Cephalopod Coffeehouse Jan 2015 They Had To THINK OF ENGLAND–A Review

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Hi there! Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the tomes they enjoyed most over the previous month. Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.

Hi all! Happy new year to my fellow Coffeehousers! I”m eager to see what books you loved best this month!

For me, I read some cool YA, some hot erotica and some sweet romance. But, most of those were to be reviewed on a deadline, and I couldn’t hold them for this post. Still, THINK OF ENGLAND was a shining spot in my winter reads. It’s a M/M romance, which I loooove. This is historical fiction which explored many of the societal mores of 1900’s, not only homosexuality–which was a hanging offense–but also antisemitism and xenophobia.

Think of EnglandAbout the book:
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.

My Review:
I adored this historical M/M mystery/thriller romance.

Captain Archie Curtis is a survivor of a horrific injury while serving in the British army–not even in battle. While inspecting a shipment of weapons, Archie and his platoon were maimed and fatally wounded when their rifles exploded in their hands. Archie lost three fingers and has a limp from a misfired round that caught him in the knee. He dwells in misery, feeling half-a-man due to his loss of fingers, livelihood, and companions.

Acting on a tip, from the faulty gunmaker no less, Archie accepts the invitation of an old family friend Sir Hubert Armstrong, for a two-week stay at his remote country house. Sir Hubert is an industrialist, and his lavish home is a marvel of electric feats. It seems that Sir Hubert has been accused of tampering with the very weapons which destroyed Archie’s compatriots. The house company is interesting, but Capt. Curtis is rather annoyed with Daniel da Silva, a flamboyantly effeminate “poet” who is not only Portuguese, he’s a Jew.

The other male guests take thinly veiled jabs at Daniel, but Archie’s most frustrated that da Silva’s always underfoot when he’s investigating Sir Hubert’s private files. They men strike up a tenuous partnership when it seems that they are both seeking Sir Hubert’s dark secrets.

Meanwhile, they’re captured in a compromising position–one in which they could be prosecuted–or fall under Sir Hubert’s more dark enterprise: blackmail.

Daniel is quite comfortable with his ‘invert’ sexuality, but Archie hasn’t ever considered himself gay. Still, Archie can’t deny the strange attraction he’s beginning to experience for the wily da Silva.

There’s a whole lotta intrigue in this book. And a quietly developing tender romance. The stakes are death if da Silva and Archie are caught by Sir Hubert, and I’ll just say, the book ends with quite a few deaths. Super high tension, mostly on the intrigue-side, however.

I loved the fervor Archie had in pursuit of da Silva, and protecting him from the very dangerous tenants of Sir Hubert’s abode. There was such biting humor, and such valiant gallantry. I swooned. The end was really, just, all I hoped it would be.

Interested? You can find THINK OF ENGLAND on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Please take a minute to pop in on my fellow bloggers, to see what book tickled their fancy this month! And, as always, keep reading my friends!

1. The Armchair Squid 2. WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME
3. A Creative Exercise 4. Trisha @ WORD STUFF
5. Nan @ Hungry Enough To Eat Six! 6. Stephanie Faris
7. Life Before the Hereafter 8. mainewords
9. Words Incorporated 10. StrangePegs – A Shot in the Light
11. V’s Reads

10 thoughts on “Cephalopod Coffeehouse Jan 2015 They Had To THINK OF ENGLAND–A Review

  1. This sounds really intriguing! I watch Downton Abbey, and although the characters in the show wink and look the other way regarding Thomas’s homosexuality, I’m not sure that would have really been the case in 1920s England. I’d be interested to see how this novel handles it.

    • Well, in truth the sex bits are pretty sparse. It’s only mildly steamy, though there is plenty of innuendo. In terms of societal acceptance, it is agreed that gentleman may have some proclivities, but public knowledge of them are ruinous. It forms a bit part of the blackmail part of this story. Both Archie and da Silva are threatened with jail time, at the very least. 🙂

      • I KNOW! And so do Archie and da Silva. This was especially exploited in the book. Sir Hubert would invite homosexuals to his estate and gather evidence against them in order to perpetrate blackmail. #ingenious and #diabolical

  2. I enjoyed your review. I wonder if Queen Victoria really told her daughters to lie back and think of England during sex. One of my English professors said she did, but she was the worst professor I had.

    Love,
    Janie

    • I can’t verify this, but it’s part of the “lore” now, so it’s true, even if it isn’t… I can tell you that da Silva does say this to Archie, in irony and seriousness.

      I’m glad you liked my review, Junie!

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