An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities #1) by K.J. Charles

an-unseen-attractionRating: 3.5 stars
Historical; Mystery 
Publication day:
 February 21, 2017
247 pages  

Lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer prefers a quiet life. He’s happy with his hobbies, his work—and especially with his lodger Rowley Green, who becomes a friend over their long fireside evenings together. If only neat, precise, irresistible Mr. Green were interested in more than friendship…

Rowley just wants to be left alone—at least until he meets Clem, with his odd, charming ways and his glorious eyes. Two quiet men, lodging in the same house, coming to an understanding… it could be perfect. Then the brutally murdered corpse of another lodger is dumped on their doorstep and their peaceful life is shattered.

Now Clem and Rowley find themselves caught up in a mystery, threatened on all sides by violent men, with a deadly London fog closing in on them. If they’re to see their way through, the pair must learn to share their secrets—and their hearts.

My View: An Unseen Attraction is an interesting historical that goes with K.J. Charles’s style. As always, it’s well-written and detailed; perfect for the period and the mystery ahead. Everything from the weather to the clothing plays a part in the book.

This story can be considered a friends-to-lovers even when we don’t see much of the friendship taking place. The setup reminds me of a game of Clue; trying to determine where the murder was committed, how, by who, when, etc. There are players inside the boarding house and outside forces.

Some parts moved at a quick pace and others dragged. The sex scenes were a bit hard to follow and Rowley’s preferences, mixed with Clem’s responses were some sort of surprise. Almost like having stuntmen taking their place. Plus, they switched from confident to needy in a blink of an eye.

If you are a K.J. Charles’s fan, love historicals or mysteries, this story is for you. It’s easy to read an interesting enough for a single day read.

What I liked the most: The period’s details.

I wanted more/less: Less details about Rowley’s work and more interaction with other characters.

Who should read it:  Fans of historical mysteries.

ARC provided by Loveswept, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.


The Mystery of Nevermore by C.S. Poe

mysteryRating: 3.75 stars
Contemporary; Mystery
Publication day:
 August 30, 2016
216 pages  
DSP Publications

It’s Christmas, and all antique dealer Sebastian Snow wants is for his business to make money and to save his floundering relationship with closeted CSU detective, Neil Millett. When Snow’s Antique Emporium is broken into and a heart is found under the floorboards, Sebastian can’t let the mystery rest.

He soon finds himself caught up in murder investigations that echo the macabre stories of Edgar Allan Poe. To make matters worse, Sebastian’s sleuthing is causing his relationship with Neil to crumble, while at the same time he’s falling hard for the lead detective on the case, Calvin Winter. Sebastian and Calvin must work together to unravel the mystery behind the killings, despite the mounting danger and sexual tension, before Sebastian becomes the next victim.

In the end, Sebastian only wants to get out of this mess alive, and live happily ever after with Calvin.

My View: The Mystery of Nevermore is a mystery novel with gay characters, not an MM romance. But the relationship between Sebastian and Calvin do have the starts of a love story. My only complaint would be about the way things ended between Sebastian and Neil. It colored my view of Sebastian, and therefore, his new relationship.

I have read most of the Edgar Allan Poe’s stories mentioned, but it’s not necessary to in order to follow the developments in this book. I enjoyed the way the author mixed all the works to create her own. One thing they differ is tone. Where E.A. Poe is dark and sad, C.S. Poe is light and fun. I think it needed more mystery or more romance, though; to bring the story to the next level.

The mystery has some twist and turns, but I think the antagonist stays on the sidelines too long. I wanted to see him/her take a more active part/mention in the story from the beginning, and not just in the last part.

The author did an excellent job with the setting descriptions, Sebastian’s condition, and creating likable characters. We get to experience all the places, and each character plays an important part in the story.

I’d love to see the next book in the series being told from Calvin’s POV, or at least, both of them; either way, I’d read it. This was my first story by this author, and I’m definitely reading more from her.

What I liked the most: The characterization of Sebastian’s condition.

I wanted more/less: More mystery or more romance.

Who should read it: Fans of mystery novels.

ARC provided by DSP Publications, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.