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?
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: Love me some sailor-on-sailor love in the ole-timey British Royal Navy!
The Set Up: Hal Morgan is in love from afar with the Ship’s Captain, who barely sees him as a person and hates gays. Robert Hughes is a fellow lieutenant and has loved Hal from afar for five years. Now Roberts thinks it’s time to proof his love to Hal, even while they’re in peril from the warring French.
Why I Read this Book: I promise I don’t work at Carina Press or know anyone who does, but they’re quickly becoming my favorite publisher of nuanced MM romance. When I saw this was a historical MM romance by Carina Press, it was on my Nook in one minute.
What I Liked: The emotional complexity of both characters makes this book excellent. The author defies romance logic to show Hal’s unrequited love for their captain and make readers feel his pain. It was hard to see Hal in such emotional pain but made his awakening to Robert all that sweeter for it. I expected to feel bad for Robert for loving Hal who’d given his heart away but instead of moping, Robert has a plan to win Hal. This quest for love worked so well in this romance, even when it caused Hal pain to be forced to see the captain’s homophobia.
It’s no mystery to this blog’s readers that I enjoy erotic romance. So when I got to novella’s end and realized these two weren’t going to have full sex, I briefly wondered if I was disappointed but heck, no! The emotional intimacy in this romance made me not even miss the bedroom scenes, and what there was carried such emotional weight that it was icing on the cake.
What I Didn’t Like: I hate to quibble, but too many ‘H’ names here! Hal refers to Robert by his last name, Hughes, and the captain’s name is Hamilton. So Hal, Hughes, Hamilton…in a short novella this confused the heck out of me at first. I did keep them all straight by novella’s middle but I would have liked different names. Picky, aren’t I?!