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Think of England

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Think of England (2014) K.J. Charles

Set in England in 1904

Archie Curtis lost three of the fingers on his right hand as well as much of his company when a delivery of guns proved tragically defective.

“It was a damned business. My company lost as many men in two minutes’ practice firing than in six months of war before it.” Seven deaths on the field; six more in the field hospital; two suicides, later. Three men blinded. Mutilations and amputations. “The entire crate of guns was deadly.”

Now, two years later, he is searching for clues as to why it happened.

“What happened to Lafayette? Did someone say he died?”

“About a fortnight after I spoke to him. A couple of weeks ago now. He was found in the Thames. It seems he hit his head and fell into the river.”

“Hit his head,” da Silva repeated.

“Yes.”

“Did anyone wonder if someone hit his head for him?”

Daniel de Silva is a dandy and an effete. Curtis has no idea how he ended up at the house party, but he the man makes him uncomfortable.

He grabbed for the nearest serving dish and proffered it, in the hope of changing the subject. “Ham?”

“No, thank you.”

“It’s a jolly good one.”

Da Silva blinked, slowly, like a lizard. “I dare say, but I fear I haven’t converted since we last spoke.”

“Con— Oh. Oh, I beg your pardon. I quite forgot you were a Jew.”

“How refreshing. So few people do.”

I really liked this story.

“I, er,” said Curtis, with the natural awkwardness of an Englishman caught reading poetry. “I just, er, picked this up.”

Curtis doesn’t know how to deal with da Silva, but unlike many of the other at the house party, he doesn’t hold da Sliva in contempt.

He was alone in a room with a chap who preferred men, and the fellow was looking at him.

Curtis couldn’t think of a damned thing to say.

This is a KJ Charles book, so it’s a M/M romance, and there is boinking.

There is also adventure and mystery and a fair amount of action towards the end.

And even though this was published originally in 2014, and set in 1904, some things continue to ring true.

“Oh, none of this will last. This country is heading for a crash, mark my words. There are other nations rising, ones with stronger, purer ideals and men who are prepared to work, to aspire. If we don’t set ourselves to join them now, it won’t be long before we face them on the battlefield. And we’ll be better off doing either without parasites sapping our strength from within.”

Curtis had heard this kind of talk a few times, and never from men who had actually put on a uniform. Normally a patient man, he had found armchair warriors almost intolerable since Jacobsdal, and there was a snap in his voice as he replied, “Yes, jolly good. So, when that conflict comes, will you be joining the army? Or, why not now, if you’re so keen?”

Although there is boinking, and the mystery isn’t that complicated, it’s a lovely and enjoyable story.

Publisher: KJC Books
Rating: 8.5/10

Categories: 8/10, British, Historical, LGBT, Romance, Sexual Content     Comments (0)    



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