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An Unsuitable Heir

(Sins of the Cities #3)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  2,488 ratings  ·  537 reviews
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 ev
Kindle Edition, 211 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Loveswept
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MaryCT If anyone's still wondering, this series has to be read in order. I tried starting with book 3, not knowing this was part of a series, and quickly rea…moreIf anyone's still wondering, this series has to be read in order. I tried starting with book 3, not knowing this was part of a series, and quickly realized that I had to stop and go back to book 1. Now it all makes much more sense. (less)

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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*4.5 stars*

An absolutely perfect ending to a series that got better and better as it went along! K.J. Charles did these characters justice!

I'll admit, I was nervous to read this book.

I've read over 30 books with trans and/or genderqueer main characters, but my average rating of these books is almost exactly 3-stars, with a lot of 1 and 2 star ratings thrown in. I've found that it is difficult for many authors, for some reason, to write trans or gender non-binary characters without giving the o
☙ nemo ❧ (pagesandprozac)
*walks into Goodreads clanging pots and pans together* STOP TAGGING THIS AS M/M, PEN IS NONBINARY, THANKS

((yeah, i had to say that before beginning the review, lmao.))

This was an excellent conclusion to the Sins of the Cities trilogy, with wonderfully written romantic conflict and the Great Reveal of the person who has been behind all of the murders. I also really loved the exploration of what it was like to be nonbinary in a time when the concept was completely unknown in the Western world, a
K.J. Charles
Feb 19, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
The conclusion of the Sins of the Cities trilogy in which the fog finally lifts and All Is Revealed.

This one stars Mark Braglewicz, private enquiry agent, and right now that's all I'm saying. Wouldn't want to spoil anything... :D
Xan West
A copy was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I do not recommend this book to trans, non-binary, and/or disabled readers.

I was really excited for this book. Genderfluid character in a historical queer romance by one of my favorite authors...I was anticipating this book for months. Unfortunately, the genderfluid representation--which was what I was so excited for--didn't work for me. And I was also troubled by the disability representation.

This has all th
Group unicorn review with Chelsea and Adam


"-I'm not a woman, but that doesn't make me a man either."
"Right. What?"
"You heard."

K.J. Charles returns with the last addition to the Sins of the Cities, book #3 An Suitable Heir. And I have been waiting on this book since reading about 31 year old private enquiry agent Mark Braglewicz in the first book. He's the plain speaking detective that will seek the truth no matter if it hurts.

You must read this series in order and
Kaje Harper
This is my favorite book in the series, but cannot be read alone. The mystery thread comes to its end here.

In Pen, we meet one of the most engaging genderqueer characters in M/M. From a constrained, rigidly religious childhood, Pen and his sister Greta ran away to become trapeze artists. The combination of art and costume made this the perfect place for Pen to live the fluidity of his gender identity. (He uses male pronouns throughout, although in more modern times might choose differently.) De
h o l l i s
"You know, people tell you a lot of things about how the world is or ought to be, but it's mostly bollocks. Bishops and barristers bleat on about the laws of nature, but.. well, fire burns, and if you drop a thing it falls, and after that I reckon everything's up for debate. I'm not going to tell anyone how they should be."

I did the happiest of happy dances when I got approved for this title. Book two remains, hands-down, my favourite but AN UNSUITABLE HEIR has a very satisfying end for the seri
The awaited end to this trilogy is finally out. A satisfactory ending to the story arc and all the characters involved except for the dead ones of course. Trilogies are tricky because like Olympians they need to peak at the right moment. Fortunately for books this is subjective to the reader, what does not work for me will work very well for another reader. For me the first book remained the strongest. I was hooked in during the first and then got unhooked during the second and third.  Maybe it' ...more
~Mindy Lynn~

A great ending to an enjoyable series.

I would have enjoyed it more if Mark and Pen's relationship was more of the focus instead of the mystery. I'm not saying the mystery wasn't interesting, it was. It was well written and plotted out. I enjoyed it until the end. But for me it really dragged in some places and it made the book feel longer than what it is. The mystery was well done and I was completely in the dark on whodunit until the very end. The first two books were a great lead up
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

Wow, um, I'm not sure what to think about this one. I've been following this series since the first book appeared as an ARC on Netgalley, and somehow I've been lucky enough to get a copy of each book in the series as it was coming out, which makes this my first completed series by K.J. Charles.

I liked AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION, although it had many slow points and Clem was always accusing Rowley of dumb stuff. I understood where his suspicion
Mark Braglewicz's inquiry to look for the missing heir of previously deceased Lord Moreton brings him to Pen and Greta Starling from the Flying Starling trapeze act. Mark is fascinated with Pen -- the artist with muscular shoulder and long hair is different compared to other men or women that Mark is involved before. But Mark has a job to do, there is a killer on the loose and dead set on killing people from discovering the Earl of Moreton; even if he has to break Pen's heart to do it.

Pen Starli
Al *the semi serial series skipper*
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, arc
I recently discovered K.J Charles and I've slowly gotten used to her writing. This book was terrific, you don't see a non binary character in HR everyday. I liked the complexity of Pen's character, I couldn't really connect with Mark, he didn't have much of a personality. The mystery of book one is tied up nicely and everyone gets their HEA.

Can not be read as a standalone.

I received this book courtesy of Netgallery and the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Emilia Barnes
Oh this is difficult for me - K.J. Charles has been an auto-buy for me for ages. She's a solid read, every time. Her particular skill is to marry dangerous-feeling action with romance that actually makes your heart melt. But this... this was a mistake.

I didn't finish it, but that is mostly because I felt nothing. And I felt nothing, because Charles wanted so badly for me to feel so much that she laid it all out in heavy-handed and rather improbably dialogue, in which a gender-fluid person is li
5 hearts!

Group Review yet again with Baby and Adam!!

Wow. Just wow. That was sooo super adorable! My God, Mark and Pen are just the cutest couple!

We know Mark well from the last couple of books, pragmatic, loyal, private investigator Mark! But he blew me away in this book, his thoughtfulness and understanding of everyone around him, especially Pen, was refreshing and slightly unexpected of him. Pen definitely needed him and their relationship was wonderful, no misunderstandings, yes there was con
K.J. Charles writes beautifully of Victorian London and at the end of her Sins of the Cities series, the back alleys and nooks and crannies of London and the Jack and Knave pub feel real, and the lives of working men (Clem and Rowley), lawyer / journalist Nathaniel Roy, the faux spiritualist Justin Lazarus, and acrobats Pen and Greta and the enquiry agent Mark Braglewicz are beautifully interwoven and give us a glimpse of life beyond the typical Lords and Ladies historical novel.

In the backgrou
Mónica BQ
I think I’m being overly generous with two stars. Call it a sentimental rating for an author I usually praise endlessly.

The mystery is mediocre. In every book it’s dependent on what other people resolve or do, so even though it occupies a significant portion of the books, it’s never really a plot that involves the main characters of each set. Which in turn takes away space from the romantic plots, that were subpar through the entire series. I liked each character separately but the actual couple
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved the dynamic between Mark and Pen. I really enjoyed this trilogy.
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I freely admit that I’ve been chomping at the bit to get my hands on this third and final instalment of K.J. Charles’  Sins of the Cities  trilogy, eager to discover who has been violently disposing of anyone with knowledge of the missing heir to the Moreton earldom and to find out how all the pieces of the puzzle the author has so cleverly devised fit together.

Note:  The books in this series could be read as standalones (although I wouldn’t advise it!), but there is an overarching plot tha
I was moaning the other day about an author who hadn't heard that "The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there." K.J. Charles, on the other hand, plunges us into the strange land of C19th London with every well-chosen detail.
"They were good kippers, from Brookes Market. It was a good breakfast. Pen had made the tea and cooked the kippers up in a jug over the fire while he toasted yesterday’s bread on a fork...Fox Court, where their lodging house stood, wasn’t a particularly
Ben Howard
Mar 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great trilogy!

Each book follows one couple, with an overarching storyline that culminates here. We also get an epilogue seeing how all the couples are doing; a nice send off.
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
I highly enjoyed the conclusion to this series. I was on the edge of my seat and could not figure out how it could end happily for Pen. A very satisfying ending. I loved Matthew Lloyd Davies' narration as always! ...more
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-mm
4 stars

I'm giving this 4 stars because I really, really loved seeing a character like Pen in historical m/m. The romance itself fell a little flat for me though. Book #2 was by far my favourite read of the series.
I've given this an A for narration and a B+ for content at AudioGals, so that's 4.5 stars rounded up.

K.J. Charles brings her wonderful Victorian-set romantic/gothic/mystery Sins of the Cities trilogy to a most satisfying conclusion with An Unsuitable Heir, in which missing heirs are found, peril is encountered, murder is a distinct possibility and love grows in the unlikeliest of places. I’ve found the trilogy utterly captivating and entirely delightful; the characters, the setting and the p
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, lgbtq
A genderfluid MC in a historical novel?
I really was not sure how that one would work out.
Let me tell you – KJ Charles dealt with it brilliantly.

Pen does not identify exclusively male or female.

“I am not a woman, but that doesn’t make me a man, either.”

“I’m not a she and I’m not an it, and at least he doesn’t cause trouble.”

He feels constricted by the thought of having to be either one or the other. Feeling at odds with the male side of his body is part of that.

He couldn’t change what parts
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a shame there are only 3 books in this series, they were so much fun. The clever murder mystery developed throughout all 3 books and resulted in a terrific ending. One of the reasons I love m/m historicals is because the characters suffer so much trying to hide their attraction from the outside world that you often get the bonus of a really good ending! This one is my favourite I believe as Mark and Pen were absolutely made for each other.
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was my favorite of the series by far. Sorry it ended here!
Barb ~rede-2-read~
A copy of this book was provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Those of us who’ve read the series to date had some idea of who one of the MCs would be for this one since the search was on for the lost Earl of Moreton as the previous book was winding down. The twins, Repentance (Pen) and Regret (Greta) Godfrey, are located by private enquiry agent Mark Braglewicz, a friend of Nathaniel Roy (An Unnatural Vice). Pen will become the Earl of Moreton as soon as his birthright is
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received this book as ARC from netgalley.
The last book from the Sins of the cities trilogy!
This time, we get to follow the story of Mark Braglewicz, a private detective and twins Pen and Greta Starling, whose existence was slowly revealed in previous books. (I definitely recommend reading this trilogy in published order, otherwise you will spoil yourself) Lot of people are searching for the twins, including Mark, because they are rightful heirs of the earldom. Problem is, Pen doesnt want to ha
An Unsuitable Heir, the final novel in K.J. Charles’ Sins of the Cities series, was a sensational, unputdownable conclusion, filled to the brim with murder, scandal, sexual tension, and two unconventional men finding love and acceptance in 19th century Britain.

It is easy for me to say that An Unsuitable Heir is my favourite K.J. Charles novel. The stunning conclusion was everything I wanted in the novel and more, and I closed the book with a massive smile on my face. Charles has outdone herself
"You have no idea how extraordinary you are, do you?" "I'm really not. I'm just a bloke." "Just a bloke who makes everything right all around him. Just a bloke who listens to people and respects them and doesn't even blink at how anyone else is ... You want me. Not me as a man or a woman, or me without the difficult parts. Just me."

(yes, I know. Pen looks nothing like this. But their attitudes are the same and I love this movie :))

Oh wow. What an ending to this series. Everything is neatly tied
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KJ is a writer of romance, mostly m/m, historical or fantasy or both. She blogs about writing and editing at

She lives in London, UK, with her husband, two kids, and a cat of absolute night.

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Other books in the series

Sins of the Cities (3 books)
  • An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities, #1)
  • An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities, #2)

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“I’ll be honest, right now you could probably talk me into anything. Chains or leather or ducks.”
Pen pressed against him. “What would I use a duck for?”
“Don’t ask me. I said you could talk me into it, not that it was my idea.”
“I’m not doing anything with a duck.”
“Fine. Forget the duck.”
“Jesus, Pen, “I love you.” Mark sounded almost disbelieving. “You’re magical.”
“I’m not,” Pen said. “I’m me, and you took the trouble to look. And I see you, Mr. Penny Plain Practical Man who ‘just gets on with things,’ pretending not to be the most wonderful man in the world. And I don’t care if nobody else sees that, any more than Greta does about Tim. I know, and that’s all that matters.”
“God.” Mark pulled him round, resting his head against Pen’s. “I love you.”
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