Title: Lover’s Knots
Author: Katherine Cross
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: M/M Historical romance, Age of Sail
Length: Novel (ebook only)
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
A guest review by Leslie
Third Lieutenant Andrew Clayton wanted senior officer Daniel Barret from the moment they first met. Something about the charismatic man with the scarred knuckles and street-tough voice heats Andrew’s blood and makes his body ache. He’d give up everything for just one taste of the forbidden—his position in Society, his commission…even his life.
Daniel is sure he is losing his mind. Nothing else could explain his obsession with noble-born Andrew or his constant desire to spread him across the wardroom table and mark his fair skin. In His Majesty’s Royal Navy, the punishment for their love is death. One misstep could have them both at the end of a hangman’s noose.
But everything changes when they’re granted an unexpected leave. Far from the captain’s watchful eye, Daniel agrees to one week—seven days to explore each other’s bodies, to let four years of suppressed desire consume them—before they must return to their ship and the way things were. But some passions can’t be tamed once unleashed, and some dangers are worth the risk.
I love historical fiction so I was excited when Wave suggested this book to me for review. In particular, I have become a fan of British “Age of Sail” stories which is ironic, since for years my father pressed Patrick O’Brian books on me and I never even cracked them open. I think it was the fact that they didn’t have the added allure of handsome officers in uniform tempting fate with their love…which is exactly what Andrew and Daniel do in Lover’s Knots.
As the story opens, the reader learns that Andrew has been longing for Daniel practically since the first day they met four years prior. His feelings, however, are starting to become unbearable. His nights are filled with erotic dreams; during the day he can’t take his eyes off the Daniel’s chest…legs…arse. The time has come for Andrew to press his case.
Daniel resists, as he must, but something in his voice and his manner encourages Andrew to try harder to seduce the man he wants for his lover and ultimately, he succeeds. They have a seven day shore leave while the Captain celebrates his wedding and for all intents and purposes, they spend the entire week in bed. In other words, there is a long interlude with lots of hot sex.
The story does have a plot, however, and things happen and it is up in the air as to what will be the future for Andrew and Daniel. There is some exciting naval action with cannons, guns, swords, and invading Frenchmen. There is a bit of suspense and anxiety but nothing too angsty and it eventually wraps up with a satisfying conclusion.
My biggest complaint—and the reason I marked Lover’s Knots down to 4.25 stars—is that the actual story doesn’t really begin until the second half of the book. The first part is filled with Andrew’s longings, his dreams and desires, and eventually, his affair with Daniel. Story-wise, things get going when their shore leave ends. While I like reading sex scenes (real or imagined) as much as anybody who frequents this site, I would have liked a bit more story woven through the entire book and not just saved for the latter half.
Even so, I enjoyed Andrew and Daniel as characters and was happy to spend a few hours of reading time with them. If you enjoy historical fiction, especially Age of Sail stories, I would recommend this book to you.
NB: Referencing an earlier discussion at this site, I did notice a few instances of Andrew’s cock twitching, but they were post-coital twitches of relaxation versus pre-orgasmic twitches of desire. Readers who find twitching cocks objectionable have been warned but really, the instances were so few and casually mentioned that they did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the book.