- STAR RATING: 4 stars
- PAGE LENGTH: 244 pages
- DATE PUBLISHED: February 24, 2021
- PUBLISHER: KJC Books
- CONTENT WARNINGS: Sexual content, Emotional abuse, Child abuse, Bullying, Homophobia, Misogyny
- IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: Any of KJ Charles’s other work, but for a dash of fantasy regency mxm romance, try A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske
Robin Loxleigh and his sister Marianne are the hit of the Season, so attractive and delightful that nobody looks behind their pretty faces.
Until Robin sets his sights on Sir John Hartlebury’s heiress niece. The notoriously graceless baronet isn’t impressed by good looks, or fooled by false charm. He’s sure Robin is a liar—a fortune hunter, a card sharp, and a heartless, greedy fraud—and he’ll protect his niece, whatever it takes.
Then, just when Hart thinks he has Robin at his mercy, things take a sharp left turn. And as the grumpy baronet and the glib fortune hunter start to understand each other, they also find themselves starting to care—more than either of them thought possible.
But Robin’s cheated and lied and let people down for money. Can a professional rogue earn an honest happy ever after?
I really don’t know why it took me this long to pick this book up. I’ve never not enjoyed something by KJ Charles. It’s a standalone. What could I possibly have to lose here? Well — I’ll argue with myself here. I must have saved this for when I really needed a book that I knew I was going to enjoy. The past two books I’ve read averaged a 3.5 stars. While The Gentle Guide to Fortune Telling didn’t rate a full 5 stars for me, it still hit so much better than those previous two books. I was saving this, clearly, for the right moment.
The story is rather simple — Robin and his sister, Marianne — are fortune hunters. They are nobodies — born in the gutter with no family left to speak of. However, they are both beautiful, charming, and quick-witted enough to wiggle their way into the hearts of the ton. There, they do their best to secure fantastically rich matches, so they can have the security of never having to worry about a meal or a roof over their head again. Only thing is — the young lady that Robin’s set his sights on is actually a sweetheart, with a slightly-overbearing uncle. Robin and said Uncle almost come to blows over a gamble…and an arrangement comes between them. Look — this is a gay historical romance. An arrangement is the best these two are going to get, if we’re striving for realism here.
KJ Charles must have been going for a Robin Hood retelling/reworking sort of feeling here, but it really doesn’t fit that story for me at all. Besides the names, there is very little in common with the original story. But, it didn’t bother me. I liked the characters, and the general story enough that it didn’t matter. Robin is something of a golden retriever — cheerful almost all the time, but desperately worried for his sister’s future. His sister, Marianne, is a panther in a petticoat. She’s calculated, charming, but ooo does she have a temper. I loved them both. Hart, the love interest of Robin, took some time to grow on me, but once we get the backstory, I was fully in. Their dalliances were hot, with a lot of extremely detailed dirty talk. If you’re into that, you’ll love this one.
I liked this one, but it didn’t quite tip over into the love category for me. I’m not sure why it didn’t quite hit the full mark for me, but whatever. I still really liked this. Four out of five stars!
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