Two young men try to reunite across the divide of ocean and against the tide of history.
Owl…it’s the name given to Grant Fletcher by his close friends and allies, the Tuscarora Indians of North Carolina's Ocracoke Island. His best friend is Sky, a native son.
When Grant is forced to leave the island—when his family comes to "rescue" him from the only home he's ever known—he must also leave Sky. His new father takes him to the tall dark city of Edinburgh, center of enlightenment, and of sinister shadows too. When the story opens, he's twelve and Sky is fifteen. But reality has a way of making boys into men, very fast.
Sky is a native of an emerging country...America...an indigenous segment of the New World that its new settlers are trying to eradicate or to marginalize. What happens when this young Indian strikes a fateful bargain with a colonial icon named Daniel Boone? When he teams up with an African man once held in an iron collar?
Owl & Sky is a story of young love, a continuation of the universe that began with “The Renegade and the Runaway” series (Unkilted and Unbroken, c. 2019 by Erin O’Quinn). This current novel shares many of the characters in that series.
Publisher: New Dawn Press
Heat Level: 2
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: Under 18
Protagonist 2 Age: Under 18
Tropes: Coming of Age, Cultural Differences, Fated Mates / Soul Mates, Interracial Relationship, Love Can Heal / Redemption, True Love
Word Count: 56423
Setting: Colonial America and Scotland
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
~Interlude: The MacGregor Steel~
Early August, 1772
Somewhere on the path back to North Carolina Colony
For the first time in his twenty-six years, Gregory had brought his real name out of hiding. Like the forbidden tartan and the outlawed dirk, Clan MacGregor had been stripped of their very name, by order of a king. Now, on foreign soil in a still-wild New World, no one seemed to care about his name. Men seemed to fight their demons—the immorality of slave-holding, the resentment of displaced Indians, Redcoat against colonist, the alcohol that helped all of them forget—men seemed to struggle with larger problems than their birth name.READ MORE
And so Gregory MacGregor began to think of himself as a son of Scotland rather than a Highland outlaw. And he started to see himself as a man, in love with a man who was funny and wise, bold and shy. He and David had just begun to explore the complicated map of their own bodies and hidden emotions, away from the sight of others.
Away from others—except for Sky. Tha’ lad was different. He saw their love, and he seemed to accept it.
Bluidy hell, I think the lad actually understands it.
Last night, while David and John drowsed by the fire, Sky had approached him.
“Gregory, may I ask a personal question of you?”
He looked up into the cascading sparks of their campfire, tiny stars trying to find their heaven, and nodded to the lad.
“Any time, Sky. Sit here beside me.”
“I wonder when the time is right to join with another man.”
He was suddenly embarrassed. What answer could he give to an honest soul like this young warrior?
“I mean, more than our spirits. I dream about it…about him…every night. I know we’re not quite hatched, as Father says. But the need is strong. As soon as I find him again, I think we must know what to do.”
Gregory smiled, watching the lad’s eyes pick up the flaring embers of remembered passion, all the while shaking his braids in denial.
“My cousin Grant is—what? Twelve years? I remember how I felt at that age. Holding something hard between my legs, needing release, dreaming of dark-eyed men. But…” What followed was no’ quite what he wanted to say, but it was an answer he thought Sky may need to hear from a kindred soul.
“But what we touch and what we dream are two different, two special worlds, Sky. So I think…I’ve found it takes a verra special man to sort through the real and the spiritual. We chip into our hearts, and the fragments we leave are…” He was lost for words.
“I think I know, Gregory. The pieces are like these sparks of fire. They can burn, and they can heal. We need to look at ourselves with truth and honor. Bear the pain. And then we may be ready to fold another heart into our own.”
“Did I say all tha’, lad?” He laughed. “Love is like a sgian dubh, a Scot’s black knife, held close to the heart. When it comes out, we must by god be ready to use it well.”COLLAPSE
5.0 out of 5 stars Soaring But Grounded
Reviewed in the United States on January 13, 2020
If Robert Louis Stevenson and James Fenimore Cooper were contemporaries and had met in a bar to exchange tales, the bartender would have been Robert Burns and the tales they might have woven might have wound up in a book much like this one by one of the best M/M historical romance writers we happen to have in our midst.
This richly developed love story, which has no actual sex scenes but is infused with romance, centers around the relationship between the Tuscaroa Indian teenager "Sky" and his dearest friend "Owl." The latter is the pubescent boy whose only identity we can deduce at first is that his mother is Scottish and somehow wound up being born on one of the banks of North Carolina where Sky also lives during the run up to the Revolutionary War.
If that sounds complicated, it really is clear as a bell to those who have read the first two novellas in this series. For those who have not, author Erin O'Quinn deftly outlines the entire plotlines of those two tomes as she weaves a fabric of fealty, mendacity, vengeance and love so that we are fully informed about who is whom and what is what in very short time.
That she has captured how North America must have been by including a slave and a wild subplot involving Daniel Boone and rolling the characters forward onto the high seas and into Edinburgh and the Highlands is something to behold.
Behold. And be thrilled
This novel is heat-rated PG-13, sweet romance. The other novels in that universe (Unkilted and Unbroken) contain direct erotic content.
Although not strictly a work in "The Renegade and the Runaway" series, it takes place in the same universe and shares many of the same characters.