Thursday, December 17, 2015
Review: A Seditious Affair (Society of Gentleman #2) by K.J. Charles
K. J. Charles turns up the heat in her new Society of Gentlemen novel, as two lovers face off in a sensual duel that challenges their deepest beliefs.
Silas Mason has no illusions about himself. He’s not lovable, or even likable. He’s an overbearing idealist, a Radical bookseller and pamphleteer who lives for revolution . . . and for Wednesday nights. Every week he meets anonymously with the same man, in whom Silas has discovered the ideal meld of intellectual companionship and absolute obedience to his sexual commands. But unbeknownst to Silas, his closest friend is also his greatest enemy, with the power to see him hanged—or spare his life.
A loyal, well-born gentleman official, Dominic Frey is torn apart by his affair with Silas. By the light of day, he cannot fathom the intoxicating lust that drives him to meet with the Radical week after week. In the bedroom, everything else falls away. Their needs match, and they are united by sympathy for each other’s deepest vulnerabilities. But when Silas’s politics earn him a death sentence, desire clashes with duty, and Dominic finds himself doing everything he can to save the man who stole his heart. ~ Goodreads
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Gah! It’s always the books I love the most that leave me flailing and tongue tied.
I enjoyed the first book in Society of Gentleman series, A Fashionable Intelligence, ( & the Charles stand alone M/M Historical Romance, Think of England) but A Seditious Affair is my absolute favorite by this author so far.
She always does a great job combining historical details with sexual tension, excellent supporting characters and a touch of humor. In A Seditious Affair she’s cranked all that up x’s 100 and this book was an absolute page turner.
Silas, a cranky bookseller and political radical has been meeting with Dominic, a high born, who works at the Home Office, hunting down those who seek to overturn the government, for a secret, passionate affair for a year. They suspect that they have different politics and have high spirited discussions but never exchange names or personal information, until the outside world invades and forces them to make tough choices and decide if theirs is just an illicit affair to work out a kink or more.
Ok – so first – the kink. Dominic likes D/s, rough sex and to be shamed. This is not my thing and I rarely enjoy that dynamic. I feel like whatever two consenting adults do is fine – but I don’t often enjoy reading about it because it always feels one sided, we don’t learn about the dom as much as the sub & the relationship doesn’t seem to exist outside the bedroom.
However, K.J. Charles wrote this SO beautifully. The opening chapter was a bit explicit and harsh but there are these little details that show caring and affection between the two men. While Silas gives into Dominic’s needs, pushes him even – he always gives him a way out and looks for cues so he pushed too far.
And Silas’s boundaries are respected as well. There are certain things he won’t do and Dominic respects and is sensitive to that. Silas, at times, wants to be gentle with Dominic and show affection and kindness – something NOT part of Dominic’s kink but Silas finds a way that gives both men what they need and it’s one of my favorite scenes from the book.
I guess what I’m saying is the sex is actually important to the plot in this case but their relationship goes well beyond the bedroom. They have long talks, work through problems verbally and not just sexually. I believe in these two - as friends and more.
Oh the angst! Once they discover they are on other sides of the law they need to make a choice and it’s not an easy one to turn your back on everything you believe in and they might not even want to. Again, the politics are written just as brilliantly. I found myself thinking how relevant Dominic and Silas’s arguments were to today’s politics and the way we discuss differences in policy. I think we could all learn something from the way Silas and Dominic resolve their issues.
A Seditious Affair is not a fluffy read but it is a story you can really sink your teeth into. It’s complex, sensual, raw and gosh darn it – SUPER romantic. It’s one of my favorite reads of 2015.
If you like this type of read then I also highly recommend a contemporary M/M with similar gritty themes of romance and politics & also another top 2015 read of mine - Playing to Win (Glascow Lads, #2) by Avery Cockburn