Review: My Fair Captain (The Sci-Regency Series #1)

Author: JL Langley

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Rating: 3.5 stars

Buy Links: DSP & Amazon

Type: Novel in a Series

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb: When Intergalactic Navy Captain Nathaniel Hawkins goes undercover to investigate the theft of an IN weapons stash, the mission raises painful memories from his past. Using a title he fled nearly two decades earlier, Nate once again becomes the Earl of Deverell, heir to the Duke of Hawthorne, in order to navigate the ins and outs of a Regency world. But planet Regelence—where young lords are supposed to remain pure until marriage—has a few surprises for Nate, not least of which is his attraction to Prince Aiden.

A talented artist, Prince Aiden Townsend isn’t interested in politics and the machinations of society gentlemen, and he adamantly rejects the idea of marriage and a consort. Aiden wants the freedom to pursue his art and determine his own future. But the arrival of the dashing and mysterious Deverell awakens feelings of passion and longing the young prince can’t deny.

As Nate uncovers a conspiracy reaching far beyond the stolen weapons, his future is irrevocably altered by the temptations of a life he never thought he could have. Drawn into the web of intrigue, Aiden is in danger of losing his life… and his heart.

Review: This is a re-release of a title originally published in 2008.

All Aiden Townsend wants in life is to create art and maybe one day become a master artist, and he has quite a talent for it, too. However, as a member of the aristocracy, and the royal family no less, in the regency-based society of Regelence he is expected to perform his duty by marrying and taking up his position in political life. At nineteen, Aiden still has six years before he reaches his majority at twenty-five and gains the freedom of being an adult that comes with it.

Twenty years ago, Captain Nate Hawkins ran off to join the Intergalactic Navy after being embroiled in a scandal on his home planet of Englor. He left behind the restrictions of the regency-style society he grew up in, never expecting to be immersed in it again, but when his superior and friend asks him to take up the mantle of the title he was born into and go undercover on Regelence to investigate the disappearance of weapons, Nate agrees.

Although Nate grew up in a similar society, Regelence society has one big difference to that of Englor. Englor was a traditional patriarchal society where men and women were expected to live within strict rules of what was acceptable and what was unacceptable, marry, have children and raise their family. Same sex relationships were definitely unacceptable. Regelence is also a patriarchal society. However, here, the aristocracy is comprised almost exclusively of gay men. For Nate, it is a bit of revelation, as being gay was something he always had to hide on his home world. On Regelence, the children of the aristocracy are artificially conceived and genetically manipulated to be male and gay.

And that’s one of the biggest issues I had with this story. In an upper class consisting of mostly gay men, the only function women seem to have on Regelence is that of incubator. Even though it’s more inferred than outright stated, that’s quite a dark theme (well, as a woman, I find it quite a dark theme!) that really doesn’t fit with a light romance story. Women are virtually non-existent as anything more than a vague concept, and I don’t mean just on the planet of Regelence. The three females that do appear are tokenistic and contribute almost nothing of value to the story.

Despite the issues I had with this story, there were things I did like about My Fair Captain. The characters were engaging and the writing was quite good (apart from the poorly executed solution to how a society of predominantly gay men had children). Even though a Regency-style setting is not, I discovered, my cup of tea, I did like Nate and Aiden. I enjoyed reading their interactions and the dynamics of their relationship as it developed, and cared enough to want to find out what happened with them.

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