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Think of England by KJ Charles
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Think of England (2014)

by KJ Charles

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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Archie Curtis, who lost part of his hand and his military career in a training accident, is investigating the source of that accident when he gets into a very compromising situation with Daniel Da Silva, a Jew who takes pride in his flamboyance. Given the late-19th-century high-class England setting, this is somewhat problematic, especially since it turns out that Archie might be queer too. Lovely use of the trope of the strong-brave-honest guy meeting the smart-slippery-observant guy and making them both better. Historic-typical language and homophobia. ( )
  rivkat | Jul 27, 2018 |
4.5 stars

I re-read this to refresh my memory before the short story [b:Song for a Viking|29754736|Song for a Viking (Think of England, #1.5)|K.J. Charles|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/book/50x75-a91bf249278a81aabab721ef782c4a74.png|50113310].
I remembered the story in general and that it was well written, I gave it 4 stars even after the first reading after all, but to be honest I wasn't particularly impressed. This time around, for some reason, it all came together for me and I really connected with the plot, the characters and the setting.
Archie and Daniel are so different, but they fit perfectly together and I enjoyed very much their dynamic and dialogues.
The only problem is that now I'd like more of them and this is a stand-alone. ( )
  Ele.na | Jun 8, 2018 |
On my rare recent forays into romance novels, I've developed a particular admiration for K.J. Charles. She writes well, with humour, and her characters are fully rounded people with credible lives and interests beyond their love lives. That said, I prefer some of her books to others. I haven't particularly warmed to her Victorian novels (the Sins of the Cities and Charm of Magpies series), but I did love her Society of Gentleman trilogy. To my surprise, I also found Think of England to be one of her strongest so far. I say 'to my surprise' because (forgive me) I thought the cover looked rather cheap and 'stock-photoed' compared to the covers of her other books, and it didn't immediately appeal to me as strongly. Nor did I expect to enjoy a story set at the turn of the 20th century, when my preference is for stories set at least a hundred years earlier. But Charles banished my qualms with a smart, fast-paced story that's equal parts adventure and romance.

It's 1904 and Archie Curtis is a wounded veteran of the Boer War, who finds himself invited to a country house party. His fellow guests are the usual mix of predatory ladies and sporting gentlemen, who have come to enjoy the country air and all the comforts of this very modern house. Electricity, central heating and telephones are only part of the appeal. Curtis himself has come for a slightly different reason. Tormented by the memory of his injuries at Jacobsdal during the war - and the deaths of many of his friends - which were caused by faulty guns sent out from England, he wants to see whether he can find any link to his arms-dealer host. But one night, as Curtis investigates a tantalisingly locked door in his host's study, he's interrupted by the person with whom he least wants to be stuck in a dark room: his fellow guest Daniel da Silva.

Exotic, louche and threateningly decadent, da Silva is exactly the kind of drawling effeminate whom Curtis loathes. But, as they face each other in this dark room, the two men realise that they are both after similar secrets in their host's files. More than that, Curtis realises that the limp-wristed poet is simply a guise, and that the real da Silva is a far more subtle, sharp and dangerous man. As they join forces in the hope of revealing their host's treason, Curtis becomes fascinated by da Silva's resourcefulness - and troubled by his own shifting feelings about the man. I liked the way that Curtis's struggle towards self-knowledge brought greater depth and drama to their interactions, as did da Silva's vulnerability. Yet where this book really pleased me is that the well-written romance isn't the be-all and end-all: it's almost incidental to a much bigger story, full of spies, blackmail, secret agents and derring-do.

Charles's strength is in her period accuracy, and here too the language, the slang and the details all seemed to be spot on. I laughed out loud when I realised that Curtis's explorer uncle was actually Sir Henry Curtis from H. Rider Haggard's "King Solomon's Mines", a playful link into the tradition of swashbuckling Boy's Own adventure that Charles taps into here. I do hope she writes more about these two characters, because I rather like them - and do note that she offers a free 'add-on' chapter ("Song for a Viking") on her website. ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Jul 11, 2017 |

We all know there are tragedies in life. One of the tragedies is this author has only written a couple of books. I shouldn't have waited so long to read it - it's another new favorite from her. I've already had to re-read several scenes...

One thing K.J. Charles rocks at is creating the best characters that both compliment and contrast with each other. She did the same job but with different flavors in the Magpie series. Here she again mixes classes - Curtis is a gentlemen soldier, retired from war due to injury, and Daniel is on the poorer rung of society. But where Steven hid his inclinations in the Magpie series, Daniel exaggerates the things that make other men detest and belittle him. It's not because he has such confidence he considers himself above such trivialities, but because of a mask to hide the sensitivity beneath.

But not only does Daniel rock with sensitivity - and dirty language, humor, wit, sarcasm - but Curtis is also a sweetheart who touched me heart and spirit in different layers. They both rock, trust me, they really do.

So you mesh these two men in a M/M romance that has an actual good story. Oooh-la-la, my mental brain cushions are as stimulated by the mystery, the tension, as it is by the possibilities of romance. Of course while there are erotic scenes - and wowzers are they intense, intense, and MORE intense - the story itself is a great one that doesn't even need them. I'd be sad without them - but it's not needed because the story is strong enough on its own and then some.

The villains are heartless with realistic motive and we get a twist of Shakespearian justice. There are nail grinding scenes mixed with comedy that befalls the beloved pair. There's horror and fight and charm all mixed in the same bag.

Be still my heart. I went to the book's page on Goodreads to see if there is word of a sequel. The author said she's working on one, but who knows when that will come out? Until then I shall salivate over the possibility. Simply love this author's books. Now when I think of England, I'll undoubtedly think of this book too. ( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
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added by gsc55 | editOutlaw Reviews (Dec 6, 2014)
 
added by gsc55 | editBoy meets Boy, Ann (Jul 23, 2014)
 
added by gsc55 | editLove Bytes, Elizabetta (Jul 3, 2014)
 
added by gsc55 | editScuttlebutt Reviews, Karen (Jul 2, 2014)
 
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