Release Day Review: Swift for the Sun by Karen Bovenmyer

Benjamin Lector imagines himself a smuggler, a gunrunner, and an all-around scoundrel. A preacher’s son turned criminal, first and foremost he is a survivor.

When Benjamin is shipwrecked on Dread Island, fortune sends an unlikely savior—a blond savage who is everything Benjamin didn’t know he needed. Falling in love with Sun is easy. But pirates have come looking for the remains of Benjamin’s cargo, and they find their former slave Sun instead.

Held captive by the pirates, Benjamin learns the depths of Sun’s past and the horrors he endured and was forced to perpetrate. Together, they must not only escape, but prevent a shipment of weapons from making its way to rebellious colonists. Benjamin is determined to save the man he loves and ensure that a peaceful future together is never threatened again. To succeed might require the unthinkable—an altruistic sacrifice.

Well now, THAT was an adventure of epic proportions.

When I read the blurb and saw the cover my little lizard brain went “Smugglers! Scalliwags! Scoundrels! YES PLEASE!”

And I did get all those things, but with so much more. The story starts right away with high seas action and drama and was exactly what I expected. Kudos to the author for working all the technical aspects of ship life into the action so easily. Shit got seriously real from the get go and there were teases alluding to deeper shenanigans going on aboard the ship than just gun running. The bodies wash ashore on Dread Island and the seemingly only survivor is the “Captain” Bejamin. I added the quotes around Captain for a reason and something you’ve got to remember throughout reading Swift for the Sun; very little is what it seems and most of the players have WAY more to them than you learn at their first introductions.

While Benjamin’s future seems pretty hopeless on Dread Island, his luck changes for the better when he is saved by the man he begins to know as Sun. Sun is a mystery wrapped in an enigma, etc. etc. It’s obvious he’s survived on the island alone for a long time and at one time had the capacity for language. He’s covered in scars and surrounded by an air of sadness and loneliness. Reading about the time the two of them spent together on the island had me totally engrossed. I was only about 30% into the story and I just wanted it to end there. The two of them were happy, I was happy for them and the little heartbreaking hints into Sun’s past made me wanted him to stick to the safety of their island a la Blue Lagoon. But no, shit got real yet again and some seriously bad dudes end up on Dread Island as well signaled by a fire that Benjamin kinda – sorta started in a hissy fit and he has all manner of guilt about it.

A good bit of the story is spent in Benjamin’s head and he’s got a lot of soul searching going on throughout as he comes to terms with the path his life has taken and as he learns to let go of the guilt he carries in order to be with the man he loves and to be the man that Sun needs. Remember how I said that very little is as it seems? Well, from here on out no statement could be more truthful. A lot happens in this book and a lot of information is given about the how’s and the why’s. It’s a lot but it’s necessary and it’s balanced with the arc of the story. You do have to be on your game though, this isn’t an easy love story you can roll with. All happiness is hard won and there’s no getting comfortable because the aforementioned shit gets real repeatedly for all the characters.

So, there’s a lot of shenanigans and spying and subterfuge and a bunch of other ‘s’ words going on, but the author does manage to keep the focus on Benjamin and Sun, both together and separately. There’s a purpose for every decision they make and while their destiny was out of their hands for most of the book, they were determined to control the hell out of what they could to drive their lives forward and together. Swift for the Sun is exciting, stressful and really very romantic. I loved reading about Benjamin and Sun together and Sun is a character that will stick with me for a long time. Who doesn’t love the quiet badass who will protect those he loves at any cost? There’s no doubt the two love each other deeply and given their histories, they deserve some happiness. It wraps up pretty neatly given all that was going on, but by that time, I was ready for their HEA as much as they were.

If you’re a fan of historical romance where the history plays an important role in the story, you’ll appreciate this one very much. If you’d prefer less actual history and prefer just the feel of a time period, you may feel a little frustration at some of the detail, but you’ll still be happy with the emotion the author delivers.

Head to Dreamspinner Press for more information and to pick up a copy of Swift for the Sun.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

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