Review of Ransom, by Lee Rowan and Some Thoughts on M/M

Ransom, by Lee Rowan

Lee’s book was voted the best ebook of the summer, so I thought I’d mosey over to Linden Bay and take a peek. First, this is the perfect time to express my…hmnn, surprise I guess. About the burgeoning M/M trend (is it a trend?) in electronic publishing. And the fact that an M/M book was voted the favorite on my little poll. This is about my fourth M/M novel read, and I have to say, I’m now four for four on the “yeah, baby” side. Who would have thunk it? I’m not qualified to comment on the psychology of manlove–I’ll leave that to those who write it. But I can say that so far, I think the characterization of the books in this category I’ve read have surpassed many, if not most of the heterosexual romances I read. Why is that? Perhaps these women simply love to write about men. I do! I hope those who love to read and write this stuff weigh in here!

Anyway, I hate reviews that go on about the plot, so I’ll first just reprint the “offical” version:

“It’s 1796 and not only is love between men taboo, it is punishable by death. Lt. David Archer is an officer in His Majesty’s Navy and a gentleman of Regency Society. He is also hopelessly in love with his shipmate, Lt. William Marshall. David is certain that his feelings, if expressed, would be met with revulsion. Afraid of losing the strong friendship that he has forged with William, he vows to never speak of or act on his desire, promising himself to take the secret to his grave.

Although William is young, his innate talent has allowed him to quickly rise above his humble background and gain a reputation as a promising officer. The Royal Navy is his world, and in that world there is no room for anything as frivolous as romance.

Then, in a twist of fate, the two men are abducted by a ruthless pirate who finds pleasure in toying with his captives. Thrown together in close quarters and wondering if they will survive, they’re are faced with some difficult choices. William struggles with his growing feelings for David and, try as he might to dismiss them, he can’t. When David makes the ultimate sacrifice to protect the man he loves, the reason for it is clear and the passion that the men have denied for so long is realized for the first time.

Before the lovers can have any sort of life together, they must first escape. After that, they face an even greater challenge—is their love strong enough to survive a clandestine life under the ever-present threat of the Navy’s implacable Articles of War?”

So, firstly this book was advertised properly, and I like that. It’s historical, romantic, very very sensual, adventure. Did I say I hate historicals? I kinda got bored with them a while back. This new twist (I get really tired of the old clash of class stories or arranged marriage stories) brought life back into historicals for me. It’s very fast-moving because of the action, which is appropriate to the M/M basis, I think. The villian is horrid, the heroes are heroic yet vulnerable, and it’s hot. But mostly, it’s romantic. Lee’s writing pulls you along, and I found that I really cared what happened to these characters. I have to agree with the voters–great book! Whether you read for the hot men, the historical fast-moving plot, or the romance, you won’t be disappointed. Both thumbs up!

I hope Lee doesn’t mind sharing space with another recommendation: Love’s Evolution by Ally Blue. Awesome! Another writer who uses men (in the good way) to pull at your emotions. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Brava, all you territory forgers, and thanks for giving us some new material!

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7 thoughts on “Review of Ransom, by Lee Rowan and Some Thoughts on M/M

  1. Lee Rowan says:

    Whew!

    Thank you!

    And congratulations for the great review of your own book from Love Romances!

    So… where can I find “Love’s Evolution?”

    Lee

  2. AllyBlue says:

    Aww, Ciar! You’re so sweet! I’m so happy you liked Love’s Evolution, that means a lot to me 😀 Matt and Chris so very special to me, I want everyone to love them like I do LOL Thanks also for the book rec, Ransom sounds like it’s right up my alley!

    Lee, Love’s Evolution is available from Samhain publishing, here’s the link:
    http://samhainpublishing.com/lovesevolution.shtml
    And there’s a different excerpt for it on my website, here:
    http://www.allyblue.com/Love's%20Evolution.html
    If you read it, let me know what you think! Thanks!

  3. AllyBlue says:

    Ack, I forgot Blogger wants me to do stuff to make it a real link, darnit
    **smacks self**
    I don’t know how to edit, I guess if anyone wants to check it out it’ll have to be copy and paste, sorry 😦

  4. Laura says:

    Both recommendations are by terrific authors. Readers can’t go wrong with a stoyr by either Lee or Ally. As a writer and reader of M/M erotic romance, I can safely say they are hot, thrilling reads for anyone who loves men. One man’s great, two are decidedly better in a M/M author’s romance!
    Laura
    http://www.laurabaumbach.com

  5. annie in GA says:

    I weigh in strongly on the side of all three authors posting in this thread: Lee, Ally, and Laura are all DEFINITE MUST-READS!
    and i say that from the pov of an aficionado of m/m
    annie in GA

  6. Lee Rowan says:

    Good morning! I’ve got to thank you doubly for the review since learning that the manuscript I sent RT with a Linden Bay group ad has been consigned to no-woman’s land. Or maybe it went home with some m/m aficionado in the mailroom.. I have to hope so.

    I’ve just re-read your first paragraph, and do you know, I hadn’t really thought about why I write m/m. But I think it has something to do with the fact that I like PLOT. I like to see things happen in a story that aren’t only internal and fraught with angst. The f/m romances I’ve enjoyed most were those where something was happening that allowed the characters to take arms against their troubles. If nothing else, it’s show-don’t-tell–easy enough to say someone’s brave or kind, but let’s put them in a situation where we can see what they’re made of.

    Besides, there’s another point–we learn how to tell stories from the stories we’re told. Growing up on 20th-C earth, almost all the stories we see show men as the people who get to do things, who have genuine, deep friendships that don’t dissolve under the pressure of marriage and family (I know that isn’t realistic, but fiction has its blind spots).

    The female characters in the shows we grew up, other than sitcoms, with were usually just the passing ‘romance of the week’ and were generally gone by the final credits. Who did Starsky really love… the pretty crime victim (and I use the word deliberately)of the week, or his ever-present partner Hutch? Kirk – was it the babe in the titanium bra, or the stalwart Spock? “Cartwright Syndrome” is a standing joke in our home–if Little Joe fell in love with a girl, she might as well write her will.

    Think about it. The model of enduring love we grew up with, even if it wasn’t acted out sexually, was m/m love. I think it’s surprisng that more women aren’t reading and writing it.

    It’ll be interesting to see how Xena and Gabrielle affect the younger generations.

    Lee

  7. AllyBlue says:

    Lee, have you heard about the poll RT put up on their forums, asking their readers what they thought about m/m romance? It’s been kind of a hornet’s nest over there lately, there are some strong opinions. Very, very strong LOL. There’s also been a lot of discussion about RT’s review policies. It’s an “unwritten” policy of theirs to not review m/m, and they are gathering information with an eye to changing that policy, if that’s what the readers want. At least I hope that’s what they’re doing. People on both sides of the “m/m, love it or hate it” issue have pretty much agreed that it’s utterly unfair to take money for an ad for a m/m book, then refuse to give that book any chance at a review.

    I’m hoping all this uproar will change their policy, and make them realize they’ve been unfair. Now, if only I had the bucks for an ad….

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