Tag-Team Review: A Fashionable Indulgence (A Society of Gentlemen, #1) by K.J. Charles

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.

Cupcake 5+++++ Hearts

I wish I could give this all the hearts.

This is my first K.J. Charles and I was captivated. I dragged it out because I didn't want it to end. I'm a fan of series wherein a cast of characters, that aren't blood related, are family nonetheless and if that cast of characters are all intriguing then I can hardly ask for more.

All of these characters are expertly drawn:

The unflappable Cyprian
The detached dandy Julius
The impetuous Harry
The imperious and compassionate Richard
The sensible and proud Silas
The intransigent Dominic
The "sapheaded" Ash
The resolute Verona
The asshat Gideon

That last one hurts a bit. My poor name kink took a hit. The only member of The Ricardians I didn't truly get a sense of was Francis. Otherwise, Charles breathed life into these characters with her magnificent words.

I was transported back to Regency England with its curricles, whist, settles, cravats, foxedness and waistcoats. 

The depiction of the seedy underbelly, the side that's overlooked and underrepresented in historical Regency books and I appreciated that. It's clear Charles researched the era by the presence of historical events she incorporated seamlessly into the story. There may have been a little heavy-handedness with the political rhetoric of the era, but I like politics and history, so I was happy as a clam. I don't mind saying that I'm crazy stupid excited for the next one in this series with Silas and Dominic.

Two words:  HATE FUCKING! 

Julius and Harry, the protagonists of this story, are thrown together on a bet. Harry must live up to his surname and to achieve that end he's to study with the crème de la crème of dandihood, Julius. I was drawn to Julius from the start. He's sharp, cutting, witty and outwardly haughty, but I got the sense underneath that bombastic exterior was a man desperately trying to conceal his pain. 

Harry is just the ticket.

He's exuberant and... he reminded me of a puppy actually. He's eager to learn, easily overwhelmed, in need of guidance, impulsive and prone to blundering. He was brought up in the stews to radically liberal parents who were both outcast by their families because of their ideals. In order for Harry to blend into the ton he requires a strict taskmaster and Julius is certainly that. 

Be careful what you wish for for you will surely get it.

The problem is the more time they spend together they become friends and have inside jokes. Followed shortly by Julius coming to realize he doesn't want Harry to change altogether. Harry, for his part, is smitten, but his grandfather's expectations for him to marry and produce an heir weigh heavily on him. 

Julius needed fucking, in Harry's opinion, and a lot of it. Biting Harry's shoulder, gasping into his ear, whimpering under his hands and mouth-no wonder he shielded himself against passion, when it undid him so completely. Undid him and made him.

A Fashionable Indulgence is more passionate than erotic. Julius and Harry are hungry for each other no doubt, but their relationship is built on a foundation of friendship and trust. Their relationship progression was dazzling. They are evenly matched in attributes and flaws.

The suspenseful whodunnit added to the upbeat pacing and I'll tell you I did not see that end game. Kudos to Charles on throwing me for a loop.

Highly recommend this entertaining and charming initial book to what's sure to become a favorite historical series.

He kissed with such precious care, as if every time was a gift, as if to be together was a small victory to be celebrated.


Regency era through the mighty pen of K.J. Charles. 

My favorite historical period written by one of my favorite authors? You know I was all over that.
This wasn’t fabulous on-dit with the Ton and clandestine meetings at molly houses (I like those too) Charles brought her fabulous vocabulary to the London streets of 1819 where the working class continues to suffer under British society. The upper class aren’t listening nor helping the lower classes. The class system is unjust. For a quick minute while I was reading, if you switched some of the main players’ names around to today’s US big wigs – it’s like reading the today’s news. :/ Don’t worry I won’t get political. 

A Fashionable Indulgence” is a story that features action, the effects of classism, rags to riches and an ice man who melts for the one he loves…and doesn’t lose his acerbic tongue in the process. Oh, oh and has the best choice dandified clothes. Ever. 

Julius is just--(timeout: He brought to mind Lucius Malfoy and I know, he’s evil, but I have such a crush on him and I kept picturing Lucius as Julius, same ice queen, ice blond, sharp tongue ways and I just melted. Okay time-in) If you look up the word dandy, you might have a picture of Julius cutting you with his eyebrows, slaying you for days.

Harry Vane is the son of radicals. He has lived life on the run and knows nothing else. He flees to France with his parents while an adolescent, only to return a near-man, penniless and an orphan. His parents radical friend, Silas, is the only one who takes him in. and there he works until a windfall with strings is bestowed upon him. He can become one of them, the Ton. A life without having to worry about being arrested or worse for helping Silas fight for the cause.

He takes it (he’d be crazy not to) but those strings. See, Harry has to learn how to ape like his betters. He inherits a family with all sorts of society connections including Lord Richard Vane and friends. Lord Vane and his friends form a sort of society where the man love can be free if you know what I mean and I think you do. They’ll help carry the rest of this series (Also can’t effing wait – good lord)
But this first book is all Julius, flawless dressed (he really loves his fashion) dandy on the outside, damaged ex-soldier on the inside who knows how to move and shake within the Ton. He becomes Harry’s mentor in all things except one. 

Ah, you thought Harry was a nubile virgin? Nope. That trope isn’t played here. Harry teaches Julius a few things as well, more importantly lasting things such as caring and love. Reading someone who comes off as having a hard exterior fall in love is always refreshing and one of my favorite characters to read about. As usual, K.J. Charles brings a different light to the regency era. It’s not society by plays but more about the friends as a whole, their personalities and how they play a part in the larger arc of radicalism. I don’t think I can remember too many regency romances with radicalism, it was different. I equally love society and the working class when it comes to this era I find. 

Since it’s not my first go round with K.J. Charles, I found this to be a very solid start. I’m more intrigued with how she’ll pull off the other two books. There was something about the swiftness of Julius going all hearts in with Harry that can’t make me give all the hearts. Still one of my favorite books of the year. 

Oh and the sex was awesome, passionate and fitting, not overdone. :D

Highly recommended.

An ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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