Kingston, Jamaica, 1752
Robert Hughes, a lieutenant–and rogue–in the British Royal Navy, is in love with his gorgeous fellow officer, Hal Morgan. Hal only has eyes for their captain–a man who’ll never share their inclinations. Night after night aboard the Swiftsure, it kills Robert to listen to Hal’s erotic dreams of a man he can’t possibly have. Determined to protect his friend, Robert stages a seduction.
But Hal demands proof of love before he will submit to the rakish Robert.
Mission accepted. After all, how hard could it be to show what’s inside his heart? Yet Robert’s move to claim Hal’s love leads to the threat of exposure, and mortal danger from the French. Will a heart obsessed ever accept defeat?
Historical M/M romance is a tricky subject to write about. For start, there was the law that made buggery a hanging offence for three hundred years or so, and after that there was a hundred years of life imprisonment and torture for those who were caught or confessed to the act. That alone removes all the grand public gestures that seem to thrive in the hetero romances.
So, how do you tell a love story of two men serving in the Royal Navy in 18th century Jamaica?
First you need a plan A and then a plan B, and you aim for the sweet and understated. You concentrate on the very real feelings of shame, longing, desperation, and seduce your readers as you have the characters seduce themselves.
Of course since this is a novella, there won’t be time for much else, but what there is time for, worked pretty well on me. If not for the bad poetry I’d be rounding up to four stars.
I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.