Reviewed by Sarina
AUTHOR: Cari Z
PUBLISHER: NineStar Press
LENGTH: 129 pages
RELEASE DATE: May 9, 2016
In 1803, England declares war on France, staking the fates of two mighty empires against one another. Thousands of men serve in the British navy, hungry for distinction in the battle against Bonaparte.
One of them, Lieutenant Thomas Williams, thinks he knows what he wants out of life: prize money at sea, a career of decent note, and the means to maintain his independence when he leaves the navy. What he finds is service under Captain Christopher Knightly: a tactical genius, inveterate charmer, and the youngest son of a wealthy noble house.
Their unexpected and perilous love affair is a gamble against the odds, for in a time of war, nothing is sure to last. If the French don’t tear them apart, one slip in front of the wrong eyes or ears might. When the demands of Christopher’s family take him from Thomas’s side, he thinks it might be the best thing for his captain. Little does Tom realize just how far Christopher will go to return to him, and when life takes a turn for the worse, how much further he will go to save him.
Going from serving aboard a large warship with over seventy cannons to one that barely carries a fraction of it feels like a low blow to Lieutenant Thomas Williams but he’s still going back out on the water so he’ll take whatever he can get. His new Captain is about as big of a surprise as the ship he commands, boyishly handsome and genial, not to mention a noble, Thomas figures he’s been set to serve under a useless fop. As the two men get to know each other, however, Thomas finds a man much more than he appears on the surface and when a deeper connection develops he finds himself doing something he never has before: falling in love. When family obligations split the pair, however, Thomas prepares himself to sacrifice his happiness and live his life alone but fate and circumstances have other plans and his Captain isn’t one to leave a man behind.
Perilous is officially the gayer, more awesome cousin of Master and Commander. No Joke. I loved everything about this story from start to finish and even if you were to take away the m/m romance in it, the story would still totally be worth reading. The story itself is told from Thomas’ point of view and I really liked it that way; as his Captain says, Thomas is a hard man to read, and I don’t think the story would have been quite as enjoyable if it had been from Christopher’s point of view. Taking place over the span of a couple of years (with a rather large time skip) you get to see the relationship develop between the main characters as well as what they are each willing to endure/do for the other.
The sex is minimal, giving the focus to the story and the men themselves which was really great to see. As I said before, take away the romance and you’re still left with an excellent read all on its own. Not everything was sunshine and roses between Thomas and Christopher though as there is a forced separation as well as the events that take place after that happens and I’m not ashamed to say I shed a few tears at one point. There is a nice happily ever after or at least a happy for now, depending on how you look at the ending, and while I would’ve loved an extra glimpse of Thomas and Christopher some time in the future, I’m content with how things left off.
This was a great story; it was different from other historical novels I’ve read before and I’m sure I’ll never look at naval movies the same way again. The pacing was great and the author really made it feel as if the book was longer than it was, which made for a satisfying read. I’d recommend this story to everyone, even people who aren’t normally a fan of historical novels; the story and characters are just that good.