Daphne's Reviews > Band Sinister

Band Sinister by K.J. Charles
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it was amazing

If someone asks me what I like about KJ Charles’ books I’m tempted to just shout “EVERYTHING” and pester them to read her work. But this is going to be a proper review and it’s a great place to articulate some of these things, which Band Sinister in particular exemplifies.

In this lovely book full of Heyeresque tropes we have Guy Frisby and his sister Amanda, two orphaned young people confined to the country with only each other for company. An accident brings them to live in Rookwood Hall, where Sir Philip Rookwood hosts his infamous Hellfire Club. Shenanigans ensue, including banter, philosophical and scientific discussions, gothic novels, art, tree climbing, delicious romance and falling in love.

I’ve found myself keeping a pattern with new KJ Charles books. I read them at least twice, back to back. The first time quickly glomming them because I need to see what happens next and the second time savoring the writing, the well-constructed plots and characters, the little hints and foreshadowing she expertly peppers throughout. It’s a sheer delight having a new book of hers to devour. And they keep getting better!

In this case our two heroes, Guy and Philip, are amazing but they are also surrounded by an incredible cast of characters, a glorious setting, and a great plot. KJ Charles creates these worlds and found families that make me long to be a part of them. How I’d love to be in Rookwood Hall, arguing about politics, philosophy, science, art, and books with the Murder, all of whom seem amazing and I want to learn more about them and be friends with them. Not to mention the indomitable Amanda Frisby, gothic novelist extraordinaire. It’s so hard to pick favorites from the characters, they were all incredible. While a romance, the book features so much more than that in the relationships it represents. We have families and found families, friendships, romantic relationships, all of which are equally important to the characters in their own way.

I would also like to take a moment to mention how much I appreciated the way Guy’s inexperience was handled, with care and sensitivity. While Philip is more sexually experienced, their relationship is balanced since Guy is more emotionally mature and they both grow and evolve through their -not only physical- contact. It all happens so organically and beautifully! I have a soft spot for Guy since I also suffer from anxiety and a tendency to fret and focus on all the negative outcomes and catastrophic scenarios. To see a character such as him, being anxious but also brave and willing to stand up for his beliefs was very affirming.

Which brings me to the discussions, a staple in KJ Charles books and one I particularly love. Her characters have life experiences, ideas, beliefs, values, which they express and discuss with each other, which inform their actions and which sometimes change and evolve according to the plot. In this case, both our heroes go through these changes, each in their own way. Furthermore, the Murder has really interesting opinions, as well as the lovely banter shared between the characters, which makes the book extremely funny. Another thing is the way the characters communicate with each other and resolve misunderstandings, come to conclusions, confess their love. In my notes I’ve written “TALKING, GLORIOUS TALKING” and this pretty much sums it up.

I could keep on but I don’t want to give too much away. This is a gorgeous book, funny, romantic, with a well-constructed and paced plot, with intelligent discussions about social, political and personal issues. It’s smart and comforting and kind and everything I’ve come to love KJ Charles’ books for. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

*I received an ARC from the author*
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 8, 2018 – Finished Reading
September 22, 2018 – Shelved

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