A GENTLEMAN'S POSITION is my second book by K.J. Charles. My first was, ironically, one of her few non-m/m titles, NON-STOP TIL TOKYO. I loved it - and some of my followers who have asked me for recommendations will recognize the title, because it's one of the first I bust out whenever someone asks me the question, "Nenia, have you ever read any good NA?"
I'm going to be honest: I don't really read much m/m. Unless the story line or the love story really stands out, I don't usually seek out m/m books. There's no nefarious reason behind this; it's just not something I'm particularly interested in. I'm mentioning this because I think it will have an impact on my rating. I enjoyed A GENTLEMAN'S POSITION, despite it not being a genre of preference. People who actually seek out this genre of books will probably enjoy it much more than I did. So take this rating with a grain of salt, as it is coming from someone who doesn't read m/m.
That said, I really loved the way Charles wrote out the love story between David and Richard. Richard is a lord, a total stuffed-shirt. His adherence to class mores and expectations has made him the go-to for delicate matters, but much of this is due to the services of his rather incredible valet, David. Unfortunately, David is starting to fall for his master, and Richard is reluctant to accept his advances because of the difference in their position. Richard's pride is another impediment, because David can't help but wonder whether Richard can really stoop to care for someone who isn't his equal.
In some ways, A GENTLEMAN'S POSITION reminded me of an m/m version of Courtney Milan's HER EVERY WISH. Both focus on social class and how it can serve as an impediment to love. Both authors also deal with this topic very well, showing that if love is to happen, both parties must accept one another, despite their faults and shortcomings and differences, as equals. No more. No less.
My favorite part of the book was probably the end, when the society + David concoct an elaborate scheme to get even with Lord Maltravers. This gets the book an extra .5 star because it was brilliantly done and had me cackling to myself as I imagined countless other bigots across the globe being hoisted by their own petard in a similar manner.
Would I read more from this author? I think so. This was a wonderful opportunity to be acquainted with the m/m works of an author I really like, and there is no question of the attention she pays to detail or her fondness for writing a compelling love story between two good men.
3 to 3.5 out of 5 stars.