Thursday, August 3, 2017

Release Day Review: Spectred Isle by KJ Charles #Review #Giveaway

Author: KJ Charles
Book: Spectred Isle
Series: Green Men #1
Self Published
Publication date: August 3, 2017
Length:243 pages

Reviewed by Erin


Archaeologist Saul Lazenby has been all but unemployable since his disgrace during the War. Now he scrapes a living working for a rich eccentric who believes in magic. Saul knows it’s a lot of nonsense...except that he begins to find himself in increasingly strange and frightening situations. And at every turn he runs into the sardonic, mysterious Randolph Glyde.

Randolph is the last of an ancient line of arcanists, commanding deep secrets and extraordinary powers as he struggles to fulfil his family duties in a war-torn world. He knows there's something odd going on with the haunted-looking man who keeps turning up in all the wrong places. The only question for Randolph is whether Saul is victim or villain.

Saul hasn’t trusted anyone in a long time. But as the supernatural threat grows, along with the desire between them, he’ll need to believe in evasive, enraging, devastatingly attractive Randolph. Because he may be the only man who can save Saul’s life—or his soul.

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Dear friends, I have a confession to make. I have never read a KJ Charles book. *ducks and hides* BUT, I can say that I've finally fixed this travesty by reading the first book of her new series. Spectred Isle is book one of the Green Men series and I can unequivocally say that I am hooked and anxiously awaiting the next one. I wasn't sure I would love historical romance (and a paranormal, too!), but if they were all written as well and as much fun as Spectred Isle, I can definitely see the appeal. I understand that this series is a spin-off of her Simon Feximal series, but seeing as how I didn't read those, I can't tell you how they connect. I CAN tell you that I was fully able to understand the time period, the characters, and the plot just fine without having read them, and I'll for sure be going back to read those just to see what the connection is between the two. 

Saul Lazenby is a disgraced archaeologist who is now forced to work for an eccentric wealthy man who believes in magic. Saul spends his days fulfilling whichever mindless flight of fancy his employer Major Peabody wishes, but when he starts to see trees suddenly catching fire and other supernatural happenings, he's not sure what's going on. And when the same man, snarky and somewhat snobby Randolf Glyde keeps showing up when the unexplained occurs, well, Saul doesn't know if he's dealing with a villain or a hero. Randolf is an aristocrat ... and an arcanist from a long line of powerful sorcerers. Things definitely happen whenever he's around and Saul and Randolf butt heads, and in the very best way. 

I absolutely loved the world building that Charles does in the beginning chapters as she sets up our two heroes and their quest. I was completely enthralled and the imagery is so vivid and clear. The supporting cast of characters are all fabulously developed and all play vital roles in throughout the book. Sam was particularly wonderful.

I have to say the romance between Saul and Randolf, though slow to build, was everything I was hoping it would be. Charming and sweet and swoony and a whole lot of other things. These two men definitely belong together and what's more, they wholeheartedly enjoy one another. As compatriots, friends, and lovers. The world might be going crazy around them, dark forces are definitely at work, but Saul and Randolf never lose faith in one another.

The action in Spectred Isle had me peeking through my fingers in more than a few places, let me tell you! The fantasy elements, the magic and the occult ... all of it completely gripped me and had me on the edge of my seat. This was one hell of an introduction to the brilliance that is KJ Charles and I can't wait to see what comes next in this series. I'm off to immerse myself in KJ's gorgeous words, I suggest you do the same!

KJ Charles spent twenty years working as an editor before switching sides to become a full-time writer. She hasn’t regretted it yet. KJ writes mostly queer historical romance, some of it paranormal or fantasy. She is the author of the Charm of Magpies series, and has published Regency and Victorian trilogies with Loveswept (Penguin Random House). She lives in London with her husband, two children, a cat, and whatever still-breathing horrors the cat brings in.

Social links
Twitter @kj_charles


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  1. I love KJ Charles! Some of my all-time favorites are her books: The Magpie Lord, A Case of Possession, and Flight of Magpies.

  2. I love Andrew Grey's Fire and Fog, The Playmaker and Inside Out to name a few.