Rating: 4 stars out of 5
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.
Well, this is a surprising review to write because I thought I knew exactly how this was going to go before I started the book and wrote the review. Talk about a teaching moment. Sigh. Never make assumptions. Trite but oh so true.
You see I thought I knew the book I was going to read. Why? Because I read the first edition published in 2007. Well, my paperback copy (yellowed and well loved due to multiple readings) says 2008. Really, I read that thing so many times I had it half memorized. I mean, that book sizzled! Just the growled “Boy” from Hawk to Aiden was enough to have me fanning myself. And the sex? Off the charts! Spanking and yes, fisting. My Fair Captain was incendiary!
It also was funny, layered, and grounded in an amazing universe so well built that it could support a series. As finally did.
Add to that a complicated intergalactic conspiracy that has it’s intricate groundwork laid down in this novel for books to come (The Englor Affair,My Regelence Rake (Sci-Regency #3), a fantastic family and cast of fully developed characters you couldn’t get enough of and you had an addictive 5 star novel. I’m one of its biggest fans. I knew exactly what to expect when I picked up the new release from Dreamspinner Press.
Only that’s not what I got.
I got My Fair Captain…Lite.
From the original 341 pages down to 244, gone are all the BDSM aspects of the story (a favorite element quite frankly). The few times that that Hawk calls Aiden “boy” here it makes no sense and its most likely because they forgot to delete it. Now he calls Aiden “Sweetheart”. I actually shuddered. So far out of character is that nickname as a replacement for “Boy”.
Another character I loved got a lightening of character. Trouble was a dangerous, brilliant teenage soldier who was capable of threatening to kill someone in the first story. This made total sense as he had been in countless battles with Hawk on the Lady Anna spaceship. The second version? Thrown out the window! That aspect of Trouble where he could actually take down someone in combat or kill someone? Gone, and with it something of value. It was endearing to have Trouble wearing bunny slippers knowing he was a predator. Not as funny when that was removed.
Yes, I got out my paperback after completing the eBook and went page by page because I was so dumbfounded by the changes.
Some beloved passages remain the same. A lot really. But there are also major shifts to just a sweet romance, away from the complicated, sensual story I first fell in love with. So how to review this? There’s so much of the old still here that I loved? And yet so much elemental that’s gone. The framework is here, the characters are all here, but even they aren’t exactly the same…mostly. It’s just different enough for someone to have read and still loves the original to be off-putting. Like I said all the robust flavor and depth has been removed…and now it’s lite beer.
Which is fine if that’s to your liking.
So, I guess if you are new to this series, you won’t have the same expectations as I did and will enjoy this series immensely. It really does have great characters, a fast paced plot, lots of humor and romance. And with four brothers, more stories (one for each) to come.
But if you are like me, a lover of the original. Skip it. Run, don’t walk, back to our paperback copies, grab hold and start reading them again like I did last night. All of a sudden it was 2008 and I had just discovered this incredible author and this amazing book I couldn’t get enough of. Now to turn on that fan.
First Edition published by Samhain Publishing Ltd., June 2007
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design. Again, sweet and nice. Lite! Will never live up to the hottness that was that original Anne Cain cover. It brought in the half naked torso craze that’s so common now everywhere. Tired of half naked torsos? Blame it on this cover because (fans self) thats where it began. See the original cover design below.