Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: An Unseen Attraction
SERIES: Sins of the Cities #1
AUTHOR: K.J. Charles
LENGTH: 247 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 21, 2017
A slow-burning romance and a chilling mystery bind two singular men in the suspenseful first book of a new Victorian series from K. J. Charles.
Lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer prefers a quiet life. He’s happy with his hobbies, his work—and especially with his lodger Rowley Green, who becomes a friend over their long fireside evenings together. If only neat, precise, irresistible Mr. Green were interested in more than friendship…
Rowley just wants to be left alone—at least until he meets Clem, with his odd, charming ways and his glorious eyes. Two quiet men, lodging in the same house, coming to an understanding… it could be perfect. Then the brutally murdered corpse of another lodger is dumped on their doorstep and their peaceful life is shattered.
Now Clem and Rowley find themselves caught up in a mystery, threatened on all sides by violent men, with a deadly London fog closing in on them. If they’re to see their way through, the pair must learn to share their secrets—and their hearts.
There’s just something so appealing about the stories K.J. Charles writes; the mysteries are always well done and the characters are more appealing than they have any right to be. This latest book was all that and more and I find myself both eagerly anticipating the sequel and looking forward to re-reading this first novel as a result.
Pretty much everything about and within this story moved at a slower pace, which was a different experience for me; I’m used to fast relationships and, at the very least, a moderately swift resolution to the book’s mysteries. An Unseen Attraction takes its time with both and really lets things build before giving you any kind of resolution, which was actually kind of nice. I really liked how things were put together and the thought that obviously went into everything; I found myself noticing small details that I otherwise would’ve overlooked in a story that moved along at a faster pace. I also found my appreciation of the characters to be much more than anticipated because I had more time to get to know them and to see them all interact with one another. I will totally be the first to admit that I never once thought I’d enjoy a story with a taxidermist as a main character.
Rowley turned out to be a thoughtful man that just happened to look upon death a bit differently than others; in that regard, he and Clem were well matched. Both men were also used to being looked down upon in certain circles, Rowley for his profession and Clem because of his race and inability to handle too much going on at once. I liked the understanding these two men had with each other and the confidence that seemed to grow between them with every interaction. They mystery itself was well thought out and enjoyable with a nice variety of secondary characters that enhanced the story rather than detracting from it. I did manage to figure out several key things along the way which took away some of the element of surprise I look forward to in this type of novel, but I was still caught unawares in regards to the reasoning and the journey getting to the end was a great one regardless.
If you enjoy historical novels, have enjoyed this author’s works before, or are just looking for a different kind of mystery, I’d say this is a must read for you.