Genre: M/M Historical
Davy and Will are lovers, but they are also Lieutenants in the Royal Navy. They know that at any moment they could be transferred to different ships, separated perhaps forever, and there is nothing they can do about it, because their love is punishable by death and must remain a secret. When Captain Smith is transferred to a new ship therefore, they are delighted when he takes them both with him. But there is a saboteur aboard, and when Davy is shot during the hunt for him it seems they must part after all...
I wanted to give this book a 5 because I loved Ransom so much, and the truth is that Winds of Change is still a highly superior piece of fiction, which I couldn't put down. If anything, Davy has become more attractive, and the relationship between the two leads sparkles with more wit than ever - their repartee has greatly improved. It is very romantic, and heart-stopping in places and very definitely one to buy and read repeatedly. But I felt it had a couple of flaws which prevented me from giving it a 5. Firstly, I was caught up in the hunt for the saboteur - I thought, from the blurb and from the emphasis of the writing, that the story was about the saboteur and the French fleet and the trap that was set up for the ship - so I was eager to see that storyline resolved. I wanted to find out who the saboteur was working for, what the French ship had signaled, why the saboteur had revealed his presence early by doing pointless little stuff - which seems counterproductive to me - how Will was going to discover who had shot Davy, etc etc. I wasn't prepared for the way the story completely abandoned that plot-line and shifted focus to the more intimate storyline at Lord Guilford's Jamaican manor. I suppose I wanted to be in at the kill and was disappointed to have what had seemed the important story of the first half sidelined so easily. I also found Will's angsting at the end of the second half somewhat annoying. I find it hard to have sympathy with his misery when it's all his own fault!
Having said that, though, the second half of the story is a more conventionally romantic one. It focuses closely on the two characters and their relationship. There is much hot sex and touching affection and noble renunciation and despair. It's a good thing in itself, and if you're reading the book for the romance rather than the Age of Sail adventure, you will probably prefer the second half. I liked both, but I would have preferred it if the two halves had been slightly more closely linked.
The ruggedly handsome Lt. William Marshall of His Majesty's Navy carries a secret close to his heart, one that is more important than either his loyalty to England or his devotion to duty. His shipmate, Lt. David Archer, is not only his best friend, he's been his lover for over a year. The penalty should their relationship be discovered? Death, by hanging.
Both men control their passions and exercise discretion aboard ship as best they can, but the ship's quarters are close, shore leave is infrequent, and in the military.nothing is permanent.
A transfer to a new ship leads to danger as Will and David are caught in a web of intrigue. Ordered to masquerade as lovers in order to flush out and help capture a saboteur who is known to use blackmail to achieve his ends, they face possible discovery of the truth. Then a murder attempt leaves Davy near death while Will is sent off, without knowing his lovers fate, to command a captured French vessel.
Will and David have always known the risks, known that death might take either of them at any time. Their chances of staying together were never high...could it be that their luck has finally run out?