In the sordid streets of Victorian London, unwanted desire flares between two bitter enemies brought together by a deadly secret.
Crusading journalist Nathaniel Roy is determined to expose spiritualists who exploit the grief of bereaved and vulnerable people. First on his list is the so-called Seer of London, Justin Lazarus. Nathaniel expects him to be a cheap, heartless fraud. He doesn’t expect to meet a man with a sinful smile and the eyes of a fallen angel—or that a shameless swindler will spark his desires for the first time in years.
Justin feels no remorse for the lies he spins during his séances. His gullible clients simply bore him. Hostile, disbelieving, utterly irresistible Nathaniel is a fascinating challenge. And as their battle of wills and wits heats up, Justin finds he can’t stop thinking about the man who’s determined to ruin him.
But Justin and Nathaniel are linked by more than their fast-growing obsession with one another. They are both caught up in an aristocratic family’s secrets, and Justin holds information that could be lethal. As killers, fanatics, and fog close in, Nathaniel is the only man Justin can trust—and, perhaps, the only man he could love.
Best Line: Justin patted her thin fingers soothingly. There, there. You saved for two years to look for your lost children, and you’re spending the money on a spiritualist instead of a private detective. You hopeless, soggy mopstick. There, there
Okay, so, confession time. I love con men stories. Always have. A story about a fraudster pretending to be a seer set against the backdrop of a Victorian romp was always going to tick every single box I have. This was a rollicking, breathless adventure I read in a day and still can't stop bothering people about.
Nathanial is a bit of a prat who needs to get his righteous rage on to feel good about himself. Justin is a morally corrupt scallywag and between the two of them the sass is at critical levels. Some of the dialogue in this is just superb.
This is the second book but I had no troubles getting into it. The series follows different couples whose stories overlap and, to be honest, I think that if I hadn't started with this I wouldn'tve continued. The first book takes a little while to get going before it becomes good while this launches straight into sizzling tension and tight pacing.
Also, big cheers to the amount of inclusivity on show in this series. Far from the standard 'Everyone in Victorian England was made of bland mayonnaise', Charles' world includes POC, disabled people, autistic people, some gender fluidity and a gay club run by a trans woman. It's refreshing and a HEAP of fun.
If you like your queer romance with cracking dialogue, tight plotting and witty conmen, this is the book for you.