UPCOMING READS: The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen by KJ Charles

(courtesy Paste Magazine (c) Sourcebooks Casablanca)

Abandoned by his father as a small child, Sir Gareth Inglis has grown up prickly, cold, and well-used to disappointment. Even so, he longs for a connection, falling headfirst into a passionate anonymous affair that’s over almost as quickly as it began. Bitter at the sudden rejection, Gareth has little time to lick his wounds: his father has died, leaving him the family title, a rambling manor on the remote Romney Marsh … and the den of cutthroats and thieves that make its intricate waterways their home.

Joss Doomsday has run the Doomsday smuggling clan since he was a boy. His family is his life … which is why when the all-too-familiar new baronet testifies against Joss’s sister for a hanging offense, Joss acts fast, blackmailing Gareth with the secret of their relationship to force him to recant. Their reunion is anything but happy and the path forward everything but smooth, yet after the dust settles, neither can stay away. It’s a long road from there—full of danger and mysteries to be solved—yet somehow, along the way, this well-mannered gentleman may at last find true love with the least likely of scoundrels. (courtesy Paste Magazine (c) Sourcebooks Casablanca)

As a gay man who spent much of my life never seeing myself represented in the books I read prodigiously, it has been refreshing, exciting and a whole lot of wonderful to see so many queer influences appear in literature.

Another welcome addition to this growing pile of queer storytelling is the work of writer KJ Charles, who has gifted us the Charm of Magpies series and now, thanks to an exclusive reveal by Paste magazine, the upcoming The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen which releases 7 March 2023.

It is hoped that this enticing story of love, danger and mystery will form a long-running series, though in an interview with Paste, Charles says:

There’s a second book set some 13 years after the first (A Nobleman’s Guide to Seducing a Scoundrel). I don’t have any more contracted, but there’s a couple of stories I would like to tell, so…we’ll have to see about that!

So, it’s case of wait and see on that front but even so, we will get at least two books in this series which looks to have everything you could want from a romance series, especially one with a queer sensibility which reminds us once again that the “Love is love” mantra is not simply a catchy slogan but vital truth that it is great to see realised in an enticing read.

Roll on March next year!

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