Author: Alex Beecroft
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Rating: 5.00 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 10/02/2009
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Gay Fiction, Historical, M/M Romance
Love? Might as well ask for the moon. But a man can dream…
Despite his looks and ambition, Midshipman Joshua Andrews hides urges that, in his world, make him an abomination. Living in fear of exposure, unnecessary risk is something he studiously avoids. Once he sets eyes on the elegant picture of perfection that is Peter Kenyon, though, temptation lures him like the siren call of the sea.
Soon to be promoted to captain, Peter is the darling of the Bermuda garrison, with a string of successes behind him and a suitable bride lined up to share his future. He seems completely out of Joshua’s reach.
Then the two men are forced to serve on a long voyage under a sadistic commander with a mutinous crew. As the tension aboard the vessel heats up, their unexpected friendship intensifies into a passion neither man can rein in.
Intimacy like theirs can only exist in the shadow of the gallows. Both men are determined their “youthful curiosity” must die before it brings disaster down on them. Yet neither man can root it from his heart. Warriors both, they think nothing of risking their lives for their country. In the end they must decide whether love, too, is worth dying for.
I have always adored historical stories and when I first became obsessed with the Napoleonic period of the British Navy I hunted around for what was available in the m/m genre and discovered the Captain’s Surrender by Alex Beecroft. It’s taken me a while to get around to reading this book, but it was well worth the wait.
The story revolves around Peter Kenyon, and Joshua Andrews. As the story opens both men are officers of his Britannic Majesty’s ship Nimrod which is under the oppressive command of vindictive Captain Walker, who rules through fear and punishes the least infraction viciously. Peter Kenyon is a lieutenant, on temporary assignment to the Nimrod, on his way to Bermuda to take a command of his own. Joshua Andrews is a Midshipman. Joshua hides a terrible secret, he lusts after men, but he knows he must keep his abomination hidden as he will hang for it if anyone finds out and the captain has spies throughout the ship, in fact a fellow officer was hanged for that very reason the day Peter Kenyon joined the ship. Joshua is immediately captivated by Peter, enamoured by him, but knows he must keep him at arm’s length if he is to keep his secret, and his sanity.
The journey from Portsmouth is beset with danger as the captain pushes the crew closer to mutiny with his tyranny, and from pirates, but during this period Peter learns Joshua’s secret, and Joshua learns Peter can be trusted with his life, if not his heart.
Once Peter takes command of his own ship he offers Joshua a place among his officers Joshua accepts, but at what cost? As the two men tentatively explore a relationship, as such as they can have, can Joshua serve alongside Peter and watch all that he wants drift away from him, after all Peter wants a place in society, he has ambition, wants glory and promotion, all of that will be much easier to obtain with a wife, and well placed Emily Jones seems all that Peter needs, and should desire.
Alex Beecroft has written a wonderful story, filled with danger, action, suspense and intrigue. I adored it, and couldn’t put it down. My heart bled for Joshua, he loves Peter so much yet has to stand back and let him live his life, come to his own decisions. He wrestles with the belief that he is corrupting Peter by pushing their relationship and tries to accept the best of what he feels he can have. I didn’t quite warm to Peter as much as Joshua, but I do think I understood him. He didn’t mean to play with Joshua the way he did, I truly think he was oblivious to the hurt he was causing. I felt that same with Emily Jones, again she was a victim of her place in society and the time she lives; she wanted another and used Peter as much as he used her.
The historical elements of the story are well researched and the period detail stands up well next to the Age of Sail books I have read, like the Hornblower, and Master and Commander books. I loved all the battles and the duels, all the intrigue, danger and excitement. This is a plot based novel, it’s not hearts and flowers, in fact I wouldn’t call it a romance at all, it’s a gritty, realistic portray of life at that time, perfect for anyone who loves historical stories written with a healthy dose of realism. Highly Recommended.
This review was originally posted on Mrsconditreadsbooks.com which is no longer online.
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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