Lover's Knots by Katherine Cross is a historical gay novel about third Lieutenant Andrew Clayton and senior officer Daniel Barret who work for His Majesty's Royal Navy on a ship. Andrew wants Daniel from the moment they first met. Something about the charismatic man with the scarred knuckles and street-tough voice heats Andrew's blood and makes his body ache. And Daniel's sure he's losing his mind. Nothing else could explain his obsession with noble-born Andrew or his constant desire to spread him across the wardroom table and mark his fair skin. In His Majesty's Royal Navy, the punishment for their love is death. One misstep could have them both at the end of a hangman's noose. But everything changes when they're granted an unexpected leave. Far from the captain's watchful eye, Daniel agrees to one week to explore each other's bodies, before they must return to their ship and the way things were. But some passions can't be tamed once unleashed, and some dangers are worth the risk.
Hidden in the shadows, Andrew watched as the other man moved, admiring the strength in his hands and the barely visible square of his jaw. He was crouched, head down, and his thigh muscles strained against the tight material of his breeches. The tails of Daniel’s jacket hung low, caressing the curve of his trim backside.
Andrew drew a breath at the sight, heat spreading across his cheeks. He forced himself to look away from the other man’s body, eyes casting briefly toward the low ceiling. Now isn’t the time for this, he told himself firmly, gaze drawn irrevocably back to the other man. Daniel sat back on his heels, large, capable hands twisting a length of thin rope, knotting it expertly. Watching Daniel’s fingers move dexterously over the coarse fibers was… God, he barely had words for the deep, heated throb low in his stomach.
“What are you doing, Mr. Barret?” Andrew asked, setting aside his bicorn on a convenient crate. The light shifted around them as the ship moved, lantern swaying on one of many rough-hewn wooden posts. The rope had been twisted into a series of two loops, he saw, one connected to the other by a straight, knot-enforced strand.
“Making ready for you.”
Andrew barely had time to register movement. With no warning, almost too fast to be believed, Daniel straightened and pushed forward. He drove Andrew back a full three steps, larger body pressing tight against his. Andrew hit a beam with a startled yell, sound cut off by the sudden press of Daniel’s hot, insistent mouth. Andrew struggled against the muscled chest, shoving ineffectually as he was penned in.
Trapped as Daniel’s mouth glided over his again and again.
Body rapidly heating, Andrew lifted his face to the shockingly intimate kiss and gradually ceased fighting. He moaned, lips parting, and melted back against worn wood when Daniel’s tongue stroked into his mouth, hot and slick and curious.
Source: Ellora's Cave