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The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting

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Robin Loxleigh and his sister Marianne are the hit of the Season, so attractive and delightful that nobody looks behind their pretty faces. Until Robin sets his sights on Sir John Hartlebury’s heiress niece. The notoriously graceless baronet isn’t impressed by good looks, or fooled by false charm. He’s sure Robin is a liar—a fortune hunter, a card sharp, and a heartless, g Robin Loxleigh and his sister Marianne are the hit of the Season, so attractive and delightful that nobody looks behind their pretty faces. Until Robin sets his sights on Sir John Hartlebury’s heiress niece. The notoriously graceless baronet isn’t impressed by good looks, or fooled by false charm. He’s sure Robin is a liar—a fortune hunter, a card sharp, and a heartless, greedy fraud—and he’ll protect his niece, whatever it takes. Then, just when Hart thinks he has Robin at his mercy, things take a sharp left turn. And as the grumpy baronet and the glib fortune hunter start to understand each other, they also find themselves starting to care—more than either of them thought possible. But Robin's cheated and lied and let people down for money. Can a professional rogue earn an honest happy ever after?


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Robin Loxleigh and his sister Marianne are the hit of the Season, so attractive and delightful that nobody looks behind their pretty faces. Until Robin sets his sights on Sir John Hartlebury’s heiress niece. The notoriously graceless baronet isn’t impressed by good looks, or fooled by false charm. He’s sure Robin is a liar—a fortune hunter, a card sharp, and a heartless, g Robin Loxleigh and his sister Marianne are the hit of the Season, so attractive and delightful that nobody looks behind their pretty faces. Until Robin sets his sights on Sir John Hartlebury’s heiress niece. The notoriously graceless baronet isn’t impressed by good looks, or fooled by false charm. He’s sure Robin is a liar—a fortune hunter, a card sharp, and a heartless, greedy fraud—and he’ll protect his niece, whatever it takes. Then, just when Hart thinks he has Robin at his mercy, things take a sharp left turn. And as the grumpy baronet and the glib fortune hunter start to understand each other, they also find themselves starting to care—more than either of them thought possible. But Robin's cheated and lied and let people down for money. Can a professional rogue earn an honest happy ever after?

30 review for The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting

  1. 4 out of 5

    K.J. Charles

    You know how you get stuck on a book so you write a completely different book to take your mind off it? No? Happens to me all the time. *eye twitch* This is a tropetastic romance starring fortune hunter Robin, baronet-turned-brewer Hart, two sisters (one respectable), an underestimated niece, gambling for high stakes, a villainous marquess (hiss!), and a certain amount of UST because I do love my Regency gentlemen UST. IT was great fun to write; I hope you enjoy it! The gorgeous cover is by Kanaxa You know how you get stuck on a book so you write a completely different book to take your mind off it? No? Happens to me all the time. *eye twitch* This is a tropetastic romance starring fortune hunter Robin, baronet-turned-brewer Hart, two sisters (one respectable), an underestimated niece, gambling for high stakes, a villainous marquess (hiss!), and a certain amount of UST because I do love my Regency gentlemen UST. IT was great fun to write; I hope you enjoy it! The gorgeous cover is by Kanaxa.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Talia Hibbert

    This book was an utter delight and dragged me right out of a slump. I grinned the whole way through. As always, KJ writes deeply loveable characters whose connections and motivations feel intensely human and believable. If you are an especial fan of KJ’s Any Old Diamonds, or of Kim Secretan in The Will Darling Adventures, this one will be a new favourite for you - it certainly was for me. I don’t know who I loved more - the secretly soft-hearted, fortune-hunting Robin Loxleigh, or the socially a This book was an utter delight and dragged me right out of a slump. I grinned the whole way through. As always, KJ writes deeply loveable characters whose connections and motivations feel intensely human and believable. If you are an especial fan of KJ’s Any Old Diamonds, or of Kim Secretan in The Will Darling Adventures, this one will be a new favourite for you - it certainly was for me. I don’t know who I loved more - the secretly soft-hearted, fortune-hunting Robin Loxleigh, or the socially awkward, gruff and ferocious Hart, the uncle of Robin’s intended target. And really, what a fantastic set up. The “I know you are fortune-hunting my niece and I’m going to prove it” element already had me giggling at the edge of my seat, but when Robin bamboozled poor, noble Hart by [ahem, insert spoilers here], I almost dissolved. Add in a truly satisfying ending for literally every character in the book, and you’re left with what is basically a perfect quarantine read. This felt like KJ’s very own sexy and skullduggerous take on the romcom trend, and I loved it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    mina reads™️

    If there’s one thing kj charles is gonna do, it’s write a bomb ass, hilarious, and adorable regency romance.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lisazj1

    4.5 stars! 🥰 *warning, fangirl gushing ahead, LOL* KJ Charles has never let me down. I haven't read one single book of hers that I haven't enjoyed immensely, if not outright loved. This one was no exception, and was utterly delightful. In her own review, KJC called this "tropetastic" and that's hilariously accurate. It has everything, the aristocracy, evil relatives, fortune hunters, and an unwilling wallflower debutante, all in her marvelously done Regency setting. The characters are fabulous an 4.5 stars! 🥰 *warning, fangirl gushing ahead, LOL* KJ Charles has never let me down. I haven't read one single book of hers that I haven't enjoyed immensely, if not outright loved. This one was no exception, and was utterly delightful. In her own review, KJC called this "tropetastic" and that's hilariously accurate. It has everything, the aristocracy, evil relatives, fortune hunters, and an unwilling wallflower debutante, all in her marvelously done Regency setting. The characters are fabulous and though maybe tropetastic, not at all one -dimensional, and are brilliantly developed. The attraction, UST and eventual relationship between Hart and Robin was absolutely sizzling, though definitely not without problems. I loved that the bit of angst between them didn't drag out or overwhelm the story, they actually communicated and worked on their issues together. The banter, snark and humor was just as delicious as you could want and there was actually some rather epic verbal ass-kicking that was completely satisfying! 😈 I genuinely loved every single bit of this *if you couldn't already tell* and will continue to throw all my money at KJ Charles for as long as she continues to write. 😍❤

  5. 4 out of 5

    Caz

    I've given this an A at AAR. KJ Charles revisits Regency England in The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting, a frothy, wonderfully trope-y, Heyer-esque romp that, while light-hearted, is underpinned by the author’s customary insight into the workings of the society of the day and a very sharp-eyed look at the importance of security and happiness and what people do to obtain it.  At its centre however, is a lovely opposites-attract romance between a lonely, grumpy baronet and a beautiful, sunny-natured I've given this an A at AAR. KJ Charles revisits Regency England in The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting, a frothy, wonderfully trope-y, Heyer-esque romp that, while light-hearted, is underpinned by the author’s customary insight into the workings of the society of the day and a very sharp-eyed look at the importance of security and happiness and what people do to obtain it.  At its centre however, is a lovely opposites-attract romance between a lonely, grumpy baronet and a beautiful, sunny-natured young man, who are nonetheless exactly what the other needs. Newly arrived in London, Robin and Marianne Loxleigh of Nottinghamshire (*snort*) immediately set about making friends in society, their good looks, charm and pleasant, unassuming manner meaning they’re very soon assured of a welcome wherever they go.  Like a great number of the other young ladies and gentlemen in town, they’re both looking to make advantageous marriages – but unlike most of them, Robin and Marianne are not well-born; they’re nobodies from nowhere who know how to play the game to get what they want - and they play it very well indeed.  Within a short time, Marianne has attracted the interest of a marquess, while Robin has set his sights on Alice Fenwick, a young woman in her first season whose birth – her father was a “provincial brewer” - and unexceptional looks render her beneath the notice of high society.  But Robin knows what society doesn’t  – that Alice stands to inherit twenty thousand pounds on her marriage,  which is more than enough on which to live comfortably.  Robin might be a fortune hunter, but he’s no intention of spending all the money and making Alice’s life a misery once she’s married him; he likes her and plans to make her a good husband.  In most respects, anyway. But there’s a rather large fly in the ointment in the form of Alice’s uncle, Sir John Hartlebury.  A large, dark, scowling, incredibly suspicious fly with the most splendid pair of thighs Robin has ever seen. Hart runs the brewery left to his sister Edwina by her first husband, which makes him something of an outsider in society, but he doesn’t care.  He’s not popular, good-looking or charming; he’s socially awkward, plain-spoken and irascible, but he cares deeply for Alice and is immediately suspicious of Robin Loxleigh’s interest in her.  Alice is clever, funny and kind, but in society, beauty is more highly prized than any of those things, and while Loxleigh has it in abundance Alice does not…  so what can he possibly see in her if it’s not her twenty thousand pounds?  Hart decides to find out as much as he can about the fellow, and to persuade Edwina – and Alice - that he’s up to no good. Robin does his best to allay Hart’s suspicions but to no avail, and things come to a head one night at the gaming tables when Hart wins a very large sum of money from Robin that Robin is never going to be able to repay. Or perhaps… he can. All I’ll say is that Robin finds a most inventive (and mutually satisfying!) solution that allows both men to come to a new understanding of one another – while they’re also falling helplessly in love. Hart discovers Robin is far from the heartless rogue he’d supposed him to be, and Robin learns of the big heart and vulnerability that lurk behind Hart’s gruff exterior. They’re flawed and they make mistakes, but they learn from them and from each other, too. Robin believes he’s not a good person and the only things he has to offer are his looks and charm, but Hart helps him to realise that’s not true and that he has value as a person beyond the superficial. Hart lacks self-esteem and believes himself “ugly”; he doesn’t have much experience with romance and sex, and has pretty much resigned himself to living a solitary life. Worse – and thanks to some truly heartbreaking events in his childhood – he doesn’t believe he deserves love or happiness. Until Robin shows him how wrong he is. One of the many things I loved about this novel was the fact that Hart was prepared to listen to and learn from those around him. At the beginning of the book, he’s rather unbending, seeing the world in stark black and white, but as the story progresses, he’s brought to realise that not everyone can afford to see the world as he does, that his privilege has given him many more choices than are available to women and those without wealth or connections. I particularly enjoyed the parallels drawn between the Marriage Mart – where young women attempt to find security by marrying well – and Robin’s desire to find a wealthy wife for exactly the same reason, as well as the conversations about choices and morality and the hypocrisy of high society. The familial relationships in the story are superbly written, too. Robin and Marianne have relied on each other from a young age and trust each other exclusively; their relationship is brilliantly written and rings completely true of two people who know each other inside out and have faced many hardships together. Their acerbic wit and obvious care for each other makes them easy to like and their clear-sightedness about how society operates makes it easy to root for them to succeed in their desire to worm their way in and hoodwink (if not actively steal from!) the nobs. Unlike the rest of society, they have no illusions about what they want or how to obtain it; they’re just more honest about it. It’s clear that Alice, Edwina and Hart care very much for one another even though they share no blood ties, and I really appreciated the strong affection between Alice and Edwina (no evil stepmothers here!) The main female characters are all three-dimensional and interesting, with agency and ambitions of their own. Alice is delightful; perceptive and quick-witted, she’s good company but her ambition is to study mathematics and she really can’t be doing with all the balls and parties she’s expected to attend. Marianne’s and Edwina’s stories show how perilous marriage can be if women make the wrong choice of partner; Edwina’s second marriage was to a “selfish, greedy swine” who bled her dry, and Marianne, determined to attain wealth and respectability, makes a calculating but risky choice which will bind her to a man for whom she has no affection and much contempt. The romance between Hart and Robin is a wonderful mix of sweet, steamy and swoony. Relationship conflicts arise organically as a result of situations and personalities and are never contrived or overdone, as Hart struggles to find the right way to keep Robin in his life for good. The scene near the end where Robin stands up for Hart so fiercely made me whoop with joy (in my head!), and the ensuing HEA is charming and very well deserved. The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting seems, at first glance, to be a relatively simple story, but when you start burrowing beneath the surface, is revealed to be richly layered and incredibly satisfying in its complexity. It’s also the sort of book you finish with a heartfelt, happy sigh and lots of warm, fuzzy feelings. It’s clever, it’s fun, it’s witty and it’s gloriously romantic, and I gobbled it up and never wanted it to end. I’m sure you will, too.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Teal

    Clever and well-crafted, as you'd expect from KJ Charles. She's at the top of my short list of auto-buy authors, and I'm rarely disappointed. But those rare disappointments do happen... in this case because I never became emotionally invested in the characters. I'm not sure why. I was perfectly fine with not liking Robin and Hart for the first half of the book, because I trusted that eventually I'd fall for them. But it never happened, and I was left indifferent about their romance. There are a h Clever and well-crafted, as you'd expect from KJ Charles. She's at the top of my short list of auto-buy authors, and I'm rarely disappointed. But those rare disappointments do happen... in this case because I never became emotionally invested in the characters. I'm not sure why. I was perfectly fine with not liking Robin and Hart for the first half of the book, because I trusted that eventually I'd fall for them. But it never happened, and I was left indifferent about their romance. There are a half-dozen things I can identify as being impressively done. But there's another half-dozen I could point to that bugged (ha!) me or just didn't work for me. Oh well, on to the next one. And thank you to my fellow buddy readers Elena and Rosa, who made reading this more of a pleasure than it would have been if I'd done it alone.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    “Anything you want. Whenever and wherever and especially however. At your pleasure. Starting now.” "How absolutely typical that the best pair of thighs he’d seen in years should be parcelled up with such a damned inflexible, unaccommodating, sceptical personality." I loved this book almost as much as Robin loved Hart’s thighs! It was the perfect escape and filled me with feels. Fun, witty, sexy and romantic. A light-hearted romp but not at all shallow. KJ Charles said that writing this “Anything you want. Whenever and wherever and especially however. At your pleasure. Starting now.” "How absolutely typical that the best pair of thighs he’d seen in years should be parcelled up with such a damned inflexible, unaccommodating, sceptical personality." I loved this book almost as much as Robin loved Hart’s thighs! It was the perfect escape and filled me with feels. Fun, witty, sexy and romantic. A light-hearted romp but not at all shallow. KJ Charles said that writing this book was a mental break from writing the final Will Darling book and therefore “tropier and fluffier,” than usual. While I can’t wait for more Will and Kim, I love that this new book was the result of her break from those two rascals. As usual, KJ brought the snark, banter and sparkling dialogue. Robin and Hart were delightful and made my heart melt. Also as usual, her secondary characters were brilliant and enhanced the story rather than taking away from it. That is something I always love about her books and this was no exception. I had a huge smile on my face while reading this and I hope, if you read it, it makes you smile too! “Mouthy under cover of darkness, aren’t you?” “You complain about me being courteous, you complain about me being frank. Do you ever stop complaining?”

  8. 5 out of 5

    aarya

    2020 Winter Bingo (#SnowInLoveBingo❄️): Last Book Acquired By the time the Season began, plenty of people would recognise the well-mannered Loxleighs—friendly but not encroaching, up from the country, modest but so charming! They would have dinner invitations. They would find their way into parties. They would slide into the notice of the lower Upper Ten Thousand without anyone quite knowing how they’d got there. And then the hunt would begin. This is fun! I like KJC’s angsty romantic suspens 2020 Winter Bingo (#SnowInLoveBingo❄️): Last Book Acquired By the time the Season began, plenty of people would recognise the well-mannered Loxleighs—friendly but not encroaching, up from the country, modest but so charming! They would have dinner invitations. They would find their way into parties. They would slide into the notice of the lower Upper Ten Thousand without anyone quite knowing how they’d got there. And then the hunt would begin. This is fun! I like KJC’s angsty romantic suspense, but regency romps are a better fit for my reading mood these days. Tone-wise, it’s closer to BAND SINISTER than the Will Darling Adventures. This appears to be a standalone but I have hopes for Marianne’s story (she’s my favorite character, Robin a close second). I’m a big fan of the “other sibling/relative trope,” which means that MC1 (Robin) is courting a relative (Alice) of MC2 (Hart). In this case, Hart is Alice’s grumpy baronet step-uncle. Robin and his sister Marianne are lying about their unsavory origins and have come to London for the purpose of fortune-hunting. I was initially concerned that Alice was going to be a major plot conflict, but thankfully this crinkle goes away quickly. Hart is (correctly) suspicious that the Loxleighs are lying about their past and that Robin is only courting Alice for her secret dowry. He’s determined to expose their fraud and is FURIOUS at his attraction toward the card-cheating Robin. The enemies setup ended sooner than I expected — the plot took an abrupt turn before the halfway mark, but the new setup (no spoilers!) really worked for me. Not gonna lie — watching Robin and Marianne hoodwink society was SO FUCKING SATISFYING. It’s a shame that they’re not totally bankrupt of morals; my internal chorus of “eat the rich” was LOUD. 😂 All joking aside, the discussion of fortune hunting and ethics is fascinating. They’re not doing anything wrong! The Marriage Mart is a, well, mart. Everyone hopes to better their station in society via marriage; if we’re looking at morals, the majority of the aristocracy is contemptible in comparison to Robin and Marianne. I adored how the book tackles issues of financial security, morality, and hypocrisy re: the siblings’ scheme. It’s hard to talk about what I liked without spoilers (see major plot point halfway through!) but THE GENTLE ART OF FORTUNE HUNTING is a perfect Regency romp to curl up to on a chilly winter night. I could not stop smiling for most of this book — this might be my fave KJC since PROPER ENGLISH? Anyway, go preorder it! Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ariana

    4,5 stars Absolutely glorious. Fun, fluff and feels - this is pure ‘old-fashioned’ romance done ‘the KJ Charles way’: A rogue, a gentleman, a reluctant attraction against better judgement. Great chemistry, sexual discoveries and adorable sizzle. Heartache and impossible situations. Ahhhh. I had the most brilliant time! Robin and Hart are simply delightful. And: two fabulous ladies as secondary characters. Alice and Marianne totally rock! I love how KJ Charles always writes such strong females. Only thi 4,5 stars Absolutely glorious. Fun, fluff and feels - this is pure ‘old-fashioned’ romance done ‘the KJ Charles way’: A rogue, a gentleman, a reluctant attraction against better judgement. Great chemistry, sexual discoveries and adorable sizzle. Heartache and impossible situations. Ahhhh. I had the most brilliant time! Robin and Hart are simply delightful. And: two fabulous ladies as secondary characters. Alice and Marianne totally rock! I love how KJ Charles always writes such strong females. Only thing – I would have really liked to find out what Robin and Marianne’s real names are, and whether Giles ever figured Hart’s 'secret’ out. Highly recommended!

  10. 4 out of 5

    M

    M/M is an easy genre for bad writers to hide in. I’ve been reading so much mediocre stuff lately, and mostly I’m okay with that. It’s entertaining enough, I’m here for fun, not looking for Pulitzer prize winners. KJ Charles, though, is a not a mediocre writer. She’s found a niche in historical romance and she exploits the shit out of it, in the best possible way. This book was so good. Really stellar storytelling, with great, nuanced characters and a delightful romance. The writing is sharp and M/M is an easy genre for bad writers to hide in. I’ve been reading so much mediocre stuff lately, and mostly I’m okay with that. It’s entertaining enough, I’m here for fun, not looking for Pulitzer prize winners. KJ Charles, though, is a not a mediocre writer. She’s found a niche in historical romance and she exploits the shit out of it, in the best possible way. This book was so good. Really stellar storytelling, with great, nuanced characters and a delightful romance. The writing is sharp and witty and the ending was incredibly satisfying. Highly recommended if you enjoy historical romance. Couldn’t put it down.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elena

    4.5 stars Trust K.J. Charles to deliver a lighthearted story with charming characters without making it shallow and forgettable. Okay, maybe Robin is a little bit obsessed with aware of Hart’s thighs, but you shouldn’t hold it against him, he’s really a sweetheart and he knows how to appreciate the whole package person. I loved the original premise and the dynamic between the MCs, they were surprisingly well matched, with enough conflict to leave room for some character development and not so m 4.5 stars Trust K.J. Charles to deliver a lighthearted story with charming characters without making it shallow and forgettable. Okay, maybe Robin is a little bit obsessed with aware of Hart’s thighs, but you shouldn’t hold it against him, he’s really a sweetheart and he knows how to appreciate the whole package person. I loved the original premise and the dynamic between the MCs, they were surprisingly well matched, with enough conflict to leave room for some character development and not so much to weight down the story with drama. Add a great cast of female secondary characters and at least one surprise ((view spoiler)[Giles being a prick (hide spoiler)] ) that I didn’t see coming and loved in spite/because of it, and this was another hit.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Oshiiy

    4 stars ⭐️ This is the second book I've read of KJC, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole story. I should say, historical romances were never for me before I read KJ C’s books. Robin and his sister Marianne were fortune hunters. They were poor. Their childhood wasn't the one anyone should experience in the first place. They came to London and they both have a bigger fish to fry. Determined to make everything better and smooth, Robin went for Alice whom uncle was Sir John Hartlebury, and had a great 4 stars ⭐️ This is the second book I've read of KJC, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole story. I should say, historical romances were never for me before I read KJ C’s books. Robin and his sister Marianne were fortune hunters. They were poor. Their childhood wasn't the one anyone should experience in the first place. They came to London and they both have a bigger fish to fry. Determined to make everything better and smooth, Robin went for Alice whom uncle was Sir John Hartlebury, and had a great deal of money. The suspicion that Hart had against Robin was immersed. Hart didn't trust Robin from the start. He felt like something was really off with the two siblings who had come to London out of nowhere. But things kept getting heated up with Robin when Hart accused that Robin was a fortune hunter, and he only kept his eye on Alice’s wealth. But finally, everything was starting to get better after a proposition which they both agreed to maintain for a month. I loved Robin. He was fun, witty, and had a great heart. He was attracted to Hart from the start but he didn't know that Hart was gay too. But the attraction remained in his heart. Hart never expected the person he loathed was the one who would get under his skin and eventually love him unconditionally. He felt like Robin was too handsome for him. Because he wasn't the person people love to date. He always wore a scowl and never better for conversations. But Robin loved Hart and his thighs and his summer blue eyes. ..it felt like all his happiness was tied up in a thick-thighed man who hid his fears and his hopes and his heart behind a scowl.” “I love you, Robin Loxleigh. My fortune hunter, and my greatest fortune.” Highly recommended! <3

  13. 4 out of 5

    Layla

    Well... This was my first KJ Charles book... Yeah I know I'm VERY LATE to the party. I will endeavor to mend this mishap! Q&A: Q: So how was your first experience with KJ? A: Let's just say that I loved this book as much as Robin loved Hart's thighs.... So... ALOT! Q: Hart's....thighs? A: Oh yes! Robin is obsessed with them. It's amazing! Q: If you say so... Ok tell me more. What else did you like? Besides the thighs. A: Ohhhh SO MUCH! First, I loved how Hart was not classically handsome, or pretty or Well... This was my first KJ Charles book... Yeah I know I'm VERY LATE to the party. I will endeavor to mend this mishap! Q&A: Q: So how was your first experience with KJ? A: Let's just say that I loved this book as much as Robin loved Hart's thighs.... So... ALOT! Q: Hart's....thighs? A: Oh yes! Robin is obsessed with them. It's amazing! Q: If you say so... Ok tell me more. What else did you like? Besides the thighs. A: Ohhhh SO MUCH! First, I loved how Hart was not classically handsome, or pretty or chiseled. He was a normal man who had more than his looks going for him. he was protective of his family and friends and loyal to a fault. Robin, the fortune hunter, was a delight. He had such a good heart, taking care of his sister and doing everything he could to make her life better. He was utterly fascinated with Hart, the attraction instant and unavoidable. Q: Well this sounds wholesome! How do they get together? A: It's a historical, so being together is illegal. However, Robin suddenly found himself under Hart's thumb due to...reasons. And so they come to an "Understanding". Needless to say, Robin becomes a high paid sex worker to pay off a debt to Hart. and Hart is very happy with that. Q: Huh... Well that's one way to pay off a debt... What happens next? A: Right? Very beneficial imo. Next, they both fuck like rabbits and catch "feelings". Q: Ouuuu FEELINGS! So how's the angst-o-meter? A: Lowish angst. Whatever quarrels arise are dealt with quickly! Q: That's a relief. What about the steam-o-meter? A: Steamy! That first scene... Hooo boy! Q: Ok... I know this is historical and they can't really be together, but they do get an HEA right? A: Oh yeah.. don't worry. They get their HEA very well. Honorable mentions: The fact that Robin's sister and Alice (Hunt's niece) are both kickass female characters! the narration by Cornell Collins was SUPERB!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sam (AMNReader)

    One of the reasons I typically follow along in a book when I listen to KJC is all the quotes. Now I will have to go back. :\ Anyway, this was sweet. I think it's the sweetest book of hers I've ever read! I was also really surprised by how couple-centric this was, the external conflict just wasn't as prominent as it usually feels? I'm kind of in the mood for suspense so I will admit to being slightly disappointed by that. I'm never disappointed by her writing, generally, even if my own expectation One of the reasons I typically follow along in a book when I listen to KJC is all the quotes. Now I will have to go back. :\ Anyway, this was sweet. I think it's the sweetest book of hers I've ever read! I was also really surprised by how couple-centric this was, the external conflict just wasn't as prominent as it usually feels? I'm kind of in the mood for suspense so I will admit to being slightly disappointed by that. I'm never disappointed by her writing, generally, even if my own expectations made me feel like this wasn't as meaty as I feel is the typical default for her work. That's a me thing. On my KJ shelf, it's a right in the middle, but on the general romance it's certainly skewed higher rating. I'm giving it a 3, however, while I'm always tempted to revisit her books this is one of the last I can see returning to at the moment. And wow, for a book that's so delightful isn't this a terrible review??? It shouldn't read as such, it's simply a 3.5 rounded down b/c sometimes I can't help rating an author against their best work.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Papie

    I really wanted to love this book, considering how much I loved the other books I read by this author. But something about it felt off the whole time, it’s a miracle I finished it. At first it was too much humour and banter, like it was trying too hard. It felt fake and detached. I think part of it is that there was too much else going on. I didn’t feel anything other than annoyance about Marianne’s love triangle, and I was very frustrated that it was taking time away from Robin and Hart. I push I really wanted to love this book, considering how much I loved the other books I read by this author. But something about it felt off the whole time, it’s a miracle I finished it. At first it was too much humour and banter, like it was trying too hard. It felt fake and detached. I think part of it is that there was too much else going on. I didn’t feel anything other than annoyance about Marianne’s love triangle, and I was very frustrated that it was taking time away from Robin and Hart. I pushed through, but it never clicked. I skimmed through the last chapter and the epilogue. Go read all the other positive reviews and ignore me. I’ll just be sitting here in the corner of shame. 🤷‍♀️

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sunny

    screaming because how the fuck did KJ Charles wrap up a fantastic banter filled romance with lots of sexual tension and lovable and memorable characters into narratives about family trauma and money struggles and identity and feminism and autonomy…. OBSESSED

  17. 5 out of 5

    fleurette

    I abandoned the pile of books I planned to read this month and all the books I started but didn't finish to read this book because I was definitely in the mood for a story like that. And I was not disappointed, although I expected something a little bit different. The characters are the strong point of this story. Both the main characters Robin and Hart and their family. Together, they form an interesting group of personalities. They were the focal point of this story for sure. The plot is okay, b I abandoned the pile of books I planned to read this month and all the books I started but didn't finish to read this book because I was definitely in the mood for a story like that. And I was not disappointed, although I expected something a little bit different. The characters are the strong point of this story. Both the main characters Robin and Hart and their family. Together, they form an interesting group of personalities. They were the focal point of this story for sure. The plot is okay, but those are not my favorite tropes. I am glad that the theme of sex as payment of debt was not taken very seriously. In general, I like the way the author used this theme. Which does not change the fact that this is not my favorite trope and I would prefer some other ideas. I also wish Hart had been a little more experienced. And I can't explain why it was bothering me. I believed in Hart and Robin's feelings. The tension between them was quite clear from the beginning. I like that they didn't go straight to talking about love, and how their life experience and uncertainties affected their relationship. I think they make a nice pair, especially I can see how Robin fits in with Hart. The final scene played by Marianne was the icing on the cake and was absolutely brilliant. Undeniably wonderful and perfectly reflecting the personalities of all characters. Overall I liked this book, I was indeed in the right mood for it. I don't know if it will be a story that I will remember or return to, but it was what I needed, even if I see its shortcomings.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Suanne Laqueur

    Me: Can we declare KJ Charles a national treasure? A world treasure? Camille: Without hesitation. Me: She never fails. If you read a truly crappy book, go back to KJ Charles to restore your faith in literary humanity. If you read a truly magnificent book and think nothing can top it, go back to KJ Charles because she is consistently dependable to hit your reset button.

  19. 5 out of 5

    nemo the emo ☠️ (pagesandprozac)

    Minor spoilers ahead, perhaps? I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this, which in no way affects my rating or review. Another delight of a regency novel by K.J. Charles! This was excellently plotted and paced, with the sophistication of characters I've come to expect from this author. Realistic characters with realistic vices and virtues to match, and both the main characters being very likable while still having their flaws. The interactions between Robin and Hart were very well done, and I Minor spoilers ahead, perhaps? I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this, which in no way affects my rating or review. Another delight of a regency novel by K.J. Charles! This was excellently plotted and paced, with the sophistication of characters I've come to expect from this author. Realistic characters with realistic vices and virtues to match, and both the main characters being very likable while still having their flaws. The interactions between Robin and Hart were very well done, and I loved how Robin wasn't automatically offended when Hart suggested he look after him financially; in pretty much every book I've read with similar themes, the would-be sugar baby (in lieu of a better term) is always offended to highlight the fact that they're "not a whore" or something. In contrast, Robin gets off on being called a "thousand-a week whore," which is both a Big Mood and very refreshing . The way both characters navigate this difficult situation is fantastic, with each character making mistakes but never being overly melodramatic in response; conflict seems to arise organically, rather than being obviously manufactured like many other books. 100% recommended for regency fans, romance fans, m/m fans, "indecent proposal" fans, and basically everyone.

  20. 5 out of 5

    ~~ preeti~~

    Audiobook re-read-16/7/2021 Original read- 08/03/2021 "How typical that the best pair of thighs he’d seen in years should be parcelled up with such a damned inflexible, absolutely unaccommodating, sceptical personality". Yes, I am re-reading it just a few months after my first read. But, it was in my mind since the day I saw the audiobook. I went into it for the narration of Cornell Collins but I came out loving the book much more than the first time. I found it much lighter, romantic and steamier Audiobook re-read-16/7/2021 Original read- 08/03/2021 "How typical that the best pair of thighs he’d seen in years should be parcelled up with such a damned inflexible, absolutely unaccommodating, sceptical personality". Yes, I am re-reading it just a few months after my first read. But, it was in my mind since the day I saw the audiobook. I went into it for the narration of Cornell Collins but I came out loving the book much more than the first time. I found it much lighter, romantic and steamier than other KJ Charles books( Do I keep saying this about every KJC book??)🤔🤔. I still,  love Hart and Robin and the girl power, Marian and Alice.💕💕 -------------------------------------------------------------------- This is another awesome book by K. J Charles. Her narration is always entertaining and her characters have depth. It was my most anticipated book of this year and had not disappointed me at all. I didn't know whom to love more...Robin our beautiful, sexy fortune hunter or 'Hart ', the big, always scowling but vulnerable brute. It is difficult to choose when we also have supporting characters like 'Marianna' and Alice. Both are different in temperament but are unconventional women of their time. And this book has more romance than any other book I have read by K.J Charles. A sweet sexy romance filled with yummy dirty smut.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Eugenia

    Freaking HELL! 4.5 Stars! I couldn’t stop listening to this!😱 What a roller coaster of feels & plot 😍 Push-pull Opposites attract Class gap One pretty, one not A fortune hunter & a fortune protector A monetary arrangement where anything goes 🔥😱 Just when I thought things would resolve themselves, everything got turned upside down & I entered into conflict anew with my AMAZING MC’s! The side characters were just as lovely and engaging as my two main men. My favorite parts were the injustices to women that Freaking HELL! 4.5 Stars! I couldn’t stop listening to this!😱 What a roller coaster of feels & plot 😍 Push-pull Opposites attract Class gap One pretty, one not A fortune hunter & a fortune protector A monetary arrangement where anything goes 🔥😱 Just when I thought things would resolve themselves, everything got turned upside down & I entered into conflict anew with my AMAZING MC’s! The side characters were just as lovely and engaging as my two main men. My favorite parts were the injustices to women that tha KJC highlighted through the side characters and the mini-plots—FABULOUS! HIGHLY recommended!!! ❤️❤️❤️

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kaje Harper

    This is another fun historical romance from KJ Charles. Despite an impoverished background for one MC, it's a little lighter and doesn't delve into the social issues of the time as deeply as my favorites of hers, but it has its own delightful charms. Hart is a nobleman who is brusque, hard-working, and suspicious of charm and ease after a childhood damaged by his charming, frivolous, and self-obsessed mother. Robin is a man determined to rise above a rough childhood when he and his beloved siste This is another fun historical romance from KJ Charles. Despite an impoverished background for one MC, it's a little lighter and doesn't delve into the social issues of the time as deeply as my favorites of hers, but it has its own delightful charms. Hart is a nobleman who is brusque, hard-working, and suspicious of charm and ease after a childhood damaged by his charming, frivolous, and self-obsessed mother. Robin is a man determined to rise above a rough childhood when he and his beloved sister were treated as objects, to grab whatever piece of the gold ring they can. She's lovely, he's charming, and they were taught to act and speak like nobility. In the "Marriage Mart" where the upper classes effectively barter looks, titles, and fortunes, via marriage, they have set their eyes on finding spouses who will make them comfortable for life. For Robin, the target of his affections is a modest girl whose fortune is not well known, and whose passion for mathematics and lack of interest in social graces give him a chance on intelligence alone. Unfortunately, she's also Hart's niece, and all of Hart's adult years have been spent protecting his sister and niece and their fortunes. Hart's not a man to be charmed by a handsome face and an upperclass manner. And then there's the problem that Robin would far rather sleep with Hart than with his niece, and the spark of that- apparently mutual- attraction is hard to hide. His sister Marianne is the toast of the town and has a real shot at marrying a very wealthy nobleman, who, unfortunately, is also a supercilious boor ruled by his mother. After their past experiences, she thinks she's willing to make that sacrifice, for the security of enormous wealth, but Robin is worried. And Hart, whose best friend is also falling for her charms, looms suspiciously in the background. As love, lust, lies, and fortune hunting collide, this story plays out in a very satisfying manner, a little lighter than some of Charles's, but with moments of poignancy and connection that keep it from feeling shallow. I'm already anticipating a reread.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    16 MAR 2021: I absolutely, positively adored this story! RTC EDIT 03 APR 2021: Ok, so I'm not going to write a real review. Suffice to say it was utterly charming, sometimes tear jerking, often hilarious, and I thought about it for days. Highly recommended. 16 MAR 2021: I absolutely, positively adored this story! RTC EDIT 03 APR 2021: Ok, so I'm not going to write a real review. Suffice to say it was utterly charming, sometimes tear jerking, often hilarious, and I thought about it for days. Highly recommended.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Petra

    Amazing! This book was unputdownable. The story flowed effortlessly. The love story at first was hateful, then hot, then sweet and at last, completely romantic. I enjoyed the word that author built in which every single character was detailed and unique with hearts and desires. When reading this book I felt like I’ve stepped into a pool that was just the right temperature and I didn’t have to cringe once. (I have to do that a lot in romance. In my head I have to forgive heroes and heroines for s Amazing! This book was unputdownable. The story flowed effortlessly. The love story at first was hateful, then hot, then sweet and at last, completely romantic. I enjoyed the word that author built in which every single character was detailed and unique with hearts and desires. When reading this book I felt like I’ve stepped into a pool that was just the right temperature and I didn’t have to cringe once. (I have to do that a lot in romance. In my head I have to forgive heroes and heroines for stupid misunderstandings, authors for cheesy plot and historical romance culture for being so in love with money and power.)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Becka

    I don't know. I really enjoyed the first half of this one - which was exactly the fun regency romp it was advertised as being - but then the second half devolved into endless didactic conversations about morals. Once you've noticed Charles' preference for writing her characters interacting in this way, it's really hard to unsee, and it's dissatisfying because it's just not how people act. It feels like Charles inserting her own arguments into the mouths of characters where it doesn't really fit, I don't know. I really enjoyed the first half of this one - which was exactly the fun regency romp it was advertised as being - but then the second half devolved into endless didactic conversations about morals. Once you've noticed Charles' preference for writing her characters interacting in this way, it's really hard to unsee, and it's dissatisfying because it's just not how people act. It feels like Charles inserting her own arguments into the mouths of characters where it doesn't really fit, and it's frustrating because I know Charles CAN write convincing romance where characters respond to criticism like people actually do. (view spoiler)[ Also, the ending of this one really did not work for me. The big confrontation scene was played strangely straight when it should have been more nudge nudge wink wink - Robin confronting Hart's mother and Marianne dramatically breaking off the engagement etc. was such a teen movie way of resolving things, and that would have been fine if it had been done with a little more self awareness. (hide spoiler)] Ultimately I think this one needed a bit more polish, and a few of those tiresome conversations could have been deleted.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marieke du Pré

    This made me grin. This made me dream. This made me long for Regency England. While reading, time just stopped for a while. K.J. Charles writes romantic MM but she offers so much more! Banter, lovable MC’s, feminist women. Her stories are uplifting and funny, and The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting is no exception. I loved (and sometimes hated) Kim in the Will Darling Adventures and until now he’s been my favorite character in K.J.’s books, but Robin comes close to take his place. He lies and he ch This made me grin. This made me dream. This made me long for Regency England. While reading, time just stopped for a while. K.J. Charles writes romantic MM but she offers so much more! Banter, lovable MC’s, feminist women. Her stories are uplifting and funny, and The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting is no exception. I loved (and sometimes hated) Kim in the Will Darling Adventures and until now he’s been my favorite character in K.J.’s books, but Robin comes close to take his place. He lies and he cheats, and I couldn’t stop loving him. Meanwhile the last Will Darling is out and I’m trying to save that book until my summer holidays, and I know it’ll be hard to not read just a page and another one and another one and a whole chapter and ... Okayyy, I’m not going to buy it yet ...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ay

    Outstanding. I hope she writes more stories about these people.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Agla

    update 12/01: So I had a big book hangover and could not get it out of my so I had to re-read it. I forgot to mention how funny and witty the dialogue are. The relationships between the two MCs and their siblings is also great and I did not emphasize that enough. Needless to say I highly recommend it! 4.5 rounded up because this was lovely. This book was slightly different from other books by this author that's I have read (granted I've only read 7) because there is no investigation. There is a m update 12/01: So I had a big book hangover and could not get it out of my so I had to re-read it. I forgot to mention how funny and witty the dialogue are. The relationships between the two MCs and their siblings is also great and I did not emphasize that enough. Needless to say I highly recommend it! 4.5 rounded up because this was lovely. This book was slightly different from other books by this author that's I have read (granted I've only read 7) because there is no investigation. There is a mystery surrounding the characters' background but it's not quite the same. I really loved both characters, I was rooting for them individually and as a couple. The dialogues were great and a few scenes will stay with me for a long time. I love how they negotiated their relationship, the level of communication was great, no miscommunication here. It was still angsty but in a way that felt earned, no contrived angst which is ideal, really. I really enjoyed the themes discussed and how they were handled: what marriage and love are or should be, money and social class. This book was wonderful, I only wish we had one more scene (view spoiler)[ Hart express interest at being fucked by Robin which would have been his first time but it is not brought up again, I wanted to see that but that's a small thing. Also, we are told that Robin is not his real name but we are not told what is. Finally, I wish we had seen more of the courtship between Marianne and her two male interests but I get that it is not her story so since we don't have her POV I get why it wasn't included. That is really a small thing. (hide spoiler)] I received an ARC from the author but all thoughts are my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    The inestimable K.J. Charles takes a break from the pulpy post-WWI Will Darling adventures (Slippery Creatures and The Sugared Game) to provide this Regency era romp with nary a dead body. In fact, the villain of the piece barely makes an actual appearance until the climactic scene. Instead KJC uses the pages to provide a lively romance between two very different men, several heartwarming examples of siblings looking out for each other, and a scathing excoriation of white privilege. Robin and Ma The inestimable K.J. Charles takes a break from the pulpy post-WWI Will Darling adventures (Slippery Creatures and The Sugared Game) to provide this Regency era romp with nary a dead body. In fact, the villain of the piece barely makes an actual appearance until the climactic scene. Instead KJC uses the pages to provide a lively romance between two very different men, several heartwarming examples of siblings looking out for each other, and a scathing excoriation of white privilege. Robin and Marianne Loxleigh of Nottinghamshire have come to London as unapologetic fortune hunters (their names are apt; this Robin and Maid Marian are planning to "steal" positions from the rich and give them to the poor, namely themselves). Through the circumstances of their birth, and the limitations forced on them by poverty, they have reached the point where this feels like their only option. Robin sets his sights on a plain, shy heiress while Marianne plots a campaign to win a wealthy but "self-regarding, vindictive, pompous fool" of a marquess (well, you can't have everything I guess.) But when the heiress' uncle, Sir John Hartlebury, steps in to prevent his niece from being fleeced by this immoral fortune hunter, he finds himself furiously angry and of course unwittingly attracted to the charming, handsome Robin. "Hart," a grumpy misanthrope with a face that only a mother could love (and sadly, his did not) and a fiercely protective nature towards his family, starts the book with a clear sense of right and wrong. Fortunately both his sister Edwina and Robin are able to educate him about life in the grays, especially for women and those who don't have the luxury of judging from the lofty position on their high horse. (Robin, speaking of his sister): She's devastated. (Hart): Why? She has exactly what she wants. (Robin): And you think she is happy about it? (Hart): Satisfied, at least. She has made her choice, and she must be aware that money doesn't buy happiness. (Robin): She also knows that happiness doesn't buy food.(Hart): Your character and conduct are nothing to do with your birth, and you can control those. (Robin): Conduct depends on your options. Yes, you can be poor but honest, except I don't want to be poor. I've tried it and I didn't like it. And if I had the best character in the world, I still wouldn't be a gentleman.Hart eventually realizes that that there's little to no difference between the regular machinations of the Marriage Mart, where society's women try to secure their futures while hopefully finding at least affection and respect, and the duplicitous fortune hunting that he accuses Robin and Marianne of engaging in. And then it's up to him to figure out a way to both use and break society's rules so that he and Robin can be together. As always, the journey to HEA is enhanced by that patented KJC wit, slyly inserted into scenes like this: The entertainment on offer was a chamber orchestra. Wonderful. Robin sat and listened to music for several hours, and was disappointed to learn that only forty minutes had passed on the clock.One of Miss Marianne Loxleigh's most admired features, at least by the kind of people who catalogued beauty rather than reacting to it, was her noble and lofty forehead. She usually emphasised it in the way she dressed her hair. Currently she was emphasising it by banging it on the breakfast table. I haven't said much about the relationship between Hart and Robin, primarily because I don't want to get into spoiler territory about how it evolves. But I enjoyed them together tremendously, and as Hart grows in both confidence about his attractiveness (hint: it's the thighs) and humility in his position, Robin learns to trust someone besides his sister, and realizes he too has value beyond his looks and charm. For KJC fans familiar with her earlier work, they reminded me of a combination of Richard Vane from A Gentleman's Position (minus a little priggishness) and Justin Lazarus from An Unnatural Vice (plus a little more conscience). Charles has "apologized" to her readers for writing this book instead of the conclusion of the Will Darling adventures, as if she owes us a given book at a certain time. I'm not at all surprised that the events of the past year have made it harder for her to write; the fact that she can gift us with this charming, relatively light-hearted romp with so many pointed statements that are applicable to our world today evinces sheer gratitude from this reader. ARC received from the author in exchange for honest review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Loves Reading

    I might be getting to a point where I can appreciate everything KJC puts out, and can rarely be truly disappoint. That being said this had all the components that I look for in a romance. LOVED BOTH MAIN CHARACTERS.

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