Review: A Gentleman's Position by K. J. Charles00:00
Titlle: A Gentleman's Position (Society of Gentlemen #3)
Author: K. J. Charles
Genre/Themes: Historical, MM romance
Release Date: 5 April 2016
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My rating: 5 Stars
Among his eccentric though strictly principled group of friends, Lord Richard Vane is the confidant on whom everyone depends for advice, moral rectitude, and discreet assistance. Yet when Richard has a problem, he turns to his valet, a fixer of unparalleled genius—and the object of Richard’s deepest desires. If there is one rule a gentleman must follow, it is never to dally with servants. But when David is close enough to touch, the rules of class collide with the basest sort of animal instinct: overpowering lust.
For David Cyprian, burglary and blackmail are as much in a day’s work as bootblacking—anything for the man he’s devoted to. But the one thing he wants for himself is the one thing Richard refuses to give: his heart. With the tension between them growing to be unbearable, David’s seemingly incorruptible master has left him no choice. Putting his finely honed skills of seduction and manipulation to good use, he will convince Richard to forget all about his well-meaning objections and give in to sweet, sinful temptation.
A Gentleman's Position is the final book in an amazing queer historical series, Society of Gentlemen. It brings a hard won and well deserved happiness to Lord Richard (the protector and father figure of the Richardians) with his trusted valet, David Cyprian. It's a passionate tale of love, lust, class and obligation but above all for me it is a story of determining one's identity, of growing and changing, becoming a better person for yourself and for the people you love and care about.
This series made convinced that Ms Charles is a true master of the historical romance. Her stories are vivid and detailed, carrying a strong sense of the Regency athmopshere in all its complexity - political and social unrest which further add to the difficulties the characters have to surmount on their way to happiness.
Lord Richard had a lot of learning to do and some atonement for his past mistakes and boy, did he keep on making mistakes even when he had the best intentions. I found his journey fascinating and oh, so real. Taking a hard look of who you are and finding out that you are not in fact the person you thought you were and you don't to want to be that person any more takes a lot of courage and is not easy to deal with. His mistakes, though painful to his friends and loved ones, were avoidable, they were part of his growth and untimatelt he managed to rise above them and be the man he wanted to be.
David Cyprian, on the other had, was just as amazing as we came to expect him to be from his appearance in the previous books. He seemed so in control, so sure of himself and tiny glimpses of slef-doubt and insecurity made him feel human and easier to relate to. He was not perfect, noone really is, but we saw how much effort and thought he put into being the best he could be.
The romance appeared totally impossible, both were stuck in their respective positions and there was no way to make things between them work on a personal level, yet their love for each other proved stronger than prejudice and fear and stifling norms and the petty morality of the times.
I really, really like the depth and sympathy with which Ms Charles explores issues of identity and the clash of the political with the personal. We saw it in the previous books, most noticeably in A Seditious Affair, and it was also present here. The problems Richard and David and rest of the their group face were real, life-threatening and Ms Charles never cheapened them or made their solution trivial or too easy. It didn't work like that at the time, and the the historical accuracy of her stories made them stand out.
A strong place in this story was taken by the issues of consent and abuse of power, what marriage/relationship in Regency England could/should be.
I also very much loved and appreciated the supporting characters in this story - Richard's brother and his wife, David's mother and her husband. Ms Charles creates a truly diverse world representative of the times and this makes the characters and their roamnce feel even more real.
Speaking of the series as a whole, I think Ms Charles has done a remarkable job with them. The stories are interwoven, complex and engaging. Her writing is superb and her attention to detail makes all the difference when reading a historical romance. The characters in the series are deliciously imperfect, real people of different walks of life, facing harsh choices and decisions and really struggling to find happiness and love at a time when this could easily mean the death sentence for two men in love with each other.
I haven't read much historical romances and even less queer ones, but this is definitely the best I have read and can't recommend it enough.