Author: Lee Rowan
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Rating: 5.00 of 5 Stars
Royal Navy: Book One
An officer, a gentleman… and a sodomite. The first two earn him honor and respect; the third may cost him his life. David Archer realizes how hopeless his attraction to his fellow midshipman is from the moment a newly-arrived William Marshall challenges a sexually abusive shipmate to a duel – and shoots him dead.
To Marshall, the Navy is his one chance to move beyond his humble beginnings. While others spend shore leave carousing, he curls up with a navigation text. When they and their captain are abducted, Archer and Marshall become pawns in a renegade’s sadistic game. To protect the man he loves, David Archer chooses to face his own demons of past abuse returned in a different form. When Marshall learns of Archer’s sacrifice, he discovers what he feels for Davy runs stronger and deeper than friendship. He’s in love, for the first time in his life, and he wants to know all about this new emotion.
But first they must escape. Only then will they find out if they can preserve their love without losing their lives.
1st Edition published by Linden Bay Romance, 2006
2nd Edition published by Cheyenne Publishing, 2009
Josie Goodreads’s View:
For connoisseurs of the world of sail MM fiction the re-release of Ransom by Lee Rowan is a welcome delight. It’s a beautiful story of how through tyranny, adversity and danger two friends become the lovers they were always meant to be. Ransom is an older book, first published in 2006. The Dreamspinner release is its 3rd edition, the last publisher closing its doors earlier this year. Its age however does not reduce its impact as an amazing and intricate peace of storytelling.
Captain Smith, of the British Navy frigate Calypso, along with two of his junior lieutenants William Marshall and David Archer are kidnapped for ransom. They are grabbed at gunpoint and held captive on board a merchant ship kept safely out at sea. William and David are separated from Captain Smith and closely confined together below decks. Their captor is a mysterious man called Adrian who enjoys playing with his ‘guests’ during their stay, and from the first moment he has his eyes on David. When David first rejects Adrian’s advances William is flogged and Adrian starts threatening William and Captain Smith with mutilation if he does not willingly accept Adrian’s advances. William is David’s best friend, and Captain Smith is a man David feels beholden too. Not only that David is secretly in love with William, a love that goes unrequited and unspoken between them; William has no idea of how David feels. To save both men David feels he has no choice but to submit to Adrian.
This book does feature non-con but it’s all ‘off screen’, hinted at, and that makes it all the more powerful as I could imagine what David is enduring, and while the others try to work out how to escape neither of them have any idea what David is going through. It’s not until he starts having nightmares that William finds out what is going on. It’s then that William begins to realize that maybe he feels more than he ought to for David. But any relationship between them is forbidden and in the eyes of the navy, the law and the church. Punishable by death.
This is not a short book, it’s a long novel and runs to around 93,000 words. I literally couldn’t put it down. It gripped me from start to end. I found it intense, the historical detail well researched and richly scripted. The characters of Captain Smith, William and especially David were so well fleshed out that they felt like real people to me. Even Adrian comes across completely as the deluded sadist he so obviously is. I also loved how the story is peppered with Calypso’s log reports, written by Lieutenant Drinkwater, who is left in temporary command, as they search for the kidnapped officers, I felt like I was seeing the story from all angles. The only graphic sex in the book is at the end, and even that’s not particularly graphic compared to what’s written nowadays, but don’t let the lack of sex put you off, this is an amazing story with an inspired plot and characters that will live with you long after you turn the final page.
This is the first book in Lee Rowan’s Royal Navy Series which Dreamspinner is now releasing as three novels, (it was originally four books but the two shorter books, 2 and 3, are being released as one book). For anyone who loves historical fiction this is a must read. Oh and isn’t the cover gorgeous, if that won’t tempt you I don’t know what will.
I should point out that I did originally review this book over at Mrs. Condit’s and a lot of my review is the same here as it was there, I just did some editing and additional writing to bring my review up to date as I intend to review the rest of the series over here at Prism
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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