Author: Lee Rowan
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 276 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: 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.
Review: Anyone who knows me knows that I am not usually a reader of historical romance. I happened to see this book on the review list and realized I had read it a couple years ago, and liked it, so I gave it another read to see how the new version struck my fancy. Not surprisingly, it was just as good as I remembered.
The story begins with a duel. Yeah, a real duel. I believe it was at this point that David Archer began to fall in love with William Marshall. William didn’t realize that not only was he dueling someone who tried to wrong him but someone who had wronged Archer in the past.
The story continues giving us an overview of Archer and Marshall’s naval careers, leading up to them being kidnapped along with their captain. During their captivity Archer and Marshall both do what they have to do in order to survive, and their relationship begins to evolve from more than friendship.
While trying to survive less than stellar living conditions and treatment that no prisoner should have to endure, Archer realizes that his admiration of Marshall had gone beyond hero worship and was actually love. Marshall, in turn, has never had an intimate relationship with anyone, man or woman. When these two men realize there is a mutual attraction, they do their best to follow the rules of the Navy and England, but eventually they give in to the inevitable, and neither one of them can seem to dredge up any regret.
The abuse from Archer’s past, and the abuse he is currently experiencing with the pirate who is holding them, is in the forefront of this story, but the tender care he gets from Marshall seems to be helping him sort through the issues the abuse has caused.
Once the two men are free, Archer is worried that some truths about him will be revealed and cause him to lose his career and best friend. I don’t want to give too much story away, but Marshall comes to Archer’s rescue again, and that leads to the men having an opportunity to explore their feelings for one another.
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Lee Rowan did a fabulous job of putting me right there with the characters, and I feel like I experienced everything right along with them. Archer had his issues and he dealt with them the best way a man of his time could. Marshall helped him as much as he could, through his kindness which eventually leads to a strong relationship growing between the two men. With the laws of the time period, it will be interesting to see what comes of this relationship and how they will find their way to a HEA.
I know that there are other books after this one, and I’m trying to wait patiently to see if they will be re-released, but I may not be able to hold out. I am in so deep with these two men I just have to find out what’s next. I can only say that if you love historicals this is a must read. If you aren’t a huge fan of the genre, give it a read anyway and you might get swept away like I did.
You can buy Ransom here: