Review: “Kidnapped by the Pirate” by Keira Andrews

TITLE: Kidnapped by the Pirate
AUTHOR: Keira Andrews
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: KA Books (Self)
COVER ARTIST: Dar Albert
GENRE: Historical
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 298 pages
RELEASE DATE: October 26, 2017
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book/ $12.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Will a virgin captive surrender to this pirate’s sinful touch?
Nathaniel Bainbridge is used to hiding, whether it’s concealing his struggles with reading or his forbidden desire for men. Under the thumb of his controlling father, the governor of Primrose Isle, he’s sailing to the fledging colony, where he’ll surrender to a respectable marriage for his family’s financial gain. Then pirates strike and he’s kidnapped for ransom by the Sea Hawk, a legendary villain of the New World.
Bitter and jaded, Hawk harbors futile dreams of leaving the sea for a quiet life, but men like him don’t deserve peace. He has a score to settle with Nathaniel’s father—the very man whose treachery forced him into piracy—and he’s sure Nathaniel is just as contemptible.
Yet as days pass in close quarters, Nathaniel’s feisty spirit and alluring innocence beguile and bewitch. Although Hawk knows he must keep his distance, the desire to teach Nathaniel the pleasure men can share grows uncontrollable. It’s not as though Hawk would ever feel anything for him besides lust…
Nathaniel realizes the fearsome Sea Hawk’s reputation is largely invented, and he sees the lonely man beneath the myth, willingly surrendering to his captor body and soul. As a pirate’s prisoner, he is finally free to be his true self. The crew has been promised the ransom Nathaniel will bring, yet as danger mounts and the time nears to give him up, Hawk’s biggest battle could be with his own heart.
This May-December gay romance from Keira Andrews features classic tropes including: a tough alpha pirate too afraid to love, a plucky virgin captive half his age, enemies to lovers, first-time sexual discovery, and of course a happy ending. 85,000 words.


I loved Kidnapped by the Pirate by Keira Andrews. I grew up reading m/f historical romances in the 90’s, and this book reminded me a lot of them. Which is a good thing. I loved reading those privateer and pirate stories by Valerie Sherwood, Johanna Lindsey, and Fabio (don’t judge, his book Pirate is a great book). The stories were usually over the top and pure entertainment and they always had the virgin captive taken by the swashbuckling handsome, experienced pirate. This book reminded me of those books with a dash of The Princess Bride tossed in at the end when the Sea Hawke asked one of his crew if they had ever thought of being the next Sea Hawke when he retired.

Sure the story has some facts that you could nick pick about. Like the big age gap between Nathaniel and Hawke and the average life expectancy back in the 1700’s, or that a heavily pregnant woman on a month-long voyage would have been miserable and not likely to happen. Although, on the flip side of that coin, the woman wouldn’t have taken a voyage with a newborn also. So I think the pregnant woman is more believable. Also, they wouldn’t have had a prior warning when the hurricane hit Primrose Isle, and they wouldn’t have had cut lumber to put over the windows. Those are modern details. And yeah I could mark the book down because of those facts, but they didn’t pull me out of how entertained I was by all of the action and adventure and the chemistry between the Sea Hawke and Nathaniel.
The book was fast-paced, and I read it in one sitting. I absolutely hated Nathaniel’s father and the current governor of Primrose Isle. He was a right arrogant bastard, completely delusional, and very self-centered and big on revenge. I did love Nathaniel’s sister Susanna. She was very maternal and level-headed, and you could feel the love she had for her brother. I also loved how she helped Nathaniel with his reading problem. Nathaniel was severely dyslexic, not that they had any idea what that was back then, and was termed stupid. He could retain the information that he needed to learn if somebody read it to him and that’s what Susanna did for him. But Nathaniel would never be a scholar. His passion lies in the great outdoors, climbing trees, swimming, horseback riding, stuff like that. He hates being idle and is filled with nervous energy which makes the month-long voyage on the Merchant ship intolerable for him as they won’t let him do more than stand by the railing. When the pirate Sea Hawke captures their ship, he’s taken captive to be ransomed to his father.

Nathaniel’s hopeful that he will finally get to do something fun like help the crew with the ship, climb the rigging, or even wash the deck. However, he’s confined to the captain’s quarters with nothing to occupy his time but the captain’s collection of books. But Nathaniel’s fascinated by Hawke and his penchant for sleeping in the nude. Nathaniel’s supposed to marry a girl picked out by his father when he gets to the isle. Although Nathaniel has never been attracted to women, he’s expected to marry one. When he learns that Hawke also shares his predilection for men, he’s excited and wants Hawke to take his virginity. Nathaniel worms his way into Hawke’s heart. Will Hawke be able to ransom Nathaniel when the time comes and let him go or will he risk mutiny from his crew if he keeps him? Nathaniel may have started out sheltered and a virgin but he isn’t afraid to go after what he wants, and he wants Hawke, and he will do anything to keep him.

I loved the chemistry between Hawke and Nathaniel and all of the adventures that they get into. I also loved the epilogue. I know that I will be reading this book again and that is why I have given it 5 OptimuMMs.

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

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Review: “Changing Tides” by Alex Standish

TITLE: Changing Tides
AUTHOR: Alex Standish
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Anna Sikorska
GENRE: Historical Romance
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 117 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 16, 2017
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book
  

BLURB:

While most pirates sail in search of riches, Captain Devon Hall, the infamous Phantom of the Caribbean, is driven by vengeance. Devon has sworn to put an end to the corrupt governor of Jamaica and break the ruthless man’s stranglehold in the Caribbean.

When Devon is wounded and stranded on land, an unlikely rescuer comes to his aid. Brett Campbell is nothing like his uncle, the governor, and his goals are not so different from Devon’s. Brett longs for freedom, but his obligations to protect those under his uncle’s control keep him from fleeing. Throwing in with Devon might increase both their chances of success—and survival.

When the governor’s attempts to destroy Devon escalate and place Brett in danger and in the hands of the ruthless and depraved pirate Captain Blackburn, Devon must risk everything to save the man he loves and repay his enemies.

All Devon’s ever wanted is his ship, his freedom, friends who stand by his side through thick and thin, and someone to love. But facing dangers at sea and on land, Devon wonders if they will live to enjoy it all.


Set in the islands and waters of the Caribbean in 1690, Changing Tides is a really entertaining and exciting adventure story of treasure hunting, revenge and romance.

Pirate Captain Devon Hall is the epitome of the lovable rogue. He’s all good looks and charisma, but is also pretty ruthless when he needs to be, and most of the not so good things he does are to help/benefit other people. When his father is killed on the instruction of the governor of Jamaica, Rupert Campbell, Devon swears revenge, and he sets out to make sure that he destroys the man and everything he has. When Devon is injured, he wakes through periods of unconsciousness to a voice and room he doesn’t recognise. When he becomes fully awake and aware of his surroundings, he’s shocked to discover that he’s in the house of his biggest enemy, and is being looked after by the man’s nephew, Brett Campbell. At first, Devon tries to pretend that he’s just an innocent traveller who’s been attacked on the road, but Brett tells him that he knows exactly who Devon is because there are wanted pictures all around the house and there’s no need to worry because he’s not like his uncle. Brett is willing to look after and protect Devon for as long as it takes him to heal. Devon is unsure at first, but as the days go on the two men form a friendship, and Devon begins to trust Brett and enjoy his company. Devon also finds Brett to be really attractive, so he’s happy with this arrangement.

Brett Campbell is nothing like the man people expect him to be. When they find out who his uncle is, they expect him to be the same cold-hearted and brutal person. But Brett is a sweet and caring man who just wants to be happy and treat people how he would like to be treated. Brett doesn’t agree with how his uncle runs Jamaica, or how he treats the people, especially the slaves that work on his plantation. On more than one occasion, Brett has stepped in to protect the slaves from the harsh and unfair foremen on the plantation and the punishments that they hand out. He knows how corrupt his uncle is, because his uncle basically stole his inheritance from him, and now by helping and hiding one of the most wanted pirates in the house, he’s giving his uncle another reason to hate him more than he already does if he ever finds out. Brett is surprised by the connection and attraction he feels towards Devon as he’s never been with another man, but he knows it feels right, even if other people will see it as being wrong.

What started out as one man doing what he knew in his heart to be the right thing by giving aid to someone in need, leads to a journey of swashbuckling sea battles, fighting for survival, unexpected encounters, falling in love, and finding peace and happiness.

This book was just an awesome read. I was transported to another little world, and I was really sad to leave it when the story ended. The plot totally captivated me, and I wish the book could have been a bit longer. The characters were so enjoyable and easy to connect with. I think my favourite was actually one of the supporting characters, Cody Sullivan. He was sweet, quick-witted and mischievous. I just wanted to give him a big hug and look after him. I thought he was so adorable and would love to have a story just about him.

For me, this book pushed all of the right buttons, even though the romance was a very slow burner. But because there was so much going on, I felt that it was right for the romance to almost take a side step. When we do finally get down to the first kiss and the first time they sleep together, it made it all the more satisfying.

If you like historical romance or stories about pirates (how can you not?) then I’d highly recommend this book.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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Review: “Comes a Horseman” by Anne Barwell

TITLE: Comes a Horseman
AUTHOR: Anne Barwell
SERIES: Echoes Rising
PUBLISHER: DSP Publications
COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante
GENRE: Historical; Mystery/Suspense
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 230 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2017
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback
  

BLURB:

Sequel to Winter Duet
Echoes Rising: Book Three

France, 1944

Sometimes the most desperate struggles take place far from the battlefield, and what happens in secret can change the course of history.

Victory is close at hand, but freedom remains frustratingly just beyond the grasp of German physicist Dr. Kristopher Lehrer, Resistance fighter Michel, and the remaining members of the team sent by the Allies—Captain Matt Bryant, Sergeant Ken Lowe, and Dr. Zhou Liang—as they fight to keep the atomic plans from the Nazis. The team reaches France and connects with members of Michel’s French Resistance cell in Normandy. Allied troops are poised to liberate France, and rescue is supposedly at hand. However, Kristopher is no longer sure the information he carries in his memory is safe with either side.

When Standartenführer Holm and his men finally catch up with their prey, the team is left with few options. With a traitor in their midst, who can they trust? Kristopher realizes he must become something he is not in order to save the man he loves. Death is biding his time, and sacrifices must be made for any of them to have the futures they want.


So, when I first saw this book and read the blurb I was either not paying proper attention, or perhaps I had gone temporarily blind. For some unknown reason, at no point did I notice that this book was the third and final book of a series (yeah, quite an important part of the details to overlook hehehe). As you can imagine, when I opened the book and saw that it was a sequel I had a little bit of a panic moment. When I started reading, the panic turned to slight terror because I was completely lost and had absolutely no idea what was going on in the story. Now, I take complete responsibility for my stupidity, and although this review is going to be a somewhat unorthodox, I’m just working with what I’ve got.

At this point, I would normally describe the plot/storyline/characters of the book, but unlike me (facepalm), the chances are that if you’re planning on reading this book, then you’ve probably already read the first two and know about all of this stuff already. I mean what can I really tell you that the blurb hasn’t already? Well, after the meltdown had subsided and my heart rate had reduced to normal levels, I managed to grasp the basics of the story and characters and just went with the flow, and I have to be honest and say that what I read in this book was nothing short of magnificent.

I’m a huge WW2 history fan, and I’ll generally take an interest in any books, movies or documentaries on the subject, whether it be fact or fiction. This book was so well written, that even though I had no idea of the backstory, I was totally and utterly engrossed. After a couple of chapters, I actually forgot that I had gone into this blind. The confusion was just gone. The amount of detail in the story was phenomenal, and I really need to commend the author for that. From the places they were staying/hiding, the ranks of the German soldiers, the use of the French and German languages, and how the characters were treated by the soldiers and other civilians, it all had a real authentic feel to it, and apart from a couple of little scenes, I could easily have been reading a memoir by an actual WW2 survivor. The story was so intriguing that I just couldn’t put it down.

Although the relationships between the male characters are discussed quite a lot, this book doesn’t really go into any intimate details, and by that, I mean there are no sex scenes. This is all about the feelings and emotions that they share, and their plans for when the war ends if they survive. I think that this was absolutely right for the story and the time period. There were a few twists that I didn’t see coming at all, and they just made me enjoy the book even more than I already was.

Now that I’ve read this, I’m going to make a point of going back to read the first two books because I really want to know so much more about these characters. I want to see how the relationships started and how they got to this point. I loved this book without knowing anything that was happening, so if you have followed this series from the start, then I can guarantee you’ll not be disappointed with how it’s all tied up and finalized. It was truly a joy and pleasure to read this book.

***The ARC was provided by DSP Publications. My review is an honest opinion of the book***

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