Kingston, Jamaica, 1752
Robert Hughes, a lieutenant--and rogue--in the British Royal Navy, is in love with his gorgeous fellow officer, Hal Morgan. Hal only has eyes for their captain--a man who'll never share their inclinations. Night after night aboard the Swiftsure, it kills Robert to listen to Hal's erotic dreams of a man he can't possibly have. Determined to protect his friend, Robert stages a seduction.
But Hal demands proof of love before he will submit to the rakish Robert.
Mission accepted. After all, how hard could it be to show what's inside his heart? Yet Robert's move to claim Hal's love leads to the threat of exposure, and mortal danger from the French. Will a heart obsessed ever accept defeat?
Robert has been in love with Hal since almost the first moment he laid eyes on him 5 years ago. But Robert knows that there’s no hope for him because Hal’s heart belongs to another man, Captain William Hamilton. Robert room shares a canvas wall with Hal’s room and Robert hears Hal’s dreams and tries very hard to stop him from saying anything incriminating in his sleep.
Robert has waited long enough. He needs to tell Hal his feelings and make his move. He makes a plan to get Hal to his room and seduce him but it basically backfires and Hal thinks that Robert is joking. He tells him that if he means what he says he’ll prove it. Not only does Robert prove it in his own roundabout way but he also make Hal see that what he feels for William will never be reciprocated. This is a hard and harsh lesson to learn but one that Hal needed to hear. Hal is completely distraught and not sure how he feels about anything anymore. Can he deny his heart and feelings for William and let Robert in?
If you know my reading habits you know that I’m not a huge reader of m/m historical romance. When I saw this one, however, the blurb just caught my eye. Facing unrequited love, dealing with the fallout and moving on is one of my favorite romance tropes. I’m not sure what it is about it that I love so much because my heart is usually aching horribly for the poor person who loves so much and not loved in return by that person. I think because in the end there is someone out there that loves them even more than maybe the other would is what makes me want to keep turning pages.
Anyway, that is totally the case here with Hal and Robert – both are in love with men that do not return their love. For Hal it’s even more heartwrenching, imho, because William isn’t gay nor would he ever consider it – no GFY possibility in sight. lol In Robert’s case at least he knows that there’s a chance if he can get the tide to turn his way. I loved that even though he knew he had a tough row to hoe he was persistent and didn’t give up even when that would have been the easier choice. The tenderness and patience showed throughout the book really made me like him even more.
While we spent most of the novella watching Hal and Robert come together we unfortunately don’t get to see them together after the fact but just a bit. That small bit was enough to make me want more from the couple as they did seem like they would be happy together.
The descriptions in this story were so very vivid whether it was a description of the ship, the land they were on and its unforgiving heat, the feelings that both Robert and Hal had, that I just felt like I was all of those places at the time. Though the story was short it was filled with emotion, friendship and love and had me turning page after page. Definitely worth taking the time to read.
Rating: 4 out of 5