A Seditious Affair, by K.J. Charles
Series: Society of Gentlemen, Book 2
Release Date: December 15, 2015
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Look, I’m not saying that I called in sick so I could finish A Seditious Affair, but I did take a day off after receiving this ARC, so make of that what you will…*
Silas Mason has no illusions about himself. He’s not lovable, or even likable. He’s an overbearing idealist, a Radical bookseller and pamphleteer who lives for revolution . . . and for Wednesday nights. Every week he meets anonymously with the same man, in whom Silas has discovered the ideal meld of intellectual companionship and absolute obedience to his sexual commands. But unbeknownst to Silas, his closest friend is also his greatest enemy, with the power to see him hanged—or spare his life.
A loyal, well-born gentleman official, Dominic Frey is torn apart by his affair with Silas. By the light of day, he cannot fathom the intoxicating lust that drives him to meet with the Radical week after week. In the bedroom, everything else falls away. Their needs match, and they are united by sympathy for each other’s deepest vulnerabilities. But when Silas’s politics earn him a death sentence, desire clashes with duty, and Dominic finds himself doing everything he can to save the man who stole his heart.
Note: This novel can be read as a stand-alone, but I do recommend reading A Fashionable Indulgence (Book 1) first.
Alright. *rubs hands together* Let me tell you why this novel is so phenomenal that I skipped two meals and disconnected my phone so I could read it uninterrupted.
A Different Type of Love
Without hesitation, I can say that my favorite part of this novel is the relationship dynamic between Silas and Dominic. Dom wants– no, he needs to submit, and Silas is the perfect match for him. Not only are they sexually compatible, but they’re intellectually balanced as well.
Their friends can’t understand why Dominic craves submission and humiliation, or why Silas needs to provide it, which makes them doubly outcast… sodomites (in a time when such things were punishable by death) and deviants. But between Silas and Dominic, their relationship is beautiful and cherished.
And HOLY SMOKES, the sexual chemistry was off the charts! K.J. writes one of the best power exchanges I’ve ever read. Scorching hot sex between two brilliant, complex men… ding ding ding, we have a winner!
The Radical and the Tory
Silas and Dominic aren’t just two men in an unconventional relationship… they’re also political opposites, and that creates a ton of delicious tension throughout the story.
In the early 1800s, England saw revolts from the lower class, who were not being represented in Parliament, and K.J. bases her novel among actual historical events. Silas prints illegal pamphlets stirring resentment and anger against an unfair government. Dominic works to uncover and crush radical opposition.
The sexual tension is matched 100% by the intellectual tension. I love smart characters, who talk about more than their relationship. It makes Silas and Dom feel human, and makes their relationship even more realistic.
Wednesday by Wednesday…
Oh my god, the romance is unbelievably beautiful. Seriously, one single, simple sentence and I felt my entire heart melt.
Wednesday by Wednesday, week by week, I have loved you.
In a world that would see them hanged for being together, and in spite of their social statuses and political beliefs, Silas and Dom are very much in love. They get one day each week to be together, one evening in secret where no one can judge them.
Historical Romance at its Finest
Not only does K.J. know the time period very well, but she’s a fantastically talented writer. I’ve never found another author who can so perfectly balance period-specific politics, slang, and society with extremely likable, complex characters and romance, all written so perfectly that I feel totally immersed in her world.
You should read this book if you like: heart-wrenching romances, clever characters, buckets of chemistry, and a conflict that keeps your turning pages as fast as your e-reader allows you. You won’t regret it.
In a nutshell: K.J. Charles is hands-down the best historical M/M romance writer that I’ve ever read. The end.
* I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review. *
(* I’d already scheduled a mental health day for that day… it just so happened to be the day I got the ARC. Karma! Fate! The blessing of the Gods of Gay Romance!)