Reread Friday | Think of England by K.J. Charles

Think of England

The first Reread Friday post of the year! This month, I’ve reread Think of England by K.J. Charles. When I first read this, I had no idea it was the second story in a series, and I still haven’t read Proper English, the first book, but I’ve been meaning to.

But, for now, I’ve only reread this one 😊 I love Daniel! And I wish there were more stories about him and Curtis. Says the woman who’s not really a fan of series LOL. Should we say two more stories? It would make a nice trilogy, and K.J. Charles has a few trilogies under her belt. If we have to have a series, three books is a nice uneven number 😁

I always feel like historical stories are wasted on me – not wasted, but you could sneak in whatever facts you want, and I would buy them. I never remember what year we’re in or how far along we’re supposed to be in engineering and development and so on. So if you say there are cars, there are cars, if there’s electricity there is electricity, and if you said Napoleon lived in the Victorian era, I would shrug and move on. So while I know writers of historical fiction spend a lot of time on research, you could’ve just made it up where I’m concerned. Sorry. 😆 

With that background, I have to admit that I was pretty proud of myself for feeling like Think of England would go well with The Will Darling Adventures and then hopped onto Goodreads and saw that they in fact have an epilogue linking the two series. Yay me! Or maybe not since when I realise what both Daniel and Kim do for a living… 🙄 Ah well, we can’t all be observant.

The blurb to the epilogue says: The Positively Final Appearance: a two-part epilogue with Daniel and Archie at a house party and Kim and Will in a gentleman’s club, because those are definitely settings that go well for them. So I guess that trilogy I was talking about is out of the question.

I enjoyed the second read of Think of England just as much as I liked the first. I remembered the cave as playing a bigger part than it did, but it changes nothing. 

If you haven’t read it, do!

Think of England

Think of EnglandLie 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…

ReRead Friday | The Long Way Home by Z.A. Maxfield

The Long Way Home

I reread The Long Way Home by Z.A. Maxfield this month because I remember liking it, and I remember it being Christmas and New Year. It does take place over Christmas and New Year, so I was right about that. As for the liking it… I wish I hadn’t read it again. I remember this fondly but now I’m more angry, to be honest.

It’s old and it’s been many, many years since I first read it. Maybe my view of the world has shifted some. Most of the things I’m about to say are ‘me’ things. This is not a bad book, and if you think you might like it, give it a go. I could have DNFed it, but I didn’t, and I DNF books quite often, so it’s not that it’s bad.

This is about Kevin, who turned psychic after a car accident, and Connor, a police detective working a case of missing boys. Kevin doesn’t have control of his powers and Connor is a sceptic. I have no problems with that, it makes a good story.

Connor identifies as straight despite having had a boyfriend in his teens. Kevin is openly gay. And here we have my first problem. It’s a me-thing. I have no problem with He’s MINE. Many of my books are just that. BUT those are shifter romances or alien romances, with the whole fated-mates, biological urge to mate etc, not mostly contemporary. It’s a paranormal story, but the only paranormal element is Kevin’s impressions. So I struggle with that bit. I would have bought it if Connor hadn’t gone from ‘straight’ to telling Kevin’s family ‘he’s MINE’ in half a page without Kevin even being present or them having acknowledged having a relationship.

Then number two of things I have a hard time accepting. Actually, it’s not having a hard time, it’s not being able to deal with it at all. The abuse! If you’ve read my books, you know people get killed and beaten up left and right. I have no problems with violence as long as there is no victim blaming or acceptance of domestic abuse. The moment Connor hit Kevin, this book was dead to me. And I can’t believe I didn’t remember that happening.

Major red flag for me. MAJOR. You do not hit your spouse. AND *insert screeching voice* hitting him in a room full of people, running off, and the people are standing there doing absolutely nothing. Kevin drops to the floor and wakes up to his dad holding an ice pack for him, and one of the others in the room says: He could at least have waited till you were done cooking.

I know it’s probably meant as a joke, but we have a police detective decking his boyfriend for expressing concern to his dad about said detective’s feelings about his ex. I just can’t. I’m sorry. And the day before this happened Kevin was beaten by one of his colleagues, an FBI agent, and it was the same thing – a room full of people, and no one reacted other than saying he should behave. Seriously?!

Kevin is not in a position of power. He is a victim in both these cases, and after they occur, I can’t see this book as anything other than propaganda for the patriarchy. And yes, I’m probably overreacting, but the whole men abuse people because they can’t control their feelings and it’s easiest to just let them get away with it really triggers something in me.

As I said, it’s me-things, and I normally don’t have problems with violence in books. But this is mostly contemporary, and Kevin already has brain damage since the car crash, and he’s punched in the face twice for having done nothing wrong. *deep breath*

It’s an interesting mystery. If you like psychics and cops, give it a go. It’s just… I was gonna reread The Pharaoh’s Concubine, and I don’t dare to. I don’t want to ruin another fond memory. So, sorry for this post, but my blood is boiling.

The Long Way Home

The Long Way HomePsychic detective seeks rigid unbeliever for impossible romance. Yoga a plus.

Kevin Quinn is living with new psychic abilities he refers to as the ‘gift that keeps on taking’.

His attempts to use his talents to help the police meet with limited success. Yet, when teenage boys go missing from Southern California beach cities, Kevin gets on a plane to his hometown, where he faces his father, who turned his back on Kevin once before.

Connor Dougal has every reason to believe all psychics are fakes and charlatans. He’s still numb from the disappearance of his first love, a boy who went missing ten years earlier. Kevin isn’t comfortable with his gift, and unresolved family matters make things more difficult for him. Despite their differences, Connor and Kevin begin falling for each other as they work the case.

Can Connor overcome the tragedy of his first love and reach for the man who will love him forever?

ReRead Friday | The Gravedigger’s Brawl by Abigail Roux

The Gravedigger's Brawl

‘Tis the spooky season 👻 so for this month’s ReRead Friday, I’ve read The Gravedigger’s Brawl by Abigail Roux.

I love Ash. I loved Ash the first time I read this, and I loved Ash this time too. And I love him together with Wyatt. 

Wyatt is great. He’s a director at a history museum, and since it’s Halloween, he’s putting together a spooky exhibition – not what he’d planned to do, but they have to lure people to the museum or he’ll lose his job, so he goes all out spooky/supernatural. He doesn’t believe in any of it, not until Ash, who he really likes, is getting into trouble.

Ash doesn’t believe in ghosts, not really, but the alternative is that he’s going insane. One thing he can perhaps explain away, but the more strange things happen, the more scared and uncertain of his sanity he gets.

I love this! It’s creepy and funny at the same time. And Ash is *dreamy sigh* And there is so much atmosphere in Gravedigger’s Tavern, and everything Ash and the others who work there wear make it all come alive. I love it.

If you haven’t read it, do! It’s been out for a long time, and it’s many years since I first read it, but it’s aged with grace 😊

The Gravedigger’s Brawl

The Gravedigger's BrawlWhen the past comes back to haunt you, order a double.

Dr. Wyatt Case is never happier than when he’s walking the halls of his history museum. Playing wingman for his best friend at Gravedigger’s Tavern throws him way out of his comfort zone, but not as much as the eccentric man behind the bar, Ash Lucroix.

Ash is everything Wyatt doesn’t understand: exuberant, quirky, and elbow deep in a Gaslight lifestyle that weaves history into everyday life. He coordinates his suspenders with his tongue rings. Within hours, Wyatt and Ash are hooked.

But strange things are afoot at Gravedigger’s, and after a knock to the head, Ash starts seeing things that can’t be explained by old appliances or faulty wiring. Soon everyone at Gravedigger’s is wondering if they’re seeing ghosts, or just going crazy. The answer to that question could end more than just Wyatt and Ash’s fragile relationship—it might also end their lives.