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Band Sinister

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  2,292 ratings  ·  537 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
Kindle Edition, 251 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…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 4.31  · 
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 ·  2,292 ratings  ·  537 reviews

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K.J. Charles
Jul 20, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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
~✡~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
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 only
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
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
Richard Derus
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Kaje Harper
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
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
☙ percy ❧
kj charles hasn’t quite been her usual stellar self these past few releases, but i still thought this book was tremendous fun.
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 and that was KJ Charles and her alone (with the help of editors of course
Nick Pageant
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, m-m
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.

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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stars-4-0, r2018
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,
Ulysses Dietz
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

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.

Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book has the perfect amount of heart-rending drama and romantic upset I look for in a novel: zero
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
4.5 --- as usual, KJ Charles doesn't disappoint. A sweet, convincing relationship with an unconventional group. Scratch that, two sweet relationships develop. Some funny times, some fumbling ones, some hot ones. Could have done without the overdose of religious poobahing but it fit some of the times and lifestyle I suppose. Full review to come.
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m utterly charmed! An uptight country mouse finds himself stranded at the home of an infamous rake due to his sister’s untimely accident. The siblings have heard rumors that would light your hair on fire about what goes on at Rookwood Hall, and now it seems they are to have an unwitting front row seat for the madness and debauchery, which may or may not be as publicized. Humorous but heartwarming story about finding your people and learning to live life on your own terms.
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Nov 25, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heather K (dentist in my spare time) by: Richard Derus
Thank you for the gift, secret wonderful elves!
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is essentially queer historical romcom, at least in the first half and it's lovely. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

This story is such a delightful queer historical romp made up of fun and fluff and gorgeous writing. There are none of the murders and gore we have come to expect in KJ Charles' romances, just a nasty broken legs and some alluded beating in the past. What we get is the same wonderfully complex and morally dubious characters .

It's the story of Guy and his sister Amanda, both
Joyfully Jay
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jay
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars

Wow, so Band Sinister was such a lot of fun, I really loved it! Author K.J. Charles describes the book as “Full Heyer” (as in author Georgette Heyer of old-school romance fame) and has modeled the cover off her style as well. I will admit that I have never read any of Heyer’s work, so I can’t attest to whether it works as an homage to her writing, but as a modern reader, I found this one fabulous.

There is so much here to like, I feel like I could write on and on and
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So much fun, such great characters, so much to think about and all within a realistic historical context.

Loved the ending. Want more.

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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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“The more love you give, the more you are capable of giving. It's only when you shut off the source that it dries up.” 7 likes
“Every man is entitled to his beliefs.”
“Yes, any man has a right to his beliefs, and a duty to question them too,” Raven retorted. “If you don’t take out your beliefs for washing now and again, they’re just bad habits.”
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