by Alex Beecroft
Ambitious and handsome, Joshua Andrews had always valued his life too much to take unnecessary risks. Then he laid eyes on the elegant picture of perfection that is Peter Kenyon.
Soon to be promoted to captain, Peter Kenyon is the darling of the Bermuda garrison. With a string of successes behind him and a suitable bride lined up to share his future, Peter seems completely out of reach to Joshua.
But when the two men are thrown together to serve during a long voyage under a sadistic commander with a mutinous crew, they discover unexpected friendship. As the tension on board their vessel heats up, the closeness they feel for one another intensifies and both officers find themselves unable to rein in their passion.
Let yourself be transported back to a time when love between two men in the British Navy was punishable by death, and to a story about love, about honor, but most of all, about a Captain’s Surrender.
Captain's Surrender is a story that galvanized me with its old-world depiction of narrow-minded intolerance. I found it to be another glowing illustration of how love, when offered with selflessness and honesty, conquers all.
I had sympathy for Josh Andrews right away; he knows he is gay and he knows the Royal British Navy will hang him for it if they find out. He doesn't think he will have a problem keeping it under wraps until the first time he sees Peter Kenyon. Forced to share quarters with him, I could feel his inner struggle as he tries to suppress his growing affection — and resulting lust — for Peter. Peter is compelling because he has no homosexual tendencies, but when confronted with the opportunity to explore the lifestyle, he doesn't balk and humiliate Josh, which endeared him to me immediately. Both men are brave and capable, which for me, defines the perfect hero in an adventure.
I was really drawn into the relationship between the two, and the slow, sensual development of it. They each take turns at being both bold and tentative with one another, keeping the progression of the affair tantalizingly unbalanced and my pulse rate up as they engage in their mating dance. Josh's uncertainty of his place in Peter's heart followed by unrestrained joy at any small encouragement from Peter was so moving that I couldn't help but root for his success. The love scenes are infrequent, not overdone or gratuitous, but what I found most stirring was the way they saw one another. The mental picture that each man paints of the other is poignantly expressive, and with just a glance across the ship or a reflective thought, I experienced the depth of feelings revealed in their tender contemplation. These pensive moments happen throughout the book and I was whisked away by the vibrancy of the emotion and the romance between Josh and Peter.
An intricate adventure filled with rich characters (including a brutal bad guy that I loved to hate), Captain's Surrender had me experiencing intense anxiety, rage, glee, fear and hope simply by turning the pages. It's a story of adversity and triumph, and the rousing passion between Josh and Peter will warm your heart.
Review by Chamomile