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Band Sinister

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Band Sinister (2018) KJ Charles

Band SinisterSet in England in the early 1800s

A lot of us are struggling right now, so this is a good time for comfort reads. If you’ve read Georgette Heyer’s Venetia, you’ll be familiar with this story: younger sibling is hurt and has to stay at manor of notorious (and wealthy) rake and older sibling falls in love with rake.

Guy Frisby and his sister Amanda live in rural seclusion, and do not speak to (or of) their neighbor, Phillip Rookwood, whose family ruined theirs. But when Amanda is seriously injured, the two must stay at Rookwood Hall, whether Guy frets and worries first about his sister’s health and then about her reputation.

But this story is so much more than that. First, Amanda has just published a book whose characters are pretty obviously based upon Phillip and his friends.

“Oh, nonsense,” Amanda said, far too airily. “He won’t read it, and if you go around belonging to a hellfire club called ‘the Murder’ and having orgies, you can’t complain if people wonder about you. And my publisher assured me they would protect my anonymity. And it’s not even meant to be him anyway.”

“When you say all that in court, put the last part first.”

Second, Guy and Amanda are very close and protective of each other, and it’s such a lovely relationship.

I suppose I look a fright,” she added regretfully.

“You look wonderful.”

“Don’t talk nonsense.”

“You look wonderful,” Guy repeated. “Because you aren’t feverish and you aren’t lying there barely breathing and I’m not afraid of— of— Don’t do that again, Manda, please.”

Thirdly, neither Phillip nor Corvin have any blood family to speak of, so they (along with John) are their own found family, and very obviously love each other deeply (and bicker even more than true siblings would.

“Not scared him off yet, then,” Corvin breathed in his ear. That required standing extremely close, so Philip turned, gave him a fond smile, and ground his heel in a slow emphatic movement on Corvin’s toes.

The other thing I particularly liked is that none of the problems with and between the characters were caused by stupid misunderstandings. Amanda and Guy are justifiably worried about how Phillip and Corvin will take the book. And they are well and truly stuck putting up with their aunt because they have little choice if they won’t want to be thrown out on the streets (so to speak).

And throughout it all, Guy manages to grow, to learn to stand up not just for Amanda, but for himself.

What would it be like to do that? Could one really say, That is my mother’s disgrace, not mine, and I am not tainted by it?

Oh, and there are discussions of boinking acts in Latin, which is delightful.

Publisher: KJC Books
Rating: 9/10

Categories: 9/10, British, LGBT, Re-Read, Romance, Sexual Content     Comments (0)    



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