Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

A Seditious Affair

Sunday, September 9, 2018

A Seditious Affair (2016) K. J. Charles

Set in London in 1819

This is the second book, in the series I am reading backwards.

I read the first chapter a couple months ago, and put it down, because I wasn’t comfortable reading about BDSM.

I mean, reading boinking passages in romance embarrasses me. BDSM? (turns bright red thinking about it)

But after reading the third book in this series, I became very interested in the characters of Dominic and Silas, so I decided I’d go back and read this story.

I’m glad I did, because I really liked this story.

First, how could I not like a story that quotes Jeremy Bentham?

(T)he author argued that it was a human failing to condemn other people for their different preferences. From a man’s possessing a thorough aversion to a practice himself, the transition is but too natural to his wishing to see all others punished who give into it.

Second, the focus of the story before the BDSM is the politics of the time. Silas Mason is a radical who agitates for the rights of all men and a democratic society.

(I)t shouldn’t be fucking charity that kept children from starving and the old folk from freezing, as if the country belonged to the rich by right and everyone else lived at their sufferance and by their whim.

Politics runs through the story, both Silas’ radical politics and Dom’s Tory politics and his worries about both radical’s like Silas but also where his part is going.

“(T)hey are wrong, and dangerous, but if we cannot prove our case to be the better one, if we can only counter them by throwing away the rights and liberties that we have held precious for centuries, what does that say for our case?”

(That feels a bit familiar right now.)

But as I said, the other thread running through this story is about BDSM, and Dom’s feeling that his desires are wrong (and Richard’s wishes to keep Dom from getting killed).

“The fact is, Richard thinks there is— uh— there is something wrong with me.” Such simple words, so hard to face. “Well, Silas does not, that’s all. And I begin to disagree with Richard myself.”

“I should hope so.”

I think that statement stands by itself, with regard to so many things.

As does this one:

Dominic had had broken bones that had hurt less. And one forgot the reality of pain once the bones healed.

That’s very close to something I’ve said myself.

This is a fascinating story that does have BDSM, but it also has radical politics and a look at how deep-held beliefs can change over time.

Publisher: Loveswept
Rating: 8.5/10


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