Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: The Unsuitable Heir
SERIES: Sins of the Cities #3
AUTHOR: K.J. Charles
LENGTH: 246 pages
RELEASE DATE: October 3, 2017
A private detective finds passion, danger, and the love of a lifetime when he hunts down a lost earl in Victorian London.
On the trail of an aristocrat’s secret son, enquiry agent Mark Braglewicz finds his quarry in a music hall, performing as a trapeze artist with his twin sister. Graceful, beautiful, elusive, and strong, Pen Starling is like nobody Mark’s ever met—and everything he’s ever wanted. But the long-haired acrobat has an earldom and a fortune to claim.
Pen doesn’t want to live as any sort of man, least of all a nobleman. The thought of being wealthy, titled, and always in the public eye is horrifying. He likes his life now—his days on the trapeze, his nights with Mark. And he won’t be pushed into taking a title that would destroy his soul.
But there’s a killer stalking London’s foggy streets, and more lives than just Pen’s are at risk. Mark decides he must force the reluctant heir from music hall to manor house, to save Pen’s neck. Betrayed by the one man he thought he could trust, Pen never wants to see his lover again. But when the killer comes after him, Pen must find a way to forgive—or he might not live long enough for Mark to make amends.
You know, when I first started this series, I thought it was enjoyable, and I liked it, but it hadn’t grabbed me the way some of this author’s other works had. This last book, however? Wow! I loved this book! Told in the same style with a focus on the mystery rather than the relationship between the main characters, the author put the focus on all the right things and left me almost in awe of how good everything turned out to be.
First, let me just say that anyone looking for a really good book featuring a trans/non-binary main character would be well served taking a good long look at this story. I’ve read other trans stories before but none that really captured the real essence of the character in question, if that makes sense. Pen being trans isn’t something that’s mentioned and/or just glossed over, he just totally owns it; its who he is and despite all the difficulties of the era and his unwanted new found responsibilities, his sense of self doesn’t waver. It was amazing and I loved reading every bit of it! Mark’s easy and open acceptance of Pen was beautiful to see, as well, and these two men together was near perfect; they really did compliment each other wonderfully.
Much like the previous books, this last book in the Sins of the Cities series was story driven with the relationship between Pen and Mark coming in second to the mystery being unraveled. As this had been the norm for the first two stories, I wasn’t expecting any differently and really, the story is so good that, even though I would’ve liked to have seen more together time between Mark and Pen, I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest but what I was given. All my favorite characters make a reappearance in this last book, which was nice, but there were some new ones, like Pen’s sister, Greta, that I was thrilled to make the acquaintance of. It can sometimes be difficult to find a nice, strong female character in m/m stories but Greta was one of a kind and certainly falls within that category; I’m only sorry I didn’t get more time with her before now.
And the ending? So Good! I had no idea what was coming before the author wanted me to and it was worth the wait and the three books worth of frustration with just wanting some answers; seriously, so good. Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to this book and the series over all and this was absolutely my favorite book of the three. You do have to read this series in order as all the books build on one another but it was well worth it just for this last story. From the story to the characters themselves, this was a total winner and I highly recommend the entire series to fans of historical stories, mysteries and anyone that’s enjoyed this author previously.