Title: Think of England
Author: KJ Charles
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Genre(s): Historical, Murder/Mystery
Page Count: 236
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Lie back and think of England…
England, 1904. Two years ago, Captain Archie Curtis lost his friends, fingers, and future to a terrible military accident. Alone, purposeless and angry, Curtis is determined to discover if he and his comrades were the victims of fate, or of sabotage.
Curtis’s search takes him to an isolated, ultra-modern country house, where he meets and instantly clashes with fellow guest Daniel da Silva. Effete, decadent, foreign, and all-too-obviously queer, the sophisticated poet is everything the straightforward British officer fears and distrusts.
As events unfold, Curtis realizes that Daniel has his own secret intentions. And there’s something else they share—a mounting sexual tension that leaves Curtis reeling.
As the house party’s elegant facade cracks to reveal treachery, blackmail and murder, Curtis finds himself needing clever, dark-eyed Daniel as he has never needed a man before…
Warning: Contains explicit male/male encounters, ghastly historical attitudes, and some extremely stiff upper lips.
“Lie back and think of England.” If you’ve read older English romance novels (think Barbara Cartland), you’re probably familiar with this phrase. It was the sort of thing a good mother told her virginal daughter on the eve of her wedding, as in “forget the awful thing you are called upon to do – just remember that you are doing this for God and Country.”
Archie Curtis, a former solider with a debilitating hand injury due to faulty munitions, arrives at Peakholme, the country estate of Lord and Lady Armstrong, for an extended house party. His ulterior motive, however, is to search for evidence if wealthy industrialist Lord Armstrong could have knowingly sold inferior rifles to the military. But everywhere he clandestinely searches … he finds fellow guest Daniel da Silva there first. Da Silva – a foreigner and a dandy with dark brilliantined hair and dark olive skin – is a poet ….. with mad lockpicking skills and a keen interest in discovering if someone at Peakholme is a blackmailer.
In a wonderfully constructed plot that grabs your interest immediately, the two men work together to uncover secrets and escape detection as spies. Their initial interactions are witty and clever, and absolutely soaked with sexual tension. And when Archie has to “lie back and think of England” in order to save Daniel and himself in an absolutely wonderfully absurd scene, it sparks a passion that is damn hot. The pace of the book is flawless – there isn’t a wasted line or scene – and everything culminates with the perfect ending.
If you’re only familiar with KJ Charles from her wonderful “A Charm of Magpies” series, give “Think of England” a try. You’ll find the same stellar writing with a wonderful plot and two fascinating characters in Archie and Daniel. And Fenella Carruth and Pat Merton are a delight! I would love to read more about all these characters.
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