Tag Team Review: A Seditious Affair (Society of Gentlemen, #2) by K.J. Charles

K. J. Charles turns up the heat in her new Society of Gentlemen novel, as two lovers face off in a sensual duel that challenges their deepest beliefs.
 
Silas Mason has no illusions about himself. He’s not lovable, or even likable. He’s an overbearing idealist, a Radical bookseller and pamphleteer who lives for revolution . . . and for Wednesday nights. Every week he meets anonymously with the same man, in whom Silas has discovered the ideal meld of intellectual companionship and absolute obedience to his sexual commands. But unbeknownst to Silas, his closest friend is also his greatest enemy, with the power to see him hanged—or spare his life.

A loyal, well-born gentleman official, Dominic Frey is torn apart by his affair with Silas. By the light of day, he cannot fathom the intoxicating lust that drives him to meet with the Radical week after week. In the bedroom, everything else falls away. Their needs match, and they are united by sympathy for each other’s deepest vulnerabilities. But when Silas’s politics earn him a death sentence, desire clashes with duty, and Dominic finds himself doing everything he can to save the man who stole his heart.




Cupcake

Let me just say I continue to be dazzled by Charles’s writes. It’s clear she enjoys research something I find highly satisfying myself and I do appreciate any efforts toward depicting historical events accurately.

This series takes place during the Regency period and various actual historical events tie the Society of Gentlemen to their less affluent counterparts. That divide is highlighted in A Seditious Affair probably more so than any of the rest of the series. Possibly. We’ll see what Richard’s story holds in store.

The stories overlap slightly. Here we pick up with Silas and Dom towards the end of the events of A Fashionable Indulgence. They have been meeting for several months by this time. Most of the other gentlemen make appearances none more memorable than daft Ash’s.

Silas, seditionist and ruffian, and Dom, his Tory, having been meeting every Wednesday since some clairvoyant individual paired them up. What they do on those Wednesdays was… ah… surprising? I didn’t realize Charles dabbled in the kink, but my surprise quickly turned to glee at their enterprising kink. Humiliation, bondage, a little pain-good stuff, people! Minus all that high protocol stuff that makes me twitchy.

What I liked best about them is despite their class differences they treat one another as equals even with regard to their kinks, they make allowances for one another. They’re thoughtful, mindful of the other. They are both strong characters who are steadfast and loyal without being inflexible. They’re also likeable.

It’s clear early on that these two have fallen for each other but both of reluctant to admit it because why? What good can possibly come of it? They have no future, right? And, honestly, I had a hard time envisioning a future for them that was plausible. But the conflict and resolution were both delivered with a simplicity and complexity that I bought hook, line and sinker.

Why not 5 hearts then?

As much as I enjoy historical events that’s not what draws me to books such as these; it’s the romance. There was a good bit of politicking in A Fashionable Indulgence to be sure, but I felt it was happily in the sidecar whereas I felt it was vying for the lead role in A Seditious Affair. I liked it slightly more than the 4 hearts I’m giving it, but not quite 4.5 and we don’t have a gif for 4.25 so 4 it is.

Still an excellent read and highly recommended. It could probably be read as a standalone, but would resonate more having read Harry and Julius’s story. As always, your mileage may vary.



Baby

I was very happy for the future pairings in the Society of Gentlemen series. And this series thankfully features a different couple each book. But Cyprian, the redheaded valet/spy make an impression on me. Immensely. I was all over the ginger (go figure). He's cunning and bends the rules? I wanted to spring on top of him like...I dunno what. But I wanted Cyprian like I wanted my next breath. And his book won't be out until next year.

So I figured, A Seditious Affair, (book #2) was going to be a filler book, a stepping stone if you will. I was just going to enjoy the read but knew the main dish would be with the ginger.

K.J. Charles knocked me out with her words...AGAIN!

I shouldn't have underestimated the words of K.J. Charles. Or even thought for a second that it was going to be a filler book. Sweet Cheesus, the couple...their words to one another...the kink...this story!

Consideration, that was what it was...That tiny piece of thoughtfulness from a gentleman who wanted to be fucked into the gutter, but who noticed how the man in the gutter felt.

As per usual, it was word porn for the mind in A Seditious Affair. And K.J. Charles and kink, who knew? BDSM before it was formalized but not heavy for those who shy away from kinkier romances.

Silas, the ham fisted brute with a mega chip on his shoulder who breaks the law while fighting for the every man's rights is the dom in the relationship. He's thoughtful, he's creates the scene and he knows his gentleman sub, Dominic. Through him, Dominic gets to not only recognize the part of himself that has been shamed by his former lover, but he gets to finally have someone in his corner. Dominic was not weak for having his predilections and through Silas, he was even stronger.

If only their lives coincided as easily as their bedroom activities. They were on opposite sides of the fence, gentleman vs. working man. Silas was the seditious writer when not selling books and Dominic worked for the Home Office, the very institution that was trying to snuff out people like Silas. How could they ever have a HEA? At points, I thought it wasn't going to happen. Silas and his stubbornness and pride would get in the way but Charles makes the story work, as well as the men work for their happy ending.

Of course with the help of wonderful supporting characters including, the gentlemen Ricardians, a slew of folk that made the tensions run high and kept the pace going. But I must discuss the standouts

Zoe! I thought I was half in love with Shakespeare...but he has a new contender in Zoe, the ballsy madam of Millay's.
"We all knew who he was except you," Zoe hissed, "and we all knew who you was except him, and how the fuck was anyone to know that you two was too stupid to ask each other?"
I thoroughly enjoy the way this author handles diversity in this time period and she doesn't just make a free black another part of the scenery, seen but not heard. She gives them a voice. She gives them character. And Zoe...she goes onto my faves secondary characters list. She's ballsy and smart...I adored her. Almost as much as the other scene stealer, Mr. Julian Norreys - the star of book #1, A Fashionable Indulgence.


Julian Norreys...I lived for each and every scene he entered, each scathing remark was pleasure unbound. He's still not my fave character from this author but he's a close second. Bless his tongue, may it never part from his head. I think he was even better in this book. I don't know but I'm so tempted to start a Norreys fan club - Harry being the president of course.

Enough about the two breakout characters (though the secondary characters get more depth added to them, so I applaud all of them), this story is isn't just delicious kink (D/s, mind games, bondage, HUMILIATION- score!) and the gut wrenching love Silas and Dominic had for one another. (I'm not spoiling since it's apparent from the first page about their connection)
He'd enjoyed doing that. Marking the Tory, stamping him his. Making sure any trespassing society gentleman would know Silas had been there first.
It's also about politics of the times, the haves maintaining an iron fist grip on the wealth and letting the have nots suffer. It's about social injustice. It's about sedition. And the author researched it thoroughly and added a lot of detail. It might be point that could possibly turn some off. It gets heavy. But to me, this was Silas and Dominic's tale. They were in the thick of politics, so of course, their story would be bloody political. And it's based on real events and it made me sad how close to current events they are right now.

I think the story as a whole worked. There was romance, there was action, there was sex and grit. And most importantly there were words. Lovely words that transported to a favorite time period of mine and showcased a different side. And made it interesting.

While I now purr in glee for the next book (April can't get here soon enough), A Seditious Affair is most certainly not a book to scoff at. Silas and Dominic are a very solid couple, I think even more so that Harry and Julian.

It's one of my favorite reads of the year.

For more information on Goodreads or Booklikes

A copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review

2 comments:

  1. A do enjoy her writing and looking forward to these

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    Replies
    1. It's an excellent addition to the series. ;)

      SRAL

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