Title: My Fair Captain (Sci-Regency #1)
Author: J.L. Langley
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 29, 2018
Genre(s): Scifi Regency
Page Count: 244
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.0 stars out of 5
When Intergalactic Navy Captain Nathaniel Hawkins goes undercover to investigate the theft of an IN weapons stash, the mission raises painful memories from his past. Using a title he fled nearly two decades earlier, Nate once again becomes the Earl of Deverell, heir to the Duke of Hawthorne, in order to navigate the ins and outs of a Regency world. But planet Regelence—where young lords are supposed to remain pure until marriage—has a few surprises for Nate, not least of which is his attraction to Prince Aiden.
A talented artist, Prince Aiden Townsend isn’t interested in politics and the machinations of society gentlemen, and he adamantly rejects the idea of marriage and a consort. Aiden wants the freedom to pursue his art and determine his own future. But the arrival of the dashing and mysterious Deverell awakens feelings of passion and longing the young prince can’t deny.
As Nate uncovers a conspiracy reaching far beyond the stolen weapons, his future is irrevocably altered by the temptations of a life he never thought he could have. Drawn into the web of intrigue, Aiden is in danger of losing his life… and his heart.
First Edition published by Samhain Publishing Ltd., June 2007
Blurb sums up the book enough that I can launch into my (long) review.
I love my science fiction, and I like a bit of Regency now and then, but for this book, the combination wasn’t meshing.
Nathanial/Nate is from Englor, a standard het Regency-based planet where being gay is bad. Nate is gay and has fled Englor and his family name in disgrace. He is now a well-respected and feared Captain in the fleet.
Nate is sent to Relegence, a Regency-based planet of gay men to investigate a shipment of missing weapons. Relegence is a patriarchal society, going even so far as to genetically alter their offspring to be male. Young men are “protected” and virginal until age 25, where they are then married to an older man.
Women are basically non-existent and considered very lower class. I think I counted exactly four women and their roles were exceeding minor the 4-year-old Muffin. We are introduced to Muffin when she is running naked through the castle to escape bath time. I…winced a bit at the name.
Upon his arrival at Relegence, Nate is immediately he is overcome by the beauty of Prince Aiden, when Aidan literally falls into his arms falling out of a tree. The weapons become secondary as all thoughts are consumed by the young man.
I struggled several aspects:
I missed the “Regency” part of this novel – the propriety and the decorum. The King and King-Consort were overly casual in the presence of others, the Princes held a competition to lose dance cards at every single ball, and the whole castle felt like bedlam. I was looking for the subtle woo-ing and darting glances, but what I got was lust.
The dual names – everyone had a given name and a “nickname”. For example, Nate’s adopted son was Trouble, and he was Jeremy. Nathanial aka Nate was Hawk, and I didn’t learn until nearly halfway through the book it was from his last name “Hawkins”. Add in five princes with dual names and I spent part of my time scratching my head wondering who was whom.
The attraction between Nate and Aiden was a bit squicky for me. Nate about early 30’s, Aidan is mid teens. Within a day, we have a highly ranked fleet Captain sporting a hard-on just thinking of young, chaste, sexually inexperienced Aidan. In a couple of days Aidan is sneaking into Nate’s room to try and draw him naked (a scene which totally blew the whole “Regency” bit out the airlock). Within a week we have professions of undying love. Aiden came across as about 14-16ish, climbing trees and laying on his stomach to draw…age really didn’t work for me.
I also found it highly unlikely that 14 year old Jeremy/Trouble would be as undisciplined as portrayed under the care of a Fleet Captain. Who lives on a ship. I hate to say this, and I’m flying my geek colors, but Wesley Crusher had more space bearing than Jeremy did. While I despised Wesley Crusher, he at least behaved like a young cadet on a ship.
Ultimately, I would have liked to have seen more of the Regency society incorporated, Aiden being about 10 years older than what he came across as, and less of Nate sporting hard-on’s every time he was in Aiden’s presence. Then I think this would have been a solid Sci-Regency.