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Band Sinister

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  3,303 ratings  ·  721 reviews
Sir Philip Rookwood is the disgrace of the county. He’s a rake and an atheist, and the rumours about his hellfire club, the Murder, can only be spoken in whispers. (Orgies. It’s orgies.)

Guy Frisby and his sister Amanda live in rural seclusion after a family scandal. But when Amanda breaks her leg in a riding accident, she’s forced to recuperate at Rookwood Hall, where Sir
ebook, 224 pages
Published October 11th 2018 by KJC Books
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Benjamin It's a much simpler book, with a very contained setting and premise but (in my opinion) more maturely written - both in the sense that it's more intel…moreIt's a much simpler book, with a very contained setting and premise but (in my opinion) more maturely written - both in the sense that it's more intellectual and more erotic. I enjoyed both books but they are very different. They are also set a century apart. Not similar in "vibe" at all, though they have some similar themes.(less)

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Average rating 4.28  · 
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 ·  3,303 ratings  ·  721 reviews

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K.J. Charles
Jul 20, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I went Full Heyer on this one. This is as near as I'm likely to get to a light-hearted romcom, which is to say it has an official body count of zero. (I'm pretty sure this is my first book in which nobody dies, which is impressive considering I'm supposed to write romance.) There is a scene where someone gets a bad scratch on his Hessians, but it's only his second-best pair, so don't panic.

Also, tropes. We have rakes! Enemies to lovers! Virgin hero!

I thoroughly enjoyed writing Philip the basta
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
Band Sinister is a strangely sexy romp through the English countryside that explores how an infamous heathen and uptight gentleman come together against all odds.

I didn’t love this book as much as my peeps did, and I feel kind of guilty about that.

I really like K.J. Charles’ writing style and enjoyed the banter and enemies-to-lovers relationship between Phillip and his, uh, “plank.” Amanda, Guy’s sister, was absolutely badass, and I got a kick out of Phillip’s “Murder” gang.

But I had a hell of
* A Reader Obsessed *
3.5 Stars

This was quite the pleasant surprise as I had no expectations, so if you’d like a nice laid back MM historical, I don’t think it will disappoint.

As per the blurb, past family scandal has basically left siblings Guy and Amanda Frisby pretty much ostracized. They live mostly a quiet life of contemplation and monotony, dependent on their aunt’s charity, but when Amanda’s curiosity regarding her infamous bad boy neighbor Sir Phillip of Rookwood, causes her to trespass, her nosiness results
Ms. Smartarse
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ms. Smartarse by: the author
You know those yaoi manga, where one guy basically strong-arms the other one into a relationship? How most of their early sex scenes seem alarmingly close to rape? And how the fandom at large still elects the aggressor as the no #1 hottie of the genre, for several years running? For shame! Also, I think I just described my all time favorite yaoi manga series...

What did I just say?

This book however, is nothing like that, though it manages to fling an impressive amount of cliches your way. There's the mysterious nobl
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is NOT KJ Charles' best work. I'd even go as far as saying it's probably her most disappointing book by her high standards. I am so disappointed in it I may as well have gotten a personality transplant.

Not only was this book poor, it was also just boring and dull. My favourite book of Charles', The Magpie Lord starts with an attempted murder. Much like a great movie, you're thrown right into the action. No exposition, no monologue, no Dear Reader wink wink nudge nudge- just smack right int
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm feeling marvelously debauched now...

Umm, no, it's not what you think, so you should probably pull your mind out of the gutter. ;-)

Band Sinister is a nice little romcom about Guy Frisby, a bit naive but endearing local yokel coming to the rescue of his sister...
sasscastah: “ “I don’t know about anyone else,but I believe a galloping horse is one of the most beautiful sights that can be seen by a human eye.I love the way their ears prick forward,then pin back against the neck.I love the way they flare their...

... in order to retrieve her out of the clutches of Sir Philip Rookwood, a deliciously notorious bastard baronet and his fellow notorious outcasts of society and realizes slowly but surely that said baronet is about to run not
All the LOVE and all the STARS!!!!!

(Edited to add AUDIOBOOK: The narration made this book far less engaging, enjoyable, and funny than reading it. Cornell Collins brought too much propriety and took away the lightness I felt whilst reading. My suggestion: skip the audio.)

Original review:
What a wickedly, salacious country romp in Recency England!!! KJ Charles latest recency romance is pure heart and comedy!! 💓💓💓

I think I fell in love with every single crazy character Charles created!!

Guy and Phi
Kaje Harper
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is great fun, a classic historical romance in the tradition of Heyer et al (were they allowed to see past the bedroom door, and were they fans of love in all its forms.) There is the rake with the heart of gold, the severe family holding the purse-strings, the virgin swiftly falling in love with the "wrong" man, the whispers of the ton with their dire effect on marriageability of young women.

But all those familiar elements become something delightful in this author's hands. This is a fun ro
Richard Derus
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Richard by: Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
I read this delightful fluff in a sitting. (A lying, to be more precise.) I'm pretty sure I was expecting the chuckles I got, but not the lesson in how to make explicit consent offered by the debauchee to the debaucher so well-integrated and even steamy. I've always contended that the largest sex organ is the brain, so really all it took was a bit of imaginative effort to make consent part of seduction and foreplay. Author Charles did this deftly, erotically, and satisfyingly.

I liked Guy, our v
h o l l i s
After a string of meh m/ms (you won't find them in my feed as I didn't bother to review so don't go looking for them), diving into a KJ Charles book was a breath of fresh, fabulous, funny, fucktastic, air. The fact that this particular KJC is basically her take on a rom-com makes it even better. What can't this author do.

BAND SINISTER was lighthearted but not overly silly, dramatic but not OTT, emotional without leaving my feels black and blue, and sensual af. I went into this completely blind
4.5 stars rounded up

K.J. Charles has made no secret of the fact that her latest book, Band Sinister, is an homage to the works of Georgette Heyer, and in it she has great fun playing in the trope-pit of regency romance and turning quite a few of them on their heads.  We’ve got the stranded-injured-sibling trope; the man-of-the-world-falls-for-country-innocent trope; the oops-I-(not so)-accidentally-wrote-you-as-the-villain-in-my-racy-book trope – and those are just the ones I can remember of the
Reread - Jan 2021 - still fabulous, as always though I just want more and more!

5 hearts

Magical. Charles can do no wrong, seriously! Sweet, sexy, and beautifully romantic, this book had me doing nothing for a whole day until I'd completely devoured it.

I've never read a book by Georgette heyer but from what I hear people will be very excited to hear Band Sinister was inspired by Heyer’s writing. I obviously can't compare but all I know is every single character in this book was wonderfully crafted
☙ nemo ❧ (pagesandprozac)
kj charles hasn’t quite been her usual stellar self these past few releases, but i still thought this book was tremendous fun.
Nick Pageant
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, historical
This was quite entertaining but a little uneven. I was delighted with the language and humor. The main problem I had was the plot was a bit meandering with too many characters for my wee brain to keep track of without strain. Still, it's K.J. Charles, so it's a very good book and worth your time. ...more
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this book has the perfect amount of heart-rending drama and romantic upset I look for in a novel: zero
Freya Marske
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
I am going to keep rereading this until I work out how KJ Charles is able to wreak such MAGIC in the field of bringing you into a group of friends and making you feel, within about five pages, that a) you know them all personally and want to be their friend too, and b) the weight of history between them is a joyous, palpable thing. She's done it with her previous group-of-friends series, but never to such instant and devastating effect as here.

I did enjoy the central romance in this book; a bit

Well done Cornell Collins aka Matthew Lloyd Davies for restoring my faith in narrators. I loved this story so much, and to be honest, was quite annoyed when I saw who was narrating it BUT pulled up my big girl pants and decided to take a chance on it. Fab-u-lous!! I particularly liked his voice for Lord Corvin, although his West Indian accent for John Raven could do with some work [sounded more Welsh than anything 😉]. Aunt Beatrice was suitably was her dreadful husband, and the R
Just as delightful as everyone says! KJ Charles is always clever, but Philip is one of her best. Great chemistry between him and Guy and their exchanges are so funny and often poignant.

Friends have suggested that Cornell Collins' performance in the audio version is a bit too formal and staid. I can see that and I'll bet reading it would be twice as good. Hopefully I'll be able to make the time soon.
Lost in a Book
Buddy read with Adam and Chelsea

4ish Stars

Whoa! Anyone else have to reread the title page on this one just to make sure it was a KJC book? No murder? No angsty relational and/or time period peril? This is insanely lighthearted compared to her previous writes. It’s practically fit for teenage consumption if you throw a chasity belt on it. (Is that still a thing?) I couldn’t help comparing the feel of Band Sinister to her others and I think the Grinch KJ Charles’ heart has increased in size.

help me.gif

Ok, so
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a deliciously tropetastic homage to the works of Georgette Heyer (particularly Venetia and Sylvester), albeit considerably more x-rated and much less heterosexual.

It presents us with an earnest country virgin and his spinster sister (and closeted budding gothic novelist) and their encounters with the wicked, misbegotten aristocrat next door and his “hellfire club” friends; but, this being KJ Charles, it’s also an exploration of the intersections of class, gender, race, sexual orientatio
Felicia Davin
Y’all. This book has etymology, Latin conjugations, and Catullus references in its delightful sex scenes, and there’s loving, healthy polyamory in the story! What more could you want from a book?

A sweet, shy virgin hero? Got it. A debauched rake who doesn’t give a care what anyone thinks (but who is also very invested in creating a domestic sugar industry so Britain won’t have to be reliant on slave sugar)? Check. A mysterious, disreputable hellfire club who may or may not be having orgies at a
Suanne Laqueur
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just take all my stars and leave me here to die with this book.
I've given this an A- for narration and an A for content at AudioGals

Another 2018 favourite lately come to audio, K.J. Charles’ Band Sinister is, quite simply, a total delight. The author made no secret of the fact that it’s an homage to the works of Georgette Heyer, who practically invented the ‘modern’ Regency Romance single-handed, or that she employed a number of favourite tropes in terms of the characterisation and plot – and yet in spite of all that, there is no doubt whatsoever that this
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
K.J. Charles out-Heyers Georgette Heyer--because her version is fabulously gay, features a fantastic heroine who doesn't simper, and isn't antisemitic. In fact, the secondary hero is Jewish -- be still my heart!

Sir Philip Rookwood's hellfire club of the notorious reputation is actually a group of people who would normally be ostracized because they refuse to play by society's intolerant and ignorant rules, and the society they have instead made for each other is my favorite thing about this boo
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: r2018, stars-4-0
Browsing through one of newsletter, I noticed an article on K.J. Charles (, which attracted my attention since I very much enjoyed one of her books, namely Spectred Isle. As it happened, the author had just released this novel and I decided to give it a try.

This was very different in tone and style. Band Sinister is very much an LGTB Regency romcom with no Fantasy (unless you count the references to Gothic Novels) or suspense. Just a light tale, b
Ulysses Dietz
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Band Sinister
By KJ Charles
KJC Books, 2018
Five stars

Guy and Amanda Frisby are desperately respectable. They live modestly in Drysdale House, their ancestral home in the rural town of Yarlcote. They are young and intelligent and attractive. However, they are totally alone. Guy tends the garden, while Amanda dabbles in novel-writing under a pseudonym. The house is mortgaged to the hilt, and the income that has educated them and maintains their respectable life is owed to their Aunt Beatrice.

You se
Group review with Chelsea and Lost in a Book!

KJ Charles knocks it out of the park with another fun, sexy, and sweet MM historical romance.

Though they’re neighbours, Frisby siblings and Sir Philip Rookwood don’t mingle. A family scandal, and Sir Philip’s reputation, make any friendship impossible.

That is until Amanda Frisby ends up at recuperating at Rookwood Hall with a broken leg. Her brother, Guy, doesn’t leave Amanda’s side, intent on keeping her safe from Philip and his notorious friends.

Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Marvelous. This is such a lovely book and so much fun. I absolutely loved it. I don't re-read very often, but I dove straight back into this the day I finished it. All the usual KJ Charles brilliance is here: wonderful humour, nuanced characters, social and historical awareness, engagement with class and race and gender and sexuality, a charming romance, smart writing, easy diversity, and a damned entertaining story. The exception is the complete lack of dead bodies and gruesome violence, but th ...more
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Funny and comforting but also touching on so many things like consent and power imbalance and happiness. Recommended.
Also, Amanda's Gothic novel subplot--she writes a novel turning some of the people in the Murder into high-flown Gothic characters, and her brother and her have to deal with the (unexpected) fallout of that--is just THE BEST.
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing

So much fun!
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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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