An Unnatural Vice

An Unnatural Vice

by KJ Charles

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An Unnatural Vice 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book. I stayed up til 3am to finish it because I couldn't bear to put it down. I can't wait for the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always I'm left desperate for the next chapter. The author ensnares you and develops new characters while bringing in old characters flawlessly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting characters and story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a sucker for competence and stage magic.
V-Rundell More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars for this historical M/M romance set in Victorian-era London. This is the second book in a series and is likely best enjoyed when read in sequence. The first book, AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION, featured the mystery, mischief and murder that befell Clem Tallyfer, bastard son of his Grace, the (late, late) Earl of Moreton as he managed a lodging house, and fell in love with Rowley Green, one of his lodgers. This story continues the investigation of whomever killed one of Clem’s lodgers, Reverend Lugtrout, and also Clem’s half-brother, Edmund, then the earl. It seems there is some dispute regarding the entailment of the Moreton estate. As Edmund had no legal offspring, it should go to Edmund and Clem’s uncle—who cannot wait to evict Clem from his lodging house. Clem’s dear friend, Nathaniel Roy, is charged with assisting him in his legal dealings, but Nathaniel is also a writer, an investigative journalist of the time. He’s in the midst of sussing out the sham of one Seer of London, Justin Lazarus, who makes his living preying on the elite of society as a communicator with those beyond the veil. Justin Lazarus is a 5-bit hustler of the first order. He knows all the tricks and plies his trade on the susceptible. How is it, then, that this charlatan is able to connect Nathaniel with the deepest of his many secrets, his lost love, Tony? Not only that, Justin has unwittingly received evidence of the (late) earl’s secret marriage and even more secret progeny. Justin needs Nathaniel to help him as he becomes a prime target for not only Edmund’s murderer, but also that of two opportunistic men who wish to claim the earl’s fortune as their own. Nathaniel and Justin have no love lost between them, but that doesn’t hide their mutual attraction. What begins auspiciously turns out to genial once Nathaniel and Justin take off for parts north to escape London’s killer fog and the actual killers chasing them. It’s a very sweet romance that develops, as these adversaries turn advocates. Nathaniel recognizes Justin’s keen intellect, and admires his wit and courage. Justin’s taken by Nathaniel, but he’s unwilling to be another man’s pawn, or possession, ever again. As they aren’t social equals it seems doomed, but Nathaniel finds a way to blend their lives, if only Justin will trust him. I really enjoyed the suspense and thrilling moments of chase through this historical landscape. The author makes great use of the natural elements—in this case the historic fog of 1873—and brings the story into a whole new sphere. The earl’s progeny are discovered and I was happy when it turned out I had correctly guessed the identity. There’s so much chicanery happening with regard to this inheritance that the heir, once names, is still in mortal danger. It’s interesting how the story has now turned another corner and will no doubt begin a new romance that will once and for all settle Clem’s claim to his boarding house and seems to solidify the growing bond between Nathaniel and Justin. While the first book seemed to move at a slower pace, this one had several full-on investigations, and it seemed we were learning more and more—yet still stuck on the resolutions!—with each page turn. I liked the way the enemies-to-lovers trope was utilized here, and also how these guys got past their preconceived notions—and actual prejudices—to risk their hearts and lives on love. I’m so looking forward to the conclusion!
Crystal61 More than 1 year ago
Dark and unusual story, second in a series with a common thread. This is Nathaniel's story as he tries to help find the people behind his friends' troubles. He encounters Justin when he attempts to debunk a seance. Justin is one of the most unhappy people ever. Their relationship is adversarial, touching, and just what they each need. Danger brings them closer and shows what is really important. I really enjoyed this story, and look forward to more from this author. I received a copy of this story through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
3.75 stars-- AN UNNATURAL VICE is the second installment in KJ Charles’s adult, Victorian, historical Sins of the Cities M/M romance, murder-mystery series. This is journalist and former lawyer Nathaniel Roy, and Seer of London Justin Lazarus’s story line. AN UNNATURAL VICE can be read as a stand alone but for cohesion and backstory I recommend reading the series in order as there is an ongoing premise and plot throughout the series. Some of the events of An Unnatural Vice cross over and run parallel to the events of book one-An Unseen Attraction. NOTE: AN UNNATURAL VICE and the SINS OF THE CITIES series contain scenes of M/M sexual situations and may not be suitable for all readers. Told from dual third person points of view (Justin and Nathaniel) AN UNNATURAL VICE follows the enemies to lovers relationship between the Seer of London (Medium) Justin Lazarus, and journalist Nathaniel Roy. Nathaniel’s latest assignment is to uncover the truth behind self-proclaimed Seer Justin Lazarus-a proclamation Nathaniel is determined to prove fraudulent and deceitful. But Justin has information that could prove helpful to Nathaniel’s friend Clem Talleyfer (An Unseen Attraction #1) as the group of friends endeavors to find the missing heir to the Taillefer fortune and title holder to the Earl of Moreton. What ensues are Justin and Nathaniel’s attempts to stay one step ahead of the people hired to destroy any evidence of an heir, and Justin and Nathaniel’s growing love between two people whose lives follow different paths towards the future. The relationship between Nathaniel and Justin is slow to build. Their acrimonious but tepid friendship requires cooperation when Justin is targeted by someone in control; Nathaniel is determined to protect the man with whom he is falling in love sweeping his lover to a secreted location fearing for their lives. The $ex scenes are intimate and provocative without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. AN UNNATURAL VICE follows the search for the missing heir, although most of the investigation is behind the scenes as the story line focuses on our leading couple. The requisite evil has many faces but the ultimate villain has yet to be revealed. The world building continues to look at the friendships and relationships of a group of ‘gay’ men in Victorian, England although AN UNNATURAL VICE primarily focuses on Nathaniel and Justin’s struggle to stay alive. Once again, the tone of the story is not conducive to the era or the time-I was expecting a tighter interpretation of the language e.g. euphemisms, slang, sentence structure, and because of this, the story line reads more modern than historic (see my review of book one). The back and forth banter between Justin and Nathaniel is witty and entertaining. The premise is much more detailed and descriptive than the first installment as the author brings to life the dreary and wretched world of Victorian England; the characters are colorful and dynamic although I would have liked more information about Nathaniel’s earlier years; the romance is seductive and intense. AN UNNATURAL VICE is an entertaining story line; a fast paced and intriguing story of mystery, suspense, romance and love.
BuckeyeAngel More than 1 year ago
Nathaniel is an investigative reporter and he wants to expose Justin who was a spiritualist who is a fraud. Justin calls himself the Seer of London. However when Nathaniel went to a seance Justin gives him the name of Tony - who had been Nathaniel's partner but had died five years ago. Justin has pulled himself up from the gutter and has no sympathy for the grieving and gullible people who come to him for spiritual guidance from the other world. Justin and Nathaniel hated each other but somehow were still very attracted to each other. Justin and Nathaniel become lovers and end up having to go to Nathaniel’s country estate to run from a murderer. I didn’t really care for this book I don't like to read gay literature. I have gay friends just don’t want to read about homosexual sex and love
Bobann88 More than 1 year ago
An Unnatural Vice By K.J. Charles Book Review Impressions My first time reading this author and I am going back to the well. Her descriptive language pulled me into the world of a London that has fascinated me. This is a view of the raw unvarnished realities of a time when monochrome morality was worsen by pollution leaden fog and “poor houses”. I am in London. Slipping and sliding on fog-wet pavers and stepping onto high kerbs. This writing developed beautifully with its careful transition to faith fulfillment and an unrepentant love between two men who are polar opposites. Seduction “The sane, sensible, lawyer part of Nathaniel’s mind was screaming Danger! But it was being drowned out by the blood pounding in his ears. Lazarus’s slightly parted lips, those wicked eyes, the scruffy half-grown beard, all of those were making his mouth dry, but it was the sheer unrelenting will of the man opposite him that was turning attraction into urgent need.” – An Unnatural Vice Halfway through the read and my favorite character is Justin Lazarus. His seduction of Nathaniel is haunting. Justin’s jaunty arrogance that belies self-hate and extreme cynicism, for me, was heart stealing. It seems Nathaniel’s notice of the charlatan’s unusual and perhaps uncanny good looks begin this tale of love and self-discoveries. This was a story begun in a drawing room on Hanging Sword Alley and it began nicely for me. It is one thing to include jargon of period and culture and another thing completely to weave it into the read in ways that add ambiance. It is wonderful to receive an education while being seduced between the covers of this book. Of course, this is also a tale that never seems to grow old, the seeming endless breach between the obstinacy of conservative ideologies versus preachers of neo-progression Story/Plot/Conflict Something is definitely afoot when bodies are showing up at his friend’s door and family heads are mysteriously committing suicide. Of course, it’s in Victorian England where upstanding people do these things when scandal knocks at the door. But the wealthy journalist and family friend Nathaniel decides to right the wrongs and in the process finds his world, reshaped. He must obtain the assistance of the London Seer. Born of the gutter and abandoned at birth Justin Lazarus is a self-made man who profits as an unapologetic lair and cheat. Preying on the lonely and bereft, he enters Nathaniel Roy’s life. Antagonism, mutual want, and uncontrolled passions change them both…but at what cost. My Main Characterizations Nathaniel Roy (Nathan Royston) He is rich, powerful, large in statue, and filled to the brim with conservatism. Nathaniel felt only contempt for this charlatan that would use the pain of other’s loss as a tool to extort monies. But his empty heart is rapidly filling with the scent of Justin. Justin Lazarus slight of built with uncanny grey eyes he exemplifies how a man coming of age in the wretched slums can find his own path to fame and riches. Unapologetic love allows him an escape from self-destruction and the discovery of self-worth. Critiques Put simply…this is good stuff and a good read. Thank you K.J. Charles
ButtonsMom2003 More than 1 year ago
Riveting and suspenseful! An Unnatural Vice is the second book in the Sins of the Cities series. While you probably could read this as a standalone, I highly recommend that you read this series in order. The story for each couple in their book is resolved but the underlying mystery won't be solved until book 3, An Unsuitable Heir. I had a bit of a struggle with the first book in this series but ended up liking it OK. I also struggled a bit with this one at first but I ended up loving it. The enemies to lovers trope isn't one that I've read a lot but KJ Charles did a superb job with this one. Nathaniel has been brought up in privilege, never wanting for anything. Justin has had to scrounge for everything and has finally made a name for himself as a "spiritualist" and doesn't feel a bit guilty for taking money from people in return for telling them what they want to hear. Nathaniel and Justin have an adversarial relationship throughout most of this story and it certainly makes for some interesting dialogue between the characters. When they no longer can fight their attraction to each other they don't try to fool themselves into thinking that it's anything but a good f**k. This story had lots of action and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout most of it. Ms. Charles writing is captivating, the dialogue between the characters is witty and crisp with just enough humor thrown in to keep the book from being too somber. I have no idea who the bad guy is going to be and I can't wait for the last book in this series to wrap things up for me. A review copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley but this did not influence my opinion or rating of the book.
Momma_Becky More than 1 year ago
This Victorian, enemies to lovers romance was very well written with a good plot and such interesting characters. The dialogue was witty and often humorous. I absolutely loved the interactions between Justin and Nathaniel, especially when what starts as slinging insults becomes fun banter. While it is a romance, it's also so much more. There's Nathaniel's stubborn refusal to give up on figuring out Justin's secrets and the intrigue surrounding the aristocracy. The story is full of murder, mayhem, kidnapping, the search for a lost heir, a bit of trickery, and some sexy between our main characters - most of which takes place in the London fog. Charles' descriptive prose pulled me in and I felt like I could see it all playing out. I haven't read the first one in this series (yet), but I had no problem following the story in this one and I'm looking forward to the next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nathaniel is a man adrift, after losing his lover 5 years ago. He's a man of privilege and principals, a journalist. Justin, the Seer of London, rose from poverty, a cutthroat existence; no family, everything came with a price. Their paths cross and become entangled in mystery, murder and romance... Suspenseful, adult historical, mystery romance. Slow start (possibly due to not having read 1st book in series), develops into well written presentation/intrigue. Strong sexual scenes for adults only. Enjoyed angst between main characters and characters finding their strengths. 3 1/2 stars. Voluntarily read ARC thru Netgalley and publisher for honest review.
Ajgray More than 1 year ago
I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. The story of Nathaniel and Justin working together to find the rightful heir to the Earldom turns into a love story between the two men. The book has intrigue, danger and humor. The only problem I have with the book is the fact that is has a cliffhanger. I prefer books that are self-contained. Other than that, it is a good read.
sweetpotato101 More than 1 year ago
Bedevilment, trickery and wills collide, and I didn’t want this journey to end. K.J. Charles whips up a story in An Unnatural Vice of a moral-driven journalist and the man he seeks to uncover as a fraud, spiritualist Justin Lazarus. I was enchanted, seduced and hurdled into a world of magic and logic all rolled in to one. Prepare to be dazzled. I was in love with Justin from the beginning. He’s so cynical and grumpy, and he calls it like it is. He’s also so very, very clever—his brain is always working and maneuvering. I just knew there was a story buried beneath his layers, and these kinds of heroes always pull at my heartstrings. There’s no time for apologies or recriminations because life made him this way, and it’s all he knows. That’s, of course, when in walks Mr. Nathaniel Roy with his self-righteousness and his patent disbelief to rattle Justin’s cage. It just won’t do! Nathaniel is a logical and practical journalist who seeks to uncover those who claim to speak to the dead. But he finds a worthy opponent in Justin. Oh, how Justin’s world of magic just flabbergasts and bedevils Nathaniel! I laughed like crazy even as I was like, How does Justin do it?!? I felt Nathaniel’s pain, I really did. Not all of Justin’s secrets are revealed by the way, and I love the mystery surrounding the sleight of hand tricks. Then there’s the challenge of Justin himself whose wicked grin calls to Nathaniel. Make no mistake, Nathaniel’s got his own pain to deal with and boy, was their page time fraught with tension. This book made my little enemies-to-lovers heart sing! And that’s the kicker in this story. That they both become so entangled in the mystery of the plot due to unforeseen circumstances, and it’s a whirlwind of trust, wariness and chemistry. There’s always two conversations going on—what’s said and what’s left unsaid. It made this a read I couldn’t put down. If you’re looking for a story that’s equal parts plot and romance, brokenness and healing, look no further than An Unnatural Vice. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll groan in frustration. I can’t wait to see what happens next. 5 stars!