neo-progression

Story/Plot/Conflict

Something is definitely afoot when bodies are showing up at his friend’s door and family heads are mysteriously committing suicide. Of course, it’s in Victorian England where upstanding people do these things when scandal knocks at the door. But the wealthy journalist and family friend Nathaniel decides to right the wrongs and in the process finds his world, reshaped.

He must obtain the assistance of the London Seer. Born of the gutter and abandoned at birth Justin Lazarus is a self-made man who profits as an unapologetic lair and cheat. Preying on the lonely and bereft, he enters Nathaniel Roy’s life. Antagonism, mutual want, and uncontrolled passions change them both…but at what cost.

My Main Characterizations

Nathaniel Roy (Nathan Royston) He is rich, powerful, large in statue, and filled to the brim with conservatism. Nathaniel felt only contempt for this charlatan that would use the pain of other’s loss as a tool to extort monies. But his empty heart is rapidly filling with the scent of Justin.

Justin Lazarus slight of built with uncanny grey eyes he exemplifies how a man coming of age in the wretched slums can find his own path to fame and riches. Unapologetic love allows him an escape from self-destruction and the discovery of self-worth.

Critiques
Put simply…this is good stuff and a good read. Thank you K.J. Charles

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