An officer, a gentleman… and a sodomite. The first two earn him honor and respect; the third may cost him his life. David Archer realizes how hopeless his attraction to his fellow midshipman is from the moment a newly-arrived William Marshall challenges a sexually abusive shipmate to a duel—and shoots him dead.
To Marshall, the Navy is his one chance to move beyond his humble beginnings. While others spend shore leave carousing, he curls up with a navigation text. When they and their captain are abducted, Archer and Marshall become pawns in a renegade’s sadistic game. To protect the man he loves, David Archer chooses to face his own demons of past abuse returned in a different form. When Marshall learns of Archer’s sacrifice, he discovers what he feels for Davy runs stronger and deeper than friendship. He's in love, for the first time in his life, and he wants to know all about this new emotion.
But first they must escape. Only then will they find out if they can preserve their love without losing their lives.
Winds of Change
Lieutenants William Marshall and David Archer, of His Majesty’s frigate Calypso, have been lovers for more than a year. Because the penalty for discovery is the hangman’s noose, they limit themselves to the occasional night of passion ashore.
But in the Navy, nothing lasts forever. A transfer to a new ship brings with it a bizarre turn of events: their captain orders them to behave as though they are involved in an illicit relationship in order to smoke out a suspected traitor. When their masquerade proves dangerously effective, it threatens to cost Davy his life.
Eye of the Storm
The long war between England and France enters a fragile and temporary truce in the winter of 1802, but the lives of Commander William Marshall and Lieutenant David Archer are more complicated than ever. After almost losing Davy in battle, Will faces the responsibility of command and questions whether he can give orders that will put his love in harm's way once more.
Doubts torment David Archer. Will walked away once, trying to end their relationship for Davy's own safety. His physical wounds have healed, but the loss of trust remains. Now, his biggest challenge is persuading Will their love is worth the risk of loss.
Home is the Sailor
The Royal Navy meets the Stately English Manor Murder Mystery, and if it were only a matter of Colonel Mustard in the library, things would be so much easier.
After an ambush by the French while on a routine surveillance mission, Will Marshall and David Archer are advised to retreat to the English countryside to avoid Bonaparte's animosity for a time. Upon their arrival, they discover that David's eldest brother has died after a mysterious accident and this puts his other, very unsuitable brother in line for the title. David's suspicions—that the new heir had a hand in his brother’s death—seem so unreasonable that even Will finds it difficult to believe his fears are valid. If Davy thought his lover was hard to convince, his autocratic father, who still sees him as the inept youngest son, won’t even listen to him. Davy and Will are thrust into the role of sleuths, trying to determine the truth behind the mystery.
All the while Will has concerns of his own: his fear of losing Davy is still stronger than his desire to keep Davy beside him on the quarterdeck… but he knows no other life than the Navy.
Sail away once again with Will Marshall and Davy Archer in this collection of missing moments from their saga. Meet some of the background players from their story as they take center stage in tales of their own. Enjoy a journey through the family album of the Royal Navy Series universe in the following stories:
“Captain’s Courtship” is the tale of Cynthia Lancaster and newly promoted Commander Paul Smith as they face revolution in both the Lancaster household and the colonies, unwilling to let anything stand in the way of their love.
While fleeing an angry mob who takes exception to a despised Aristo courting a French girl, David Archer's cousin Christopher St. John and his fiancée wind up on the HMS Calypso in “See Paris.”
The relationship between Will Marshall and David Archer has moved beyond friendship into love worth risking death for—even though neither young man has spoken his feelings. But when a storm leaves them “Castaway” on a deserted island, their fantasy is within reach… if they dare to take the chance.
After the harrowing events in Ransom, David Archer is given the chance to take the test that will promote him to Lieutenant and secure the first step in his career. But when Will Marshall realizes the vast difference between their social standing in their “Voyage to London,” he wonders whether there will be room in Davy's life for him, after all.
Finally, enjoy six short Royal Navy stories that show a glimpse of Will and Davy at the holidays—Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's day, shore leave… and a special nit-picking vignette from Charlie Cochrane.