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The Rat-Catcher's Daughter

(Lilywhite Boys 0.5)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  509 ratings  ·  130 reviews
Music-hall singer Miss Christiana is in serious debt, and serious trouble. She owes more than she can pay to a notorious criminal, and now he plans to make an example of her. There's no way out.

But Christiana has an admirer. Stan Kamarzyn has watched her sing for a year and he doesn't want to see her get hurt. Stan's nobody special--just a dodgy bloke from Bethnal
Published September 25th 2019 by KJC Books
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  509 ratings  ·  130 reviews

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K.J. Charles
Jul 23, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
A Lilywhite Boys short story, in which we meet Miss Christiana, the music-hall songstress, and Stan Kamarzyn, the Lilywhite Boys' fence. Plus Templeton and Jerry at play, two years before Any Old Diamonds and Gilded Cage. This story was a lot of fun to write and fills in a few of the gaps from the full-length books--hope you enjoy it!
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*3.5 stars*

Content warnings: transphobia, misgendering, violence

I really liked that K.J. Charles brought trans and ace representation into her historical romance, and I enjoyed this short little novella set in the Lilywhite Boys universe.

Admittedly, I'm not a big fan of Any Old Diamonds, so I was a little hesitant to try this one, but K.J. Charles write so well and incorporates so much diversity into her historical romance that I had to give it a go.

I have to say, I wish the story was a bit
Kaje Harper
This is an interesting novella set in the Lilywhite Boys series, with two engaging main characters. Both Stan, with his shy diffidence, and Christiana in all her complexity and vulnerable determination, caught my attention right away. Their romance is sweet and tentative, a case of somehow against all odds finding your match. The Lilywhite Boys are here in their roughest incarnation, justice and crime in one double package. The historical context is limited but realistic. And yay for a book with ...more
3.5 stars

An trans/asexual romance from KJ Charles. YAY! It's a short story (less than 20k) so things go quite fast. It has transphobia in the beginning; a little reminder for those who might be more sensitive.

I thought the relationship were sweet, especially when Christina and Stan both realized that neither one of them didn't care about the sexual part of relationship *grin*.

When Stan said "But I don’t need to, you know, stick bits in other bits to prove that", it resonated with me so much as
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short, but sweet. A 18th century Drag Queen is rescued by a thief. She is suspicious of him at first but finds him to be the most adorably shy and down-to-earth honest man in existence. It's a rather cute romance!! I was also happy to see Pen Starling from Sins of Cities and Jerry from the first Lilywhite Boys book.
Romances at this length (not quite at novella word count) are difficult to review, because if I like the romance, I really do want more of it.

And I liked the romance here a lot. When the two asexual characters are able to articulate to each other that identity, their mutual joy at their recognition was genuinely a heart-leaping moment, and they continued being able to develop and define their romance as they wished, as they dreamed. It was lovely.

At times, though, this felt like too much
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly heart-warming in the best way, and the trans/ace rep was wonderful. There was just something so simple and lovely about Stan and Christiana slowly discovering that they were actually on a page about "sticking bits in other bits" (lol, accurate) and the way that being truly seen and appreciated for who they were made them blossom, for lack of a better word.

In less mushy news, I loved meeting Jerry and Templeton again, and this novelette has been the perfect hors d'oeuvre for Gilded
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
At this point, I'll read anything K.J. Charles writes and love it, but I love it when one of her stories surprises me. I absolutely adored the pairing of Stan and Christiana, it was so sweet to see both find happiness and acceptance against all hopes. Really, my only complaint is that it was too short.

Oh and pretty please, can we have more asexual romances? Just saying.
I... don't know how to rate this. Overall I think I liked it? Even if it did feel a little incoherent at times. And it definitely made me want to read the shit out of Templeton's book. But the issues I had with the trans rep - something I'm probably not in a position to talk about but I'm still bothered by nonetheless - cast the biggest shadow, and that's what's going to stay with me.
Robin Mandell
So much said in 17000 words

More of KJ Charles' whip-smart writing right here. As usual, I can't wait to reread this to see what I missed the first time. The characters here are sonderful, with lots of small details to make them three dimensional. Lots of great plot tension from start to finish. Every word has been made to count.
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, worth-rereading
I was excited to receive an ARC and couldn’t put it down.

Christiana is a joy, Stan is a dear, and this book is a delight from beginning to end.

(view spoiler)
My heart is so warm from this ace/ace love story <3 <3
Thank you so much to my 2019 Secret Santa for the gift!

This was a lovely quick read. Historical with trans & ace rep, hooray! Super fun to see the Lilywhite Boys again, and definitely making me want to reread Any Old Diamonds before reading Temp's book!
3.5 Stars

“The Rat-Daughter’s Catcher” might be a short read, but what a fun, sweet, and engaging ride it was! More than a romance, it’s also a story of friendship and acceptance, loyalty and chosen family, as told in alternate voice from the pair of misfits leading characters; Christiana and Stan.

Those who have read Charles’ “Any Old Diamonds” may recognize Christiana as the (singing) performer the Lilywhite Boys and Alec watched in the music hall on the first chapter of the book. This prequel
The Rat-Catcher's Daughter is a short story set about two years before the events of Any Old Diamonds about the Lilywhite Boy's fence, Stan. It's a sweet, quick romance about Stan meeting Miss Christiana, a music-hall singer who owes a criminal a great deal of money.

The romance was very lovely and touching. Stan and Christiana are both asexual, and Christiana is also trans. Stan is incredibly respectful of her, but other characters in the story aren't (especially in the first chapter where a
Roxana Chirilă
I can't decide on a rating for this, so I'll leave this blank.

"The Rat-Catcher's Daugher" is a sweet novella about a music-hall singer who is a woman on stage, and a man during other times (and a woman in her mind), and her admirer, a man who makes sure stolen goods find their way into rich people's pockets.

On the plus side, the characters ring true, and you can really like them. They have good conversations, and things get a bit awkward at all the right places (as they do). There's a sprinkling
Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
Huh, I didn’t mark this as completed when I should have - it took me all of 1 hour to devour rather than the 7 days implied. It’s a short sweet romance between two asexual MCs, one of whom is a trans woman, set in the music halls of the early 20th century - what more could a person want? It’s by KJ, so it’s wonderfully sensitive and astute. Also, it has a delightful couple of scenes with the Lilywhite Boys, Jerry and Templeton.

I cannot tell you how excited I am for Gilded Cage, Templeton’s full
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, favorites, shorts
This was glorious, even if I have to admit my favorite parts were with Jerry and Templeton simply because they are so very much fun to listen to. *wonders if it's wrong to find murderers so very amusing* *decides it's not*

Beyond that though Christiana and Stan are just so wonderful together that I couldn't help but feel meltingly happy for them. It's amazing how much is packed into this novella, but it all works seemlessly.

If only people, generally, could be as accepting as the characters in
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
3,5 stars

Lovely trans f / m romance with asexual MCs. I loved the moments of sweetness and tenderness between the MCs but could have done without the transphobia in the initial scene. It know it's a novellete but I still felt the "I love yous" were a bit rushed.
Clare Hutchinson
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, lgbtq
VERY cute, given how objectively dark the stakes are. Short, sweet, and made me very excited for more Templeton.
ms bookjunkie
Short. Sweet. Thought-provoking. Informative. Sweet.
Oops! I forgot to upload my review on here!

Thank you so much to the author for an ARC of this novella in exchange for an honest review!

Rep: Trans MC, M/F romance, ace MCs.
Rating: 3 stars
Trigger warnings: Transphobia, misgendering, threat of violence, deadnaming.

First things first, I really enjoyed book 1 in this series, "Any Old Diamond" and I'm super excited about "Gilded Cage". This novella is a prequel to the first book and, overall, a great short story set in the "Lilywhite Boys" world.
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2019
This is very short, it's 17,000 words/4 chapters.

I'd like to start out by warning that the story starts out with the villain deadnaming and misgendering Christiana. I'd also like to put a description of the first interaction of the MCs behind a spoiler cut, because I wasn't sure how to feel about it.

(view spoiler)
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THE RAT-CATCHER'S DAUGHTER is a fabulous short story. I found the book description intriguing and my inquisitiveness was richly rewarded. In 59 pages, you get a captivating story, awesome characters, a most unusual romance, and some action. KJ Charles is an outstanding writer, with an extraordinary grasp of the late Victorian era; her prose is sublime, and the dialogues inspired. I had never read that sort of story before nor the types of characters, and it was wonderful. I also got the ...more
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it
A sweet, but overly short romance novella featuring Christiana, a female-impersonator music hall singer threatened by the local crime lord who is rescued by two friends of Stan, a Polish immigrant who has fallen for the singer at first sight. The story is more for readers of the later two Lilywhite Boys novels than a stand-alone, as it features Templeton and Jerry in significant secondary roles and fills in some of the backstory of events mentioned in those later two books. Both characters are ...more
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC from the author.

This is a great little story filling in some of the backstory and other characters from the Lilywhite Boys series. Miss Christiana is a real delight and Stan is a sweetheart, and their story is a lovely, funny, sweet romance. Also, it is just so comforting and pleasing to read a story with ace characters getting to define and assert their asexuality and have that respected and affirmed on the page.

It's short but definitely sweet.
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it

An excellent prologue to the Lilywhite Boys series, giving an introduction to the Lilywhite Boys themselves and just how dangerous they are. Also, the actual main characters bring some more representation to the Romance genre table, which was nice.

Not much happens, plot-wise, besides the main characters having to be hauled out of immediate danger, but a great set of introductions all around.
Sep 25, 2019 added it
Shelves: queer
It feels odd to call a book that starts and ends with main characters almost getting tortured LOVELY, but I thought this was lovely. A fairly solid novella, given that romance novellas are, I think, a tough nut--there's never enough time to really build up the relationship or the characters or anything else. But this worked for me!
K.B. Rainwater
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A delightful ace romance

Stan and Miss Christiana are too pure for this world, and it was hilarious seeing the Lilywhite Boys through other ppl's eyes. Especially when they're trying and failing to be reassuring.
It was a nice, short read, perfect for if you have an hour to kill and need something to fill the time.
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it
It was fine, but it felt pretty crushed into its short story format. Maybe KJC is just so good at full length novels I have higher expectations.

CW also included at the front of the book, but it contains some misgendering of the protagonist (this is cis-m/trans-f book, and they're both asexual) and a bunch of mobster violence
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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

Other books in the series

Lilywhite Boys (2 books)
  • Any Old Diamonds (Lilywhite Boys #1)
  • Gilded Cage (Lilywhite Boys #2)
“But I do feel writ in water, and I understand wanting something real, that you’re sure of, and striving for it. I think that’s marvellous, actually.” 1 likes
“The big one really was very big, and the pair gave off the kind of aura that—well, when men like that came into the pub you drank up and went somewhere else. They moved like a walking invitation. Go on, try me. Just try.” 0 likes
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