Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

An Unnatural Vice

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

An Unnatural Vice (2017) K.J. Charles (Sins of the Cities)

An Unnatural ViceSet in London, 15 November – 25 December 1873

The second Sins of the City book overlaps the first, but shows those events from Nathaniel Roy’s point of view.

The other character is Justin Lazarus, who is spiritualist Nathaniel is determined to expose as a fraud.

“Because— It’s obvious, curse you. Because if the dead could reach out through ‘the veil’ and speak to us, why would they not have done so before? Why would they have so little of value to say or do?

Except that Justin ends up pulled into the events of the first book.

“Still… you sure about this, Clem? It’s raising the stakes more than somewhat.”

“It’s what we ought to do,” Clem said. “This all seemed…” He waved a hand. “Not real people, before. But children, fourteen, running away from home— it isn’t right, the way my family does things, and I’m sick of it.”

In this book the mystery unfolds a little more, and we discover more about what might have driven someone to murder–even if we still don’t know why.

This is an enemies to lovers stories, which isn’t the best for me, since I don’t really grok boinking without liking someone.

What makes the story work for me is how much (despite his denials) Justin cares for the girls in his care.

“So,” she said. “That went well.”

Justin glared at his tumbler. “I don’t think I played him right.”

“You don’t say.”

“Someone,” Sukey remarked airily, “someone once told me that the two things a medium’s got to do is, always be the one in charge, and never let ’em know it. Pity you don’t listen when you talk.”

It’s said between the lines that Justin was abused by the man who had picked him up off the streets, so the fact he is determined to care for Sukey and Emma shows us everything we need to know about his character.

Though I still wish there was more Clem in this story.

Publisher: Loveswept
Rating: 8/10

Categories: 8/10, British, Historical, LGBT, Mystery, Re-Read, Romance, Sexual Content     Comments (0)    

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