Alfie knows their mission is futile, and that their superiors back in England will use the demise of this crew as impetus for war with the Ottoman Empire. But the darker secret he keeps is his growing attraction for his commanding officer—a secret punishable by death. With the arrival of his former captain—and lover—on the scene of the disastrous mission, Alfie is torn between the security of his past and the uncertain promise of a future with the straight-laced John. Against a backdrop of war, intrigue, and personal betrayal, the high seas will carry these men through dangerous waters from England to Africa to the West Indies in search of a safe harbor. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving….
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A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox vulpes libris : small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard. For his first command, John Cavendish is given a ship and a crew both in need of repair. Determined to make a success of his mission to stop the slave trade in Algiers, he hopes Lieutenant Alfie Donwell will prove a valuable asset.
Alfie however knows the mission is futile, but keeps a darker secret in his growing attraction to the morally rigorous Cavendish. Against a backdrop of war, political intrigue, piracy and betrayal, both men must sail through dangerous waters in search of an elusive safe harbour …. Anyway, the characters here are gripping, well-rounded and very human — even the minor people feel real. The two main leads of John and Alfie are well-matched, and their arcs of personal and professional discovery balance very well together.
I never had any difficulty working out whose viewpoint I was in. John is the more reserved of the two, career-minded and determined to live up to his own high standards. Later in the book, one character describes him beautifully and with delightful humour:. Though Gillingham was reliably informed that the man had no valet, he still managed to give the impression of starch. Even so, John has an underlying charm that is impossible to resist.
Alongside that, Alfie is the more impulsive of the two. He has a better understanding of his own character and his own sexual preferences, but is set to come up against the morals and ethos of the age, with explosive effect. However, because of this, it does mean that Alfie is able to chart a more emotional journey, and provides the passion of the novel, where John provides the rigour.
Although, again, that division is too simplistic, and these two characters always rise far above the sum of their parts. Plus the level and detail of sex is just right.
Coupling takes place only at key points where it is vital for the plot, and each instance either moves the story along or shows details of the characters involved that would have been impossible to convey in any other way. It was a pleasure to have my reader sympathies turned so expertly and with such lasting effect — Farrant quickly became one of my favourite minor characters and stayed that way. Indeed it strikes me that Beecroft has thought carefully about each person in her story, however minor, and made them rounded characters we can care about, whatever their faults and failing.
Life on board ship and in the different countries John and Alfie spend time in is richly and deeply described, but with a pleasingly light touch so that the flow of the narrative is never lost. It is certainly not a question of the research knowledge overpowering the story at any point. The film version definitely beckons …. I can thoroughly recommend it and look forward to more. Or do they simply not like visitors?
I personally think it would be wiser not to pursue that idea too strenuously. Do publishers really think we like them? Most of the readership has. At least Running Press covers thus far keep the clothes on, on the whole. A wise choice. A curious link that is practically screaming for someone to write an official Government report about it. At least.
In the meantime, I can only encourage Running Press to bring out a novel with an historical gay priest protagonist. With no naked torsos on the front. Before that happens, however, may I thoroughly congratulate them on the publication of False Colors , which sits perfectly within a rapidly growing and increasingly popular genre as well as having the heart and intellect to rise far above and beyond it.
Anne — you had me laughing out loud. Interesting that a lot of the writers seem to be women. But the women connected to the church observation is even better! Thank you so much for such a lovely review! Something that tends to get overlooked, I think. Thank you! There are lots of things they can do for covers that would capture the atmosphere, yet look romantic without resorting to cliche.
And the period costumes lure that certain kind of reader in, too. It would be great if more authors could write seafaring books without getting so tangled up in the mechanical details of the ships, etc. This one sounds much more readable. Plus that first sentence shows some good descriptions. I need to look for this one at the library, that way I could get a clearer view of those hotties on the cover, too. Ooh yes, FC is hugely readable.
I adore it when this happens in a novel, and really, it happens surprisingly infrequently, I find, so top marks to Alex Beecroft for that. I also like what you say about the wife having depths of her own, rather than merely being a symbol of what the protagonist must leave behind. Is it fair to say that the target market is only gay men? Seems to me if you write a good book it should be something that appeals to more than one demographic and if the sex is well done and appropriate to the story, it can be enjoyed by a broad range of readers.
Sooo yeah, the book thus far has done nothing but teach me about sea faring boats!!! My question really is if the first part is exceptionally slow as in the romance of the two protagonists or is that how really slow the romance is going to be? Trust me when I claim that i have read better heterosexual romances in Wilbur Smith books than this one.
But then, I must observe that because it is written by a woman, I would not be as engaged as a woman would be? Perhaps I am over thinking this or even becoming cynically indulgent, but this should be given praise for its effort and its shortcoming as a weak wr itten piece of Male and Male Romance… it is hard to enjoy when a straight woman writes on the subject.
No offense, it is just a matter of personal opion and what I believe to be as common sense. Wonderful, Kyle! Looking forward to hearing your final thoughts for sure. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new posts via email.
Follow us on Twitter: twitter. Subscribe to this site's feed via FeedBurner or click here for an email subscription. Like this: Like Loading Anne Brooke lives in Surrey, UK, and writes in a variety of genres, including gay erotic romance, fantasy, comedy, thrillers, biblical fiction and the occasional chicklit novel. When not writing, she spends time in the garden attempting to differentiate between flowers and weeds, and in the allotment attempting to grow vegetables.
Occasionally, she can also be found in the kitchen making cakes. Every now and again, they are edible. Her websites can be found at: www. Care to write it for us? Alex Beecroft June 4, Moira June 4, As it were.
Jackie June 5, Lisa June 5, Wow, Anne. Excellent review. Thanks, Lisa! And good luck with the Running Press site search! Christine June 5, Kyle Wilson June 18, With that, I shall read further and may apologize if necessary.
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We don't run ads or paid promotions here. To help us stay independent, you can tip us via Patreon or Paypal. See all articles tagged as Alex Beecroft. The characters meet, and then we have a long separation all the way to close to the ending, a reunion, the end.
False Colors by Alex Beecroft
But the process of devouring the book, of eking out its layered, textured meaning, of savoring its descriptions, and the emotions—oh, the emotions! This is one of those books. It ravished me. It scoured my insides. John Cavendish is a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy who has just been given the captaincy of a French prize ship. Lieutenant Alfie Donwell volunteers to go with him, and they begin what John thinks is an unusually close friendship, but what Alfie knows is a slow seduction. John misreads the situation and assumed that Farrant abused Alfie as a young teenager.
False Colors: An M/M Romance
Taking off his hat, he turned to face his crew, noting the slack, bruised faces of men with scurvy, the nose-less, crusted features of those whom pox was slowly consuming from within. The Master was barely being held up by his mate, his linen drabbed with wine-stains. The single midshipman picked his nose as he slouched by his division, then spat over the side. Only the new lieutenant stood straight and alert, in newly laundered dress uniform, his wig powdered, his buttons gleaming and his pale brows arched a little in amusement as he watched John struggle with hat and paper in the increasing wind. John fumed inwardly at the slackness, the disrespect as well as the waste of lives. Some of his anger wound its way into his voice, making it snap like the cat, and the more alert members of the crew stood straighter by the end of it. Hoping to find at least one other person aboard competent to do their job, John was about to quiz the volunteer, when his thoughts were instantly dashed as the huddle of warrant officers parted to reveal the modest black dress and white lace bonnet of an elderly lady.