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Blessed Isle

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  255 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
For Captain Harry Thompson, the command of the prison transport ship HMS Banshee is his opportunity to prove his worth, working-class origins be damned. But his criminal attraction to his upper-crust First Lieutenant, Garnet Littleton, threatens to overturn all he’s ever worked for.

Lust quickly proves to be the least of his problems, however. The deadly combination of typh
ebook, 103 pages
Published December 31st 2012 by Riptide Publishing (first published December 29th 2012)
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Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-favorites

4.5 stars

THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


It was GLORIOUS and I LOVED it!

"Thanks, but I don't read historicals"
"Thanks, but not interested in a book that doesn't have onpage sex"
"Thanks, but I prefer a book I can actually understand the dialogue"

Apparently I don't know myself very well.

Because despite every excuse I could have made, I read this on the recommendation of an adored friend and I was swept away. I felt like I was just floating and in complete bliss t
I don't possess enough adjectives or superlatives to describe how I feel about this book. Beautiful, amazing, breathtaking, divine, gorgeous, exquisite, pulchritudinous (looked that one up!), magnificent, stunning, delightful, elated, I could continue forever. I just didn't want this book to end.

Captain Harry Thompson has made good. Coming from a working class background he is put in command of HMS Banshee the flag ship for a small fleet of ships taking cargo to Australia. On board he meets his
Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ami by: Susan
English is not my native language. So I am more familiar with "contemporary" English than "old" English. One of the reasons why I also avoid historical genre -- I don't know if I can enjoy a story if I have no idea what the words meant, right?

Well, I guess when you feel for the characters, sometimes you CAN let that issue go... and that was what I felt with this story.

Seriously, I had no idea what these characters were talking or describing about most of the time (I could try to look up the dict
4.5 Stars.

Bless my soul, bless my heart and bless my socks!

This book is a treasure, honestly …what a find (Susan!), what an adventure! And oh boy, what a ROMANCE!

Captain Harry Thompson of His Majesty’s Royal Navy and Lieutenant Garnet Littleton shared a love so special that it needed to be recorded. They knew that to speak of their love would be punishable by death, and yet they risked their lives and reputation to share it with us!

Amazing and dare I say arrogant to consider such a tale would be
Kaje Harper
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a story I loved. I wished it had another hundred pages. It's beautifully written, feels true to the period and yet gives us two gay men with a happy ending. There is adventure, heartbreak, love and fear. The basic framework is in journal form, but we get to hear from both main characters, and the entries are long so it reads as an alternating first person account, mainly from Harry's point of view.

Captain Harry Thompson is a man who has been aware of, and suppressed, his desire for othe
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was absolutely one of the most amazing reads. Alex has an incredible command of the English language. Each paragraph feels like you are watching a master painter create a stunning masterpiece. I feel her ability to turn a phrase should be outlawed, it's that good.
Captain Harry Thompson,and First Lieutenant Garnet Littleton are our players in this moving adventure. A prison ship bound for Australia is the background for a story of love, told by each man in his own words.
"He stepped back.

It seems that my first love is my true love and I am head over heels for historical m/m romance. This, this was no exception but it may have set the bar for future books to come. How can a story told in journal form by the two MC’s filled with ships, sails, storms, stow away secret longing, sacrifice and no sex on the page be as wonderful as it was? It just was, Alex Beecroft gave me a wonderful and unique love story like no other.
No man is an island, entire of himself, says John Donne, but tw
A beautiful - and unfortunately too short - story of love, self-discovery, trust and adventure set towards the end of the 18th century.

Harry Thompson has overcome his working-class origins to become Captain of the HMS Banshee where he meets the young Lieutenant Garnet Littleton. Together they will have to overcome mutinies, storms, desert islands and all sorts of adventures worthy of a book set during the Age of Sail.

Apart from the exciting plot, what really struck me in the novel was its struct
*** 4.5 Stars ***

This may just be a case of right time, right mood, right book, but I found myself swept up in this one, heartstrings tugged by the realities of the era and caught by the romance of the sea.
Dec 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I do like historical writing. I like it when there is an LGBT slant as well. I certainly got my fix with Blessed Isle. This is an absolutely glorious piece of writing, in so many ways. The writing has a mellifluous quality to it (look at some of my status updates). It transports you to another place in time, another era altogether. It also makes you feel like you are there, a part of these men's inner most thoughts, feelings and private moments. Set in the latter part of the seventeen hundreds i ...more
Nov 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: librarybook
A nice historical forbidden love story written in alternating POVs. Nothing smutty, but they were castaways for a while, hence 'Blessed Isle'. Just like Hsin and Boyd, (view spoiler).

As best I can tell, this is the only m/m ebook available at my library which is how i came to read it.
One of my favorite types of historical fiction or historical romance is Age of Sail. Like Louisa Musgrove in Jane Austen's Persuasion, I am enamored with Navy men and the ships that are their home. I have read two other splendid Age of Sail stories by this author so when I saw this one I jumped on it.

Captain Harry Thompson has finally achieved his goal of becoming a captain and being thought a gentleman through hardwork and opportunity. His first command is to be his defining moment, but when he
Vanessa theJeepDiva
Dec 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Blessed Isle is a powerful and soul-wrenching story by Alex Beecroft, a tale of love in a time when love is punishable by death. Captain Harry Thompson and First Lieutenant Garnet Littleton are posted on the HMS Banshee, a prison transport, when bad luck befalls the ship. Sickness overruns, leaving very few alive and as an atrocious storm sinks her, thus shipwrecking Harry and Garnet on a deserted island.

While aboard the HMS Banshee, the men fight their growing attraction towards each other, but
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
You know what you're in for when you pick up an Alex Beecroft book. Visually stimulating depictions of scenery, a strong sense of the time period that sucks readers in, and a beautiful writing style that feels almost lyrical. You almost don't care what's going on as her poetic dialogue fully immerses you in the events of the time and her characters.

Blessed Isle is a dangerous journey on the seas as well as one man's journey into self-acceptance after meeting a man who completely changes his life
Katie Michaels
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it
I had high hopes for this novella. It's the story of sea captain who has to fight his growing feelings for his lieutenant, in a time where a relationship between them could end in hanging. But it didn't work for me, largely because of the way the story is told. It's set up as a journal, recounting the history between the men. As a result, it's all telling, with no showing. The narrative never allowed me to feel invested in the story. It was more of a detached recounting of events. And I never fe ...more
♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣
What a fantastically fun read. This author knows language, but more importantly, takes great joy in using it. It's one thing to possess a toy, it's another thing to know how to properly use it. ;)

The descriptions of actions and surroundings have just the right amount of detail. It's easy to see and feel where you are no matter what's happening, and sometimes the happenings are moving quickly.

I'm tempted to mention the writing style and structure of the story but they are essential parts of the
Jan 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m
I really hadn’t a clue about the plot of Blessed Isle when I requested it from Netgalley. It caught my eye and was published by Riptide and that was enough for me to get trigger happy with the “request” button.

Turns out it wasn’t really my thing and it took me almost a month to finish. I’m not a huge fan of adventure-type novels and, well, this was one of those. It’s also a tale of forbidden love set on the high seas in a time when men were not allowed to openly show affection for one another.


4.5 stars

Blessed Isle is written as journal entries that chronicle the adventures of two British navy men at the turn of the nineteenth century. Captain Harry Thompson and Lieutenant Garnet Littleton are in charge of transporting convicts to Australia. The two take turns telling their story: their backgrounds and how they met and fell in love…

“Such a physical thing. I could have fallen on my arse from the recoil, and bawled for fright…”

The recounting gives a bittersweet view of the impossibil
Secretly Reading
Dec 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads, historical, mm
Originally reviewed for The Book Vixen

In a Nutshell: Great concept of a couple sharing their story through a joint journal but the ending was too abrupt and the sexual intimacy non-existent.

Why I Read this Book: I’ve enjoyed books by this author before and was excited to read the new one about sailors in Her Majesty’s Royal Navy.

What I Liked: I was immediately captivated by the storytelling here. Harry starts a journal chronicling how he and Garnet became a couple and then Garnet finds the journ
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: genre-historical
May the future reader know what we have not even permitted to say in the present: that we were happy. And that we were true to one another through the loss of all things. It is important to me that someone should bear witness of our love.

I bear witness. I bear witness to Harry's and Garnet's story of love, of change, despair, and loss.
They took me with them in their journal, into the past, into a lost and strange world.
Into a world where sodomy was punishable by hanging, where it was the definit
I really enjoy Alex Beecroft's historicals and Blessed Isle is no exception. The naval setting is very unique and described so well that I can easily imagine standing on the HMS Banshee during a terrible storm. I also love how Ms. Beecroft depicts the forbidden relationships between men during this time. Both heroes have different approaches to their sexuality with Harry being overly cautious and Garnet being more reckless. The way that Ms. Beecroft used the dual point of view technique helped m ...more
Beautiful and lyrical story.
The journal entries were heart-wrenching and honest, but they also made me smile, despite the men's hardships, time and time again.

My re-read list is growing fast these days :) I really need to make up a gr list for that!
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars, rounded up.

Why I read it: I picked this one up from NetGalley - I enjoyed Shining in the Sun (my review is here but you'll have to scroll down a bit) and have False Colours on my TBR (... must get to it...).

What it's about: (from Goodreads) For Captain Harry Thompson, the command of the prison transport ship HMS Banshee is his opportunity to prove his worth, working-class origins be damned. But his criminal attraction to his upper-crust First Lieutenant, Garnet Littleton, threatens t
Caroline The HEA Lover
(This review was originally published on Book Lovers Inc )

It’s a rare occurrence when I decide to read a book without reading the synopsis first* (Well unless it’s an already settled series I’m reading). In this case, I’d never read a book by this author, so I blindly trusted Riptide Publishing’s decision to publish Blessed Isle. So far I’ve never been disappointed. I am really glad I didn’t read the synopsis because I think it reveals too much about the story. It’s not a capital offense but it’
Robyn Elliot
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All of humanity with a pulse
Recommended to Robyn by: A seafaring gentleman...
The divine, the sublime and the curious case of the missing sex....
Goodness me and shiver my land-lubbering timbers, but this is a fabulous novella! Alex Beecroft doesn't write words, she crafts and moulds them into things of beauty. From page one of Blessed Isle, I wouldn't have minded if I'd been keel-hauled for reading this. Okay, no more seafaring lameness. But me hearties (sorry, I lied), the writing is just exquisite. And deeply erotic. With not a single throbbing and aching erection perio
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
While waiting on another book from the library I decided to request a copy of Blessed Isle from NetGalley. I had luck with the Tucker Springs series and wanted something light and fun to read and I wasn’t disappointed. This is my honest opinion and I received nothing in return.

This is how you write a romance novel! (To me at least.) There’s no rushing into things, there’s no the world is ours after 2-3 months (or shorter) and there’s plenty of conflict and potential heartbreak. Don’t get me wron
Dee Wy
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
For an historical story to gain my respect, it must be firmly rooted in not only the language of the period, but details of the time and place. The language was woven with such care that each time I read a phrase that transported me back in time, I sighed with happiness. The author also made me feel the swell of the waves and the tang of the salt air, the utter courage of facing extreme perils on the sea as well as the societal perils of a man loving a man, which carried the penalty of death by ...more
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
A wonderful story. See my mini-review on my blog.
Gavin Stephenson-Jackman
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love and life on the high seas can be difficult, especially at the beginning of the 1800s. Harry Thompson is the new Captain of the Banshee, a prisoner transport ship leading a contingent of ships to the Australian prison colony. He is also the rare man who has risen through the ranks of the British Navy to his current position. Garnet Littleton, the First Lieutenant is from an upper class family. Harry and Garnet are smitten at first sight but Harry just can't allow himself the pleasures that G ...more
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Spaceships and galaxy spanning empires, conversations with angels, viking villages, haunted mansions and forbidden love in the Age of Sail... I love a good strong plot in an exotic setting, with characters you can admire, and a happy ending.

If you make a venn diagram of genres, including historical, fantasy, gay romance and mystery, I occupy the space in the middle where they overlap.


BTW, if you
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“There’s a kind of joy on Garnet’s face, and seeing it shifts everything inside my head. By gradual stages, like sailing out of a fog, the obstruction cleared, my confusion lightened, my shame thinned and lifted; I understood. Garnet needed no refuge, no hidden isle moated all around by impassable sea. Inside himself, where no one else could touch him, he had learned how to be free. How not to be ashamed.” 0 likes
“No man is an island, entire of himself,” says John Donne, but two may be, together, needing nothing else.” 0 likes
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