The Matelot - Ariel Tachna Read the full review at focus of this story is really on the romance and the character development. Each man had to come to terms with his own past traumas and those of his love in order to find redemption and fulfillment. They’re all rounded enough to be likeable, particularly Eliodoro, who was really sweet in his innocent brashness and just the right amount of femmy and needy to make it clear why Quinn, a natural nurturer and protector, had to find him irresistible.For the price of giving the four main characters more room, the secondary cast remains sketchy, though, supernumeraries for the purpose of giving the acting characters cues.The story is told in the alternating third person POV’s of the four main characters, mostly Quinn’s, with the narrator often switching from one man to the other within one paragraph. The breaks were sometimes barely distinctive enough to prevent headhopping. Also, there was a lot of “telling” (as opposed to “showing”) how the characters feel and what makes them act as they do. I thought it fit the mood, since this is a historical, after all, and the author mostly managed to avoid omniscient narrative. Nevertheless, others might find this narrative style even more bothersome than I did. In my opinion, it only kept the characters from coming truely alive.The beauty in the institution of matelotage is that it’s a historical fact, thus I couldn’t help wondering why m/m authors didn’t use it more often. In this story, though, the historical setting is merely the backdrop for the character development of the four main characters. The worldbuilding is subtle, more to give an idea of the time and place rather than being really essential, although it’s sufficient to create the mood. Yet, the historical facts and authenticity didn’t sit quite right with me on occasion. It wasn’t much in itself really, little things like some of the sexual practices, or the men referring to themselves as “pirates”, or the Puritans on Providence Island accepting the matelots without reservations. I wouldn’t know if this is accurate; after all, I wasn’t there. But those little things which didn’t feel right added together to a constant, bothering niggle in the back of the reading.If you’re looking for an action – packed pirate adventure or an hilarious romp à la “Pirates Of The Caribbean”, this story isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you feel like escaping reality for a while and want to immerse yourself in an bucolic, exotic world full of romatic pirates, sweet, caring love and hot, passionate sex, you might want to give this book a try.