Tag Archives: Pirates

Among the Shoals Forever by Gail Z. Martin

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of ghost stories by women book cover

Title: Among the Shoals Forever
Author: Gail Z. Martin
In: The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women (Marie O’Regan)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Ghosts, Pirates, Vampires
Dates read: 23rd November 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: All the while, I kept my senses keen to magic.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Set in New Orleans, a trio of pirates work for a vampire who needs them to take down a necromancer.

Thoughts

This was a wonderfully intense and brilliant short story. I couldn’t look away, and it took me a little while to get the ghost story angle. Actually, I probably enjoyed it so much because it didn’t have such a horror aspect to the story. Sometimes its nice to not have horror in every single ghost story.

I love that this story feature Voodoo (or whichever spelling of it is required here), vampires, pirates, and necromancers. This story pretty much had everything in it that I needed for my happiness and literary desire. I loved the mish mash of different paranormal creatures marching across the pages as justice and freedom were fought for.

The happy ending of this story left me feeling very happy and content. It was something that not only rounded out a very brilliant story. But it also gave me hope for the future and just felt comfortable. I would read this again and again. And honestly, I just wish that it was a full-length novel. All of the characters were brilliant and impossible to forget.

<- The Old Nurse’s StoryAfterward ->

Image source: Goodreads

Lady Pirate by Lynsay Sands

Overview
Lady Pirate by Lynsay Sands

Title: Lady Pirate
Author: Lynsay Sands
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical romancePirates
Dates read: 25th April – 12th May 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2001
5th sentence, 74th page: A seed surrounded by white and pink gook stuck to the end of his pink-stained finger.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Valoree no longer has to masquerade as her murdered brother and scourge the oceans as Captain Red. She no longer has to command his pirate band in a quest to regain his birthright. She has been named heir to Ainsley Castle. But no execturo would ever hand over the estate to an unmarried pirate wench and her infamous crew – no matter to whom she’d been born. And the will distinctly states that in order to inherit, Valoree must be married to a nobleman… and pregnant.

Upon learning that, the virgin captain is ready to return to the seas – but her crew has other ideas – and for those rascally cusses she would do anything. If they could find a way to put on her a sweet face that would fool the ton, she would handle the rest, even with a drunken prostitute as an “aunt” and her merry cutthroat crew as “servants”. But to herself she swears one thing: she will only marry a man who fires her blood, a man who is not afraid of a…
Lady Pirate

Thoughts

It took me a little while to get through this… not that I wasn’t in love with the story, but I did find that it didn’t completely grab me like the other books I’ve recently read by Sands. Once I got halfway through the book though, I was completely hooked into it. I mean, you knew that Valoree and Daniel were going to end up together, so it wasn’t such a get hooked into it book… but once I got there… wow. I just demolished it.

The idea of a clause in a will stating that you must be married and expecting was a new story plot that I wasn’t expecting. I actually felt a little bit mad at first, but then realised that both man and woman were in this position, so it wasn’t so horrifying. Still a stupid little clause. Which of course, when it started appearing that they were finally going to be getting the upper hand, I started to get sucked in.

For me, the standout point in this story is the pirates. Alright, the romance is sweet and beautiful. But, it’s the awkwardness of the pirates trying to fit into the nobility and make Valoree become something more that really hit me in my happy place. It’s that great image of bright pink livery that seems to sink into my subconscious whenever I think about this novel.

There is such a great, easy, good feeling, little read. Alright, there area few moments where I felt kind of irritated. But, mostly, it was just cute and simple. A nice little story that made me feel that nice, gooey feeling full of love and hope. Alright, love is never this damn simple… but it is sometimes nice to think this way. Plus, there is also that great little Sands twist at the end of this story that makes all those final moments just fall together.

<- A Lady in DisguiseLove is Blind ->

Image source: Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Dead Man’s Chest by Rachel Caine

Overview
Image result for my big fat supernatural wedding book cover

Title: Dead Man’s Chest
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: There Be Pirates #1
In: My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Pirates, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 23rd October 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: “Then why parade me around like this?”

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Cecilia thinks that she’s finally found a man worth her time. But, after just a few months he wants to get married on a pirate ship. Things quickly turn from romantic to downright wrong as her adventures progress.

Thoughts

I really wasn’t expecting this kind of wedding. I knew that something was bound to go wrong because it’s in a collection of stories about supernatural weddings, and they’re never simple. But I really wasn’t expecting cursed pirates, a con man and being thrown overboard.

One of my favourite moments about this story is when the bad guy realises that he’s got the wrong Cecilia. It’s more than a little awkward, and just downright hilarious. Especially when he’s gone to so much effort to gain some money… and then finds out that he needs to make amends, and quickly if he wants to survive. It made it quite hilarious to realise that after much careful planning, the “bad guy” had totally buggered everything up.

This story has a very Pirates of the Caribbean feel to it. From the plain fact that there are pirates, to the single woman aboard, right down to the curse placed upon the crew. It was like a funnier, cuter version of the famous movie franchise. But, I think that I like this one much, much better.

 <- Something Borrowed Review“All Shook Up” Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Salvage by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for enthralled lora leigh book cover

Title: Salvage
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #3.5
In: Enthralled (Lora Leigh, Alyssa Day, Meljean Brook & Lucy Monroe)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Pirates, Steampunk romance
Dates read: 21st September 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Suddenly her throat felt the same.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Meljean Brook delivers a new story in her steampunk world of the Iron Seas…as a man who’s lost everything returns home to find that not only is his marriage in jeopardy, but he must now fight pirates who intend to steal his one remaining treasure – his wife.

Thoughts

Men are stupid. To be fair, so are women. But in this story… men are stupid. And seriously dude, stop being so damn ignorant and love thy wife. We do not want money, we want our man. That’s it, rant over. This was actually an amazing novella. But I still left it thinking that men are kind of stupid. And need a bit of a kick up the butt to restore their brain cells.

I really enjoyed the slight revisitation to Ivy and Mad Machen in this story. They don’t actually make an appearance, but they are mentioned and their lives after the events of their story are happily alluded to a number of times. Enough to let you know that they’re enjoying their happily ever after, away from prying eyes and comfortable in their reputations.

I can’t imagine ever marrying a man that I wasn’t 100% sure of, that I knew inside and out. But there seems to be a slight theme in some of Meljean Brook’s stories about this happening. Two people who are 100% in love, but really not aware of each others’ personalities and needs. A bit of a case of jumping into the deep end, and then forgetting why you’re swimming. It’s a slightly painful trope. But also an incredibly fun one. One that I really enjoyed. And it almost worked better in this novella as their issues predominately come from misunderstandings and a desire to make each other happy. Whilst not actually understanding what their counterpart needs.

Add all of the relationship complications to the idea of pirates stealing a chest of gold; a diver trying to retrieve the treasure; and a murder or two of some rather unmoralistic mercenaries… well, it was a really good, enjoyable and fun ride. Just enough lust to make me miss my partner, but more about piracy and brigands on the seven seas… mixed in with a fantastic steampunk world.

 <- The Curse of the Black Swan ReviewEcstasy Under the Moon Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Wrecked by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for novellas and stories meljean brook book cover

Title: Wrecked
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #3.4
In: Novellas and Stories (Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane & Jessica Sims)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Pirates, Steampunk romance
Dates read: 20th June 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: “Of course,” she said, as if she would have made exactly the same decision.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Elizabeth has spent the past five years running from her father; her father’s huntsman, Caius, has spent the past five years pursuing her. But when he finally catches up to her on an airship flying above Europe’s zombie-infested cities, Elizabeth discovers that Caius isn’t the only danger she has to fear – and now that he’s found her, Caius doesn’t intend to let her go.

Thoughts

I really loved the moral questions that this novella posed. What do you do when you have the power of cloning? And, to begin with that question is just asked in a purely conservational role. And then it takes a darker, twistier turn that was distinctly uncomfortable. But it also worked into a really sweet romance (in the end, when all the twisty bits were sorted).

Wrecked bought an entirely different part of the Iron Seas world to life for me. I loved the mentions of Australia, the whirlwind flight across the skies and the discussion about just how important it was to conserve the remaining animals. Actually, it highlighted a end-of-the-world scenario that I really hadn’t imagined before. What happens to all of the animals when a plague of zombies is unleashed on the world?

My biggest complaint about this novella is that although they ride off into the sunset together, I want to know more about the happy little family that they create. Or at least the one that I’m imagining and picturing in my mind’s eye as I turn the final page.

 <- Conjuring Max ReviewNovellas and Stories Review ->
Image source: Fantastic Fiction

Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for mina wentworth and the invisible city meljean brook book cover

Title: Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #1.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Pirates, Steampunk romance
Dates read: 30th April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: When he left, Geordie asked me to ‘Take Billy.’

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Eight months after The Iron Duke, can their marriage survive a new danger?

After Mina is called in to investigate the murder of an aristocratic bounder, her husband Rhys—known to the world as the Iron Duke—must overcome his fear for his new bride before his need to protect her tears them apart. But when she invites him to join her at the murder scene, a search for a mysterious killing machine puts her in more danger than ever before…a danger that leads straight back to Rhys.

Thoughts

One of the most frustrating things that I tend to find about paranormal romance stories are that you don’t really find out how they live their lives after they ride off into the sunset, happily ever after. It’s all well and good to have that amazing story about passion and fire and those first, loving moments together when everything finally fits. But that isn’t entirely realistic… there is another kind of love, when the fiery passions become a slow burn that continues over the years. So the fact that there is a novella about Mina and Rhys 8 months after they get married… I was much happier and more settled in their happiness.

Although this story is very much about settling into a new way of life, and understanding what it means to love another, there is also a great secondary story. Like The Iron Duke there is a bit of a mystery as to who the villain truly is. And a bit of a risk lingering for both of the primary characters. One that you know is going to come to head fairly quickly. It gave the story a little more pressure and spice than just an insight into the daily lives of this unique couple. And one that made it impossible to put down this novella… even though I really, really needed to sleep.

 <- The Iron Duke ReviewHeart of Steel Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for the iron duke meljean brook book cover

Title: The Iron Duke
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Pirates, Steampunk romance
Dates read: 26th – 29th April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: And he wished to hell that he’d realized earlier why the red giant always followed her.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

After freeing England from Horde control, Rhys Trahaearn, the Iron Duke, has built a merchant empire on the power – and fear – of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

With Horde blood running through Mina’s veins, becoming Rhys’s lvoer would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents Mina from avoiding him… and the Iron Duke’s ruthless pursuit makes him difficult to resist.

When Mina discovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. Now, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans – as Mina is tempted to give up everything for the Iron Duke.

Thoughts

To start with I was a bit maybe not about this story. the lead male was just so damn possessive… and well, quite frankly irritating. He couldn’t even begin to imagine being told no. By anyone. Let alone the woman he’s fixated on. I love a lover who is a little possessive and protective… but not one that is so possessive that his partner is a possession rather than, well, a partner. In the first few chapters, Rhys actually made me want to put this book down. But, as the story developed, I steadily fell more and more in lust with him. Found him more and more enthralling and wanted to read the story far more keenly than I had anticipated.

Although Rhys bothered me from the very beginning, Mina made me fall completely in love. She was a strong, independent woman. With a lot of vulnerability. Especially when her history is bought up. It made the tough, cop exterior far more gooey and sweet on the inside. Actually, it was Mina’s plight and willingness to walk away from true love to save others that made me unwilling to put this book down. Incredibly unwilling, I wanted to know who the villain behind the murder was, but mostly I wanted Mina to have her happily-ever-after. Especially after she takes on a kraken…

Other than the great love story in this novel, I absolutely adore the genre. I already have a rapidly growing steampunk collection. Adding in romance just makes me want to read it even more passionately. And making the characters into steampunk pirates… well, that is a series absolutely made in heaven. Actually, I’m really disappointed that there aren’t many more novels in this series… I want a whole heap more steampunk pirates running riot through my bookshelves.

 <- Here There Be Monsters ReviewMina Wentworth and the Invisible City Review ->
Image source: Meljean Brook

Here There Be Monsters by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for here there be monsters meljean brook book cover

Title: Here There Be Monsters
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #0.5
In: Burning Up (Angela Knight, Nalini Singh, Virginia Kantra & Meljean Brook)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Pirates, Steampunk romance
Dates read: 31st March – 4th April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Her laugh left him as full and light as an airship.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Meljean Brook launches a bold new steampunk series with BB Here There Be Monsters BB, as a desperate woman strikes a provocative – and terrifying – bargain to gain overseas passage.

Thoughts

I can’t stop thinking about this novella! It combines steampunk, pirates and romance. There is so much passion, humour and grit to the tale. Not only is it impossible to put down, it is also impossible to forget. I might have ordered most of the books in the series when I was only halfway through, but I still have to wait for the dang things…

I have a slight fascination with pirates, have since I was a kid – it always seemed so free. But, as I grew up, I realised that they weren’t that romantic, and women had pretty much no rights. So I kind of love the fact that I get to read a series about pirates that is based in a steampunk world. A world where women have their own places and the ability to work. It’s not to say that there isn’t a fight to gain respect, but at least there’s more of a chance to be something beyond a mistress in the steampunk world.

Ivy and Mad Machen are a fun mix. But, what I love the most about this storyline is that Ivy is able to grow. She starts off timid and unsure, unable to truly understand her worth and value. It isn’t until the end that she is fully grown into herself, but this all happens around Machen. Alright, a little bit because of him, but mostly Ivy’s growth is Ivy’s journey, he just gets to go along for the ride…

 <- The Blushing Bounder ReviewThe Iron Duke Review ->
Image source: Amazon

The Blushing Bounder by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for the blushing bounder meljean brook book cover

Title: The Blushing Bounder
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #0.4
In: Novellas and Stories (Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane & Jessica Sims)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Pirates, Steampunk romance
Dates read: 25th April 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Ahead of them, she saw the springing machine, bounding, bounding, bounding beneath the roof of the striped tent.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

While the search for a killer puts Constable Newberry’s life in danger, he faces a danger of another kind: to his heart, by the woman forced to marry him. What will it take for this prudish bounder to convince his wife to stay?

Thoughts

This is a fun little short story, and it provides a great background into the idea of bounders in the realm of The Iron Seas. Constable Newberry seems to be kind of a bastard at the beginning. One that tricked a woman into marrying him for the worst possible reasons. And one that you kind of want his come-uppance to happen to.

But then you start to get glimpses of the man (all told from the point of view of his wife, Temperance). And you start to realise that he’s actually not the douche you thought he was. Rather, he’s kind of a giant, loveable red head with the tendency to blush whenever he’s uncomfortable.

I love that in the beginning I viewed Constable Newberry as a villain, but by the end of the story, he was an incredibly sweet man and one that I can’t wait to know more about. Which is perfect, because he features in The Iron Duke alongside Mina, the female lead.

 <- The Blacksmith ReviewHere There Be Monsters Review ->
Image source: Meljean Brook

To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker

Overview

To Catch a PirateTitle: To Catch a Pirate
Author: Jade Parker
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, PiratesRomance
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Point
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: Perhaps because for one insane moment she wondered what it would be like to stroll through a moonlit garden with him, dart behind a rose-covered trellis, and rise up on her toes…

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

When Annalisa Townsend’s ship is set upon by pirates in search of her father’s treasure, one of the crew, James Sterling, discovers her in the hold. When he moves to take her necklace, she begs him not to, as it is all she has left of her mother. He accepts a kiss in exchange for the necklace. “A fair trade, m’lady,” he tells her afterward, before disappearing.

A year later, with a forged letter of marque, Annalisa is intent on hunting down the wretched James Sterling and reclaiming her father’s treasure from him. But now she’s in danger of him stealing something far more vulnerable this time: her heart.

Thoughts

This is one of those books that both my sister and I completely love. To the point that the only reason I haven’t read it in the last three, four years is because she’s had it almost permanently on her bookshelf. Like I said, we both absolutely love it. Which is why it was so much fun finally getting it back from her to have a good read. And, with the joys of being a little more of a developed reader (and hopefully, writer) and just having a few more years of maturity to my years… it was interesting how different my reactions to a story that I have long loved are.

I do need to reiterate though that although I found a few more flaws in this story line than I have in the past, I still absolutely loved this book. There is something so simply and beautifully sweet about it. And although it’s a pretty typical love triangle, the picturesque nature of the life at sea that Parker so beautifully describes and the completely organic (yet totally destined) way that they fall in love is just… nice. Actually, if I had to choose just one word to describe this novel it would be SWEET. It just screams innocence in a way that a lot of the romances I read don’t. But it isn’t painfully naïve and irritatingly contrived. It’s just sweet.

Although I still loved this story, I did find some of the writing a little less fluid and poetic than other authors I’ve been reading lately. But, when you’ve recently read Pride and Prejudice, most romances just aren’t as prosaically smooth. Somehow though, even with writing that in places lacks that poetry the story is beautiful, vivid, and again, sweet. The lack of poetry in some of the moments almost help to enhance the innocence of this first love (both mine and Anna’s).

<- More easy reading reviews More romance reviews ->
Image source: Goodreads