Band Sinister

Cover of Band Sinister: battered romance paperback style with two young men and a lady in Regency clothes

Sir Philip Rookwood is the disgrace of the county. He’s a rake and an atheist, and the rumours about his hellfire club, the Murder, can only be spoken in whispers. (Orgies. It’s orgies.)

Guy Frisby and his sister Amanda live in rural seclusion after a family scandal. But when Amanda breaks her leg in a riding accident, she’s forced to recuperate at Rookwood Hall, where Sir Philip is hosting the Murder.

Guy rushes to protect her, but the Murder aren’t what he expects. They’re educated, fascinating people, and the notorious Sir Philip turns out to be charming, kind—and dangerously attractive.

In this private space where anything goes, the longings Guy has stifled all his life are impossible to resist…and so is Philip. But all too soon the rural rumour mill threatens both Guy and Amanda. The innocent country gentleman has lost his heart to the bastard baronet—but does he dare lose his reputation too?

“I have read some great romance books this year, but this rises to the top. Entertaining, intricately peopled, tightly plotted and simply … perfect.”–HEA USA Today

“I loved that this couple was completely honest with each other about their feelings for each other, and their feelings for other characters who held important places in their lives. It made their HEA all the more delightful and believable. … this book is really, really good. Go one-click, you won’t be disappointed.”–Smexy Books

“A wonderfully entertaining read that, for all its light-heartedness, nonetheless manages to convey a number of important ideas about love, friendship, social responsibility and the importance of living according to one’s lights. It’s a sexy, warm, witty trope-fest and works brilliantly as an homage to the traditional regency and a tribute to those who dared to think enlightened ideas in a time of entrenched views.”–Caz’s Reading Room


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Unfit to Print

Cover of Unfit to Print: silhouette of black man's face over image of Victorian street of bookshops

When crusading lawyer Vikram Pandey sets out in search of a missing youth, his investigations take him to Holywell Street, London’s most notorious address. He expects to find a disgraceful array of sordid bookshops. He doesn’t expect one of them to be run by the long-lost friend whose disappearance and presumed death he’s been mourning for thirteen years.

Gil Lawless became a Holywell Street bookseller for his own reasons, and he’s damned if he’s going to apologise or listen to moralising from anyone. Not even Vikram; not even if the once-beloved boy has grown into a man who makes his mouth water.

Now the upright lawyer and the illicit bookseller need to work together to track down the missing youth. And on the way, they may even learn if there’s more than just memory and old affection binding them together…

“perfectly paced: we have the issue of the missing boy mixed in with the pleasurable suspense of Gil and Vikram finding each other again …a diverse Romance read, with incredible characters and a moving romance.”–The Book Corps

“There’s a wonderful thread of consent and communication between Gil and Vik, which forms a big part of their intimacy going forward… If you’re into: great POC rep in Historicals, an uptight man learning to loosen up and communicate his desires, a crime-solving adventure, and lots of Victorian pornography… I strongly recommend Unfit to Print.”–Love in Panels


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The Henchmen of Zenda

The Henchmen of Zenda cover. Two men in a swordfight in front of a castle

Swordfights, lust, betrayal, murder: just another day for a henchman.

Jasper Detchard is a disgraced British officer, now selling his blade to the highest bidder. Currently that’s Michael Elphberg, half-brother to the King of Ruritania. Michael wants the throne for himself, and Jasper is one of the scoundrels he hires to help him take it. But when Michael makes his move, things don’t go entirely to plan—and the penalty for treason is death.

Rupert of Hentzau is Michael’s newest addition to his sinister band of henchmen. Charming, lethal, and intolerably handsome, Rupert is out for his own ends—which seem to include getting Jasper into bed. But Jasper needs to work out what Rupert’s really up to amid a maelstrom of plots, swordfights, scheming, impersonation, desire, betrayal, and murder.

Nobody can be trusted. Everyone has a secret. And love is the worst mistake you can make.

A retelling of the swashbuckling classic The Prisoner of Zenda from a very different point of view.

“The always-reliable K.J. Charles outdoes herself with The Henchmen of Zenda…On the way to the ending there is swashbuckling, double and triple crossing, intrigue, a moat, a castle, smart women, and hot sex. What’s not to like?”–Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Clever, complicated and supremely entertaining, it’s easily one of my favorite books of 2018. With an anti-hero you can’t help but root for, and a happy for now ending perfectly suited to the story and its principal pair, this queer twist on The Prisoner of Zenda transcends the original.“–Romantic Historical Reviews Top Pick

a rollicking adventure romp of the best sort; full of flashing blades, tight breeches, nefarious plots, scheming villainy and snarky dialogue but with a subplot that confers depth and insight into the characters and their motivations. It’s funny, sexy and clever and I loved every minute of it.–All About Romance, Desert Isle Keeper

hilarious, adventuremax and a masterclass in classic-book reimagining“–Samit Basu


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Wanted, a Gentleman

Wanted a Gentleman cover. Handsome black man in Regency clothes

Theodore Swann is a jobbing writer, proprietor of the Matrimonial Advertiser lonely hearts gazette, and all-round weasel. He’s the very last man that Martin St. Vincent would choose to rely on—and the only one who can help.

Martin is a wealthy merchant who finds himself obliged to put a stop to a young heiress’s romantic correspondence in the Matrimonial Advertiser. When she and her swain make a dash for Gretna Green, Martin drags Theo on a breakneck chase up the country to catch the runaway lovers before it’s too late.

Theo guards his secrets. Martin guards his heart. But as the two of them are thrown irresistibly together, entanglements, deceptions, and revelations come thick and fast…

“a romp of a novella. …  a perfectly compact romance that shows a couple can be cranky and still head-over-heels for each other.” Romantic Times, 4.5*, Top Pick

“With humor and wit, Charles puts a unique, sensuous spin on the classic Regency Gretna Green elopement plot. This lively M/M romp explores the hard-hitting issues of racism, classism, and homophobia and delivers an enjoyable read as well.” Library Journal

“a great romance road trip … a delicious Gothic feel, with a damsel in distress and a Snidely Whiplashesque villain throwing an upstanding gentleman and a lovable scoundrel together to save the day.” Washington Post

“a pure delight. … The plot resolution is clever, the dialogue is sharp and often funny, and the story tackles harrowing issues with grace.” Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence winner, January 2017

One of Washington Post’s 5 best romance novels of 2017


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A Pocketful of Lies

Teal and white background, image of hand drawn magpie holding a diamond ring in its beak. Victorian font for "Collected Stories, A Pocketful of Lies, KJ Charles". Clean and classy look.

A light-fingered drifter encounters a landless earl…

A music hall singer finds the man of her dreams in a thieves’ kitchen…

A detective is plunged into a Christmas conspiracy…

A rogue magician needs the help of a waste-paper seller…

Chaos reigns in a dark and twisted alt-Victorian London…

KJ Charles’ shorter stories are collected in print for the first time, in five tales of queer historical romance spiced with song, larceny, mayhem, magic, and defenestration (just the one, though).

Includes the stories:
A Thief in the Night
The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter
Masters in this Hall
A Queer Trade
The Price of Meat


Coming 14 April 2023

The Price of Meat

Sinister Victorian street, image splattered with blood

Johanna Oakley will do anything to save her beloved Arabella from the cruelty of Mr. Fogg’s madhouse—but ‘anything’ turns out to be more than she bargained for when she finds herself working for a man suspected of worse than murder.

As Johanna is plunged from the horror of Sawney Reynard’s barber shop into the foul, lawless labyrinth at the heart of London, will she–or anyone–get out alive?

This is a standalone 15,000-word story, first published as part of the anthology All In Fear.


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