Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gay historical fiction at full throttle: Mel Keegan's DANGEROUS MOONLIGHT

You think "Mel Keegan," and you probably think "science fiction." MK has published more SF than any other genre. But what you don't know if you're not "behind the scenes" is that MK has written more fantasy than any other genre (it just hasn't been put between covers and stuck to a webpage yet), and there are also loads of historical novels that have yet to see print ... and a gorgeous collection of historicals that are in print already.

Till recently my favorite was Fortunes of War. First off, I like pirates, and second, the book has absolutely everything. I will be reviewing it soon, but to fill in the blank till I get round to it, there's a great review of FOW on Squashduck so I'll put the link in here:

But in the last year or so, my favorite MK historical (or anybody's historical!) has been Dangerous Moonlight, and I can't fathom what MK would have to write to change this around. The book is that good. About once a year you read a book that blows your mind. Usually it's SF that blows my braincells across the bus, but I also like historicals, and this one ...!

First, it's a BIG book. It's about 450pp and the type is not padded at all with whitespace. It's the length of two or two-and-a-half ordinary books, so it's not just "bang for your reading buck," it's a BIG bang, esp if you get the ebook which is about ten bucks for how much reading?

The story follows the adventures of Harry Trevellion (highwayman and smuggler) and Nick Grey (bastard son of a rich businessman). One night, Harry holds up Nick's coach -- sparks fly, it's high-blood-pressure time! But Harry robs him, so Nick is more furious than romantically inspired even though he fancies Harry ... a lot. The plot thickens with Nick's legitimate brother, Paul, who's a demon in human skin, and their frail aged father. Knowing what the legit son is like, the old father changes his will to favor the bastard ... and All Hell Busts Loose.

It's highway robbery, storms at sea, pistols and swords, noble houses, London brothels, casinos, fortunes changing hands in card games, wrongful arrest, murder, prison ... and if you've been looking for a book that gives some great steamy scenes, this is the one you want!

The book is Keegan at full throttle, and it's been getting great reviews everywhere. Check out The Rainbow Reviews one:, and there's also a great one on Speak Its Name:

I was privileged to read Dangerous... about three months before anyone else, because I'm a proofie at DreamCraft. I read it three times "for work" and -- here's the ultimate compliment for a book! -- it was thrilling every time. A lot of times, you start to get bored by the time you finish the last proof "pass" ... not with this one.

Does the book have a downside? I haven't found one yet. The dialog is NOT written in that kind of hokey fake-Shakespeare style a lot of writers adopt, forsooth. The sex scenes are hot enough to steam up your glasses, but delicate enough to not get anyone upset (unless they should have been reading a bible and picked this volume by by mistake). The characters are so well-drawn, you seem to have a movie playing in your head.

And the research into the time of the novel (set in 1727) is amazing. I'm positive MK has a tardis parked somewhere, and jaunts back to a certain time, and then returns to the present and writes the book.

Highly recommended. AG's rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

Note that the Amazon version is wearing a smart new cover:

You can now buy this title in paperback, hardcover, and ebook version. The hardcover is only available from Lulu ... Aussie and New Zealand readers: if you order from Lulu, your book will be manufactured in Australia and you'll have it in about a week. Northern Hemisphere readers -- it's your call: Lulu or Amazon, as suits your whim, for the paperback.


Order the Paperback:

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Order the Hardcover:
Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

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(Versions for the iPhone and Omnia are in the works. I'll update this page when they're available.)