Author: J.L. Langley
Genre: Sci-Fi/Regency, gay
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5 DIK
In hiding who he was, Payton found himself…and the man he would grow to love.
After his brother is kidnapped, Prince Payton Townsend masquerades as an Admiral’s assistant in order to track the culprits through the tangled mysteries of the planet Englor. He finds way more than he bargained for in the form of Marine Colonel Simon Hollister.
Simon is no ordinary soldier. He’s heir to Englor and his life is mapped out for him: throne, bride, and eventually an heir. He never expected a dalliance with Payton to blossom into love, or that the organization that taught him to lead would threaten that love—and their lives.
Danger and intrigue abound as they learn more about their shared enemy, and about each other. What they learn could help them rise above to an enduring love—or pull them apart.
The story opens with Simon Hollister, 18 year old heir to the throne of Englor, contemplating his future after yet another major disagreement with his mother, the Queen, who wants all sodomites to be executed. Since he fits the description he decides to remove himself from the scene of the crime, so to speak, and he enlists in the Intergalactic Navy to serve in the Englor Marines. 10 years later he meets Payton Townsend who has just arrived on Englor, pretending to be the assistant to his brother-in-law Admiral Nathaniel Hawkins, a native Englorian, in order to find out who is behind the previous kidnap attempt of his brother Aiden, Nate’s consort, as well as Nate’s adopted son Trouble.
If you haven’t read the previous book in this Sci Regency series, My Fair Captain, Planet Regelence, Payton’s home world, is a patriarchal society where being gay is the norm rather than the exception and it is the custom for men to marry each other.
The first time Payton sees the gorgeous Marine Colonel Simon Hollister it’s all over but the fighting. However he has much to lose and tries to stay away from Simon, hiding his feelings for the marvelous and commanding soldier who he knows only as Si. The affair progresses rapidly and when they eventually give in to their baser urges the conflagration takes them both by surprise. Just when they are getting to know each other nasty surprises await, and Simon is faced with a monumental task and a life changing decision when a major tragedy and murder heighten the stakes and threaten his planet.
My Fair Captain take a seat – there’s a new sheriff in town – The Englor Affair. I thought that this book was better from a number of perspectives. The main characters are as well crafted as those in MFC but in my opinion Payton’s and Simon’s love affair had more fire. The story is extremely complex, the plot is intricate and kept me on my seat, and once I started reading I didn’t put it down until “The End”. Payton really came into his own in this book; I liked his character very much because he was assertive and intelligent and acted with amazing poise and grit. The sex between him and Simon was so incredibly hot and raw I wondered if it would fry my computer’s hard drive; the chemistry between these two characters whenever they’re together made the air between them come alive and sizzle and I could feel the emotion-charged atmosphere waiting to explode.
I knew that the author, J.L. Langley, would do a great job with The Englor Affair but I thought that it would be difficult to meet the high standard set by the first book in this series, and while I believed that she would produce an excellent story she raised the bar and exceeded my expectations. The riveting and exciting plot had several twists and turns, it kept me on the edge of my seat and the pacing sometimes seemed to be at breakneck speed as would be expected of a story that included political intrigue and espionage, fueled by murder. The fact that on Englor homosexuality is viewed as an abomination and gays are vilified, and the heir to the throne is gay, added another layer to an already complex plot. However, parts of the book were quite funny which helped to relieve some of the tension.
Several new characters are introduced in the book including Simon’s friends Roc and Wycliffe who just might be on the way to Regelence, Simon’s wonderful uncle Aldred Hollister who was his mentor but it was Pru, Simon’s friend and confidante who stole my heart because she was such a rich, fully developed, three dimensional character – funny, warm and loyal to a fault. The butler Dunstan was also a fine portrayal – it is a computer like Jeffers who serves the Royal family on Regelence, and although not human I thought it was a wonderful, distinctive and intelligent character that made even Jeffers seem dull by comparison, something I did not think was possible. More than anything the characters made this story come alive, as well as the setting, the terrific dialog and the humour. At the end of the book it’s clear that another episode is on the way because there are a number of loose ends and unanswered questions; what is not apparent is whose story it will be this time.
The Englor Affair will be released November 11 and fans of the series or of J.L. Langley, or even if you’re a reader who likes the genre but are unfamiliar with her writing, should buy this terrific and enthralling book. This is not a standalone story in my opinion and is better enjoyed if you read My Fair Captain first, another wonderful story from the pen of this talented author.