Gilded Cage (Lilywhite Boys #2)

Gilded Cage (Lilywhite Boys #2) Once Upon A Time A Boy From A Noble Family Fell In Love With A Girl From The Gutter It Went As Badly As You D Expect Seventeen Years Later, Susan Lazarus Is A Renowned Detective, And Templeton Lane Is A Jewel Thief She S Tried To Arrest Him, And She S Tried To Shoot Him They Ve Never Tried To Talk Then Templeton Is Accused Of A Vicious Double Murder Now There S A Manhunt Out For Him, The Ports Are Watched, And Even His Best Friends Have Turned Their Backs If He Can T Clear His Name, He Ll Hang There S Only One Person In England Who Might Help Templeton Nowassuming She Doesn T Want To Kill Him Herself

I m a writer of romance, mostly m m, often historical or fantasy or both I m also a freelance editor, and I blog about writing and editing at I live in London, UK, with husband, two kids, and a cat of absolute night.Follow me on Twitter kj_charles or friend me on Facebook at

❮Reading❯ ➸ Gilded Cage (Lilywhite Boys #2)  Author K.J. Charles –
  • ebook
  • Gilded Cage (Lilywhite Boys #2)
  • K.J. Charles
  • English
  • 13 March 2019

10 thoughts on “Gilded Cage (Lilywhite Boys #2)

  1. says:

    The sequel to Any Old Diamonds, in which Templeton Lane, jewel thief, and Susan Lazarus, lady detective, have unfinished business A lot of it Also a small matter of murder It s a standalone romance, taking place about six months after the events of Any Old Diamonds, and I thoroughly enjoyed putting Susan you will know me by the trail of dead Lazarus on centre stage at last.

  2. says:

    4.5 stars rounded up A K.J Charles proves once again that she s at the top of her game with Gilded Cage the sequel to her late Victorian jewel thief caper Any Old Diamonds , which combines an intriguing murder mystery with a superbly written and swoon worthy second chance romance It s funny, it s sexy, it s poignant and it s brilliantly observed, featuring wonderfully written, flawed characters who leap off the page, a villain worthy of all the boos and hisses and a high stakes plot.When jewel thief and one half of the Lilywhite Boys, Templeton Lane, encountered enquiry agent Susan Lazarus in Any Old Diamonds, it was clear there was a shared history between them and that it wasn t one that either of them remembered with fondness In Gilded Cage, readers learn the truth of that history a story of young love gone badly wrong after Templeton is accused of a double murder and Susan is the only person he feels he can turn to for help.Against the advice of his associate Jerry Crozier whom Templeton believes has lost his nerve since he fell in love Templeton decides to go alone to a house in Mortlake in order to steal a set of highly valuable opals Things are going as planned until he enters the bedroom where the safe is located and discovers the house s owner lying on the floor in a pool of blood When a terrified servant wakes the rest of the house, Templeton gets out not before grabbing the jewels though , evading his pursuers by swimming across the Thames risky in the cold and dark and then makes his way to the East End shop belonging to their regular fence, Stan, where he finds Jerry waiting for him Both are furious with Templeton for being so careless, not just of his personal safety, but of theirs, too, and tell him that he needs to get out of the country fast or face the hangman s noose Angry and hurt at what he sees as a betrayal although he does grudgingly admit to having cocked up big time and unable to leave England owing to an increased police presence at the ports, Templeton needs to clear his name, which is how he ends up seeking out Susan Lazarus and hoping she won t turn him in herself before he s had a chance to explain.What follows is part second chance romance part murder mystery in which the two leads are finally able to talk about their shared past while also gaining a new appreciation for and understanding of each other and who they are now Susan is a wonderful heroine Fiercely intelligent, no nonsense, perceptive and loyal with just a hint of vulnerability she keeps well hidden, she s not thrilled about seeing the man who broke her heart seventeen years earlier, but also knows that whatever else he is, he s not a murderer and agrees to help him prove his innocence by finding the true culprit And although Templeton comes across as a bit of a git to start with his temper tantrum over what he sees as Jerry s defection and new found happiness causes Templeton to make very poor decisions and behave like a petulant kid he is gradually revealed to be a decent, thoughtful man, his obvious respect for Susan, his acceptance of her bisexuality, and his being prepared to follow her lead both in the investigation and in their personal interactions than making up for his earlier poor judgment and selfishness.Their relationship is superbly done, the chemistry sizzles and I loved watching them talk through the issues that lie between them and find their way back to each other The dialogue laced with wit and very astute social observation sparkles, and the plot very cleverly weaves together the threads of past and present to create an immensely satisfying three dimensional story that has fun poking fun at and playing around with genre tropes.As is always the case with this author, the writing is superb, the characters are fully rounded, flawed individuals, and the whole novel is permeated by a wonderful sense of time and place Most impressive of all is Susan, a woman who faces the same challenges and restrictions faced by all women at the time late 19th century with regard to personal freedom and independence, but who is nonetheless forging her own path as best she can, and the HEA is both original and perfectly in character as well as being thoroughly satisfying My one criticism of the story is that because most of the investigation takes place off page, the sense of urgency Templeton stands to hang if found guilty, after all isn t quite as strong as it should have been.Although the book works perfectly well as a standalone, there are some lovely shout outs to both the Sins of the Cities and the Society of Gentlemen Templeton Lane is really James Vane, whose Great Uncle was Richard Vane the mention of the slender, elderly man who taught Templeton the art of silent footsteps was just lovely and we get a little peek into the home life of Susan s guvnors , Nathaniel Roy and Justin Lazarus, who is clearly as much of a shifty bastard as he ever was.Gilded Cage is a fantastic read and one no fan of historical romance should miss K.J Charles is one of the very few writers in the genre who really understands it, and given the current deplorable state of HR in general, a true gem like this is not to be missed.

  3. says:

    i received an ARC in exchange for an honest review i started this book knowing i loved susan lazarus but i finished it with a bone deep certainty that i would kill ANY MAN for susan lazarus without a single question asked susan lazarus is the daughter of justin lazarus, my terrible con artist son whomst i would die for, and she solves crimes and wears 8 inch pointed steel hairpins at all times in case she needs to stab men in the balls tell me YOU wouldn t kill any man she told you to susan s Significant Ex is named james vane who is the great nephew of richard vane from the society of gentlemen books, which was a fun easter egg aka templeton lane, jewel thief unfortunately for them both, the book cold opens on him walking into a trap and the scene of a double homicide instead of a nice chill heist, so naturally he is forced to go to the best enquiry agent he knows to clear his name because even his best friends think he might have Done The Murders templeton is not having a great day so he breaks into her apartment to ask her to help, susan coshes him in the balls with absolutely 0 remorse and can t fucking believe this is her life relarable and events unfold from there i will say that despite the VERY high stakes premise, i felt a distinct lack of sustained dramatic tension compared to the sins of the cities books, probably because there are so many fucking competent people involved that you never once actually think the bad guys will get away with it, which was nice you just get to watch it all unfold anyway, i liked this book and it was worth the wait the main pairing is m f which as you all know is NOT my usual jam, but something about a second chance romance competence porn post coital Plotting There s Only One Bed Because We Are Pretending To Be On Our Honeymoon gemstones made from the bodies of australian marsupials really just Did It for me.

  4. says:

    this woman is incapable of writing a bad book RTC

  5. says:

    Grabby hands.

  6. says:

    I mean Was there any doubt this book was going to be fantastic Reader, nope, there was not.Susan Lazarus, Victorian street urchin turned lady detective, who takes no prisoners, suffers no fools, and gives no fucks, is as uncompromisingly and furiously magnificent as previous books set her up to be Templeton Lane a.k.a James Vane, aristocrat turned jewel thief, who treads lightly, snarks cheerfully, allows himself to be vulnerable, and treats consent and equality as the matter of course they ought to be, is her perfect foil Their second chance romance, deliciously intertwined with a bittersweet past and a long laundry list of betrayals and deceit, delivers all the feels And naturally, there s murders and schemes and shenanigans, just in case you get bored You won t get bored Characters from previous books aid and delight and lend plot support and sarcastic commentary hi Jerry where needed, without ever holding up the action to play awkward catch up, which is frankly a masterful achievement given that this book ties into not just its own, but two previous series populated by a veritable multitude of beloved pairings Also, we learn why James is obsessed with opals let me just say I was not prepared.So yeah Currently tied with Any Old Diamonds and The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal for my favourite KJ Charles book Take my jewels Take all of them.PS A word on the way that KJ Charles does inclusivity, which I find so appealing I normally don t read m f romance these days not because I dislike it, but because I read oodles of it decades ago, when that was pretty much all the romance genre was One woman, one man, usually both white, blah blah, drama, toxic masculinity and OTT misunderstandings until the second to last page, ILU, The End I understand the genre has come a long way since then, but unless it s an author I really love, I don t bother with m f any because I ve had plenty of it and I m interested in stories that reflect a inclusive spectrum Case in point Between the Lilywhite Boys, Sins of the Cities, and Society of Gentlemen series, all of which tie into this book, the variety of characters includes POC, gay, bi, pan, trans, non binary, ace, non neurotypical, various disabilities, and probably others I m forgetting, with the added bonus that these are historicals, which for far too long were written in a tradition of pretending those things didn t exist in days of yore More importantly, these characters are people, not lecture props I never once got the feeling that the author sat up importantly, put on her teaching hat, and declared I am going to do A Diversity They are just folks, being who they are, because that s what diversity is I find it really refreshing, in that context, to have this cis m f pairing included, not as the default and not as an afterthought, merely as one configuration among many I wish people wrote like that, but then I wish reality did too.

  7. says:

    This review can also be found on my blogOne of the beautiful things about KJ Charles romances is that they feature fairly reasonable people What stops them from being together isn t a misunderstanding that could be cleared up with one conversation Sometimes something beyond their control stops them from being together and sometimes it s less, that something stops them from being together and that there are angry murderers demons after them who have no objection to them being a couple but to them being alive.Where Susan and Templeton are concerned there was a misunderstanding in their past but it happened due to understandable reasons And once they are stuck together, they both decide to talk about it like adults and realise that neither was as bad as the other had been led to believe But that doesn t solve everything Templeton has still made mistakes, Susan can t quite forgive Well and he s the main suspect in a double murder and unless they can figure out who really did it, he ll hang for it.So now Susan and Templeton have to figure out if their relationship has a second chance and catch a killer And there s not enough space for both of these things in the book I enjoyed the romance a lot Both of them were likeable and reasonable people well, Templeton needed some reminding of how much an idiot he d been but he eventually came round to being fairly reasonable Susan is the historic novel heroine every girl dreams of hairpins as weapons are involved and some punching and kicking in sensitive parts of the male anatomy There s a scene in which there is Only One Bed gasp, you ll never guess what happens next All of it is great fun But since it s also the story of two fairly reasonable adults who have realised that talking with each other can be really useful, I wasn t exactly on the edge of my seat thinking Oh God I wonder how they are going to get together I was on the edge of my seat wondering how they would figure out who framed Templeton for murder and that s where things fell flat for me Because there s not enough space for much on screen investigation Much of it is done off screen or one of the characters has a light bulb moment at the most convenient time So that leaves nice people, having a fun time together while solving a mystery that wasn t given enough space to be as engaging as it could have been And that makes a book that s fun but not great.ARC received from the author

  8. says:

    This book is really, really wonderful It s a second chance m f romance, with a hero who s a jewel thief and a bisexual heroine who s a private investigator There s a good case of There s Only One Bed The whole thing has a delightful screw the rich vibe There are really well done cameos with previous characters from both the Sins of the Cities series and the Society of Gentlemen series It s very, very good and I m excited for the world to read it and share in my joy.To recap Susan Lazarus, adopted daughter of Justin Lazarus and Nathaniel Roy of An Unnatural Vice , has grown up from the tween spiritualist s assistant we met in that book into a frighteningly competent adult woman Templeton Lane is a jewel thief, and half of the Lilywhite Boys crime duo He was born James Vane, but his relationship with Susan when they re both teenagers led to his being sent to Australia He came back a decade later as jewel thief Templeton Lane, and has been lightening the safes of England s upper classes since his return Susan and Templeton have crossed swords professionally, but it s when Temp is set up for a double murder and has nobody else to turn to that he shows up at Susan s Because Susan is both a very shrewd judge of character and has a really intense sense of justice which isn t precisely aligned with the law , she agrees to help.There s lots of fun being fake engaged or fake coworkers as they investigate the case, plus There s Only One Bed While there s a Big Misunderstanding from their youth, they re both mature and are able to use their words and figure out what actually happened as soon as they stop being grumpy and resentful of each other enough to, y know, sit down and use their words Templeton learns to stop thinking he knows better and just do as Susan requests, even when it goes against his instincts, because she knows what she wants for herself and her life and she s definitely the smarter of them A Gilded Cage is absolutely Susan s show this is a book about Templeton coming to appreciate her cleverness, and to respect her knowledge of how the world works and how she d like her life to work within it Susan is daring, witty, and scarily competent She defines how she wants her happily ever after to work, and how she gets the vengeance she deserves against this world and those who have specifically wronged her, and it is glorious to see This is not to say that she doesn t face the many of the challenges that women of her time period face wrt autonomy and freedom, but rather that she s crafty and clever and this book threads a delightful needle in creating a HEA that suits the character and the constraints of the period and her position within it that is also really satisfying to a modern reader view spoiler This book ends with the two of them very much committed to each other, but not married, because marriage for women during this time period Victorian era was definitely not great for women legally, and Susan is no fool I really loved this, because it s so rare to see, and it was so well done, and ooof I do not know if I can explain the depth of my empathy with Susan on this point hide spoiler

  9. says:

    CW miscarriage I know how stupid it sounds, but it s true I swear to you, Susan Well, obviously it s true, she interrupted irritably If you d made it up you d have worked out something better than this what I believe you, Susan said, with patronising clarity Not a sentence that I pictured myself saying to you ever again, but here we are This is so fun and works as a stand alone I haven t read the previous book in the series Susan is my favorite kind of heroine emotionally guarded but secretly vulnerable, sarcastic, doesn t tolerate incompetence or stupidity, smart as fuck, and just a little bit mean I say this with the highest of compliments Where the book really shines is the second chance romance between Templeton James and Susan The conversation where they confront each other about their past nearly tore my heart out And watching them fall in love again, despite how dangerous and unromantic the circumstances are around them, is so satisfying However and this is very much a It s me, not the book thing , I was significantly less interested in the mystery of who actually committed the crime that Templeton is accused of Obviously that subplot is vastly important for the book s setup, but it never really interested me the way the central romance did I ve been mulling over why, and I think it s because 1 most of it happens while they re sitting around and talking, 2 there s not that much action or investigating, mostly thinking, who could have done this , and 3 the stakes never felt that high or dire to me, perhaps because I didn t have any emotional investment in the murder victim or who was framing James I still liked reading it, just not as much as the parts where Susan and James were contemplating their relationship YMMV.As with all KJC books, the writing is superb and funny as hell If you re a KJC fan, you re likely going to enjoy it And if you re new to the author, then you should try the book anyway because KJC is one of the brightest stars of historical romance.

  10. says:

    I m going to try to write this review as someone who randomly came upon this book, and not as a fangirl who felt like she won the lottery when she scored an ARC from the author disclosure I scored an ARC from the author So if you re new to KJ Charles, why should you read this book There are so many reasons, but here are just a few 1 Her writing is impeccable Every word feels like it was chosen with great care Just marvel at the first time we meet Susan Lazarus in the opening of Chapter 2 Susan Lazarus glared at the remnants of the kipper on her plate as though the fish had done her an injury for which being gutted, smoked, and eaten was insufficient penance The kipper looked back with a single blank white eye. Doesn t that just tell you everything you need to know about Susan and her emotional state The whole book is like that, full of passages to slowly savor.2 The characters jump off the pages Even if you haven t already encountered Susan Sukey Lazarus in Any Old Diamonds or even earlier in An Unnatural Vice, you will not be able to resist her She s tough, smart, loyal, fearless and just a teeny tiny bit vulnerable although she will never admit it She knows that the world would always hold her negligible unless she forced it to do otherwise and she makes sure she is not ignored Templeton Lane starts out as a desperate jewel thief on the run and turns into so much , a man with a surprising past that includes a disastrous first love with Susan It s to KJC s credit that she shapes his character so finely that he redeems himself for some very bad behavior without losing himself in the process And his treatment of Susan is just about perfect, from his acceptance of her bisexuality to his willingness to let a woman take charge of the situation and ultimately decide what qualifies as her own happy ending The secondary characters who starred in previous books are integral to the plot there s no fan service of having them show up just to demonstrate how very happy they are 3 The dialogue sparkles like the best Hollywood screenplays in movies like The Sting, It Happened One Night, His Girl Friday, etc If only real life were like this, I wouldn t have to spend so much time with my nose buried in a book But then again, most writers don t have KJC s ability to wring humor, chemistry, poignancy and every emotion in between into a single exchange between two people 4 Finally and this is just personal to me thank you KJC for creating a singular, remarkable character named Susan Until now my name was primarily associated with the one character in Narnia who chose makeup over Jesus I mean Aslan You have my undying gratitude.KJC fans don t need any encouragement to read this book, but I will just say that there are plenty of Easter eggs from earlier books, including a lovely tribute to a major character in the Society of Gentlemen series There are so many books and so little time, but reading this has made me want to go back and start over with KJC s backlist I ve never given less than four stars to any of her books, and this one is five stars all the way.

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