Review: Spectred Isle by KJ Charles (Green Men #1)

Note: This ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Note to self: Dust off The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal and get to finally reading it, for God's sake! Yep, I'm chagrined to admit that I have yet to read this much lauded novel penned by one KJ Charles, but after having finished Spectred Isle, the first in her historical paranormal romance series, Green Men, I realized how remissed I've been. If that novel is as fantastical as Charles's latest release, then I'll probably be smacking myself upside the head because this series starter of hers opened one hell of a universe worth exploring and immersing ourselves in. This was my first read from the author that was in the realm of the paranormal, but for an initial sampling, it's made me crave for even more of the same, which is why the rest of the series is something I'm highly anticipating AND why I'm going to need to make time to read the aforementioned standalone that is the Simon Feximal novel.

Spectred Isle introduces readers to a select group of individuals who are called the Green Men, each one with a particular peculiarity that's led to their inclusion. At its helm is thirty-five-year-old Randolph Glyde, the Keeper of the Words, following twenty-three generations of service by his family. After the death of his beloved cousin Theresa, Randolph took over the duty of Walker of Camlet Moat as well, and is aided as much as possible by Sam Caldwell, Hugh Barnaby, and Max Isaacs. They serve the Crown and England, much to the dismay of the Shadow Ministry and the minions who insist that Green Men pledge loyalty to the government of Great Britain instead. Crossing Randolph would be a mistake but no one told Saul Lazenby constantly crossing paths would lead to an otherworldly shift for a former soldier turned archaeologist like him. The supernatural won't know what hit them.

As far as the romance aspect of the story goes, think slow burn--the kind that allows you to get to know the main characters at the same time they try to figure out what kind of person the other is and exactly what direction they want to take their initial curiosity and attraction in. Randolph and Saul initially come off as very different men, with the former far more poised and worldly, used to finery and the dictates of society, and the latter from a more middle class background. However, as the story progresses and as more details about their respective pasts come out, it's clear that they share certain similarities that make it possible for them to empathize instead of pity. In the first few chapters, there's an understandable level of distrust between them because who wouldn't look upon someone warily when they keep showing up where you are? I would've totally suspected one of them of stalking!

I loved the combination of the supernatural and historical romance. We had main characters, Randolph in particular, who had an old-world kind of charm that isn't as easy to find in modern contemporary romances, what with the inundation alpha males with enough money to buy a small country (or at least a private island or two dozen) who are unfamiliar with the art of romancing via the spoken word. Randolph and Saul were, without a shadow of a doubt, swoony main characters in my eyes. Then you've got KJ Charles's setting scenes with words that made it so easy to picture in my head. I shudder to think what I would have done had half those things that our characters were forced to confront been real, but Charles oh so eloquently created a parallel world of sorts that I wouldn't mind venturing into time and again. Spectred Isle is a five-star start to something quite spectacular. ♥

Release Date: 03 August 2017

Date Read: 01 August 2017

Learn more about KJ Charles.

Purchase Spectred Isle on Amazon | B&NiBooksKobo.


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