"Do you think it is possible?"
"Most things are possible, if you look at them the right way."
Why Saran Wrap? I was on top of this book the moment I read A Fashionable Indulgence. I was pressed against it so tight, I clung to it like Saran Wrap.
Why? Because boss/employee relationships are my balm, K.J. Charles is word porn for the mind and it featured the 'gingerest of all gingers', David Cyprian aka FOXY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So I shall blurt out my feels while going through book withdrawal and applauding this magnificent series called Society of Gentlemen.
Could you read the series out of order? I wouldn't suggest it. David & Richard's story was a long time coming *coughs*months for me, over four years for them*coughs* You could see the seeds of sexual tension in book one, the sprouts of the forbidden aspect and Richard's mulish ideas on masters tupping the help in book #2 and the longing and finally...the sprouts bloom in "A Gentleman's Position".
David Cyprian, redheaded valet extraordinaire who strived hard to be the best valet in England, has his fingers in a lot of pies all around the country in the name of his master, Lord Richard Vale, a marquess' second son. David would do anything for Lord Richard; he's proved this the previous books of this series. Quiet and unassuming, the man was a mastermind in his own right. And the biggest motivator pushing him? His love for Lord Richard. Four and a half years of making his master the best dressed, especially for a man of his remarkable size and what does David get for it? Nothing other than being so close and yet so far from his love.
Because Lord Richard would never touch a servant.
Even if Richard wants to.
Even if they both want to touch each other.
You know what happens when long time feelings are denied, right? Especially in those quiet types? *grins*
"Quite right. I should learn my place."
"It's here, between my legs."
"God help me, I think it is."
Out of all of the books, this is the most romantic of the bunch. I was a little surprised how romantic it got. And it reminded me the most of past Regencies I've read. (I do love a good valet/master romance) But what K.J. Charles did with this novel, breaking down why it is wrong, why privilege can blind the eyes even when you're in love, why saying you'll put yourself in another person's shoes and not get it when one is privileged...listen, the book taught a lesson and told a story. I had to stop reading during some parts because it was just so good. And inclusive! In a Regency romance!!
I did want to kick Richard a few times because he had privileged foot in mouth syndrome. And David, the cunning owner of a pair of steel balls started off timid for me in this book. I didn't like what he was becoming....it must have been the soft and pink aka love haze. But my ginger remembered his spine and at the right time in the story - sometimes you don't know how strong you are until you've been brought low. And he hits a low point, but discovered some things about himself.
The tension was strong, the love even stronger. The words spoken between Richard and David were some of the sweetest. And Richard, like me, knows red hair is to be cherished, not ridiculed. I still don't get why gingers get teased. Ginger lovers? You will be redeemed in this.
"I want to take handfuls of that hair for myself, to follow it all the way down and find out if you are red all over. It is irresistible. You are irresistible."
Plus, there was even time for a little action - blackmailing within the ton, so to speak.
We got to see the couples from the Ricardians come back to do what they do best. It was great to read the men. Let me say, I am a Julius Norreys fangirl, vice president of the club. But this book made me realize how much I also fangirl for Mason and Dominic. I can't even say I like more than the other - they are a pair, so solid that they give David and Richard a run for their money. They made excellent secondary characters. All of the secondary characters from the previous books and prior lead characters helped move the blackmail angle along.
The book's 'villain' - he's really a disgusting piece of work. I think since his name started with Mal-, I just thought of putrid things. And weirdly enough Draco Malfoy came to mind. If "you filthy little mudblood" was ever uttered from this book's villain's lips, I wouldn't have been surprised. And the way the blackmail came together was nothing short of brilliant.
The plot was well thought out and crafted, like watching chips falling together to solve a puzzle. I literally have a third of this book highlighted and to share the best of my quotes will give away too much. The sexual tension still had a good burn to it, slow in spots but bombastic throughout. It culminated at the right spot and the ending was damn near perfect.
The Society of Gentlemen series ends on a high note and I'll miss these men something fierce. Regency lovers...seriously, get this series (and read in order).
Long live Foxy and his master!
A copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review.