[Audio Book] The Doomsday Books 1: The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen by KJ Charles *Review Copy*

Abandoned by his father, Gareth Inglis grew up lonely, prickly, and used to disappointment. Still, he longs for a connection. When he meets a charming stranger, he falls head over heels—until everything goes wrong and he’s left alone again.

Then Gareth’s father dies, turning the shabby London clerk into Sir Gareth, with a grand house on the remote Romney Marsh and a family he doesn’t know. The Marsh is another world, a strange, empty place notorious for its ruthless gangs of smugglers. And one of them is dangerously familiar…

Joss Doomsday has run the Doomsday smuggling clan since he was a boy. When the new baronet—his old lover—agrees to testify against Joss’s sister, Joss acts fast to stop him. Their reunion is anything but happy, yet after the dust settles, neither can stay away. Soon, all Joss and Gareth want is the chance to be together. But the bleak, bare Marsh holds deadly secrets. And when Gareth finds himself threatened from every side, the gentleman and the smuggler must trust one another not just with their hearts but also with their lives.

Source, Listening Sample, Buy (AD)


I need more Queer Regency Romances

Before discovering this book on Netgalley, I haven’t had heard of the author or even the possibility of a queer Regency Romance. Apparently, this is a successful combination as KJ Charles has already published quite some books. I was immediately and completely sold for this cover. It’s as enchanting as the content that got me after about five percent. Before that, I needed to get familiar with the reader and the unfamiliar setting. As needed Gareth to.


The beauty of the countryside

We meet our two protagonists in London. Soon we accompany them onto an unexpected adventure to the countryside. I enjoyed their second, not too surprising but intriguing meeting more than their first. Nonetheless, their relation was tense and exciting from the very first second when we believed them to not even have one. Seeing them grow onto each other and learning from each other was an amazing experience. Given that Joss lives a somewhat outlawed life but otherwise seems perfect from the beginning, I was surprised to encounter his weaknesses. Gareth, on the other side, is a nobleman experiencing the country for the first time. And new to Kent and the march myself, I loved seeing this region through his eyes. His affiliation for bugs gives his character, moreover, a lovely twist.


The book is much more than a love story.

I enjoyed every scene with our main characters, but also with their families. Gareth needs to get to know his true one for the first time and cut some ties with what he believed to be his family. Joss has a complex, big family himself but similarly needs to figure some dynamics and secrets out. Their sexual interest that could even make their familial relationships and their social standing more complicated, is not the only secret that will trouble them soon. Some crimes are happening, some murders as well, but Gareth and Joss learn to deal with them – together.


In Conclusion

I loved diving into this unfamiliar setting and encountering these endearing characters and their families. Their individual and joint struggles served as a beautiful manner to figure out where to stand up for one another and where to solely have each other’s back. Their dynamic and love brightened my days.



The author:

KJ is a writer of romance, mostly m/m, historical or fantasy or both. She blogs about writing and editing at http://kjcharleswriter.com.
She lives in London, UK, with her husband, two kids, and a cat of absolute night. Source

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