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Blessed Isle by Alex Beecroft

January 3, 2014


For Captain Harry Thompson, the command of the prison transport ship HMS Banshee is his opportunity to prove his worth, working-class origins be damned. But his criminal attraction to his upper-crust First Lieutenant, Garnet Littleton, threatens to overturn all he’s ever worked for.

Lust quickly proves to be the least of his problems, however. The deadly combination of typhus, rioting convicts, and a monstrous storm destroys his prospects . . . and shipwrecks him and Garnet on their own private island. After months of solitary paradise, the journey back to civilization—surviving mutineers, exposure, and desertion—is the ultimate test of their feelings for each other.

These two very different men each record their story for an unfathomable future in which the tale of their love—a love punishable by death in their own time—can finally be told. Today, dear reader, it is at last safe for you to hear it all.

Note: This is a revised, stand-alone edition of the story originally published in the Hidden Conflict anthology in 2009.

My Review:

It seems that my first love is my true love and I am head over heels for historical m/m romance. This, this was no exception but it may have set the bar for future books to come. How can a story told in journal form by the two MC’s filled with ships, sails, storms, stow away secret longing, sacrifice and no sex on the page be as wonderful as it was? It just was, Alex Bancroft gave me a wonderful and unique love story like no other.

No man is an island, entire of himself, says John Donne, but two may be together, needing nothing else.

Captain Harry Thompson, commander of the HMS Banshee is a man of control over his ship, over his crew and over his self-control. Until the night he heads down to the wardroom, hears the beautiful voice and sees the man it belongs to, First Lieutenant, Garnet Littleton. From the first glance at the dark haired, albeit arrogant man, Harry is entranced. It’s a good thing from the journal we know that Garnet was as well. But until Harry’s hand and heart are forced by the strong winds of  a mighty storm and the uprising aboard his ship, how will these two be together?

This story, it was absolutely gorgeous. It was written like poetry through both men. I admit, I found Harry’s voice hard to settle into but once Garnet came into the picture, I adored him and Harry made sense. Of course he would, one wouldn’t make sense without the other.

The sea; the sea in itself was a beautiful tale. I could smell the air, feel the swell and roll of the ship as it sailed over the unforgiving ocean. I could hear the waves as the crashed upon the ship and hear the bodies as they were tosses about with the storm. Oh, it was so well written. My heart was in my chest wondering what would happen next. I was not disappointed with the excitement, the fear, the worry and the overwhelming emotions that were with me page after page. It was that good.

The love story between Harry and Garnet, spoken through their separate journal entries told of a wonderful love story that defies odds and laws for the time. So much at risk for these men to be together; not just the law but Mother Nature, health, awful captains and the push and pull of their differences threatened what these men wanted most. I again, loved how this was told. Many moments where emotions and realizations were told by one man and the other felt that way at the same time but neither of them knew until they wrote it down. Oh, the heartache that they could have done something different but would they have? Hindsight is as they say, an unforgiving beast but this story is just wonderful. If you have any doubt, the quote below is just a taste of what this book has to offer.

Why do I want to leave his record? Why not leave our story untold? My need to confess may be the death of us both. But it leaves a bad taste in my mouth that this love should go unrecorded, that posterity should judge men like myself – like him –But one day, perhaps, when the words has grown kinder, this journal will be read by less jaundiced eyes. To them I will be able to say there was fidelity here, and love, and long-suffering sacrifice, and joy. To them I will be able to speak the truth.

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating

Get your copy: Riptide Publishing.

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