Welcome to Under the Covers historical week! It’s a week where we catch the historical romance fever and try and show you why we love this genre. I know when I first contemplated reading some historical I was a little embarrassed, I mean it’s a genre only old ladies read right? Oh how wrong I was! Historical romance is a rich and diverse genre that can be light and fun or dark and thought provoking with every shade in between. Which, is why we like to take one week a year to really appreciate it.
Today we are featuring an excerpt from the upcoming first book in a new LGBT historical romance series by K.J. Charles. AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION is the first in the Sins of the Cities series. Here’s a little taste.
The box was high up, on one side of the large music hall. They had two chairs set close together in a little space that looked out over the crowd, which was a fearsome array of humanity already. Tobacco smoke hung thick in the air, and the gaslights blazed. It smelled of oranges and unwashed skin and perfume and, where Rowley was, of Clem.
“Is this all right?” he asked. “If it isn’t, if you’re uncomfortable, will you say?”
Clem nodded, looking down on the crowd. He clearly wasn’t troubled by heights. “Rowley?”
“How did you know to do this?”
“Well, you told me,” Rowley said. “You said it was the jostling and people shouting in one’s ear, which I don’t enjoy either—”
“Yes, but you can, can’t you? You’d just be a bit hot and bothered, sitting down there.”
“Very hot and bothered, and probably with a view of some lady’s best hat. I’m a little short for the seats.” He looked sideways at Clem’s profile, the little frown between the dark brows. “But yes, I could very easily sit in the stalls. I’m quite happy that you’d rather not.”
“Most people,” Clem said carefully, “most people think that I shouldn’t make a fuss.”
“Most people think that nobody should make a fuss until it’s their own comfort at stake, at which point they will bring the roof down shrieking about it.” Clem gave a startled yelp of laughter. Rowley went on. “And in any case, you didn’t make a fuss. You said what you wanted, that’s all, and since it was very easy for me to get what wanted while giving you what wanted—”
“What do you want?” The words came out on an indrawn breath, like a little gasp. Clem’s hands were on the rail, long brown fingers curved around the brass, and he wasn’t looking at Rowley, but their thighs were pressed close, so very warm and firm, and he wasn’t moving away.
“I’d like to make you happy,” Rowley said softly. “However that might be done.”
Clem’s breathing deepened a little. “Uh, Rowley?”
“My friends said I should tell you that I’m very bad at taking hints. They thought I should be sure to let you know that.” Clem was trying to smile, not quite managing it.
Rowley considered. “Well, firstly, I did know that. And secondly, it sounds as though you have interesting friends, and thirdly . . .” It was extraordinarily difficult, here in a public place even if nobody else could hear a word, after a lifetime’s habit of secrecy and allusion and implication. All the things he wanted to say were coded. Perfectly clear to any other man, but then Rowley wasn’t interested in any other man.
Damn it. He put his hand to Clem’s thigh, not far enough to be a gross intrusion but decidedly too far up for a friendly pat on the knee, and felt him shiver but not move away. He took a deep breath and more or less choked on it as Clem’s hand slid down over his, gently interlacing their fingers.
“I think I can take hint,” Clem murmured, and then jumped as the band’s chaotic tuning up burst out into a fanfare. “Oh, here we are.” He didn’t release Rowley’s hand. Rowley didn’t want to move it. He flattened his palm over the wool of Clem’s trouser leg, feeling the muscle underneath, and the fingers that pushed between his own.
Copyright © 2017 by K.J. Charles and reprinted by permission of Penguin Random House Digital Publishing.
Available February 21, 2017!
by K.J. Charles
Released: February 21st 2017
Series: Sins of the Cities #1
Published by Loveswept
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.