An Isla Sagrario Story
In the 1700s on the island of Sagrario, men who love other men find safe haven. For Francis Holland, an escaped indentured servant, Sagrario offers nothing but loneliness. His life begins to change when he finds Wick, a merman, washed ashore.
When Wick awakens under Francis’s care, Francis returns him to the sea at his request. Soon after, they begin to meet in secret, and gradually, Francis blossoms under this new companionship. However, a merman is a difficult creature to entrust one’s heart to. With one trapped on land and the other at sea, the differences in their species threaten to keep them apart forever. It may not be long before Wick is gone, taking Francis’s reason to smile with him.
Isla Sagrario, 1721
FRANCIS HOLLAND had never been very good at hiding. Perhaps it was luck, then, that led him to Isla Sagrario, where hiding his desires was never a necessity. Isla Sagrario was a safe haven for many people—thieves and former pirates, the cast-offs, the unwanted. It was a place where women were able to walk the roads, day or night, without the worry of being harmed, and men like Francis were free to love one another openly without fear of reprisal.
Men shared houses, raised crops, and built their lives together from the ground up. Most men on the island had paired off; in some instances they lived together in groups of three or more. And then there were the men like Francis, who hadn’t found their life mates yet, who took solace in one another on warm sultry nights when the weight and heat of the air seemed more like oppression than a blessing.
Francis hated those nights. They served as a reminder that when morning came, he would be alone again. Always and inevitably alone.
New men did come to Isla Sagrario. Sometimes two or three would arrive at once, having heard of the island and paid for safe passage on one of the few supply ships deemed trustworthy enough to know its location. Those arrivals were rare, however, and months might pass before there was a new possibility for Francis, a new reason to dream.
Yet none of them ever paid Francis any mind, at least not beyond his use as a potential bed partner for the night, and even those occasions were scarce. He was as he had always been—disregarded and unseen. By his parents as a child. By the men who’d worked the ships with him after he fled his servitude. Though, unfortunately, not by the plantation owner who had taken his pleasure from Francis until, finally, on the verge of breaking, Francis delved deep within himself and mustered the courage to escape.
Francis still bore the scars from that man’s hands—on his back, on his thighs, his stomach, and the one on his face, which ran a jagged path from just below his right eye to the lobe of his ear and back across his cheek to the corner of his mouth.
Torment had not been what his father planned for him when he signed the papers and handed Francis over into servitude. Francis was sure of that much. There had simply been too many mouths to feed and not enough money to do it. His father sent Francis to the New World believing the indenture that consigned him to his servitude would be the very thing to free Francis of his poverty as well; free him to begin anew and build a better life. But the man who bought him had never released him, and Francis knew he would have met his death on that plantation had he not found the will and the bravery to run.
Run he would again, if the circumstances called for it, though never without fighting first. Sagrario was his home, the only home he’d ever possessed, and he would not abandon it easily. The safety of the island spared him nights of sleeping with one eye open, the perpetual fear of waiting for an unseen master to enter his room bent on violence, spared him the pain and terror of heavy hands holding him down. Only loneliness continued to weigh upon him. Loneliness, at least, left his body unharmed.
His soul, however—well, there was very little Francis could do for that.
...recommend this to anyone looking for a lovely fairy tale, with a dash of angst, that makes you believe that love is indeed something magical.
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A sweet and magical tale of a lonely man finding love in a very unsuspecting place…under the sea.
Ah, a good old fairy tale. You really can't go wrong.
I gladly recommend to all you romantics at heart.
This story was delightful and concise giving the reader the hope that love can conquer all.
If you are looking for a unique and sexy love story, this book is definitely for you!
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