Author: N.D. Clark
Publication Date: January 10, 2019
Length: 135 pages
Reviewed by Jenn
An affluent family, steeped in generations of honorable service in the U.S. Navy, is led by a powerful patriarch, Admiral Guy Cato. As the second world war looms large on the horizon, the admiral has lost faith in his eldest son, Morgan, a womanizer with seemingly little aspirations. Therefore, the admiral decides to entrust the fate of the family’s future to his youngest son and prodigy, Edmond Cato, demanding he serve as an officer in the U.S. Navy. But the powerful patriarch doesn’t stop there. He insists that Edmond marry Cilla Mora, the beautiful debutante daughter of his close friend, Bill Mora, an influential senator from Virginia, uniting two powerful and wealthy families, thus assuring the preservation of the Cato name and its legacy. But Edmond has no desire to join the Navy or to marry Cilla Mora. His true passion lies in engineering and although he has been accepted into the College of Engineering at Princeton University, he eventually caves to the pressure of his overbearing and controlling father and agrees to attend the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD.
At the train station, where Edmond is in line to purchase a ticket to Annapolis, he meets a handsome, intriguing young man by the name of Richard Walters, who comes from a humble shrimping background in Gulfport, Mississippi. Sensing they might have more than just academics in common, Edmond must make a gut-wrenching decision to please his overbearing father or take his destiny into his own hands.
Edmond Cato and Richard Walters, the two main characters are very likable and they have an insta-love connection. On a train ride from Virginia to New Jersey, these two fall in love and make life altering decisions. I was surprised giving it’s 1938 and these two are so willing to jump right into a romantic/physical relationship so quickly. I understand that this is fiction, but it feels like in a time where a same sex love affair would not be at all acceptable...they would have been a little hesitant to be so bold so quickly.
They move into an all male boarding house with eight other residents, including a twelve year old boy. This was my biggest issue with the book, there is a matter of two boarder’s lifestyle that made me so uncomfortable with the twelve year old being present. This could very well be my own sense of modesty at play, but I was uncomfortable and felt this was a bit too much.
As far as the rest, I loved the loyalty and unconditional friendships and support offered to these two young men. They make a powerful enemy in Edmond’s father and it’s nice to see them have shelter from his horribleness. There is also this tremendous amount of integrity displayed by Edmond when he is offered the answer to so many of his problems and it goes against his core beliefs. I love seeing an eighteen year old with such strong convictions. Edmond and Richard May have fallen for each other very suddenly, but show an incredible amount of love, affection, and a willingness to sacrifice for each other. They are committed to their fledgling romance and it’s very sweet to see such devotion.
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