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Review by Jean The TBR Pile
Young Scotsman Jamie MacDonald has little to leave behind after losing his father and brothers at the infamous Battle of Culloden, but booking passage to the New World proves even more uncertain when he is captured and forced into service aboard a pirate ship bound for different shores entirely--and finds himself exploring the uncharted waters of a love affair with it's handsome captain.
Wow. Not usually a fan of gay romance, this Outlander-style story lured me in with its period intrigue and did not disappoint! Our hero Jamie is just old enough to begin carving out his own destiny, but young enough to be influenced by new and unusual experiences along the way. All of his ingrained beliefs are literally blown out of the water as he eventually takes up the cause of his captors aboard ship and succumbs to the irresistible charisma and sex appeal of Captain Antonio Rodriguez.
While we feel sorrow and trepidation for Jamie, Rodriguez himself is an endearing character, His firm but fair treatment of Jamie, followed by compassion and genuine love for him are a testament to his admirable character. Their attraction goes beyond the physical and is borne out of a similarly tortured past. Amid a shipful of crewmates, their intimate moments are understandably brief but torrid and emotional, creating an intense relationship between the two men and a sensation-packed experience for the reader.
In a time when life is short, you learn to take the good things when and where you can. With well-written dialogue and a delightfully surprising voyage to one of my favorite places on the globe, I recommend this journey to all historical romance travelers! Complete with a tantalizing teaser of the next installment in the series, this story will leave you yearning for what else is on the horizon and shouting 'full speed ahead'!
Review by Erin
J.P. Bowie is an accomplished story-teller with a keen ear for language and a sure grasp of the complex emotions of people. This first JOURNEYER novella holds the reader spellbound as the author spins the tale of a young Highlander in the troubled time of the 1740s, after the final defeat of the Jacobites by the Redcoats at the Battle of Culloden.
Jamie MacDonald leaves his home in Scotland to begin a new life after the death of his mother and most of his family. Without delving into the sometimes convoluted twists and turns of actual history, and the harrowing events of an inexperienced lad in an unfamiliar world, it’s enough to say that he finds himself in the hands…and arms…of a dashing pirate, Antonio.
The story of Jamie and Antonio is at once tender, masculine, bold, sweet, and tempestuous. As a reader, I try to be sensitive to deep sentiments, especially the unique bond that can grow between two men. In this first adventure, Bowie nails the complexities while never slackening the pace of one hell of an adventure.
I’ve tried to pinpoint what I like most about this story. Is it Jamie’s sure moral compass, his ability to see his world in terms of what is right and what is good? Or maybe it’s the fresh outlook and erotic depth the author gives to a story that could have fallen into lame cliché and ho-hum sex. Perhaps I’m gentled by really good writing that has a way of peeling back layers of a complicated central character. Whatever it is, I’m kind of sweet on this author and his young adventurer Jamie MacDonald.
Thanks, J.P Bowie, for giving me a rare experience: a sad story that is also bubbling with joy and sexual energy.