Captain’s Surrender is reviewer’s choice at NOR
Captain’s Surrender by Alex Beecroft
Score: 4.75 / 5 – Reviewer Top Pick
Reviewer: Vee of Night Owl Romance
Joshua Andrews and Peter Kenyon are two gay men who are forced to bunk together aboard Captain Walker’s naval ship. Captain Walker, a sadistically cruel man who revels in beating and killing, has made it clear there are spies among the crew and any show of passion will be dealt with in a gruesome and lethal manner.
Thus sets the backdrop of Captain’s Surrender. While Josh and Peter escape death at Captain Walker’s hands, there is the societal and biblical damnation that fosters in Josh a deep-seated self loathing. And there’s the expectation that Peter take a wife and ‘make’ heirs for his family.
While each works up the ranks of the Navy to become captains themselves, they have stolen, intense and passionate moments. After a battle with the Colonists that sinks Josh’s ship, he awakens in the arms of a Native American man. As Josh recuperates, the Indians who are caring for him show him a different outlook on gay men. They revere them as being special and better. This helps Josh accept his nature and his love for Peter.
The conflict in Captain’s Surrender and the forbidden nature of the romance between Josh and Peter is probably the strongest and most realistic that I’ve ever read. Ms. Beecroft is unflinching in her portrayal of the volatile society in which they lived.
However I had a very hard time stomaching the cruelty dished out by Captain Walker and admit that after reading a couple of very vivid passages where men were beaten, I didn’t want to continue the book. I was greatly relieved when the pair were no longer under the captain’s thumb.
The truth is the feelings of revulsion I felt are a compliment to the author’s writing. She managed to invoke the sense of despair and dread the men felt. The love/lust scenes were equally as good showing at their paradoxical nature.
I felt Ms. Beecroft’s prose, setting of time and place, and historical accuracy were excellent.