Captain's Surrender - Alex Beecroft

Captain's Surrender by Alex Beecroft

Joshua Andrews is a Midshipman on the Nimrod, where Captain Walker keeps his crew in a constant state of terror and suspense. The least infraction will land a man in irons, flogged for all the company to see. If Walker knew what Joshua was, he'd be hanged. He avoids the attention, which would grant him deserved promotion, as well the keen eye under which he is sure he'd be discovered. When Peter Kenyon, a lieutenant, arrives to fulfill the lately vacated position, once occupied by the man swinging from a noose upon his arrival, Joshua is immediately captivated and knows this man will be his downfall.

The dangerous journey from Portsmouth to Bermuda, to aid in the fight against pirates and smugglers, becomes increasingly tense as Walker continues to cling to his grasp of power over an increasingly mutinous crew. The only absolution is that when Peter confides in Joshua of his worries over the possible mutiny, Joshua finds he can trust Peter in turn. That, and a pirate ship shows up on the horizon and becomes a good relief for the crew's tension.

Alex Beecroft has written a fantastic story, filled with suspense and tender romance. What I described for you actually only covers about half the story, but I feel if I go to far beyond arrival in Bermuda, I'll be spoiling too much of the story for you. The story does also include some of the terrific problems inherent in romance, the gay sub-genre and historical fiction. Many good reviews have gone into this already, so I'll be going over what really worked and why I'll be reading more from this author. (As soon as my library updates its digital shelves, of course. OverDrive is a wonderful, wonderful thing.)

Joshua is sympathetic, not that Peter isn't either, but we spend slightly more time learning about Joshua's history and his motivations, and as a reader, its easy to connect with him. The action onboard and on the sea is really interesting, most of the nautical terms are used correctly, the only ones I'm not sure about were the ones I didn't know. The twists were interesting, the conflict was a little tired, but brief. I do have to complain about the convenience of some characters appearing when they did. The people Joshua encounters while away from Bermuda, the inexcusable evil of the captain, and the anachronism of the main female character. When I thinking about how lovely everything else was though, I'd read another book similar to this without question.

What about you? Does mustache twirling, convenient plot devices and anachronism rub you the wrong way?

2017 Addendum: There is an interesting interlude with a Native American character who is queer. I'm not sure how accurate it is.

Pages: 242
Year: October 2009
Publisher: Samhain
Read: 2013

Stars: 3.5 (charmed)