Lieutenant William Thorne, of His Majesty’s Navy, is a man of humble origins. He knows that his affair with Major Anthony Rockingham of the 43rd Infantry can’t last forever, not only because the war against Napoleon has sent him on blockade duty in the English Channel while the major’s regiment trained ashore, but because Rockingham is a viscount, and viscounts must marry. When Rockingham’s letter reaches him, saying that he’d chosen Miss Caroline Filmer as his bride, it is no more than Thorne had expected.
What he does not expect, when he returns home after the Battle of Trafalgar, is to find an invitation to the christening of Rockingham’s son. He does not expect, when he meets the young viscountess, that he would fall instantly and passionately in love with her. And he certainly does not expect that Caroline would fall just as desperately in love with him. Thorne is sure that their feelings for each other can only lead to disaster, even more so as his love for Rockingham has never gone away. While the war with France continues, Thorne finds himself fighting a war within his own heart.
An uncommon regency love affair, Austen with a twist.
A sweet romance that meanders and explores love and duty. William is a lieutenant who has managed to rise from less prestigious beginnings. Anthony is the second son of a viscount who is elevated after tragedy. Duty and responsibility means not neglecting to produce heirs, a weight Anthony is well aware of.
This story embraces a range of sexual preferences and all three protagonists have experienced fluidity to a degree prior to engaging in their menage a trois. So if any of the possible alignments are not to your reading preference than this story will not appeal. That said there is near equal time given to both M/M and M/F configurations and brief allusions to F/F.
Great tone and period realism without the glittery Ton. The historical references are wonderful and are well researched. Like Austen, this is a sedately paced story that focuses on the everyday rather than the extraordinary moments to explain this love affair. So…How do a naval officer and an Infantry officer find love? —With a little luck.
I felt that the handling of the situation when Anthony announced his intentions to offer for Caroline were both realistic and appropriate for officers and gentlemen. The ensuing and developing relationship between Anthony and Caroline after their marriage is where the interesting emotions come into play.
Overall, a beautiful and romantic love affair that grows, changes and grows again.
Recommended to Austen fans who’d like something a little different.
“William is the best of men, and it’s no surprise you should love him. I love him, too.”