spindizzy: Sherlock Holmes as played by Jeremy Brett, laughing with a hand covering his face. (You do make me laugh)
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Cover of Band Sinister; a painting of two men escorting a woman in Regency dress.

Sir Philip Rookwood is the disgrace of the county. He’s a rake and an atheist, and the rumours about his hellfire club, the Murder, can only be spoken in whispers. (Orgies. It’s orgies.)

Guy Frisby and his sister Amanda live in rural seclusion after a family scandal. But when Amanda breaks her leg in a riding accident, she’s forced to recuperate at Rookwood Hall, where Sir Philip is hosting the Murder.

Guy rushes to protect her, but the Murder aren’t what he expects. They’re educated, fascinating people, and the notorious Sir Philip turns out to be charming, kind—and dangerously attractive.

In this private space where anything goes, the longings Guy has stifled all his life are impossible to resist...and so is Philip. But all too soon the rural rumour mill threatens both Guy and Amanda. The innocent country gentleman has lost his heart to the bastard baronet—but does he dare lose his reputation too?

Band Sinister is a new Regency romance from KJ Charles, which I saw described alternately as her most Heyer-esque romance, and the only one of her books that doesn't have a body count. I can't speak to the Heyer bit (I know, I know, I like Regency romances and haven't read Heyer!), but look! All of the problems in the book are solved by people actually talking about them!

Guy Frisby's problems are numerous: he and his sister Amanda are permanently exiled to the countryside due to family scandals, Amanda has written a Gothic novel that is very blatantly based on their scandalous neighbour and his Hellfire club – oh, and of course, Amanda's just been in a terrible accident that means that she's got to recuperate in their neighbour's house, where no one will go to chaperone her recovery except Guy. ... And also their neighbour is handsome and charming AS WELL as being scandalous. This is definitely a problem too.

Read more... )

In conclusion: this is very different from KJ Charles' usual! If I hadn't known it was hers, I'm not sure I would have been able to guess, to be honest; the humour and sense of community is there, but the tone and the voice it's written in felt very different. It was a very soothing read that appealed to me in the same way that Rose Lerner's romances do, where fundamentally decent people are trying to do their best by each other against a backdrop of social and political shenaniganry. If you want something with a funny, gentle romance where all problems are solvable through talking to each other like adults, this might be a good thing to check out!

[Caution warnings: neglect, abuse, and slavery mentioned in backstory. This review was based on an ARC from the author.]


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