One of my favorite types of historical fiction or historical romance is Age of Sail. Like Louisa Musgrove in Jane Austen’s Persuasion, I am enamored with Navy men and the ships that are their home. I have read two other splendid Age of Sail stories by this author so when I saw this one I jumped on it.
Captain Harry Thompson has finally achieved his goal of becoming a captain and being thought a gentleman through hardwork and opportunity. His first command is to be his defining moment, but when he sees the old ship that he is given and the assignment to escort convict ships. His assignment gets complicated when he sets eyes on Lt. Garnet Littleton. He is struck by an instant attraction as is Garnet, but its too dangerous for his life and career to be caught. Garnet is disappointed, but then bigger issues arise that push the two men to the end of their limits. When all is said and done after hardship and survival style adventure, they come through side by side.
The story is told journal style where both men take turns writing down their thoughts. It is also told as a flashback so that there is a vague knowledge of the end before delving back into the past to lead the reader along to how they came to this point. As could be expected from this author, I enjoyed both the authentic feel of the backdrop and the characters she created. The sequence of events though muted in their impact because of the journalistic style nonetheless portray exciting goings on for this pair. This could fall into a sweet romance category because the passion between them is acknowledged as happening, but not described in graphic detail. This shadowing of their physical love fits the tone of the storyteller, Harry, and also draws more emphasis on the love they share rather than detract from it to me (if that makes sense).
To conclude, I found this a wonderful reading experience that would have only been improved for me by being able to spend more time in this story as a novel-length piece. I recommend it to those who enjoy historical romance with an authentic feel and a sweet side rather than spicy.
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