'Winds of Change & Eye of the Storm' by Lee Rowan begins where the first book left off. David and Will are firmly established as a couple but fear that their captain's new assignment will separate them. While they don't want this to happen, they know that it's a real possibility. Instead, they are placed together deliberately because of their loyalty and trustworthiness. Something the captain needs in spades, because there's a saboteur on board and the captain is hoping, with Will and David's help, to expose and bring him to justice. Considering that the captain thinks the best way to lure the traitor in is for them to act like lovers, it's an amusing situation, especially since they try so hard not to do that; but duty calls and they respond to the request with relish.
Will loves the sea and takes his job very seriously. David is there by chance and the only thing keeping him on a ship is being near Will. But when Will is in command, he feels he must behave as a good example to his men, which leaves David lonely and frustrated. He's definitely a black and white thinking person. David has more patience than God when it comes to enduring William's stick up the ass attitude about certain things. It took an extraordinary set of circumstances to get them together as lovers in the beginning and it seems that it will take even more remarkable circumstances to keep them there.
When an accident at sea separates them, Will is devastated. While he and David are apart, Will misses David so much that, at times, he feels as if he can't go on. Yet at the same time, he takes every opportunity to put walls between them; constantly thinking of reasons why they should not be together. In a decision he makes without consulting David, Will refuses to read the frequent missives he receives from him and never replies. He's made up his mind that David is better off without him and, even though Will is miserable and feels only half-alive, he is determined to avoid contact with him. He's hoping that David will soon give up on him and move on. I've never understood this type of logic. Will has the most precious gift anyone could have and he's trying to dismiss it; and even worse, he doesn't give David an opportunity to defend himself. Will's fear of losing David, while rejecting him at the same time, just about drove me crazy. More than once, I wanted to shake him and tell him to get over himself; open his heart and love David the way he deserves to be loved and to stop doubting that they are meant to be together. Try as I may, I can't understand his logic; nor can I understand how Will could love the sea so much that he'd give up being with the man he loves just to be on a ship instead of in some small cottage, living together. Duty and honor are nice to a point, but they can surely make for a lonely life.
David is such a good soul. Even with all the hardships and abuse he's had to endure, he still has this wonderful, glowing joy for life. He's beautiful inside and out, charming, loveable, and has more patience than is sometimes good for him. David loves William with all his heart and has an innate understanding of him which Will may not even have of himself. How he has the patience to put up with Will's indecision and doubts, I can't fathom. So many times it's David who gives in and sorts things out and he does so with as much grace and passion as possible. Sometimes I think that Will doesn't deserve David's devotion. I don't blame him for feeling angry when Will starts treating him like a China doll instead of the strong, capable man he knows him to be and I was thrilled when he finally has enough and takes action, even when it means going against Will's direct orders.
There's a great deal more going on in this story. A trip to meet Kit, David's cousin, provides an opportunity to show some history about sugar plantations; a rescue mission to pick up Kit's father-in-law leads to meeting his friend Etienne Beauchene, a brilliant mathematician. These are just some of the other adventures, or misadventures, as you will. But the core of the story is Will and David's struggle to become closer, while outside influences conspire to pull them apart. I enjoyed this story even more than the last. It runs more smoothly, with plenty of action and a great deal of angst. If you enjoyed the first story in the series, 'Ransom', then you will surely enjoy this one as well. I recommend it not only to followers of the series, but to new readers as well. Thanks, Lee, for another story about Will and David and their quest to find happiness together. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.