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The Rat-Catcher's Daughter

(Lilywhite Boys #0.5)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  720 ratings  ·  173 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 Green--b
Published September 25th 2019 by KJC Books
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Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  720 ratings  ·  173 reviews

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Start your review of The Rat-Catcher's Daughter (Lilywhite Boys, #0.5)
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! ...more
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 lo
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
May 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Most of the time I find the ".5" type of novelettes a waste of time. I went back to read this one only because I thought the first book was a success. And I have to say, as a romance this doesn't entirely work (even if Stan and Christiana are lovely), because it's just too short. I did, however, enjoy the added depth to the Lilywhite Boys. In the end, it's a pleasant read.
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
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-e-things, queer, lgbtq
This was a sweet little novella. I adored it and it's my favourite 100% ace romance that I've read. One MC is a charming transwoman and the other is a down-to-earth Polish immigrant. I would have loved this to be a wee bit longer, because Christiana and Stan are so lovely together. It's KJ Charles, so there's plenty of tender moments combined with lots of action, delightful violence, and beating up the bad guys. There's transphobia early on, but not to worry, our plucky MCs win the day and fall ...more
Short and sweet, with a little suspense thrown in. I had the biggest smile on my face when they shared their first kiss! Miss Christiana and Stan were just so cute together!
Kat, short for Clara
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.
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.
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Short and enjoyable. I liked to met Stan and Miss Christiana.
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I will write a proper review soon.
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 Templet
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 Ca
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.
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Between four and five stars. I really loved this romance! I wanted many more pages of these two being adorable, kind, and loving together, but I am a serious devotee of fluff. The story also has a plot, involving violence and crime.

It takes place before the events of Any Old Diamonds and could be read on its own, so it works as a teaser for that book series. My criticism is that Jerry and Templeton got slightly too much page time, in a romance about other characters. But I did really enjoy readi
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)
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.
My heart is so warm from this ace/ace love story <3 <3 ...more
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
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
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, shorts, 2019
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 Cha
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 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.
4.5 Stars

This was SUCH a sweet novella. I'm not sure what I was expecting but it wasn't what I've got hehe Christiana and Stan are an ENDEARING couple. So gentle and sweet. I could imagine them walking the streets holding hands having a quiet conversation like nothing around them really matters. They had each other and they were happy the way they are.

Yet that's not how we start.. Miss Christiana found herself in a REALLY bad situation being "owned" by Kammy Grizzard who took her debt and made
I probably should have read the other books in this series first, I imagine I would have gotten a better feel for the setting and would have been able to appreciate certain characters.

This is short and straight to the point, and again you'll more than likely get better enjoyment out of this if you're already familiar with the world of this book.

“Does this mean you’re my girl?”
“Officially? I think it must.”
“Blimey.” He straightened to his full height, such as it was. “That’s all right then.
“Just because your dream isn’t like someone else’s dream, that doesn’t make it wrong.” So sweet and lovely!

This was a very pleasant surprise, even though I read this with the main intent to move forward to Any Old Diamonds. (We got to meet Temp and Jerry, and they're a blast!)

I just love it when the woman is taller than her partner because it gives me this empowering feeling. Not to mention that Christiana and Stan are just so soft and pure it warms my heart.
Needless to say, it was a very love
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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

Lilywhite Boys (2 books)
  • Any Old Diamonds (Lilywhite Boys #1)
  • Gilded Cage (Lilywhite Boys #2)

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