If Alfred Hitchcock had made a movie where one of the two leads was an effeminate gay Sephardic Jew – snarky, intelligent, dark-eyed and handsome – and then invited us, the audience, to love him and root for him – you’d have Think of England by KJ Charles.
The plot is basically: disabled English war vet visits sinister country home to uncover whether or not the incident that destroyed his hand and his company was orchestrated by another Englishman. While there, he meets my adorable fictional tribemate, who’s after Hitchcockian goals of his own, and together they go up against certain death in hopes of exposing everyone involved.
When you start out the book the MC is very much an unreliable narrator so expect some reptilian language when describing Daniel DaSilva, the Jewish guy – but that’s okay; gentile MC learns pretty quickly how the world really works. Speaking of Jewish reptile tropes turned on their ear, it really resonated with me the way Daniel had such a thick layer of self-protective armor around him because my literal Jewish reptile, dragon-shifting wizard Isaac from my own books, is the same way. I guess when a people gets used to being attacked for literally millennia it develops a special kind of emotional armor.
I very much appreciated the way the author’s description of the MC falling slowly in love with Daniel seemed like love and not just attraction – he didn’t just obsess about his looks or his body or the way his voice sounded, but also on inner qualities like “I wish he was here so I could see his reaction to this thing”. That takes skill. Thank you, Writer.
The book has a HEA/HFN but only after Daniel does some stuff that I find personally irritating but make sense for the character. I’m not gonna go into it because I don’t think my extremely personal preferences belong in this kind of review.
Also, this is a spoiler but I don’t care because it’s important to me: buy this book because lesbians save the day. Seriously, a book where one of the leads is a gay Jew and Lesbians Save Everything (and make it out alive?) What are you even waiting for 😛
(Trigger warning that the ending is a little bit like a Tarantino movie, but, hey… and trigger warning for some of the bad guys being anti-Semitic but it’s, like, trust me, it’ll be okay.)