F/F romance

Review: Proper English by KJ Charles

05:09

Title: Proper English
Author: KJ Charles
Genre/Themes: Historical, f/f romance, murder mystery
Release Date: 8 May 2019

Author's links: Website / Twitter / FB Group / Goodreads

My rating: 4.5 Stars


Blurb

A shooting party at the Earl of Witton’s remote country house is a high treat for champion shot Patricia Merton—until unexpected guests turn the social atmosphere dangerously sour.

That’s not Pat’s biggest problem. She’s visiting her old friend, the Earl’s heir Jimmy Yoxall—but she wants to spend a lot more time with Jimmy’s fiancĂ©e. The irrepressible Miss Fenella Carruth, with her laughing eyes and lush curves, is the most glorious woman Pat’s ever met, and it quickly becomes impossible to remember why she needs to stay at arm’s length.

But while the women’s attraction grows, the tensions at Rodington Court get worse. Affairs, secrets, betrayals, and blackmail come to light. And when a body is discovered with a knife between the shoulderblades, it’s going to take Pat and Fen’s combined talents to prevent the murderer destroying all their lives.

Review 

This is a f/f country house murder mystery romance which I greatly enjoyed. It's light-hearted and fun, as much as a romance developing at the background of a murder investigation can be. It's an opposites attract kind of romance and it worked brilliantly for me.

This story works as a prequel to Think of England where we see Pat and Fen as an already established couple. I haven't read the other book yet but this didn't affect my enjoyment of Proper English in the slightest.

As usual, I found KJ Charles' writing engaging and I was deeply invested in the plot even more the murder investigation which only happened in the second half of the book. I liked both heroines who were complete opposites in many ways but who also had more things in common than one could imagine. Their romance was tender and sweet, with little angst and lots of care and understanding.
Both are strong, smart heroines and while Pat is very open about who she is, Fen is hiding her true self behind a bubbly, light-headed personality.

I liked seeing the complexity of family and other relationships and in particular appreciate the closeness between Pat and her brother. The support and care for each other without being over affectionate and while also respecting the private space of the other, giving each other room to breathe and be themselves. The pride he took in her shooting accomplishments, her concern about his well-being and her fear of losing him, all of this was deeply moving for me to read.

I notice this as a trait of KJ Charles' books, her villains seem too villainous to be real. My knowledge of history is not that detailed for me to say if people like  really existed but within the story their villainy seemed over-the-top. I had similar feelings about the villains in Any Old Diamonds, so it could be a me thing though, so don't hold it much against the book.

Overall, Proper English is a short, delightful read, marked by great attention to historical detail, interesting plot and a tender f/f romance. I'm looking forward to more stories in this world, for one Think of England is waiting for me on my Kindle and I also very much want to read the story about Pat's brother which I hope we will get at some point.

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