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by Lee Rowan

It's 1796 and not only is love between men taboo, it is punishable by death. Lt. David Archer is an officer in His Majesty's Navy and a gentleman of Regency Society. He is also hopelessly in love with his shipmate, Lt. William Marshall. David is certain that his feelings, if expressed, would be met with revulsion. Afraid of losing the strong friendship that he has forged with William, he vows to never speak of or act on his desire, promising himself to take the secret to his grave.

Although William is young, his innate talent has allowed him to quickly rise above his humble background and gain a reputation as a promising officer. The Royal Navy is his world, and in that world there is no room for anything as frivolous as romance.

Then, in a twist of fate, the two men are abducted by a ruthless pirate who finds pleasure in toying with his captives. Thrown together in close quarters and wondering if they will survive, they're are faced with some difficult choices. William struggles with his growing feelings for David and, try as he might to dismiss them, he can't. When David makes the ultimate sacrifice to protect the man he loves, the reason for it is clear and the passion that the men have denied for so long is realized for the first time. Before the lovers can have any sort of life together, they must first escape. After that, they face an even greater challenge-is their love strong enough to survive a clandestine life under the ever-present threat of the Navy's implacable Articles of War?

Download Ransom epub
ISBN: 1905393709
ISBN13: 978-1905393701
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Erotica
Author: Lee Rowan
Language: English
Publisher: CHEYENNE PUBLISHING (September 1, 2006)
Pages: 300 pages
ePUB size: 1978 kb
FB2 size: 1607 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 143
Other Formats: lit azw mobi txt

This is the third edition of this novel having been published by two publishers before this one. The entire Royal Navy series will come out from Dreamspinner Press, so you will be able to follow Marshall and Davy through much of their career.

This is a mixed bag. It has quite brilliant moments, particularly the relationship between the two young men, where quite appropriate to 1799 they have doubts about their attraction to each other. Davy, who has been victimized before, feels he is leading William astray while William, thinks his own affection for Davy comes from his friendship for and physical attraction to his friend. It is unusual for a story set in a time like this to show really realistic feelings about homosexuality, so I was more than pleased.

The storytelling is meticulous… or plodding, depending on the scene being described. It is almost cinematically directed, each scene specific and easy to follow, but sometimes you just want the author to get on with it. I often felt like I could hear a metronome in the background, ticking each action along. The basic story of the men’s abduction is steady from the start, but then the novel goes on to show the blossoming and continuation of the relationship. If that had been the point from the start there should have been something at the beginning that did not set the expectation that once the abduction was over and the bad guy vanquished, there was another more important story to finish.

Another problem I had was telling the two young men apart. Since the novel was read to me by my Kindle I could not pick up on clues obvious to someone reading with his or her eyes. For much of the novel I found myself trying to remember whether the bad guy, Adrian, was after William or Davy and whether Davy was the rich kid or William. This lasted almost to the end of the book. The two men just were not that distinct.

All in all this is a competent but generally lackluster novel. Its handling of the young men’s anxieties about being gay was the one feature of the novel that rises to the standard of excellent.
An enjoyable opening to a new series, set in the early nineteenth century during the Anglo-French war. The author has a good grasp of the historical period, and the difficulties for men who are attracted to other men. The author also knows about the clothing, food and other details aboard English sailing vessels. Altogether, an enjoyable read, and I am already reading the sequel.
When I saw this was billed as a "romance," I was a little skeptical. Turns out I was right--this was so much more! First and foremost, this is an adventure story about three British Naval Officers kidnapped by pirates and their efforts to escape. Set in 1796, it is written more as historical fiction. Interspersed throughout the story are "log entries" from the acting commander of their ship while he searches for them. It's obvious Rowan did her research here - the story is chock full of historical deatils and facts that make the setting come to life. Secondary is the developing relationship between the two junior officers, Will and Davy. However, it's not just thrown in. These extraordinary circumstances have brought out their feelings, but what can be the result? What they desire is a hanging offense. And, how will this effect their escape attempts once Will discovers how Davy has been protecting him? These questions propel the plot as well as the romance.

One reviewer noted that he expected this to be more explicit and then it hit him on the head. This is true, but don't think you'll be bored waiting for that to happen The story is exciting and well-written. The sex is tasteful and touching. There is also a mystery about the identity of the pirate captain. Our heroes (all three!) examine evidence, and collect clues much like sleuths. All this keeps the reader involved. Buy this!

I highly recommend this, and the sequel, Winds of Change. Also check out Brethren: Raised by Wolves, another great historical adventure that features M/M relationships.