And then, for something different and DELIGHTFUL.
I should have known to satiate my historical romance longing with a standalone novel by K.J. Charles, who had so recently delighted me with the Will Darling series. Here, we go even further back in history and even further into gay with the tale of two scheming siblings, attempt to fortune hunt (as the title would suggest) with the most moral of intentions. Neither of them want to want, and they’re in the game together. If one rises to a position of enough fortune that they are well fed and watered and can do the same for their sibling as well, the game is basically finished. They’re not looking for riches or a string of dead spouses.
But Robin Loxleigh has set his sights upon the wrong heiress this season–the niece of a stern man who isn’t about to get done in by a pair of pretty eyes.
This is usually the part of the review where I say, “Look, there isn’t much of a spoiler to say [ x ]” but as it were, this book does manage to surprise while going through a lot of the usual beats. There are tropes galore. Marianne, Robin’s sister, is a delight. Of course Robin and Sir John (“Hart”) are going to circle one another and eventually have a relationship of sorts, but the trick is in how Charles does so, realistically. Had I read the works in publication order, I would have realized that Will would not easily forgive Kim.
It’s by turns hilarious, heart-wrenching, and utterly worth it. It’s a slight entry in the genre of “books about aristocracy/rich corset wearing types that nonetheless gets into the class realities of the time,” a la Cat Sebastian, but with a lighter hand. We expect that our characters are going to have a happy ending, after all (hopefully many more than that heh).