Book Reviews

Spectred Isle (Green Men 1) by KJ Charles at KJC Books

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Ghosts/Spirits/Hauntings / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 14-August-2017

Book Blurb

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.

Book Review

On one of his “wild goose chases” for the eccentric professor he works for, Saul Lazenby, of 'The Spectred Isle' by K.J. Charles, witnesses an extraordinary event. A huge tree catches fire for no apparent reason. Saul is at a loss to explain the phenomenon. He strikes up a conversation with a gentleman, Randolph Glyde, beside him whose cryptic replies and double entendres unsettle Saul who is fighting his attraction to other men. Saul rebukes Randolph and tries to put the handsome gentleman out of his mind. Much to Saul's dismay, either by design or coincidence, Saul and Randolph run into each other again.

Randolph Glyde is intrigued with Saul but has to be cautious in his position of caretaker of the magical society that looms just beneath the normal life in London. His family has had this position for a very long time and Randolph is the last in his line. It is a heavy burden fighting for control, not only with all the malevolent entities connected with localities and artifacts, but also fighting the police who are determined to intervene at every turn. However, Randolph's authority supersedes that of the police because it is mandated by the monarchy, not by mere men.  Randolph continues running into Saul, because he is working on the same “trouble” sites Randolph is investigating, putting Saul in grave danger.

Even though Saul is working for a man who thrives on myths and legends surrounded by magic, Saul believes in science, not magic. But he can't hold on to that idea in the face of so many inexplicable events happening around him since meeting Randolph. Even though it is not his intention, Saul has inadvertently stepped into a battle between good and evil he never dreamed existed; it's a position that Randolph, especially with his growing feelings for Saul, never intended to put him in. While on what was to be a simple walk together, they are confronted with an evil so vile, even Randolph has problems fighting it off. They realize that they are in an all or nothing situation, passion explodes between them, and they know, for better or worse, they are in this war together.

K.J. is an awesome writer. Her imagery is mind-boggling. Her characters are unique and bold. K.J.'s stories are complex and out of the ordinary. As with all first in a new series books, there is a great deal of worldbuilding, along with introductions of the characters. It's a lot to absorb. Fans of K.J. Charles, who are used to her writing style, the British English, and attitudes, and those who have a good background of her characters will, no doubt, love this book. Fortunately, I have read a few of K.J.’s stories. In in particular, 'The Calwell Ghost' (Mysterious Casebook of Simon Fleximal 1) was helpful. I recommend that those new to K.J.'s stories, read one or all three of the Simon Fleximal series before attempting to read this book. Thank you, K. J., for a brilliant, spooky, magic-filled adventure.






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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 243 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 03-August-2017
Price $3.69 ebook, $10.99 paperback
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