Published by Carina Press
Available on Amazon Kindle
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview.
4 / 5 cupcakes
Before we commence with the review, let's look at that cover for a moment, shall we? Is it just me, or does the dude on the left look like Ryan Seacrest? It's probably just me. I swear, though, it looks just like him. Hmmmm ....
Okay, so. The path to true love never runs smoothly. We know that, right? Well, imagine, if you will, what the path to true gay love, circa 1752, and on a ship. For Robert Hughes, the challenge is even more fraught with tension and frustration because Hal Morgan, the man he loves, is in love with another man. As crewmen on a ship, the two are closeted, to say the least, but Robert knows of Hal's infatuation with William. Hal, on the other hand, has no idea that Robert is gay; he assumes Robert is in love with a woman.
One night, fueled by the giddy taste of possibility, Robert confesses all to Hal: I love you, William doesn't, give us a chance.
Hal's response and the ensuing drama verge on the emotionally fulfilling and the emotionally devastating. For such a slight book, Alex Beecroft draws her characters very well, causing us to care about and understand them. We can see why Hal feels so strongly about his fidelity to William; we feel Robert's frustration and sadness. When Robert makes his move, we are nervous with anticipation:
Robert ached for Hal with a fierce, hot pain, He put a carefully casual hand on Hal's knee, feeling the roughness of the heavy linen. The warmth of Hal's flesh, seeping through it, travelled up his arm like a flame eating along a fuse. So far, so good, and yet Hal had been about to tell him something. after all these years of being at arm's length, he had been about to confide in Robert as though he considered Robert a true friend.
While this romance may not be typical in that it features two men, it certainly rings true in its sense of hope and loss.
My only complaint, though - and I think it's a biggie - is that there is no rocking of the headboard. Or at least there is no detailed rocking of the headboard. There are a couple of love scenes, but they are so vaguely written that you are left unsatisfied (no pun intended).
Even so, this is a sweet little read. Just don't go into it expecting hot sexy times.