Reviews

Any Old Diamonds, by KJ Charles

veryreaderie's review

Go to review page

After The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting I needed another KJ Charles book to absorb immediately. I stuffed all of these pages into my hungry maw then went on to read The Rat Catcher's Daughter (short story, same series) and Proper English (f/f, different series), at which point I burped in (at least temporary) satisfaction. None of them have blurred together, even though I read them in a haze.

Anyway: Alec is an interesting main character, but desperately sad after the death of his sister, and he's on a mission that's going to hurt him whether or not it succeeds. So Any Old Diamonds is not the same pure falling-in-love joy to read, and the love interest is pretty ruthless/hard-to-read; you don't get any of that comfort that things will be fine in the end as you're reading. Very exciting for it though, with a dom/sub dynamic I know lots of people will love.

iroshge's review

Go to review page

adventurous mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

purrson's review

Go to review page

adventurous dark funny hopeful tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

claudia_is_reading's review

Go to review page

5.0

Oh, this is such a clever story! All the clues to the twist are there but, as Jerry, we are blinded by our own ideas about the characters.

I love stories happening during the Victorian times, and the taste of this one is pure Victorian, language and customs of the time with the theatrical plays and music halls doing a more than passing appearance... such a joy! :D

Alec is a delight, his motivations and his moral conflicts utter believable and deeply human. And Jerry! Jerry is also great, his is perfect self-awareness and unrepented and yet very big heart :D

The supporting characters are also interesting and I'm happy that we get to see more of Susan Lazarus in [b:Gilded Cage|52314497|Gilded Cage (Lilywhite Boys #2)|K.J. Charles|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1568030557l/52314497._SX50_SY75_.jpg|71397881].

An absolute winner for me :D

miraclemarg's review against another edition

Go to review page

adventurous dark funny tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

wearerobinhood's review

Go to review page

emotional
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Loveable characters? Yes

3.5

andipants's review against another edition

Go to review page

5.0

Oh my heavens, this was fun. I loved so many things about this book so very very much. The romantic leads are both a delight; Alec is quiet and artistic without being a wimp, and Jerry is the rare "dangerous" hero that I not only tolerate, but absolutely adore. He's a "bad guy" without being at all angsty or bitter about it, and he's tough (and even a bit scary) without even glancing toward alphahole territory. Even though we never get his POV, his actions and expressions are perfectly drawn so that we get to know him well, too, which is a testament to the author's skill. And the chemistry between them is fantastic, even down to the steamy scenes — while I'm usually not into much even approaching kink (and to be clear, this is very light on that scale) this was just exactly my sort of catnip.

As for the story itself, I certainly love me a good revenge plot, and this one delivered in spades. I will say, the last big twist was a complete blindside to me, to the point where I wonder if it mightn't have been set up just a bit better? I didn't mind terribly though, and the ending was oh so satisfying.

This was my first KJ Charles, but if it's anything to go by, it certainly won't be my last.

arachan's review

Go to review page

emotional tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

This book starts with a rather bleak transaction; Jerry Crozier of the infamous Lilywhite Boys is approached by Lord Alexander who wants the pricey jewel that his estranged father intends to gift to Alexander's hated step-mother stolen.  Jerry gets a fabulous payday and Alexander gets to see his detested parental figures humiliated.

It all seems a little too good to be true.  The problem starts with the fact that Alexander is a very poor liar and struggles to convincingly portray the prodigal son so Jerry must take a more hands-on approach.  Thankfully it turns out that Lord Alexander very much appreciates Jerry's command and inevitably, sex happens.

I was starting to wonder how the author intended to draw this out for the rest of the book since Alexander's discomfort with his own submissive tendencies wasn't it.  The give and take of establishing how much control Jerry can take was interesting but I didn't think it could keep the rest of the book from dragging.  Oh I of little faith!

SpoilerIt turns out that the Duke of Ivar (Alexander's loathed and loathsome father)  isn't the only one capable of hiding a secret.  Lord Alexander turns out to be more than a spoiled, rather sheltered rich kid suffering from offended pride.  He's seeking revenge for his prematurely dead sister Cara who saw the Duke of Ivar murder their mother.

The jewellery theft was in fact a ruse, planned by Alexander and Susan Lazarus the fiery female detective to find the proof of the double murder that allowed the Duke and current Duchess to be married.  This means that Alexander is actually the one taking advantage of Jerry which levels the playing field when they have their HEA.  

Jerry's 'reformation' actually comes across pretty well.  He's not won over by the love of a good man so much as by the reflection of his own life that he sees through Alex's eyes.  His choosing to do the right thing is as much born of his determination to get one over on the people who wronged one of his.  It's not an overnight change, seeming to be rooted as much in the fact that Jerry has made it to the top of his illegal trade and there is no challenge or pressing need left in his old  career.
 

the_vegan_bookworm's review

Go to review page

adventurous emotional funny lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

minthee's review

Go to review page

4.0

I am not a fan of Historical books but this one took me by surprise!

It took me a while to read it, the first half of the book was slow but then something surprising happened and I was so into it I didn't realize when I finished it!

Amazing story, good characters and I just simply loved it!

I am not giving it full 5 stars because of Jerry. I just couldn't feel his love, it was too soon. Like, yeah I could see him liking and caring for Alec but I think saying the 'I love you's' was just too fast!

Highly recommend if you like historicals and thieves!