The Rat-Catcher's Daughter (Lilywhite Boys, #0.5)
Music-hall singer Miss Christiana is in serious debt, and serious trouble. She owes more than she can pay to a notorious criminal, and now he plans to make an example of her. There's no way out.But Christiana has an admirer. Stan Kamarzyn has watched her sing for a year and he doesn't want to see her get hurt. Stan's nobody special--just a dodgy bloke from Bethnal Green--but he's got useful friends. Friends who can get a girl out of trouble, for a price. Christiana's not sure what it will cost her...The two slowly reach an understanding. But Christiana is no criminal, and she can't risk getting mixed up with the law. What will happen when Stan's life as the fence for the notorious Lilywhite Boys brings trouble to his doorstep?A trans f/m asexual romance novelette (17,000 words), set two years before Any Old Diamonds.Content warnings: Story opens with misgendering/transphobia and threat of violence.

The Rat-Catcher's Daughter (Lilywhite Boys, #0.5) Details

TitleThe Rat-Catcher's Daughter (Lilywhite Boys, #0.5)
Author
ReleaseSep 25th, 2019
PublisherKJC Books
Rating
GenreRomance, Historical, LGBT, GLBT, Queer, Novella, Fiction

The Rat-Catcher's Daughter (Lilywhite Boys, #0.5) Review

  • K.J. Charles
    January 1, 1970
    A Lilywhite Boys short story, in which we meet Miss Christiana, the music-hall songstress, and Stan Kamarzyn, the Lilywhite Boys' fence. Plus Templeton and Jerry at play, two years before Any Old Diamonds and Gilded Cage. This story was a lot of fun to write and fills in a few of the gaps from the full-length books--hope you enjoy it!
    more
  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    I was excited to receive an ARC and couldn’t put it down. Christiana is a joy, Stan is a dear, and this book is a delight from beginning to end. (view spoiler)[Ace characters are rare. Trans characters are rare. Trans ace characters are almost unheard of. So thank you KJ Charles for this book. I loved it. (hide spoiler)]
    more
  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    This was disappointing, mostly because I've come to expect such good things from anything by KJ Charles. Maybe more like 2.5 stars, though there were some good scenes in there.Despite having both gangsters and a romance, it didn't feel like enough happened. (view spoiler)[ I did like the tension we get at the beginning of the story before the main couple gets together, but even though plot keeps happening after that, it didn't feel like our main characters got to act on it at all. The second tim This was disappointing, mostly because I've come to expect such good things from anything by KJ Charles. Maybe more like 2.5 stars, though there were some good scenes in there.Despite having both gangsters and a romance, it didn't feel like enough happened. (view spoiler)[ I did like the tension we get at the beginning of the story before the main couple gets together, but even though plot keeps happening after that, it didn't feel like our main characters got to act on it at all. The second time Kammy Grizzard shows up, it's entirely about the Lilywhite boys, which didn't really work for me in the context of a book that's supposed to be about Stan and Christiana. I will say that this story did work well as a way to see a tiny bit more of the Lilywhite boys before Any Old Diamonds (and I bet rereading Any Old Diamonds with this as context would raise the stakes some). (hide spoiler)]I also wasn't sold on the character of Christiana. (view spoiler)[ It kind of felt like being trans and ace was the only characterization we got for her? I know in a short story there isn't a lot of time to give a character life, but I really liked how Stan was fleshed out, and the only things we really know about Christiana is that she's trans, she works in a music hall, and she's had a lot of bad things happen to her because of those previous two points. It's also probably because of the length, but we don't really learn anything about the music hall and the kind of lifestyle it gets you in this work (though we do get to read a couple of songs which is always fun). I was really drawing off of my knowledge from other books to make the setting come to life. (hide spoiler)]To continue to be negative, the romance also didn't work for me. (view spoiler)[ I'm not a big fan of characters falling in love at first sight, and we never really see a whole lot more of why Stan loves Christiana apart from her having beautiful eyes. His attraction being so heavily aesthetic also felt to me like it made the fact that he's ace more of a convenient plot mechanism and less something I saw coming, though I'd be willing to be talked down on that point. (hide spoiler)]
    more
  • k_b
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I was given an ARC in exchange for a honest review.The Rat-Catcher's Daughter is a rather sweet and relaxing romance, for all that it starts with its heroine facing torture. The sense of danger dissipates quickly once Templeton and Jerry arrive on the scene -- but that might just be because I'm familiar with them from Any Old Diamond. It's rather nice to get another look at them from two very different perspectives than Alec's (from the previously mentioned books) -- Christiana's und Disclaimer: I was given an ARC in exchange for a honest review.The Rat-Catcher's Daughter is a rather sweet and relaxing romance, for all that it starts with its heroine facing torture. The sense of danger dissipates quickly once Templeton and Jerry arrive on the scene -- but that might just be because I'm familiar with them from Any Old Diamond. It's rather nice to get another look at them from two very different perspectives than Alec's (from the previously mentioned books) -- Christiana's understandably wary of the two (who must appear more a force of nature to her than anything), while Stan's more resigned, especially when they force him into the figurative spotlight. The scenes with the both of them were really enjoyable.Talking about the central romance itself, I wouldn't say there's much friction between the two leads overall. Some people might dislike that, but it makes the story as a whole a lighter read. The story also plays with reader's expectations regarding how proactive protagonists should be, which is a nice change of pace. I do think that time that was spent developing the characters' backstories could've been repurposed towards more scenes building up their relationship, but romance in particular seems hard to perfect when it comes to shorter stories. Even so, Charles' dialogue is snappy as ever, and I would definitely read future stories about Christiana and Stan.As to whether trans readers or asexual readers may want to pick this up -- while I am neither trans nor asexual, Charles' portrayal seemed unproblematic. (view spoiler)[Both Templeton and Stan are respectful of Christiana's pronouns (Stan switches to male pronouns in his internal dialogue when he is uncertain of Christiana's gender identity, but switches back immediately when that's clarified). The two of them later have a conversation about sex and their mutual disinterest in it, and then the matter's settled and they have their first (chaste) kiss (hide spoiler)]
    more
  • Lynn O'Connacht
    January 1, 1970
    CW: Misgendering, multiple threats of violence, transphobia, implied threats of sexual violenceI pounced when this was released, albeit with a little trepidation. My previous foray into Charles's work was lovely as a romance, but the book was recced to me as having a demisexual MC and it very much did not, and since this was billed as an ace/ace romance...I needn't have worried. True, it still feels a little off to me in small ways, but that's more because my experiences differ slightly (and the CW: Misgendering, multiple threats of violence, transphobia, implied threats of sexual violenceI pounced when this was released, albeit with a little trepidation. My previous foray into Charles's work was lovely as a romance, but the book was recced to me as having a demisexual MC and it very much did not, and since this was billed as an ace/ace romance...I needn't have worried. True, it still feels a little off to me in small ways, but that's more because my experiences differ slightly (and the response reviewers are going to give it) and not because the book's getting anything significantly wrong or anything. I liked it. They have a very cute OMG ME TOO moment that I was just NOT expecting and it warmed my grumpy heart. Also Christiana and Stan are adorable together. The book starts off quite intense, as Christiana is in debt to a minor crime lord and about to be roughed up when the Lilywhite Boys burst in to save her. For no apparent reason.Turns out their fence enjoys her singing and the Lilywhite Boys aren't above pushing the man to make a move if they think he needs some help. After an initially tense meeting, Christiana and Stan clearly hit it off and this is where my major regret of this book is: I wanted more of their developing romance and we don't have it. How could you give me such an adorable first meeting with Stan holding potentially very droopy flowers because that's what you take to lady's dressing rooms and clearly not having the first clue what to do with them and then not show me the gradual relaxation as he figures out he doesn't need to be anything other than himself about Christiana? And vice versa because she has to learn the same lesson he does there. It's SO CUTE and we only get, like, two scenes of them being absolutely adorbs together. (Okay, I like. There are more than two. It's at least half the story. BUT IT FEELS SO LITTLE. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO ME, BOOK?!)So. Yes. Enjoyed it a lot.
    more
  • Lou
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this novelette and enjoyed it thoroughly. First, it was great to see the Lilywhite Boys again - Any Old Diamonds immediately shot to the top of my favorites list for KJC books (yes, I've read it twice already) so I loved seeing Jerry and Templeton again in all their wild and vaguely sadistic glory. Second, overall I felt like the pacing was pretty good. A lot of authors struggle with the pacing of stories this length, especially when those stories are romances I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this novelette and enjoyed it thoroughly. First, it was great to see the Lilywhite Boys again - Any Old Diamonds immediately shot to the top of my favorites list for KJC books (yes, I've read it twice already) so I loved seeing Jerry and Templeton again in all their wild and vaguely sadistic glory. Second, overall I felt like the pacing was pretty good. A lot of authors struggle with the pacing of stories this length, especially when those stories are romances, but here it worked. The romance was lovely and tender and simple, meaning that its development after their initial interaction was believable. I have small bone to pick with the pacing, (view spoiler)[ with the second time Kammy Grizzard comes around as it all happens very fast - Stan mentions him, is immediately kidnapped, and as soon as Christiana thinks about writing a note to the Lilywhite Boys, they show up. It's like as soon as we hint at the that conflict that conflict immediately happens and if this was a longer work, I'd be interested in having a little longer for Kammy to be a dread presence before the situation escalates again. (hide spoiler)] It's not enough to put me off the story or even bug me too much, especially because, third, I found the characters charming who I enjoyed seeing interact. I liked that Stan was this little nervous criminal who's very good and I liked seeing how they listened to each other and cared about the things the other cared about. Last point is that I always appreciate that I learn new things in KJC books - I'm interested in history, but far from a history buff, so my knowledge is fairly limited and I definitely didn't know the stuff about Polish education in Russia and such, which was extremely interesting. Overall, a good story - it's not my favorite KJC tales (there is a lot of stiff competition), but I liked it a lot and will probably reread it sooner rather than later.
    more
  • Nina 321
    January 1, 1970
    A lovely short read. As ever, KJ Charles’ pacing, plotting, setting are impeccable, and her characters come to life with a few efficient strokes and rounded backstories. They have deep inner lives and gripping trajectories. I love the main protagonist who is Miss Christiana and also Christopher Morrow, a complexity that’s not resolved but allowed to be. I loved the acceptance and respect that the duo of criminal gentlemen, the titulary Lilywhites, show the protagonist from the outset. The love A lovely short read. As ever, KJ Charles’ pacing, plotting, setting are impeccable, and her characters come to life with a few efficient strokes and rounded backstories. They have deep inner lives and gripping trajectories. I love the main protagonist who is Miss Christiana and also Christopher Morrow, a complexity that’s not resolved but allowed to be. I loved the acceptance and respect that the duo of criminal gentlemen, the titulary Lilywhites, show the protagonist from the outset. The love story is sweet and lovely: two asexual people (Chris and Stan) who find and cherish one another. I absolutely loves the emotional, physical and non-sexual intimacy. “Kissing people gave them the wrong idea”. This sentence sums up so much and highlights the safety and warmth the two lovers find in each other.I also loved that the term “dressing up” is used when “Christiana-in-Chris” gets dressed as a man. A lovely reversal of conventional expectation.What lost a star for me here was the torture and violence at the 74% mark. It is not gratuitous; it is threatened and doesn’t happen (“returned with a mallet”) but a threatened violence in fiction happens as much in my head as does an actual violence in fiction. So I was a bit haunted by this mallet. I can completely see the narrative reasons and it makes sense, given the underworld milieu, but it did throw me out of my sweet romance vibe — maybe also a political point being made here? Discrimination and violence do happen to real lovers after all — but that is precisely what haunted me.Still, caveat and all: highly recommendedFormat: beautiful kindle format; no typos; lovely arabesque chapter heads.
    more
  • Didi
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars“The Rat-Daughter’s Catcher” might be a short read, but what a fun, sweet, and engaging ride it was! More than a romance, it’s also a story of friendship and acceptance, loyalty and chosen family, as told in alternate voice from the pair of misfits leading characters; Christiana and Stan. Those who have read Charles’ “Any Old Diamonds” may recognize Christiana as the (singing) performer the Lilywhite Boys and Alec watched in the music hall on the first chapter of the book. This prequel 3.5 Stars“The Rat-Daughter’s Catcher” might be a short read, but what a fun, sweet, and engaging ride it was! More than a romance, it’s also a story of friendship and acceptance, loyalty and chosen family, as told in alternate voice from the pair of misfits leading characters; Christiana and Stan. Those who have read Charles’ “Any Old Diamonds” may recognize Christiana as the (singing) performer the Lilywhite Boys and Alec watched in the music hall on the first chapter of the book. This prequel revealed the “history” the boys had with the singer. The other half of the equation was Stan Kamarzyn, the Lilywhite’s fence who own a repair shop.Out of Charles’ stories, this one is the most chaste of all in romance department, yet no less touching in the way Chris and Stan divulged their true selves to one another. It spoke of her flair with words that even in such compact chronicle, Charles delivered a pair of complicated characters, their insight and how they blossomed once they got to know one another. In the broader sense, “The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter” is a riveting prequel to the series, allowing readers horse sense into the Lilywhite Boys circle - what they valued and their loyalty. A spot on installment to the series!Copy of this book is kindly given by the author in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    Romances at this length (not quite at novella word count) are difficult to review, because if I like the romance, I really do want more of it.And I liked the romance here a lot. When the two asexual characters are able to articulate to each other that identity, their mutual joy at their recognition was genuinely a heart-leaping moment, and they continued being able to develop and define their romance as they wished, as they dreamed. It was lovely.At times, though, this felt like too much Templet Romances at this length (not quite at novella word count) are difficult to review, because if I like the romance, I really do want more of it.And I liked the romance here a lot. When the two asexual characters are able to articulate to each other that identity, their mutual joy at their recognition was genuinely a heart-leaping moment, and they continued being able to develop and define their romance as they wished, as they dreamed. It was lovely.At times, though, this felt like too much Templeton. Thief that he was, he stole every scene he was in, and that took away from the romance focus I really wanted. I know, I'm super impatient for Gilded Cage, too, because Susan Lazarus is in line to become my most favorite K.J. Charles character (position currently held by Justin Lazarus), and I know this story is meant to be just a short story, but I could have happily had more of Christiana's background and life, too.
    more
  • pauliree
    January 1, 1970
    I signed up for an ARC on the KJ Charles Chat fan group, so full disclosure, I'm already a massive fan of the author. Also full disclosure, I enjoyed Lilywhite boys very much and this is a short 17000 word prequel which I finished in less than an hour before I had to go to work.The blurb lets you know what you're in for, classic KJ Charles hijinks, (even, dare we hope it, a murder? - sorry, in-joke for the fan girls), thievery in Victorian London, and in this case, a damsel in distress.My feelin I signed up for an ARC on the KJ Charles Chat fan group, so full disclosure, I'm already a massive fan of the author. Also full disclosure, I enjoyed Lilywhite boys very much and this is a short 17000 word prequel which I finished in less than an hour before I had to go to work.The blurb lets you know what you're in for, classic KJ Charles hijinks, (even, dare we hope it, a murder? - sorry, in-joke for the fan girls), thievery in Victorian London, and in this case, a damsel in distress.My feelings: I finished this book with a happy, satisfied smile. Although the book is shelved under MM, transexual romance, what it doesn't mention is asexual. Way to represent Ms Charles!! Both of these characters are such precious beings I cannot even. (And I don't even talk like that in real life.) Christiana and Stan are everything, and I hope they show up in the third book, which is coming out very soon too.There are some violent moments in the story, and the MCs are in genuine danger, but you have to trust the author not to make it too painful. Loved it, 5 stars
    more
  • Roxana Chirilă
    January 1, 1970
    I can't decide on a rating for this, so I'll leave this blank."The Rat-Catcher's Daugher" is a sweet novella about a music-hall singer who is a woman on stage, and a man during other times (and a woman in her mind), and her admirer, a man who makes sure stolen goods find their way into rich people's pockets.On the plus side, the characters ring true, and you can really like them. They have good conversations, and things get a bit awkward at all the right places (as they do). There's a sprinkling I can't decide on a rating for this, so I'll leave this blank."The Rat-Catcher's Daugher" is a sweet novella about a music-hall singer who is a woman on stage, and a man during other times (and a woman in her mind), and her admirer, a man who makes sure stolen goods find their way into rich people's pockets.On the plus side, the characters ring true, and you can really like them. They have good conversations, and things get a bit awkward at all the right places (as they do). There's a sprinkling of plot, but not too much, and it feels like it's absolutely ok to not be the sort of person who rushes around saving people. It's an indulgent fantasy (of the imagination sort, not the magic and unexpected princes sort) and that's quite enjoyable to read.On the minus side, there's very little that actually happens, and the plot feels a bit disconnected. The antagonist in the beginning is still the antagonist at the end, but more out of random evilness than anything else. I can't decide if this is a bug or a feature.Wellp. Either way, it's enjoyable and comfortable to read.
    more
  • J.L.
    January 1, 1970
    One of my favorite things about K.J. Charles’ writing is how she weaves together emotion, intrigue, and suspense. Another of my favorite things is how she inserts non-straight and nonbinary characters without unnecessary fanfare into historical fiction that too often lacks such representation as it it never existed before the twentieth century. In combination, she is an author whose new releases always go instantly to the top of my “to be read” pile, and this story once again proves this to alwa One of my favorite things about K.J. Charles’ writing is how she weaves together emotion, intrigue, and suspense. Another of my favorite things is how she inserts non-straight and nonbinary characters without unnecessary fanfare into historical fiction that too often lacks such representation as it it never existed before the twentieth century. In combination, she is an author whose new releases always go instantly to the top of my “to be read” pile, and this story once again proves this to always be the correct decision.It may be a novella, but Christiana and Stan’s relationship develops naturally and to good effect. It doesn’t feel rushed, and it also doesn’t leave me wanting more. This story is not a necessary read for the Lilywhite Boys series, but it’s lovely background detail that fleshes out the world.Fans of K.J. Charles should not miss this story, and it would also serve as a short and sweet introduction to this author’s excellent writing and storytelling.
    more
  • Tori
    January 1, 1970
    This is very short, it's 17,000 words/4 chapters. I'd like to start out by warning that the story starts out with the villain deadnaming and misgendering Christiana. I'd also like to put a description of the first interaction of the MCs behind a spoiler cut, because I wasn't sure how to feel about it. (view spoiler)[Stan originally uses female pronouns to think of Christiana, but when they first meet in person, she's wearing a suit, and introduces herself as Chris. Going off these cues, Stan the This is very short, it's 17,000 words/4 chapters. I'd like to start out by warning that the story starts out with the villain deadnaming and misgendering Christiana. I'd also like to put a description of the first interaction of the MCs behind a spoiler cut, because I wasn't sure how to feel about it. (view spoiler)[Stan originally uses female pronouns to think of Christiana, but when they first meet in person, she's wearing a suit, and introduces herself as Chris. Going off these cues, Stan then uses male pronouns to think of her, until Christiana explains--once they've had a chance to talk and she's sure Stan is safe and won't hurt her. (hide spoiler)] Stan and Christiana develop a very sweet relationship. They're both asexual, but unsure of the other's preferences so they tread very carefully with each other. I very much enjoyed them together, and seeing the Lilywhite Boys from the outside.
    more
  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    What is this, a romance for ants?! It needs to be at least [pause, during which the reviewer contemplates the choices that have led her to this, the resurrection of a decades-old meme in order to introduce a review that perhaps two whole people will read] three times this size!Or: I’m sure there are novellas that work as romances but this isn’t one of them. It is too short to show the development of Stan and Christiana’s relationship, which largely happens off-page. One conversation in a pub doe What is this, a romance for ants?! It needs to be at least [pause, during which the reviewer contemplates the choices that have led her to this, the resurrection of a decades-old meme in order to introduce a review that perhaps two whole people will read] three times this size!Or: I’m sure there are novellas that work as romances but this isn’t one of them. It is too short to show the development of Stan and Christiana’s relationship, which largely happens off-page. One conversation in a pub does not a romance make, even if it’s a good conversation. I don’t have a sense of who Christiana is as a person, I don’t know what makes her laugh, I don’t know what she and Stan talk about when they’re not being terrorised by thugs.I do have a strong desire to know more about Templeton Lane, defenestrator and thug-basher extraordinaire. So I suppose the novella is successful, but as a trailer for Gilded Cage rather than a romance in its own right.
    more
  • River Benson
    January 1, 1970
    This was much sweeter than I was imagining, mostly because I saw the title and had it all tied up with the rat queen in the sewer from Case files in my subconscious, and anyway. Of course it’s nothing like that!!! I absolutely adore Christiana, whose internal voice is hilarious and very true at once, and Stan is an absolute dear. I would read a zillion words about Jerry and Templeton, and enjoyed getting a fully outside view of them. Perfect length to read on the short leg of my flight, or would This was much sweeter than I was imagining, mostly because I saw the title and had it all tied up with the rat queen in the sewer from Case files in my subconscious, and anyway. Of course it’s nothing like that!!! I absolutely adore Christiana, whose internal voice is hilarious and very true at once, and Stan is an absolute dear. I would read a zillion words about Jerry and Templeton, and enjoyed getting a fully outside view of them. Perfect length to read on the short leg of my flight, or would have been if I hadn’t broken down and started reading at the gate... in KJ’s words: “Content warning: the story opens with misgendering/transphobia and threat of violence.” The violence is not trans motivated. I’m more than happy to give more details if you’d like.
    more
  • Tora
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to be sent an arc of this lovely little novella by the author.I'll be honest, I was always going to love this story. KJ Charles writing a trans, ace romance was always going to be perfect for me, and it really, really was.This is a pretty short story without an awful lot of plot, though what action there is is involving. The Lilywhite boys are a delight every second they're on the page, and there are also two cameos from other books that made me shriek with joy.I loved Stan an I was lucky enough to be sent an arc of this lovely little novella by the author.I'll be honest, I was always going to love this story. KJ Charles writing a trans, ace romance was always going to be perfect for me, and it really, really was.This is a pretty short story without an awful lot of plot, though what action there is is involving. The Lilywhite boys are a delight every second they're on the page, and there are also two cameos from other books that made me shriek with joy.I loved Stan and Christiana's relationship. I loved Stan's friendship with Temp and Jerry. I loved all the little glimpses at the world they've built around themselves. This is warm and sweet and left me with such a smile on my face. I'm already looking forward to rereading it.
    more
  • Kathryn Hore
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this novelette and found it just the most delightful love story. Set a couple of years before the events of Any Old Diamonds (a novel I adore), the background world can be dark and it has some brutal villains, but that only serves to emphasise the strength of the friendships and the fabulous loyalty between the key players - and of course, at the heart of everything, the utterly devoted love that develops between the two protagonists. Stan and Miss Christi I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this novelette and found it just the most delightful love story. Set a couple of years before the events of Any Old Diamonds (a novel I adore), the background world can be dark and it has some brutal villains, but that only serves to emphasise the strength of the friendships and the fabulous loyalty between the key players - and of course, at the heart of everything, the utterly devoted love that develops between the two protagonists. Stan and Miss Christina are both wonderful, they're characters who've seen too many dark things to consider the world delightful or wonderful anymore - until they meet each other. I read it in one sitting and couldn't put it down.
    more
  • Katherine
    January 1, 1970
    Short and sweet, this story is absolutely perfect. I read it in a flash, and could have very happily read a lot more - and would absolutely be delighted to see both characters in future novels. Christiana and Stan are an adorable, incredibly perfect couple. The communication between them is wonderful, and once again I want to tell everyone that KJ Charles is the absolute master of the historical romance genre. Charles doesn't hold back in describing the horrors they face, which is stomach clench Short and sweet, this story is absolutely perfect. I read it in a flash, and could have very happily read a lot more - and would absolutely be delighted to see both characters in future novels. Christiana and Stan are an adorable, incredibly perfect couple. The communication between them is wonderful, and once again I want to tell everyone that KJ Charles is the absolute master of the historical romance genre. Charles doesn't hold back in describing the horrors they face, which is stomach clenching, but the story is told with sensitivity and elegance.This is an absolute must-read in the Lillywhite Boys series.(I was incredibly fortunate enough to receive an ARC in exchange for an honest review)
    more
  • Lian Tanner
    January 1, 1970
    I have become a big fan of KJ Charles's books over the last year, and was very pleased to get an ARC of this novella, which is a charming (and occasionally frightening) interlude involving two people on the edge of society. Charles writes beautifully and her characters are (as always) well-fleshed out and believable, as is the violent world this particular story inhabits. But despite the violence - which intrudes twice - there's a real gentleness about The Rat-Catcher's Daughter, and a delight t I have become a big fan of KJ Charles's books over the last year, and was very pleased to get an ARC of this novella, which is a charming (and occasionally frightening) interlude involving two people on the edge of society. Charles writes beautifully and her characters are (as always) well-fleshed out and believable, as is the violent world this particular story inhabits. But despite the violence - which intrudes twice - there's a real gentleness about The Rat-Catcher's Daughter, and a delight that these two sweet people have found each other. And of course now I need to read The Lilywhite Boys, who play such a wonderful part in keeping them safe.
    more
  • StarStruck
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received in exchange for an honest review.This is an absolutely heart warming story of two non-traditional MCs finding romance. Miss Christiana has worked hard to carve out a life as a music hall performer, it gives her a place where she feels safe being herself. So it's really quite unfair that she's at risk of losing it all due to the vindictiveness of the thug who owns her debt. Stan is just a normal, slightly dodgy, bloke but he does have some very scary friends who may be able to help.T ARC received in exchange for an honest review.This is an absolutely heart warming story of two non-traditional MCs finding romance. Miss Christiana has worked hard to carve out a life as a music hall performer, it gives her a place where she feels safe being herself. So it's really quite unfair that she's at risk of losing it all due to the vindictiveness of the thug who owns her debt. Stan is just a normal, slightly dodgy, bloke but he does have some very scary friends who may be able to help.This was so much fun to read. I loved Miss Christiana and Stan and quickly became invested in their happiness.
    more
  • Aldi
    January 1, 1970
    Thoroughly heart-warming in the best way, and the trans/ace rep was wonderful. There was just something so simple and lovely about Stan and Christiana slowly discovering that they were actually on a page about "sticking bits in other bits" (lol, accurate) and the way that being truly seen and appreciated for who they were made them blossom, for lack of a better word. In less mushy news, I loved meeting Jerry and Templeton again, and this novelette has been the perfect hors d'oeuvre for Gilded Ca Thoroughly heart-warming in the best way, and the trans/ace rep was wonderful. There was just something so simple and lovely about Stan and Christiana slowly discovering that they were actually on a page about "sticking bits in other bits" (lol, accurate) and the way that being truly seen and appreciated for who they were made them blossom, for lack of a better word. In less mushy news, I loved meeting Jerry and Templeton again, and this novelette has been the perfect hors d'oeuvre for Gilded Cage, which I've been looking forward to so much. I cannot wait for the glorious fury of Susan!
    more
  • Pernilla
    January 1, 1970
    Short novella set before Any Old Diamonds, about two people who are obviously perfectly right for each other. Despite the shortness of the story (~60 pages), the pacing is excellent, as is the writing, and nothing feels rushed, even though it's packed with terror and quiet joy and a profound sense of homecoming. The romance is sweet and full of Charles's trademark sensitivity, respect and consideration for consent. And Jerry and Temp (the Lily-White Boys) are the most terrifying fairy godmothers Short novella set before Any Old Diamonds, about two people who are obviously perfectly right for each other. Despite the shortness of the story (~60 pages), the pacing is excellent, as is the writing, and nothing feels rushed, even though it's packed with terror and quiet joy and a profound sense of homecoming. The romance is sweet and full of Charles's trademark sensitivity, respect and consideration for consent. And Jerry and Temp (the Lily-White Boys) are the most terrifying fairy godmothers ever. A lovely Ace M/trans-F romance. We don't get many of those!
    more
  • Tracey
    January 1, 1970
    Small but fierceThis small novelette is fiercely good. I'm a fan of the Lillywhite Boys from Any Old Diamonds. This little jewel of a story is a bit of romance between the Lillywhites fence, Stan, and a lovely music hall singer, Miss Christiana. I shan't spoil the story but Stan and Christiana's love is unique and thoroughly heart warming. Their characters are well developed and the plot moves right along, just as you would expect from KJ Charles. And there's a peak from another lovely character Small but fierceThis small novelette is fiercely good. I'm a fan of the Lillywhite Boys from Any Old Diamonds. This little jewel of a story is a bit of romance between the Lillywhites fence, Stan, and a lovely music hall singer, Miss Christiana. I shan't spoil the story but Stan and Christiana's love is unique and thoroughly heart warming. Their characters are well developed and the plot moves right along, just as you would expect from KJ Charles. And there's a peak from another lovely character from a previous series. And there's music hall tunes. Enjoy!
    more
  • Kora
    January 1, 1970
    In which the intriguing Miss Christiana, music hall songstress first introduced in Any Old Diamonds, gets her own novelette. The Rat Catcher’s Daughter is a tender and sweet love story between Christiana and Stan, a fence for jewel thiefs the Lilywhite Boys. As with any of KJ Charles’ work, themes of friendship and found family are woven intricately into the story. This is a fantastic read on its own, but as a prequel to Any Old Diamonds, adds even more dimension and colour into the seedy crimin In which the intriguing Miss Christiana, music hall songstress first introduced in Any Old Diamonds, gets her own novelette. The Rat Catcher’s Daughter is a tender and sweet love story between Christiana and Stan, a fence for jewel thiefs the Lilywhite Boys. As with any of KJ Charles’ work, themes of friendship and found family are woven intricately into the story. This is a fantastic read on its own, but as a prequel to Any Old Diamonds, adds even more dimension and colour into the seedy criminal underworld of Victorian London that the series is built on.
    more
  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    The Lilywhite Boys steal the show with their unique brand of horrifying helpfulness. But also interesting to read a KJC story without rip-roaring sex scenes, and kudos to her for writing a "short, dodgy" MC. Bonus points for the blink-and-you'll-miss it appearance of Pen Starling from An Unsuitable Heir.
    more
  • Linz
    January 1, 1970
    I was super lucky to receive an ARC of this book and it is brilliantly realised book at just 17000 words. I remembered Miss Christiana from Any Old Diamonds and the music hall scene. The relationship between Miss Christiana and Stan was simply beautiful, as romantic as i could hope for and Temp and Jerry were entertaining and amoral and loyal and could've easily stolen the focus, but instead added another fun layer to this 'rollicking' tale. Now the patient wait for Susan's HEA.
    more
  • Kara
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent prologue to the Lilywhite Boys series, giving an introduction to the Lilywhite Boys themselves and just how dangerous they are. Also, the actual main characters bring some more representation to the Romance genre table, which was nice.Not much happens, plot-wise, besides the main characters having to be hauled out of immediate danger, but a great set of introductions all around.
    more
  • Suze
    January 1, 1970
    Short but perfectly formed prequel to the Lilywhite Boys books.I definitely got a feel for the nasty work of Kammy and his group, and the fear that the ordinary folk just trying to exist would be under.Chris-tiana/opher, ploughing her own furrow in a world that wouldn’t be kind, and Stan, brought to England at a young age from an oppressed Poland, both got my sympathy and I was cheering them on.
    more
  • Markéta
    January 1, 1970
    For some reason I did not expect asexual representation to be done so well. It's rather splendid and sweet and I felt understood. Now I am just sad that I do not have my very own rat-catcher's daughter (or a rat). I am not giving five stars because I have the feeling Christina and Stan have a lot of potential and that we have not seen enough of them in this story.
    more
  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    I... don't know how to rate this. Overall I think I liked it? Even if it did feel a little incoherent at times. And it definitely made me want to read the shit out of Templeton's book. But the issues I had with the trans rep - something I'm probably not in a position to talk about but I'm still bothered by nonetheless - cast the biggest shadow, and that's what's going to stay with me.
    more
Write a review