The Rat-Catcher's Daughter

The Rat-Catcher's DaughterMusic Hall Singer Miss Christiana Is In Serious Debt, And Serious Trouble She Owes Than She Can Pay To A Notorious Criminal, And Now He Plans To Make An Example Of Her There S No Way OutBut 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 HerThe 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 , Words , Set Two Years Before Any Old DiamondsContent Warnings Story Opens With Misgendering Transphobia And Threat Of Violence

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 kjcharleswriter.com 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

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  • ebook
  • The Rat-Catcher's Daughter
  • K.J. Charles
  • 10 January 2018

10 thoughts on “The Rat-Catcher's Daughter

  1. says:

    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

  2. says:

    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

  3. says:

    This was disappointing, mostly because I ve come to expect such good things from anything by KJ Charles Maybelike 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 Maybelike 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 bitof 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 lotof 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 aceof a convenient plot mechanism and less something I saw coming, though I d be willing to be talked down on that point hide spoiler

  4. says:

    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 appeara force of nature to her than anything , while Stan sresigned, 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 towardsscenes 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

  5. says:

    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 romanceI needn t have worried True, it still feels a little off to me in small ways, but that sbecause 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 romanceI needn t have worried True, it still feels a little off to me in small ways, but that sbecause 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 wantedof 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 arethan 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

  6. says:

    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

  7. says:

    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

  8. says:

    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.

  9. says:

    Romances at this length not quite at novella word count are difficult to review, because if I like the romance, I really do wantof 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 wantof 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 hadof Christiana s background and life, too

  10. says:

    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

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