Wednesday books, 13 April 2016

Last book finished: I was going to declare that A Seditious Affair by KJ Charles that was my favourite of all her books, but then I read A Gentleman’s Position and it was even better, so there you go. Two books finished in the last week and I adored them both.

Everything I sad about Seditious Affair last week still holds true, and best of all, she stuck the landing. It’s terrific. I couldn’t see how she could possibly make everything work out, but she did, and she did it in a way that was true to both characters.

A Gentleman’s Position is still winning for me, though. Just by a margin, but it’s there. Partially this is because it’s the last book in the trilogy, so it ties up threads that have been running for three books. That makes it hugely satisfying to read. It probably works as a stand-alone, because Charles keeps the reader updated on the plotlines she’s referencing, but I think the pay-off is better if you’ve read all of them. Having all the backstory makes it a richer book.

That element is important, but it’s not what made me flail so hard about this book. It’s this: A Gentleman’s Position is possibly the most intensely-felt romance I’ve read.

I’d been hoping that the tiny hints I saw in the first book about Richard’s feelings feelings for his valet would be fulfilled eventually, but I had no idea that it would be this good.

It’s not a book about falling in love. I think that’s the beauty of it. Both characters have been in love for years, but due to their relative positions, they’ve never acted on it. They’ve kept it hidden, repressed, from each other as well as the rest of the world. At the same time, they’ve formed such a tight bond that neither of them knows how to get by without the other when they are forced apart. They’ve become each other’s closest confidant, which makes the entire situation that bit worse when everything begins to implode, because who would they normally talk to when that happens?

It’s a story about being in love and finding a way to be together, in a world and time where their classes and positions are even more mismatched that Silas and Dominic’s. At least for Silas and Dominic, there wasn’t the tangle of master and servant to work through. It’s about working around the impossible, the depths of the heart, and growing into something better.

One of the things that really resonated, for me, was that Richard is demisexual. The word didn’t exist in the nineteenth century, but it’s expressed in the text, and that’s something I rarely see in fiction. I was delighted to read a hero that I could sympathise so much with.

So, yes. Demisexual hero, intense love story, delightfully wonderful valet, and a conclusion that made me ridiculously happy and satisfied. I’m not sure how anyone is going to beat that for me for a while, at least in the romance genre.

Current read: Still working on Russian History: A Very Short Introduction. This will always be my status. One day. One day, I’ll finish it. This week, I promise to at least open it and read a sentence, okay?

A Gathering of Shadows is on temporary hiatus while I read Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. I’m not sure I can talk about this one until it’s finished, except to say that I am loving it.

Next read: I’ll be back to A Gathering of Shadows after I’ve finished the McGuire, and then, who knows? I’ve got Mistress of the Art of Death out from the library, so I should probably read that before it’s due back.

What are you reading this week, and would you recommend it?