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Spectred Isle

(Green Men #1)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,813 ratings  ·  368 reviews
Archaeologist Saul Lazenby has been all but unemployable since his disgrace during the War. Now he scrapes a living working for a rich eccentric who believes in magic. Saul knows it’s a lot of nonsense...except that he begins to find himself in increasingly strange and frightening situations. And at every turn he runs into the sardonic, mysterious Randolph Glyde.

ebook, 271 pages
Published August 3rd 2017 by KJC Books
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  1,813 ratings  ·  368 reviews

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K.J. Charles
First of my new 1920s paranormal romance series, set in England a few years after the First World War. While battle raged in Flanders, a hidden war was being fought by arcanists and occultists, and the continuing fallout of that is still causing chaos five years later. Randolph Glyde, arcanist of a great and ancient family, is trying to hold London's magical defences together almost single-handed, and it doesn't help that the same man, disgraced archaeologist Saul Lazenby, keeps inexplicably ...more
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ghosts, fantasy, mythology
This was quite fun, although I'm wondering if I ought have read one of those The Haunted Realm type non-fictions first. Not that it was hard to understand without, except that when they talked about Geoffrey de Mandeville I was initially (mistakenly) thinking of John de Mandeville, which indicated quite a different plot direction.

Anyway. Fun! This is set in the same world as The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, but after WWI, which is to say after the Feximal/Caldwell story ends. Sam, one of
Kaje Harper
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, fantasy, historical
4.5 stars - This story begins a new historical paranormal series from one of my favorite authors. It builds slowly, and took me a while to really connect with the main characters, but about a third of the way in it clicked, and the pace of both action and emotion picked up. The post WW I historical context rings true and the two men walk through it with their burdens and their hurts, their pride and fear.

Archaeologist Saul Lazenby faced betrayal, and worse - the knowledge he had inadvertently
Lost in a Book
Group review with Adam, Chelsea and Lorix

3.5 Stars

Would it be dramatic to say that I’m super duper times a million bummed that I didn’t love this? I had heart eyes opening up this book from all of my past love affairs with KJC’s books. And man oh man did I love the first 6% and I really liked the last 30%… It was the in between that was hard to swallow.

We have Saul Lazenby, an archaeologist that has been living a hard life since he was deemed a traitor during WWI and subsequently disowned by
K.J. Charles gets her new Green Men series of paranormal historical romances off to a terrific start with Spectred Isle, an utterly captivating mix of adventure, mystery and romance all bound up in old English folklore, myth and magic.

Randolph Glyde is the last member of an old English family whose lineage goes back centuries. Throughout the ages, the Glydes have been charged by successive monarchs with the protection of England from supernatural entities. Known as the Green Men, theirs is an
If only more of his work involved sinewy, sunburned, sensitive men, rather than people who lacked the common decency to die properly.

So, I'll admit that this isn't my favourite read by Charles. Maybe I expected too much after the complete and utter delight that was THE SECRET CASEBOOK OF SIMON FEXIMAL (which, by the way, is definitely required reading before this book). Or maybe it was the fact that I had almost no time to read this with any kind of dedication that played a part in some of my
3.75 stars rounded up

Spectred Isle didn't start pack up and running for me until around 25% or so.

Despite having read The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, I found myself quite confused with the world-built in the beginning, it seemed like too much history has happened before the book started; too many players being dropped on me without any introduction. It is always a big issue for me when it comes to paranormal/fantasy book. I'm not really a visual and imaginative person. So I kind of need
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Very much enjoyed this short interwar romance with more than a dash of the supernatural. Will read more!
Another exciting and compelling historical novel by KJ Charles.

Spectred Isle takes place in the same narrative universe of Charles' The Casebook of Simon Feximal and moves the action to 1923 when the after-effects of both WW1 and of the War Beneath are still acutely felt.

The two main characters in the novel, disgraced archeologist Saul Lazenby and occultist Randolph Glyde meet by chance on a series of sites where supernatural events are taking place. Unbeknownst to Saul, Randolph is part of
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Spectred Isle might just be my new favorite book by KJ Charles. It seems that I am saying that with every new book that she is publishing, but, seriously, you all, it was incredibly good.

As always, the historical setting is palpable, which is a given with the author. This book additionally shines through both the main characters and their romance as well as the paranormal aspect that was a pure delight.

Regarding the protagonists Randolph and Saul, who both get point of views in alternating
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting paranormal romance set in 1920s England and dealing with the aftermath of the secret war that paralleled WW1, but using the occult rather than conventional weapons.

In this environment, disgraced former soldier Saul Lazenby has taken the only job he could get, helping out the crackpot Major Peabody with his seemingly random investigations into London's occult past. After Saul comes across something genuinely unexplained, he keeps running into a mysterious stranger who
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Thank you, Kinky Tinselicker: An Elf on Probation, for the gift!!
Check out the group review over at the blog!

3.75 stars

K.J. Charles delivers another entertaining MM historical paranormal!

Opposites-attract and enemies-to-lovers are two of my favourite themes. When Randolph and Saul first meet, they start off on the wrong foot. And they’re definitely opposites, with Saul a poor man of science, while Randolph is a wealthy elite member of the magical world.

I highly enjoyed their early bantering and squabbles. What made it even better was that neither could deny
Ulysses Dietz
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Spectred Isle (Green Men, book 1)
KJ Charles
KJC Books, 2017
Five stars

“Get out of my way, bureaucrat, or I’ll burn your paper castle to the ground.”

Ooh. This is good. Very good. Now, already being a fan of KJ Charles’ writing, I must have bought this last year on the strength her Magpie Lord series, or “The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal.”

What Charles manages to do is to offer a wonderfully vivid world, based on post-World-War-I England, that is believable and rooted in the harsh realities of
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a 3.5-4 star read for me. Given that it's a paranormal first in series, I expected the universe to feel a bit clunky, and it was a bit, for the most part I thought the universe was pretty fascinating.

The setting: Post World War I, England. The sense of place as always was strong in the story, the landscpapes were a lot of the action scenes took place were brilliantly rendered. KJC has a gift with placing us right were the characters, and she came through on that again.

The Heroes:
4.5 hearts
Ah this book! It was fun, exciting, romantic and sexy, but above all else it made me want to frolic through the English countryside

I loved this story! I was rather skeptical going into this but I found myself stuck to the pages in no time, just like every other KJ Charles book I've read. This book is set in the early 20’s, a couple years after World War One and within the same world as Simon Feximal, so we know it's supernatural.

Saul is an ex soldier and archaeologist and has a shady
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Spectred Isle left me with a book hangover; it’s so good that for a while after I finished it I couldn’t contemplate reading anything else.

KJC’s new story has a really well-imagined and fascinating magic system, based on some cool English mythology – wood woses and Green Men – with which I wasn’t previously familiar. Saul and Randolph, her main characters, come together in such a satisfying way. They’re both emotionally and physically scarred by Word War One in a way that feels genuine, complex
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it
This book. You won't believe how long it took me to finish it. I don't know what went wrong, but I could feel no passion between characters, and neither could I muster it for the book itself.
Additionally, the romance between Saul and Randolf distracted from the rest of the plot so much that fantasy/mytsery/adventure parts of it ended up being unsatisfying too.

It's well-written, it doesn't concentrate only on romance, lots of things happen in it, and still reading it was like going through the
Liz Jacobs
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this book, and found it absolutely phenomenal. Rich in atmosphere, the story is fantastic (and a wonderful, incredibly worthy spin-off from Simon Feximal, the most heartbreaking of Charles's work), the chemistry between two leads is...I don't have the words. It's off the chain, basically. Everything about it is gorgeous and had me absolutely hooked. I cannot, cannot wait until this book is out in the world so I can make everybody read it. Just gorgeous.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this, probably the 2nd half of the book more so than the first which was a little slow going. Loved the characters, and some epic quotes. Great read.
Chris, the Dalek King
The Great War and The War Beneath may be done, but the damage still lingers on.

For Saul Lazenby, betrayed and disgraced before everyone he knows, London isn’t so much a return to normal as it is the only place left that will have him. And, well, even that is stretching it a bit much. Once an archaeologist that worked with some of the best minds in the field, he is now reduced to following the crazy whims of his employer, who sees mystical and secret events in everything around him. Saul thinks
Karen Wellsbury
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this in one sitting on what should have been a very long and slow train journey, and the time flew by !
For me this was a return to form, having read, and not really enjoyed very much, the first Sins of the Cities book.
But here there is quite a complex plot, woven with legend, a romantic sub plot and characters that are diverse, but don't feel like they have been drawn from a tick box pool (a feeling that I had on a previous book) and an intriguing continuing story.

Looking forward to the
This was my second read, and I loved it even more this second time round (which says a lot, because I loved it a LOT the first time!). For anyone who's enjoyed any of my romantic historical fantasies for adults (especially Masks and Shadows or Congress of Secrets), this is just such a wonderful combination of truly magical (and deeply creepy!) magic with heartfelt, *romantic* romance and a lovely found family, too. I'm really hoping for more books in this alt-historical setting! It's one of my ...more
Joanna Loves Reading
Loved it. I just had some trouble following the intricate plot in audio format. Looking forward to trying more by KJ Charles!
I've given this a B- for narration and an A- for content at AudioGals. That's technically 4-and-a-bit stars, because sadly, the narration doesn't do the book justice.

Spectred Islewas one of my favourite books of 2017 and I’ve been eagerly looking forward to experiencing it again in audio format. The story is a captivating romantic adventure yarn set in England in 1923, wherein a small group of arcanists and ghost-hunters are England’s last line of defence against supernatural threat. Ms. Charles
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
I picked this up, because I have read several short stories by her and also 2 novels/novellas of one of the author‘s other series, The Magpie Lord being the first of those. Very similar set-up, but in earlier, Victorian times. Tall dark stranger, magic, mystery, the other one is generally more of a Dr. Watson type...
A saturnine, sardonic sort of face, clean-shaven; a mouth that seemed made to sneer. He looked like the kind of man Saul had met a great deal in the war in the officer ranks: a
***Audio Review***

Sorry but couldn't continue with it. I did listen to 30% but it was monotonous, no characterisation. Having problems with my audios at the mo which is why I'm listening to ones I know and love. I won't listen to Joel Leslie and for some inexplicable reason, many authors seem to choose him...bizarre IMHO, but hey, it's a free market so I just won't buy their audio. My money, my rules.***

***Book Review***

4.5 stars from me. Yes, as other reviewers have mentioned, it took a little
Sadie Forsythe

Honestly, I didn't love it. I liked it. Charles' quality is still there and she simply does historical so well. But I really felt like I'd been dropped into the middle of this story. Maybe it's because I've not read The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, which is set in the same world, but this isn't supposed to be a sequel to. Maybe it's because Saul and Randolph each have so much history that we're told about, but don't engage in. I don't know, but I never ever felt connected to them or the
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

I'm going to have to go with 2.5 for this one. It's not a bad book, and I love most of KJ Charle's stuff, but I couldn't get into this one. I didn't feel much chemistry between the two, although there was some sweetness, but any steamy moments were ruined for me by the overdose of talkings. A few words and sentences are fine but don't drown it out with full conversations. I found some of the story confusing and just couldn't invest in it. Usually I'm all over the paranormal stuff but this
Neil Plakcy
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Charles writes of a world where magic arises from natural elements like the Green Men of legend, fen-grendels and bog monsters. In the past, occultists have managed Britain's encounters with the world beyond the veil, but during World War I, governments step in, leading to tragedy and the shredding of the veil —allowing monsters to invade.

Now it's up to Randolph Glyde, heir to a lineage of occultists, and scarred war veteran Saul Lazenby, accompanied by a few other stalwarts, to save the world.
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The Backlot Gay B...: Spectred Isle, by KJ Charles (Green Men 1) 1 9 Feb 09, 2018 01:29PM  

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I'm a writer of romance, mostly m/m, often historical or fantasy or both.

I'm also a freelance editor, and I blog about writing and editing at

I live in London, UK, with husband, two kids, and a cat of absolute night.

Follow me on Twitter @kj_charles or friend me on Facebook at

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“People create poetry and mustard gas. We invent gods and monsters and gods that might as well be monsters. We act with extraordinary grace and unfathomable cruelty. We're so terribly intelligent, and dreadfully easy to fool.” 5 likes
“And, to be clear, my family serves England. Not Britain, since the Welsh and Scots and Irish are their own lands,” 1 likes
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