• An Unsuitable Heir

  • Sins of the Cities, Book 3
  • By: KJ Charles
  • Narrated by: Matthew Lloyd Davies
  • Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (774 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A private detective finds passion, danger, and the love of a lifetime when he hunts down a lost earl in Victorian London.

On the trail of an aristocrat's secret son, enquiry agent Mark Braglewicz finds his quarry in a music hall, performing as a trapeze artist with his twin sister. Graceful, beautiful, elusive, and strong, Pen Starling is like nobody Mark's ever met - and everything he's ever wanted. But the long-haired acrobat has an earldom and a fortune to claim.

Pen doesn't want to live as any sort of man, least of all a nobleman. The thought of being wealthy, titled, and always in the public eye is horrifying. He likes his life now - his days on the trapeze, his nights with Mark. And he won't be pushed into taking a title that would destroy his soul.

But there's a killer stalking London's foggy streets, and more lives than just Pen's are at risk. Mark decides he must force the reluctant heir from music hall to manor house, to save Pen's neck. Betrayed by the one man he thought he could trust, Pen never wants to see his lover again. But when the killer comes after him, Pen must find a way to forgive - or he might not live long enough for Mark to make amends.

Don't miss any of the captivating Sins of the Cities novels:

  • An Unseen Attraction
  • An Unnatural Vice
  • An Unsuitable Heir

And look for the enticing Society of Gentlemen series by KJ Charles:

  • The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh
  • A Fashionable Indulgence
  • A Seditious Affair
  • A Gentleman's Position

©2017 K. J. Charles (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"I'll read anything KJ Charles writes!" ( New York Times best-selling author Kate Pearce)
"KJ Charles has long been one of my favorite authors." ( USA Today best-selling author Carole Mortimer)

What listeners say about An Unsuitable Heir

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What a climax!

My FAVORITE of the series! What a range of characters we’ve seen in these books. The MCs in this one blew me away, especially since they appeared in a historical romance!

Pen is a gender fluid trapeze artist. Mark is a pansexual man of inquiry. Mark sees Pen and he’s mesmerized. Pen sees Mark and is dubious of his seemingly honest attraction to and acceptance of him. I LOVED these two together, delighted in how they navigated understanding each others’ sexuality and creating trust. Only to have it purposefully destroyed.

That’s right, stuff happens and it’s not all good. People get hurt. It’s not all perfect, love and roses forever (well, OK, until the HEA).

This is the finale of a mystery that began two books ago. I’m usually pretty adept at figuring out whodunit. But here, I didn’t have a clue. Not at all. Zero. This both delighted and frustrated me to no end. Well done there, K.J. Charles, well done!

Pen is the likely heir to an earldom. He doesn’t want it. At all. But people are dying because of him. What to do? Read it and find out.

And if you’re hankering for an audiobook, the performance for this one was incredible!

4 people found this helpful

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  • BR
  • 11-25-17

Series ends on a high note

The final installment of the Sins of the City gives interesting characters, a nice narration and resolution of the mystery in KJ Charles' inimitable style. There is instant attraction between trapeze artist Pen and private investigator Mark that shows how gender fluidity can be beautiful. Pen struggles with being misunderstood and opens up to Mark's compassionate understanding. However, an unwanted title forces Pen to play the gentleman and violence follows in his wake. The mystery begun in the first book has a satisfying conclusion. You also get to catch up with Clem, Rowley, Nathaniel and Justin from the first two books of the series which is fun. The whole series is narrated by Matthew Lloyd Davis who does a fine job in character voice and development. I am beyond thrilled KJ Charles is getting turned into audibles and hope more of her books get the attention they deserve.

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*insert obligatory title here*

*insert obligatory 15 word review here even though I only want to rate the book*

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Suitably entertaining romantic mystery


There’s an earl’s contested heir and a pile of trouble to keep the heir missing. Because who wouldn’t want to be a fabulously wealthy earl? Sensitively written to explain who’s who & what everyone’s motivations are for finding or silencing the heir, it’s a fine tale of misfits trying to just be themselves. Which means they all have learned to view the world a little sideways, and thus are more interesting characters than in an average story about earls.

Somewhat unexpected (to me) this conclusion to the trilogy was neatly written to overlap the previous two books’ timelines without rehashing more than a moment or two. We see Clem, Roly, Lazarus & Nathaniel while Mark does his best to figure out what is going on. And falls in love.

Steam: Med-Low Some details on page but not a lot of dwell time. Mostly concerns how to be comfortable in a body that doesn’t fit in, in one way or another.

Narration: Same solid narration as previous installments. Emotional moments done empathetically, easy to follow along. Good quality.

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  • NH
  • 08-09-22

Great conclusion to a very enjoyable series

The Sins of the Cities series started with the story of Clem and Rollie, two men who the English society have disdained and yet were more decent than the nobility in the story. The mystery central to the series begins Clem's half-brother, an Earl, pulling Clem into a lethal situation. The next book in the series centers on Nathaniel and Justin as they work to help protect Clem and solve the mystery. The last book in the series centers on the missing heir, Pen. Pen is genderfluid. The discussion of gender between Pen and Mark, who is pan, is very interesting. It helped me to understand what genderfluid means. Whether or not Pen accepts his place as an earl or not, whether he is forced into a traditionally masculine role or continues to be happy with the many facets of himself, and whether or not Pen can forgive Mark or not, are all answered in this story. Matthew Lloyd Davies does a fantastic job narrating the book as he had with the entire series. The variety of accents he handles is amazing. I enjoy listening to the books he narrates.

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This was a fine conclusion

I was afraid that this series was going to end with someone dreadfully unhappy, and I like for my romances to have a HEA ending. But it all worked out in the end and I'm satisfied. lol

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Fit for Royalty or not

I truly enjoyed this story. The characters were a little different. They were lively and testy. The theme was trying to figure out who the murderer is and why. This is a good book and great story.
I would recommend read the books In succession.

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Great

I loved it! Great narrator! Great story line! Great characters! I've listened to it several times!

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What a beautiful end!

Throughly enjoyed this book and the entire series. Loved the mystery of it and the relationships that came as a result of all the mess and bringing disrepute to the Talleyfer name.
Extremely glad that I started to listen this one. I was not disappointed. My next listen will definitely be from KJ Charles, with The Magpie Lord.
Looking forward to another great series stockfull of romance, sex, intrigue, mystery, new worlds and beautiful storytelling.

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Amazing—Unconditional Love

The love betrayed between these two characters is so beautifully rendered. I love the aspect that within a family wrought with greed and self-interest, we are shown the beauty of selfless love between lovers, friends, and siblings.

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  • Jeys
  • 08-24-21

Loved it

Thank you so much for writing a book with a non-binary/ genderfluid main character. It means a lot.

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  • C M Silver
  • 01-10-21

Repentance and Regret

The abundance of themes complicate this plot in an interesting and intriguing crime romp. Incidents and occurrances from history punctuate the tale with facts. INTERESTING

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-21-22

characters to fall for

great story line with good twists and easily to love characters. brilliant narration and accents too

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  • HMM
  • 04-11-22

The least enjoyable of the trilogy

I did not like Mark nor Pen and was not really interested who the killer was.

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  • A. Jackson
  • 02-08-22

Loved it

This trilogy just kept getting better and better. I would never have guessed the murderer. The narrator is first class and I already dread getting a KJ Charles book read by anyone else.

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  • Jenny_Indigo
  • 12-24-21

Magnificent finale

The first two books were excellent but this one beats them. We follow the twists and turns of the family succession as a murderer is on the loose. Pen & Greta Starling are trying to evade their fate the denizens of the Jack & Knave are doing their best to put things to rights all against the backdrop of Victorian London. Thrilling

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  • Northie
  • 11-22-21

London in the round

If you read the novels of Wilkie Collins (or even Dickens), you'd be forgiven for thinking Victorian London was populated entirely by 'normal' (ie white, cis-het) people. KJ Charles bursts that illusion without fuss or fanfare in this series. It is one of many elements that holds a reader's attention.

In this third book, characters win out over plot. The whodunnit and accompanying machinations are entertaining but it's the people that grab you. To have two queer principal characters is marvellous. Maybe Victorian times lacked the vocabulary to describe queerness. It still existed though, with individuals having to navigate their needs and how to fit into wider society.

Reading both this series and The Society of Gentlemen make me want to explore this world more. Entertainment and education, romance, a little grit, and plenty of sexiness - what more could you want?

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  • Louise
  • 10-06-21

Enjoyable conclusion

This was a very satisfactory conclusion to the series; it felt a bit different to the earlier books, as it focuses more on the characters than the plot, now that one of the main mysteries surrounding the Dukedom has been cleared up, but it was done really well and in keeping with the setting. The narrator did occasionally make Mark sound like a stereotypical 'dirty old man', which could be a bit off-putting, but overall the performance was very enjoyable, and fitted well with the setting of the book..

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  • Mo Bass
  • 08-31-21

Excellent all round

A quirky mystery laced with gay sex masterfully narrated. I loved the characters and their eccentricities.

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  • Mrs. E. J. Curtis
  • 06-29-20

Good story

The concept is interesting and well written. The characters are likeable and the narration is good.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-10-22

Great Narration

The story was consistent and all books overlapped smoothly. The narration was done well that all characters were easy to tell apart and easy to listen to.