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Fortunes of War [Kindle Edition]

Mel Keegan
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In 1588 a young mercenary and the son of an English earl meet by a quirk of fate. Dermot Channon is a soldier, while Robin Armagh has been sheltered on his father's estate. Love blossoms fast while war looms on the horizon. Under the thundercloud of armed conflict, Channon leaves England and the Spanish Armada sails soon after. Robin despairs of seeing him again, for their countries are locked in an endless struggle. Years fly by, and in 1595, when Robin's brother is taken for ransom in Panama, the dangerous duty of delivering the price of his life and liberty falls to Robin. He sails with the historical '1595 Fleet,' commanded by Francis Drake, hoping to bring home his brother. But Fortune has other plans for Robin and Channon. Ahead of them is a an epic adventure in hazardous waters where old enmities, Spanish and English, shape their future together -- and try to drive them apart.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 635 KB
  • Print Length: 286 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0975088491
  • Publisher: DreamCraft; Fourth Edition edition (15 Jun. 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001V5KEHC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #789,501 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everything a gay period romance should be. 3 Dec. 1999
By A Customer
Having read quite a few of Mel Keegan's books before I hit on this one, I knew pretty much what to expect - his own take on a time where Love and War between Men was an integral ( albeit often hidden) part of life. However, I didn't expect the to be presented with two totally enchanting protagonists. Dermot the Irish Spanish mercenary is right up there with the great romantic leads - a cross between Heathcliff and Mr.Darcy. While Robert or Robin is a nobleman's youngest and fairest son, and comes from the intelligent, sensitive but strong school of heroes like Indiana Jones and McGyver. The story takes them through arguably one of history's most romantic periods - the Renaissance, through the time of Shakespeare and Elizabeth 1 and Philip's Spanish Armarda. Both men are extremely passionate about each other, and take the opportunity to express it physically and emotionally whenever they can, although Keegan does shows some restraint with the corniness. There is plenty of humour, adventure, angst, honour and love for everyone, and it is extremely difficult not to enjoy yourself if you're willing to let go of some literary snobbery. You even learn a few things about the period. I just hope he produces another set of heroes as 'do-able' as these in equally entertaining circumstances.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hey, Sailor! 24 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
Mel Keegan is one of my guilty pleasures. He's not a great writer, but he IS entertaining as hell. Sure his historical novels are a little corny and a little silly, but they are so much fun, who cares? I mean, pirate romances?! This is the story of a half-breed gentleman pirate who falls in love with the innocent son of an English earl--and their rollicking adventures over the bounding main. Like nearly all Keegan's stuff there is plenty of action (sex and sword play)and romance. Other than about five clumsy pages of boring narrative right in the middle of the big reunion scene--I think pacing is Keegan's main problem--other than THAT, this is a fun, fast read and highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An unusual yet very entertaining read. 6 Jan. 2000
By A Customer
I had only read this authors science fiction books prior to stumbling across this title in my local bookstore, buried in a corner like so many Lesbian & Gay sections. At first I did'nt like the idea of this book, being a confirmed sci-fi buff. I was reluctant to give it a go but I was pleased from the outset. This book has pace and a plot, not just gay sex, believe it or not. Although the later is present but in quantaties that sound realistic and readable. The interaction between the two main characters is convincing if some what predictable, overall a good read considering how poorly Mr Keegan got started with Ice, Wind and Fire.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the genre 24 Feb. 2002
By Maries - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read Aquamarine and Ice, Wind, and Fire, and thought they were just so-so - but Fortunes of War is one of the best historical romances I've ever read, gay or straight (and I've read a lot of them). And if anyone is sick of the cliches of the standard heterosexual romance novel, this book is a great breather, very fresh and unique. The plot is not as predictable or naive as in some other Keegan novels, and there are more twists and turns than I would normally expect from him. The characters in this book are painstakingly developed, the setting feels completely authentic, and the writing is really a notch above that in Aquamarine and Ice. There are also fewer typos.
What's best about the novel is the intensity of the relationship between the heroes. They are hot, they are passionate, they are believable, and their relationship is believable. It makes sense that they are in love, a point a lot of romance novels neglect. The sex is hot too - not as ubiquitous as in Ice, and better, more intense, than in Aquamarine.
Somewhere among the pirates, battles and other thrills and adventures, there is a more serious gay theme. The heroes suffer for their love and are forced to make hard choices and big sacrifices in a world where homosexual love is not always welcome.
As usual, Keegan's dialogue is a bit stilted and odd in places, and some of the secondary characters are a little shallow, but whatever weaknesses this novel has are swept away by the desparate intensity of the heroes' relationship. It's impossible not to fall in love with them both, and little flaws can easily be overlooked when you're in love.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The things I do for Mel... 25 Nov. 1997
By Drew Brainiard - Published on
I'm a fan of Mel Keegan, one of the world's most irritatingly non-prolific writers, so I get lured into reading things I ordinarily would not. Like--er--pirate stories.
In FORTUNE'S OF WAR Keegan abandons contemporary thrillers (please don't do this, Mel!) and sci fi thrillers to turn his attention to historical adventure. This is the tale of half-Spanish mercenary Dermot Channon and his love for young Robert Armagh, the son of an English earl. As the blurb on the back of the book puts it, "The couple's adventures together on the Spanish Main make a swashbuckling romance in the best gay pirate tradition." That reads for sex, dueling, sex, sea battles, sex, revenge, deadly fevers...did I mention sex? In short, plenty of action of all descriptions.
Keegan has a keen eye for sensuous detail, and a gift for creating warriors with a tender side. His stories are wildly imaginative, romantic and fun.
So am I now a fan of pirate stories? No. But I'm still a fan of Mel Keegan.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply pure delight ! 19 July 2002
By R.Parklane - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fortunes of War was my first Keegan's book. It is so good that it prompted me to acquire all other Keegan's books which are available. Sadly none has come close to Fortunes of War. I do not care for the Spain vs England background. It is the story of the two lovers which gripped me and held me till the end. Our two lovers are such likable beautiful young men, their characters solid and almost real. When they were forced to be separated I felt a tug at my heart and just had to keep on reading until 3 in the morning to savor their reunion. Their love for each other is lusty, breathless yet tender and touching. I am a straight woman and have not touched a romance novels for years. However Fortunes of War has become one of my top ten favorites. I hope the book will be savored by a wider audience and not just men in love with each other.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yohoho! and a bottle of Madeira! (What happned to Rhum?) 19 Nov. 2001
By - Published on
This author is addictive! As soon as I finished this book, I simply turned it around and began again, it's that good reading. Fine story, adventure, South Seas, yellow fever, fighting, blody pirates and so on, and the sweetest sex you can imagine. If a man can bring himself to call another man "Mi querido!" or "sweeting" and, at the same time, have the urge to gut his enemies "like a haddock" (a bit messy, but a good "pirate thing" to say huh?), and swordplay like any d'Artagnan, then, as the saying goes "God is in his heaven, and everything's alright". It's a love story fit to soothe the soul, the heart and the guts of any reader, makes you all mellow inside...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars in dire need of a thorough editing 27 April 2006
By Furio - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Let's set things straight: this is a great book. Any of the criticisms I shall list below is perfectly true but does not diminish its value.

Fortunes of War is a long, satisfying gay romance with an interesting historical setting: I am no scholar and cannot say whether Mr Keegan has his xvi century history right but the setting is nonetheless perfectly convincing.

The plot may look like a classic (straight) romance but it is well paced, action packed with many pages dedicated to dialogue and love making, vastly different from the usual stuff you get in straight stories of courageous damsels in distress meeting the charming rogue.

The writing is fine, much better than what you usually get from gay-themed novel. The first pages are outstanding: they unfortunately set so high a standard Mr Keegan is later no longer able to keep up to: a pity, we could have a real literary classic now and not "just" an excellent novel.

Dermot and Robin are wonderful characters: charmingly flawed, passionate, proud, strong willed and utterly vulnerable. I fell desperately in love with both of them and greatly enjoyed their sex: extremely well written, quite explicit, emotionally intense and tasteful.

There are many side characters, many of them well rounded and useful to push the story forward and give it more depth.

Let's see the flaws now:

- typos, many of them.

- many minor but irritating inconsistencies, such as Robin's hair which suddenly turns brown to turn red again; at times he is muscled, at times nearly thin.

- clumsiness in character's and plot's development: the novel is long (could have been longer though, the story and characters have enourmous potential) and sometimes Mr Keegan seems to lose its grasp on it. Plot twists and characterization details are not always to the point and not really convincing.

- there are some paragraphs whose writing is not as good and polished as always.

I wish the author would find a competent editor and put his feather back to his work again: this novel is worth such an effort and it is an outright shame no one is willing to publish it again for the sake of any reader, gay and straight.
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