June 22, 2016 by kitmoss
THE QUARTERMASTER AND THE MARQUIS’ SON
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services (August 31, 2015)
Clash at Sea Series, Book 1. The Quartermaster & The Marquis’ Son is Book 1 of the high seas romance series between Galen, a gorgeous and seasoned pirate and Michel, the handsome young nobleman he captures at sea.
Galen is a twenty-six-year-old rover and the Quartermaster of the pirate vessel the Fair Wind. Handsome and mysterious, with piercing green eyes, he cuts an imposing figure to any man foolish enough to get in his way. Haunted by his ill-fated past, his heart hardened by the sea, he and his Brethren comrades seek the lone vessel traversing unawares, ready to steal both ship and cargo by any means possible.
Twenty-year-old Michel Laurent du Montbron is the third son of the Marquis d’ Sevigne-Chambord. Naive and idealistic yet running from his own secrets, he sets sail alone to Jamaica, where his elder brother has been sent to oversee the family’s holdings. Just days shy of reaching Port Royal, Michel’s ship is violently taken by buccaneers. Unwilling to stand idle while his ship is overrun, he takes up arms and encounters Galen, the Fair Wind’s Quartermaster and engages in a life-and-death battle. He is ultimately disarmed and taken captive by the imposing figure and held against his will on the Fair Wind. Michel must learn to fend for himself on a ship full of cutthroats and murderers while coming to grips with his predicament and his growing feelings for the man who took him captive.
While Michel is immediately smitten, Galen is slower to admit his true feelings, that he is equally enamored by his young prisoner. Together they embark on a saga of romance and self-discovery amidst the hardship and unforgiving conditions on a roving ship. Will their growing love survive and prevail on the high seas, or will the Quartermaster be proven correct that, despite their best efforts to stay together, rovers like Galen and men of Michel’s ilk just don’t mix.
Clash at Sea Series! Book 1. A gay pirates romance.
REVIEW by Christopher Hawthorne Moss
Uh, yeah, definitely pirates and a romance, but it is a little different from some other pirates and romances—nothing tongue-in-cheek or especially endearing about these pirates, er, ah, privateers. It actually was rather refreshing to read what purports to be a real pirate story with nasty pirates and dastardly deeds and it all at the center of the conflict, the problems in this story.
Galen is a pirate, born in an Islamic land and forced to live away from the values and laws of his country. To me this is why people became pirates. They couldn’t fit in in the more honest and less bloodthirsty parts of their world. Nothing cute or cuddly about them, no Johnny Sparrow or the like. When they board a ship, no matter from what country, they go about slicing and stabbing and throwing people overboard. This is all represented by the fellow Galen is looking for, a pirate and ruler who victimizes anyone he can get his hands on.
Enter into Galen’s world Michel, the son of a Marquis who in spite of his own father’s less-than-ideal example believes there really is humanity and values and things you just don’t do, like murder or steal. He at first is rebellious against Galen and the rest of the pirates, but he is sick and weak, and while he is healing he falls for the dark, brooding and confusing pirate.
As the two become a couple of sorts, the conflict is whether Michael will fulfill his role as Galen’s matelot, a Dutch term that means a sailor firmed or companion. A matelot is required not only to be the lover of his partner, but also to support and defend him in boarding enemy ships. Michael is torn about having to kill people he has no enmity toward when boarding, and ultimately he cannot abide living like this. Galen for his part intends to remain a pirate, the only life he really knows, and thinks that Michel is right and is too good for that life.
I started out unsure of this novel, but two things started to occur to me as I read. First of all I was reading a book I could respect. It’s obvious the author thought things through and researched the book well. Then in the relationship between Galen and Michel, I picked up on the conflict in both men, Michel’s more on the surface but Galen’s as complicating as his lover’s. He has lived so thoroughly the life of a pirate with its intense secrecy that he almost blows everything by not including Michel in his innermost thoughts. That double whammy was entirely involving and interesting to watch unfold.
There was a slight tendency to be repetitive in the book, with certain sentiments being visited and revisited, but all in all the book pulled off real mean pirates acceptably.