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Summary

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 now...assuming she doesn’t want to kill him herself.

©2019 KJ Charles (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Gilded Cage

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Jarring dual narration

Cornell Collins is a really wonderful narrator, so I was very surprised to discover this book had dual narration. The female narrator does a decent job, but still I found the change of narration from chapter to chapter upset the flow of the story. It was really unnecessary to have a female narrator and I would have enjoyed this book more with just Cornell Collins. The story itself is an M/F romance. KJ Charles is well known for writing MM and ticking every diversity box, whether or not it fits with the historical context. The story was nice, but not as well written as some of the other books by this author. There was clumsy prose and some painfully awkward sex scenes. It appears KJ Charles writes MM better than MF.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not loving the dual narration

The story was absolutely brilliant, as always but I really didn’t like the dual narration, Cornell Colins is the best narrator ever, why interfere with perfection. I found the swapping from one narrator to another jarring, if future stories have two narrators in the future I’ll stick with the kindle books only.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ShannonVM
  • 14-06-20

Is this the end of the Lilywhite Boys???

Gilded Cage is the first book of KJ Charles that I've read/listened to with an m/f pairing, I'm so used to her m/m books that it kind of took me by surprise that she also wrote m/f- I guess I never really looked past the book/series I was reading at the time, to see her full library of work! I really liked Susan and Templeton/James. I love second chance romances and theirs was a bit of a heart-tugger, with how things happened to cause their separation. But nothing like a little murder to bring a couple back together! I loved how they were able to work together to clear Templeton's name, and the way they worked through what happened in the past. I have to admit, I was a bit bothered at the start of the book, with how Jerry was treating Templeton- I felt like the way he was acting was a bit out of character from who the one we met in Any Old Diamonds. It frustrated me and made me sad for Templeton. I'm glad that "flaw" didn't last long though, and their friendship was able to rebound from Jerry's treatment of Templeton. I always enjoy Cornell Collins's narration, he really is perfect for these characters. This was my first time listening to Victoria Aston and I enjoyed her performance as well. The only issue I had was the way they each performed the other's part- they didn't match up in my head with how they voiced their own characters- he made Susan a bit gruffer and she made James a little too prim and proper. But that's just my take, and I did really enjoy their performances! ***Borrowed through AE.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Clara
  • 30-11-19

Perfect

A heroine who can really take care of herself, interesting murder mystery, and great narrators.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rocinante
  • 28-09-20

Great characters, great narration.

I’ve read mostly MM from KJ Charles, this is my first MF of theirs and I loved it! The characters are interesting and I loved their relationship. Susan and James don’t have the typical MF dynamic - it’s much more unexpected and fun. Cornell Collins is great as usual and Victoria Aston was fantastic as well. Great all around! If you mostly read MM and are not sure about MF I urge you to give it a try!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • L.D.
  • 27-09-20

Past Mistakes and Current Reconciliation

Gilded Cage is the second book in the Lilywhite Boys series. I highly recommend reading the prequel, The Rat-Catcher’s Daughter, and the first book, Any Old Diamonds, before reading this book. This book can stand on its own, but it’s much better with the background those two previous books provide. Gilded Cage is set in Victorian London with an enemies-to-lovers and second-chance love trope. There is also a mystery to be solved and a personal character redemption arc. The romance between Susan and James is strong with an edge of steel. These two aren’t romantic fools, but grown adults who know how to be practical and ruthless, yet love each other regardless. The mystery was more of a plot device to push James and Susan together again and force them to reconcile, but it was still well thought out and interesting. The audiobook was a duel narration by Cornell Collins and Victoria Aston. I’m a huge fan of Cornell Collins and found his voice perfect for the narration of James’ point of view. This was my first book with Victoria Aston narrating, and I found her voice pleasant and easy to listen to. I thought she did a very good job with Susan’s point of view. The audiobook production was well done. Overall, I found the audible book extremely enjoyable to listen to.

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  • Leah Amoroa
  • 27-09-20

K.J. Charles is my new fav!

I love Cornell Collins! He can pull off both genders voices I had to critically listen to Victoria Aston, I felt she was an interloper at first, but I must say she kept my attention and she fid awesome!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lovely Zombie
  • 11-09-20

Decent story undermined by poor performance choice

I'm a big fan of KJ Charles' work, and cannot compliment her storytelling, pacing, and characterization variety enough. She's a jewel of a literary creative who truly stands out in the crowd of historical romance writers. I have read virtually all of her books, and have enjoyed most of the audio performances as well. Unfortunately, the performance of this book was damned from the start by an odd production choice: the book is split equally, every-other-chapter, between two different readers. This is a "quasi-ensemble cast" technique that can work in very specific circumstances, but which tends to underwhelm when used inappropriately. This book was *NOT* the right occasion for a split narration. I can understand why the producers of this audiobook wanted to try alternate narrators. Charles did assign every other chapter to begin from the point of view of each character in turn. However, the majority of the story is propelled through dialogue, not reflective prose or omniscient narration. Consequently, despite being anchored in a particular character's perspective, nearly the entire book is essentially a shared, ongoing conversation. This still could have worked if the narrators had been better matched. Cornell Collins has narrated other Charles titles, and does a wonderful job of moving seamlessly from one social class vernacular to another. His command of masculine and feminine voices is well-rounded, and contributes a great deal to the story. Victoria Aston... does not. I'm sure she is a great performer in different milieu, but in this particular product, her performance was a jaring, inconsistent presence compared to Collins'. She was unable to articulate the different social classes of the characters represented, her choice for Susan's voice was especially out of place, and her representation of male voices was simply not up to the standard I would expect from an Audible-produced product. Since the narrators switch every chapter, the comparison is impossible to avoid, and the issues with Aston's half of the work are even more frustrating than they could have been otherwise. It's truly regrettable that Collins did not perform the entire story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joy
  • 04-06-20

This was a Surprise

I believe that this was like Book 5 of a series, a M/M series. Which is no longer a M/M series. What? Really? I see the need for a female narrator. Which, by the way, was an amazing performance by both narrators, but the female lover was just wrong to me. Not a bad story just wrong.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • lori e burdzilauskas
  • 30-03-20

Bad female performance

The deflection and cadence were all wrong it sounded like she was trying to work on her accents more than telling a story

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Fat
  • 23-03-20

Narration not great

Male narrator gives a fantastic performance, the female narrator seems like she’s just reading aloud. The production quality of the female narrator also wasn’t as clear as the male narrator which made it hard to enjoy.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jillian MacLeod
  • 13-01-20

KJ Charles knocked it out of the park again

Charles's Any Old Diamonds has been tied (with Band Sinister) for my favorite of her books since it came out, so that was a pretty high bar for Gilded Cage. It managed beautifully, though, coming in at a very, very close second. It was wonderful to see more of grown-up Susan Lazarus. My only quibble is with the audiobook: I always love Cornell Collins's narration (well, 98% of it, barring a few quirks of his delivery during sex scenes, but IIRC that wasn't relevant here, as all the sex scenes were from Susan's POV) but Victoria Aston's narration just didn't work for me (hence the 3-star rating for Performance). In the early chapters, she sounded like she was practicing elocution lessons; even after a few chapters, once she seemed more comfortable with narrating, her delivery was too flat, as though she was just reading the words and not considering the context or meaning of the sentences.