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Captain’s Surrender is reviewer’s choice at NOR

December 13, 2007

reviewer's choice

Captain’s Surrender by Alex Beecroft

Score: 4.75 / 5 – Reviewer Top Pick

Reviewer: Vee of Night Owl Romance

Online: http://www.nightowlromance.com/nightowlromance/reviews/Review.asp?ReviewId=1033

Joshua Andrews and Peter Kenyon are two gay men who are forced to bunk together aboard Captain Walker’s naval ship. Captain Walker, a sadistically cruel man who revels in beating and killing, has made it clear there are spies among the crew and any show of passion will be dealt with in a gruesome and lethal manner.

Thus sets the backdrop of Captain’s Surrender. While Josh and Peter escape death at Captain Walker’s hands, there is the societal and biblical damnation that fosters in Josh a deep-seated self loathing. And there’s the expectation that Peter take a wife and ‘make’ heirs for his family.

While each works up the ranks of the Navy to become captains themselves, they have stolen, intense and passionate moments. After a battle with the Colonists that sinks Josh’s ship, he awakens in the arms of a Native American man. As Josh recuperates, the Indians who are caring for him show him a different outlook on gay men. They revere them as being special and better. This helps Josh accept his nature and his love for Peter.

The conflict in Captain’s Surrender and the forbidden nature of the romance between Josh and Peter is probably the strongest and most realistic that I’ve ever read. Ms. Beecroft is unflinching in her portrayal of the volatile society in which they lived.

However I had a very hard time stomaching the cruelty dished out by Captain Walker and admit that after reading a couple of very vivid passages where men were beaten, I didn’t want to continue the book. I was greatly relieved when the pair were no longer under the captain’s thumb.

The truth is the feelings of revulsion I felt are a compliment to the author’s writing. She managed to invoke the sense of despair and dread the men felt. The love/lust scenes were equally as good showing at their paradoxical nature.

I felt Ms. Beecroft’s prose, setting of time and place, and historical accuracy were excellent.

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. HMS dauntless permalink
    December 13, 2007 9:39 am

    Huzzah ! That’s a very good rec and I’m so happy you’re given full credit for your talent and the impressive power of your writing ! It seems Captain’s Surrender is going to become the editorial case of 2008 and I’m feeling very proud to know the author. πŸ™‚

  2. December 13, 2007 10:05 am

    *g* Thanks! It’s funny how the flogging and punishment day seems to disturb a lot of people. To think I was worried about it being too mild πŸ™‚ LOL! But a lot of people seem to get consistent runs of 5 out of 5s, so I don’t suppose I’m going to be taking the romance world by storm just yet πŸ™‚ We’ll have to see whether anyone actually buys it!

  3. crooked_whiskey permalink
    December 13, 2007 10:27 am

    Somehow I suspect the reviewer is not au fait with the historical period outside of romance novels…. *grin*

    Congrats on another excellent review! I, for one, will be buying it as soon as it’s available.

  4. December 13, 2007 11:02 am

    *G* You might be right πŸ™‚ I admit, I based my level of gruesomeness on Patrick O’Brian, and the romance readership is probably accustomed to rather less than that. Or perhaps I’m just sadly desensitized.

    Hee! Thank you so much πŸ™‚ It can’t be long now. I must check and see whether the print book comes out at the same time as the ebook version. That comes out on the 1st of January, but the print version might be a bit later.

  5. esteven permalink
    December 13, 2007 12:04 pm

    So very pleased for you. I can’t wait to read it. πŸ˜€ If you based your perception of violence on Mr O’Brian, who portrays one of the mildest (in terms of punishment handed out) captains, your reviewer certainly never read a lot period stuff. *g*

    Again, well done you!

  6. December 13, 2007 1:33 pm

    Thanks! Ah, but no, it was more based on Mr. O’Brian’s description of the prisoners at Botany Bay – walking off after thousands of lashes, with blood puddling in their shoes. Mine was slightly less extreme, I thought. But then I had a flogging captain on my hands, and he had to be bad enough even to appall his own officers – so it had to be on the far extreme of naval violence.

  7. December 13, 2007 8:52 pm

    Definition of Cruel and Inhuman Punishment: not flogging, but having to wait for the release of Captain’s Surrender while reading such great reviews! Flogging is mild by comparison.

    Congratulations, Alex B. I can hardly wait.

    Ruth Sims

  8. December 13, 2007 9:39 pm

    LOL! Thanks so much Ruth πŸ™‚ *g* Well I’m going to have to learn to relish my reputation for sadism πŸ˜‰ Mind you, if I could make it arrive faster, I would. Not long now though! Only about a fortnight. Woohoo!

    Are you thinking about a WordPress blog at all? I would be glad to help you set one up πŸ™‚

    Merry Christmas, if I don’t hear from you again before then, and a Happy New Year!

    Alex B (I like that – I sound like a rap star πŸ™‚ )

  9. Pearlsie permalink
    December 13, 2007 10:25 pm

    Hee! That’s awesome! The comment on the violence did amuse me- I can understand people being disturbed by it, but I must say, if you succeeded in doing so, you’re only improving their historical knowledge. It wasn’t all butterflies and roses. ^^

    I really REALLY want to get your book now, by the way.

  10. December 14, 2007 12:07 am

    That’s wonderful! And you thought you weren’t violent enough…! πŸ˜€

    It’s interesting to see, though, how today’s violence, even the most heinous acts of cruelty, just “float by” while violence set in the 18th century makes people uncomfortable. Then again this proves that you master the art of making people care for the characters you created. πŸ™‚

  11. wulfila permalink
    December 14, 2007 7:48 am

    Yay! Congratulations! πŸ™‚ It is awesome that your book is such a huge success with the reviewers already, and I am looking forward to it more and more. πŸ™‚

  12. December 14, 2007 4:55 pm

    Hee! That’s awesome! The comment on the violence did amuse me- I can understand people being disturbed by it, but I must say, if you succeeded in doing so, you’re only improving their historical knowledge. It wasn’t all butterflies and roses. ^^

    I really REALLY want to get your book now, by the way.

    *g* Thanks, Pearlsie πŸ™‚ I guess that in our modern world where you aren’t allowed to so much as smack your children, a flogging comes as a bit of a shock! But then it ought to, I reckon. You don’t want your villains to come across as too namby pamby!

    Hee! *Encourages you further in your desire to get the book…* πŸ˜€ Thank you!

  13. December 14, 2007 5:00 pm

    That’s wonderful! And you thought you weren’t violent enough…! πŸ˜€

    It’s interesting to see, though, how today’s violence, even the most heinous acts of cruelty, just β€œfloat by” while violence set in the 18th century makes people uncomfortable. Then again this proves that you master the art of making people care for the characters you created. πŸ™‚

    *g* yes, I was worried that it might be a bit too fluffy, what with the happy ever after and everything. I suppose that most romance readers aren’t the kind of people who would also go out and watch Saw 2. My tolerance for fictional gore has obviously been skewed by being an SF fan and watching things like Alien in my youth πŸ™‚ My tolerance for real life violence, otoh, is pretty much nil.

  14. December 14, 2007 5:04 pm

    Yay! Congratulations! πŸ™‚ It is awesome that your book is such a huge success with the reviewers already, and I am looking forward to it more and more. πŸ™‚

    Yay! Thank you πŸ™‚ Though I’m still braced and waiting for the backlash. I can’t help feeling that somewhere really influential will hate it – though that may be because Eeyore has nothing on me when it comes to pessimism πŸ˜‰

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