Book: My Fair Captain
Author: J. L. Langley
Spoiler level: low
I often think it would be so great to live in the olden days, and England's Regency period (early 1800's) is quite attractive. Then I think, But wait! Medieval dental procedures! Lack of women's rights!
In My Fair Captain, J. L. Langley has quite neatly gotten around this problem by creating an outer space society that's based on the Regency model. You have all the fun of Regency clothes and courtship rituals and castles and balls, plus all the high-tech conveniences you'd want. I would totally live there. And if you are a secretly gay and hunky spaceship captain on assignment to the planet Regelence, you are also quite pleased to note that this Regency society is quite different from traditional Regency societies in another key way.
I always love a good "reveal" moment in a book where a character is really surprised by something the reader already knows and this one was fun. Nate's superior, Carl, informs Nate that he'll be the guest of King Steven and his consort, Raleigh while investigating a crime. Carl goes on to say,
"I doubt you will be recognized, but if you are it will not be a big deal. And while we are on the subject, Steven and Raleigh are the only ones who will know the true reason you’re there. Off the record, I know both of these men personally. They are good men and they aren’t involved. You can trust them fully. However, officially you report to me. You’ll be briefed fully when you—”Very patriarchal indeed! The entire ruling class is gay. There are lube faucets in every bedroom. This book also has a delightful "duel scene" opening. The text is written in a highly conversational way, and therefore sort of lax on language, but that's part of the personality of the tale here. I find myself thinking about this story a lot when I'm not reading it. I won this book on a contest at Lisabea's Nose in a Book blog, and it's tons of fun. Thanks! I'm at the part where fair captain Nate is about to attend a ball. Will he be able to retain his professional demeanor around enchanting young swain Adrian? I hope not!
Nate blinked, totally losing track of what the admiral was saying. Did he say—surely not. “Wait. Did you say he? The king’s consort is a man?” Societies like the one they were discussing, like the one Nate grew up in, did not tolerate same-sex relationships.
The admiral laughed. “Did I forget to mention that Regelence is a very patriarchal society?"