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Carlisle & Holbrooke Naval Adventures Books In Order

Publication Order of Carlisle & Holbrooke Naval Adventures Books

The Colonial Post-Captain (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Leeward Islands Squadron (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Jamaica Station (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Holbrooke's Tide (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Cursed Fortress (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Perilous Shore (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rocks and Shoals (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Carlisle and Holbrooke Naval Adventures Series by Chris Durbin
Author Chris Durbin pens the “Carlisle and Holbrooke Naval Adventures” series, which began publication in the year 2017, when “The Colonial Post-captain” was released.

The series follows Edward Carlisle (who’s a native of Williamsburg, Virginia) and George Holbrooke (Edward’s protege and is from Wickham, Hampshire). They navigate the professional and political storms of the Seven Years War through to the War of American Independence.

“The Colonial Post-captain” is the first novel in the “Carlisle and Holbrooke” series and was released in the year 2017. The Western Mediterranean in 1756. An uneasy peace is soon to be shattered while France’s greatest living general prepares an invasion force in Toulon, but where’s it going?

Captain Carlisle is from Virginia, which is a loyal colony of the British. While the clouds of war gather, Carlisle’s tiny frigate (Fury) is ordered to go to Toulon for a recon mission. If fighting the winter weather in the Gulf of Lions isn’t enough of a challenge, Carlisle has to juggle the delicate diplomatic issues during this period of pre-war tension as he contends with an increasingly belligerent French frigate.

Carlisle’s got additional issues special to his colonial origins: since he’s no political or professional sponsors and one uninspiring bunch of followers, which are both essential to a naval career during the mid-eighteenth century. How could this penniless second son from Virginia overcome both of these crippling deficiencies?

George Holbrooke, who is Carlisle’s reluctant master’s mate, can’t hide his lack of enthusiasm for the boredom of the navy during peacetime. His attitude picks up while experiencing personal danger and combat, however could he persuade his captain that he’s turned the corner? Could he achieve that crucial promotion to commissioned status?

Then there is the gorgeous Chiara Angelini, who is pursued across the Mediterranean by some Tunisian corsair that appears to be determined to abduct her, but hesitant to actually shed any blood. Will Carlisle solve this mystery and keep Chiara safe?

Fury shadows the French fleet while it sails from Toulon and reveals its actual destination. Carlisle and Holbrooke witness the inconclusive sea-battle that leads to Minorca’s loss and engage in one thrilling bloody final showdown with the French frigate.

The novel is well written, with some interesting and memorable characters and plenty of well-woven history that is told with talent and skill. Chris develops his characters well and keeps the story moving along at a strong pace with an effective mix of descriptive prose with enough naval action.

“The Leeward Islands Squadron” is the second novel in the “Carlisle and Holbrooke” series and was released in the year 2018. Late in 1756, while the British government collapses after the loss of Minorca and the navy and country are tossed into political chaos, a tiny force of ships gets sent to the West Indies to reinforce the Leeward Islands Squadron.

Captain Carlisle and first lieutenant Holbrooke are fresh out of the Mediterranean and their capture of one powerful French man-of-war. Their brand new frigate Medina has got orders to join up with a squadron commanded by one terminally ill commodore. Their mission is a near-suicidal assault on one strong Caribbean island fortress.

Carlisle has to confront the challenges that come with higher command while leading the squadron back into battle to accomplish the orders of the Admiralty. Carlisle and Holbrooke engage in ship-on-ship duels, attack shore fortifications, and they deal with mutiny in the West Indies.

This novel is an excellent continuation of the adventures of Carlisle and Holbrooke, who make for engaging characters. The setting is vivid, and the story is rather extraordinary which does a fantastic job of pulling the reader in with its recreation of life on an eighteenth century British frigate.

“The Jamaica Station” is the third novel in the “Carlisle and Holbrooke” series and was released in the year 2018. The year is 1757. The British navy regroups from their slow start to the seven years war. A Spanish colonial governor and his family are followed through the Caribbean by a couple of mysterious ships from the Dutch island of St. Eustatius. Medina, the British frigate, rescues the governor from his hurricane-wrecked ship, and leading Captain Edward Carlisle and first lieutenant George Holbrooke into a tangled web of half-truths and intrigue.

Could the Dutchmen be really pirates or are they operating under a letter of marque? Why would they be hunting the Spaniard? Only Lady Chiara, who is Carlisile’s aristocratic wife, is able to solve this puzzle by using her diplomatic skills. Carlisle gets injured, the young Holbrooke has to grow up fast. Under his leadership, the Medina takes part in a one-sided fight with the French that is going to influence a young Horatio Nelson to pick the navy as a career.

This is an action packed naval adventure with some interesting twists and turns to it. This author clearly knows the Caribbean extremely well and the local color is stellar.

“Holbrooke’s Tide” is the fourth novel in the “Carlisle and Holbrooke” series and was released in the year 2019. The year is 1758 and the Seven Years War has hit its height. The Duke of Cumberland’s Hanoverian army’s been pushed back to the river Elbe as the French use the medieval fortified city of Emden to resupply its army and anchor its left flank.

Holbrooke has just come back from the Jamaica Station in command of a sloop-of-war he is under orders to blockade and survey the approaches to Emden before the arrival of a British squadron. The French garrison as well as their Austrian allies are currently nervous. Since their supply line has been cut, they are in danger of getting isolate when the French army is required to retreat in the face of this new Prussian-led army that gathers on the Elbe. Could the French just be bluffed out of Emden? Could this be Holbrooke’s flood tide that is going to lead to him getting promoted again?

Chris continues to improve in his storytelling and he writes with an evocative and easy style that is true to the period in historical facts, background, and the conversations.

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