Release Day Review by Mel: An Unsuitable Heir, by K.J. Charles

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an unsuitable heir k j charles

An Unsuitable Heir, by K.J. Charles
Series: Sins of the Cities, Book 3
Publisher: Loveswept
Release Date: October 3, 2017

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


A private detective finds passion, danger, and the love of a lifetime when he hunts down a lost earl in Victorian London.

On the trail of an aristocrat’s secret son, enquiry agent Mark Braglewicz finds his quarry in a music hall, performing as a trapeze artist with his twin sister. Graceful, beautiful, elusive, and strong, Pen Starling is like nobody Mark’s ever met—and everything he’s ever wanted. But the long-haired acrobat has an earldom and a fortune to claim.

Pen doesn’t want to live as any sort of man, least of all a nobleman. The thought of being wealthy, titled, and always in the public eye is horrifying. He likes his life now—his days on the trapeze, his nights with Mark. And he won’t be pushed into taking a title that would destroy his soul.

But there’s a killer stalking London’s foggy streets, and more lives than just Pen’s are at risk. Mark decides he must force the reluctant heir from music hall to manor house, to save Pen’s neck. Betrayed by the one man he thought he could trust, Pen never wants to see his lover again. But when the killer comes after him, Pen must find a way to forgive—or he might not live long enough for Mark to make amends.


M/NB Pairing
Genderqueer Character
Bisexual Character
Gay Character
Disabled Character

Content Warnings for:
Murder (Off-Page)

Review by Mel

Just kissing, just touching, just holding one another; just magical.

Magically sweet. Which isn’t to say boring sweet or cheesy sweet or… Just the kind of sweet that makes you happy and warm and feel like everything is gonna be alright.

I really appreciate that Charles’ books all have different vibes and don’t give you the feeling of the same-old, same-old. Having all the usual treat marks of a Charles book (atmospheric and profound historical setting, distinct and genuine characters, an intriguing plot, and heart-melting love), An Unsuitable Heir is refreshing in its loveliness and ability to evoke a warm-blanket feeling while still demanding your full attention as to how the whole series will play out.

The book also features, for the first time, I believe, a genderqueer main character, which was, as far as I can tell, very well and respectfully done; time appropriate, caring, filling the reader with a sense of understanding and compassion without coming off as educating or preaching. Pen is also very lovable and a person you can easily root for.

Mark, on the other hand, is “just a bloke who makes everything right all around him. Just a bloke who listens to people and respects them and doesn’t even blink at how anyone else is.” I don’t know about you, but I’d take him 😉 He is so kind and has the ability to really see you and give you the space to be you.

Needless to say, I was absolutely into their romance and am most happy for them. I see good things for them in their future. Speaking of the ending of the book and the series, first off, I like that we meet the other characters again, if not much but their reappearances are great, and secondly, I think the solution to the mystery of the murderer, is… Good? Yes! Definitely. Mind-blowing? Not entirely. But I am actually not complaining. It is a solid ending, one that makes sense and was fun to read. And I love how Pen and everyone get what they deserve in the end.

I still need to mention that Pen’s twin sister Gret is an incredible secondary female character. I want to marry her when I’m old *hearty eyes*

This is a great book. The whole series is amazing and I highly recommend it. To everyone.


KJ Charles is a writer and freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, an out-of-control garden and an increasingly murderous cat.

KJ writes mostly romance, gay and straight, frequently historical, and usually with some fantasy or horror in there. She specialises in editing romance, especially historical and fantasy, and also edits children’s fiction.

Follow KJ: Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook

You can purchase An Unsuitable Heir from:
Google Play

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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

2 thoughts on “Release Day Review by Mel: An Unsuitable Heir, by K.J. Charles

  1. I wanted to like this a little more than I did. I agree that it ends the series well – I felt like it wrapped up everything in a nice, satisfying way.

    I liked the bi / pan rep. I’m not at all qualified to comment on the NB rep, except to me it felt a little too “gender queer 101” ish for my taste.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I know what you mean and I think, for me, it depends on how I feel at the moment when reading whether this bothers me much or not. It’s a really subjective thing and changes, too.

      I’ve seen that the average rating and reception of the book is not as high as often the case for her books and I think I can understand why. It’s kind of an understated book but was, somehow, what I needed at the time and I immensely enjoyed the quietness of the book.

      Liked by 1 person

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