Author: Lee Rowan
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Rating: 4.50 of 5 Stars
Sequel to Ransom
Royal Navy Series: Book Two
Winds of Change
Lieutenants William Marshall and David Archer, of His Majesty’s frigate Calypso, have been lovers for more than a year. Because the penalty for discovery is the hangman’s noose, they limit themselves to the occasional night of passion ashore.
But in the Navy, nothing lasts forever. A transfer to a new ship brings with it a bizarre turn of events: their captain orders them to behave as though they are involved in an illicit relationship in order to smoke out a suspected traitor. When their masquerade proves dangerously effective, it threatens to cost Davy his life.
First Edition published by Linden Bay Romance, 2007.
Second Edition published by Cheyenne Publishing/Bristlecone Pine Press, 2009.
Eye of the Storm
The long war between England and France enters a fragile and temporary truce in the winter of 1802, but the lives of Commander William Marshall and Lieutenant David Archer are more complicated than ever. After almost losing Davy in battle, Will faces the responsibility of command and questions whether he can give orders that will put his love in harm’s way once more.
Doubts torment David Archer. Will walked away once, trying to end their relationship for Davy’s own safety. His physical wounds have healed, but the loss of trust remains. Now, his biggest challenge is persuading Will their love is worth the risk of loss.
First Edition published by Linden Bay Romance, 2009.
Second Edition published by Cheyenne Publishing/Bristlecone Pine Press, 2009.
Josie Goodreads’s View:
Winds of Change & Eye of the Storm is book two of Lee Rowan’s Royal Navy series. Set about a year after book one, Ransom. Originally published as two separate books Dreamspinner has decided to combine them both into one long novel, and it is a long book at just over 90,000 words.
Davy and Will have been lovers since the end of Ransom, although to everyone around them they are nothing more than close friends. They are careful to cultivate that appearance as suspicion of anything else could lead them to the hangman’s noose. They live with the risk that one day they may be split up and sent to serve on separate ships but luck has it as when Captain Smith is promoted to command of the Valiant he takes both officers with him. The Valiant is a troubled ship, it has been suffering from what seems to be silly ‘mishaps’ however the powers that be suspect a saboteur is on board, after all the Valiant is a ship of the line and England is still at war with France. In an attempt to bring the saboteur out into the open Captain Smith asks Davy and Will to act like men too intimately involved with each other, a position that would leave them open to blackmail. This ploy is far too close to the truth of the men’s true involvement and they must walk a fine line between their tightly controlled desires and the act they must play for their audience. When this ruse almost ends in Davy’s death both men realise that separation is the fate that awaits them with Will continuing in the Navy and Davy is left ashore in a foreign land to heal from his wounds.
The start of The Eye of the Storm finds Will alone, set a shore and existing on half pay while France and England observe a strained and tentative peace. Davy, now recovered from his wounds, journeys from Jamaica back to England with a proposition that would give them both back what they need, each other and a way to be together. Davy also wants to know why Will refused to communicate with him while they were apart.
Can they adjust to a life together that’s not what they originally planned and can Will come to terms with his feelings now he’s seen and felt what losing Davy would do to him?
I love the Age of Sail period of English history and Lee Rowans writing brings it to life in all its fascinating glory. With her meticulous attention to detail she draws in the reader, making them feel that they are walking alongside Davy and Will. The pace is quite swift in the first story, Winds of Change, as our intrepid heroes find themselves right in the middle of the action from the moment they step onto the Valiant, but the second story, Eye of the Storm is much slower, it’s more about Will and Davy coming to terms with what they’ve lost and trying to envisage a new future, one that’s free to be shaped as they will, assuming both men are strong enough to seize it with both hands.
I don’t normally have favourite characters in books but in this saga I do love Davy, he is charming and sweet, noble but full of doubts. After his injuries in Winds of Change Davy doubts he is good enough for Will, he fears he holds him back, certainly from the glory he feels Will can attain within the English navy. That changes in Eye of the Storm when we see a Davy who is bitter and angry at the way he has been treated by Will but instead of retreating and licking his wounds he comes out fighting for the man he loves and the future that he can see slipping away.
Will spends far too much of the end of the first story and the start of the second trying to convince himself he needs to set Davy free. That his love only condemns Davy to half a life, it’s only when he is cut off from all is familiar that Will is forced to take a good look at his feelings, and his past actions, and to ultimately decide what shape he wants his future to take. That is if he can convince Davy he is genuinely sorry.
I love both these stories and they work well in one volume as they run back to back. For me the stories tell of a time of transition. The two men always envisaged (and hoped) for a future sailing together, perhaps under Wills command but ultimately Davy just wants to be with Will, the Navy wasn’t his first love, Will was. Davy doesn’t care how they manage to be together, it’s just a future he wants, but for Will it’s much more difficult.
Will’s first love has always been the Navy, and everything he does is guided by honour and duty. The loss of Davy all be it a temporary loss was enough for him to wall himself off, distance himself from anyone and all that might touch him. He’s frightened of being so close to one person but ultimately he doesn’t like the man he would become without Davy.
The story is told through both men’s POVs and there’s more sex in this book than in Ransom, but still not much compared with most modern day releases. When Lee Rowan originally wrote her Royal Navy series it consisted of four books, under Dreamspinner the series is now a trilogy, and the final book in the series, Home is the Sailor, is due to be released in January.
For all lovers of historical MM romance this series should not be missed. It’s a story of two soul mates set in a time when their love is forbidden, and how they shape a life together that satisfies them both, equal partners in all things.
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.
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