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.
When Captain Harry Thompson first sees shipmate Lieutenant Garnet Littleton he is dumbstruck. The story tells it like Cupid shooting his arrow or some such but what came to my mind was Bon Jovi singing “shot through the heart, and you're to blame..!” lol The two are instantly attracted to each other but while Garnet is willing to take the chance with Harry, Harry isn’t. Harry basically avoids Garnet until he just can’t any longer. The reason he can’t? The other ships that are sailing in his the convoy are all practically disabled because the crew and prisoners all have Typhus – or are already dead from the disease.
Desperate to keep his ship afloat Harry agrees to release the remaining prisoners so that they can help sail the ship – but mutiny wasn’t far off with prisoners on the loose. In the end only Harry and Garnet are left alive, sailing in a boat for days trying to find land after the HMS Banshee goes under. They arrive at an island that’s only about a mile long and there they fall in love. But while one of the men feels it’s a perfect place for them the other is going a bit insane from the lack of other human contact. If they do get rescued – what will happen to the two of them and their love?
What can I say about this wonderful book? I feel like I can’t quite give it the words it needs to describe how the book made me feel. The story is told in alternating first person POV between Harry and Garnet but it’s told as it's being written in a journal. The journal is something that Harry starts so that one day someone can read about the love between Garnet and Harry but Garnet can't quite keep his mitts off of it so he puts in his two cents as well. Because of this I knew from the start that the two men were together but it was the getting to the HEA that had me hooked.
At first I was a bit pissed off because Harry wasn’t giving in to his desires – but I understood his hesitance. He wanted to prove to himself and to everyone else that he was a wonderful captain – and he was – but he was also very worried about what other people think and therefore wouldn’t give himself leave to act on his attraction to Garnet. There was also the little thing about being killed/hanged for sodomy. Just a little thing Harry was worried about.
When Typhus is discovered and the description of the aftermath is described…it’s not pleasant. I have to say that you should probably not be eating when reading this novella because it’s pretty gruesome. Saying that, I appreciated the bluntness with which the description was delivered. Since this was a journal entry I felt that I was being told the information as if I was sitting across from Garnet while he was telling me this in person. It made me love the writing style of the author more because she was so descriptive in so few words.
And then there were two. Harry doesn’t let himself be true to his feelings until there’s no one left alive to witness his affection toward Garnet. Again, not making me happy, but understandable. Garnet is such a carefree soul and a lover of life and his attitude, while at times surly, was a bright spot in the story. He had a way with words and emotions that was the antidote to Harry’s more serious verse and I adored the contrast.
In the end the book was all that and a bag of chips. The characters were great, the story and writing were wonderful…and I’m not even a huge fan of historical m/m romance! lol This is definitely, imho, a book not to be missed.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Review: Driven by K. Bromberg
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