Series: Outlawed #1
Published by Sally Malcolm on 25th March 2021
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Two weeks on the road together. Two weeks trapped in a carriage. Two weeks to win him back, or part with him forever…
Had there been no war, Sam Hutchinson and Nate Tanner would have lived their lives together, as friends and secret lovers. But when the revolution convulsed America, it threw them down on opposite sides of history…
Five years later, Sam is a Loyalist refugee in London, penniless, bitter, and scrambling to survive amid the city’s shadowy underworld. It’s a far cry from his respectable life as a Rhode Island lawyer, and the last person he wants to witness his ruin is Nate Tanner— the man he once loved, the man who betrayed him. The man he can’t forgive.
Now an agent of the Continental Congress, Nate is in London on the trail of a traitor threatening America’s hard-won freedom. But the secret mission of his heart is very different. Nate longs to find Sam Hutchinson—the man he still loves, the man he lost in the war. The man he can’t forget.
When their lives unexpectedly collide, Sam and Nate are thrown together on a dangerous mission. Still nursing his resentment, reconciliation is the last thing on Sam’s mind, but every day he spends on the road with Nate weakens his resolve. And despite everything that divides them, old passions begin to reignite...
Sally Malcolm isn’t that new of an author to me; she’d been on my feed since my ol’ SG-1 fic reading days and even back then, the writing was absolutely stellar and unforgettable.
Years later, the quality of her writing – along with the historical research – has only shot up higher, more so that she’s found such a unique dimension of situating the conflict that we find ourselves in today within 2 men’s personal dilemma during a time when America was still finding its democratic feet.
It is admittedly, a historical period that is foreign to me, yet Malcolm frames this conflict in a fascinating way, its forward momentum coming through not just because of the tumult that characters both sides of the Atlantic face, but also because of the intensely-written emotions and deep insights into human nature that she has written deep into both the protagonists.
As a result, Sam Hutchinson’s and Nate Tanner’s relationship takes on a unique sheen; Sam’s un-erasable hurt, his sharp longing and deep anguish both for his ‘lost’ partner and the country he’d been banished from jump off the pages and his subsequent vindication somehow, seems like a story that I think I’d always wanted to read all my life. That Malcolm kept me wide-eyed and hoping for his redemption (perhaps also quite unfairly) made me wonder however – and it’s my only complaint here – if she should have written Nate with a little bit more courage and less subterfuge.
Yet their holding pattern by the end is oddly enough, their HEA (for now), though there’s clearly more to come in a saga that’s shaping up to be quite an epic series. ‘King’s Man’ is quite possibly the most standout of books in 2021 (thus far); from the sun-drenched tranquility of Rosemont to the filthy back alleys and secretive coffee houses of London – it’s such an brilliant, expansive story of intrigue, deceit and love that already makes me wonder how its sequel will match up.