The Gentleman's Book of Vices
by Jess Everlee
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Pub Date 29 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 29 Dec 2022
Carina Press & Carina Adores (Harlequin), Carina Adores
Finely dressed and finely drunk, Charlie Price is a man dedicated to his vices. Chief among them is his explicit novel collection, though his impending marriage to a woman he can’t love will force his carefully curated collection into hiding.
Before it does, Charlie is determined to have one last hurrah: meeting his favorite author in person.
Miles Montague is more gifted as a smut writer than a shopkeep and uses his royalties to keep his flagging bookstore afloat. So when a cheerful dandy appears out of the mist with Miles's highly secret pen name on his pretty lips, Miles assumes the worst. But Charlie Price is no blackmailer; he’s Miles's biggest fan.
A scribbled signature on a worn book page sets off an affair as scorching as anything Miles has ever written. But Miles is clinging to a troubled past, while Charlie’s future has spun entirely out of his control…
Carina Adores is home to romantic love stories where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.
Lucky Lovers of London
Book 1: The Gentleman's Book of Vices
Average rating from 27 members
Very possibly my 2022 best book of the year. Trapped in an impending marriage to a woman he likes but cannot love, happy-go-lucky Charlie is desperate to meet his favourite smut writer before sealing away his collection of explicit m/m novels forever. With his cheerful personality and sparkling wit, Charlie manages to coax bereaved and unsociable writer Miles back into the world of the living, as they embark on a forbidden, absolutely illegal, and beautifully scorching romance. But when one foot wrong or a single word out of place could spell a lengthy prison sentence, can Charlie and Miles find their happily ever after in Victorian London?
I am officially in love. I adored this book with my entire heart and soul. There were moments that had me full of joy, such as the gorgeous description of Charlie getting dressed to take Miles out to The Curious Fox; and beautifully soft, tender moments when Charlie and Miles believe they cannot be together. I loved how we got to see without question how deeply Charlie and Miles loved one another through their own narrative perspectives, and the obvious love the author has for these characters shines through on every page. They leapt straight out of the book. Charlie, in particular, I found such an engaging and loveable character. His physicality was wonderfully depicted, and I could so clearly see how everyone wants him to be their friend. I think the author did such a good job at showing her characters and who they were, to the point that this rarely explored part of Victorian London history was brought to vivid life.
I often find it's quite rare in a Romance for me to feel the relationship is ever in real jeopardy during the final Act, or that the reason for the characters breaking up ever holds its weight, but in this case, both were done so well, that I completely understood the difficulties Charlie found himself in, as well as feeling complete sympathy for Alma. I think the author did such a good job of demonstrating the very real difficulties people such as Charlie, Miles, and Alma would have lived through at this point in history, and the grief they would have to endure. Because of this aspect of the plot, I found myself feeling quite emotional, thinking about how The Gentleman's Book of Vices must offer a happy ending to honour so many who never got to experience one in their own lifetimes.
Beautiful, moving, tender, funny, endearing, I really can't recommend this book highly enough. I am grateful to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC of The Gentleman's Book of Vices. These opinions are my own.
That was even better than I anticipated. I knew it would be a fun read, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so tender and warm-hearted. Everlee succeeds at writing romance that is equal parts spicy and sweet. But this novel provides so much more than romance. It also turns a critical lens on Victorian society, putting the loving relationships of the “depraved” clubs alongside the distant and often shallow relationships of “proper” society to showcase the flaws of the status quo. The world building, lush prose, and layered characterization had me entirely captivated. The Gentleman’s Book of Vices is a celebration of art, love, queerness, self acceptance, and so much more. I really enjoyed it.
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