Search Results for: The Pirate Captain

SATURDAY SPOTLIGHT: The Pirate Captain; Nor Gold by Kerry Lynne

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It’s 1753. Having lost hearth and heart to the Stuart Uprising, Cate Mackenzie is alone in London. A fugitive war criminal, arrest an increasing threat, she purchases passage. En route to the West Indies, the ship is boarded by pirates and she is kidnapped—a case of mistaken identity—by Captain Nathanael Blackthorne, the pirate captain.

Cate is instantly drawn into Nathan’s bloody rivalry with Lord Breaston Creswicke, the man who forced him into piracy. Cate, however, finds what she has longed for: purpose, a place to belong and people who notice if she lives or dies.

This is a story of two scarred people, blinded by their defenses.

It’s the story of trust, or rather, the lack of.

It’s the story of a loss of faith and disbelief that Providence might ever smile again.


Nathan found Thomas below, in the captain’s cabin, or rather what was left of it. The crunch of shattered glass under his feet as he stepped over the coaming was a caution to have a care. The deck was a treachery of splintered wood, torn metal, furniture stuffing, scattered paper, and broken pottery. By some miracle, the chart table and the swinging lamp over it remained intact, although one would be pressed to find a chair in which to sit. Thomas was laid out on the table, his legs dangling over the edge, his feet nearly touching the floor. The width of his shoulders barely allowed for room for a lamp at each side. Cate and an odious, Arabic Lascar-looking cove Nathan guessed to be what served as the Griselle’s sawbones stood over him. He was yet to meet a chirrugeon who looked to be worthy of working in anything other than the knacker’s yard.

A palpable chill in the room and Cate’s pointed disinterest told Nathan he could die of old age, before she was to acknowledge him. He did, however, catch her snatching glances toward him from the corner of her eye. A circle of wetness darkened the deck at her feet; she was soaked to the skin, but she was safe.

“My compliments to your gun master. He did a fine job of raking the place,” said Thomas, seeing Nathan eye the wreckage.

For Thomas’ benefit, he curbed his pride at MacQuarries’ handiwork, for his guns had done an admirable job of reducing the space to something which resembled a cooper’s shop, as opposed to a Great Cabin. There were perhaps a half dozen intact panes of glass remaining out of its original triple score of the stern gallery, pieces of sash swinging with the motion of the swell. He had cheered when the cannonball had gone through the starboard quarter; a perfect hole marked the spot. Judging by the damage, it had ricocheted about, before coming to rest in the door of the convenience. A glance overhead showed the charts still cozily stowed between the beams. Providence had smiled there, to be sure. Chairs and windows could be rebuilt, but a good chart was irreplaceable.

Dashing the sweat from his eyes with a soggy sleeve, Nathan smiled grimly. “The captain here was so taken up with ending you, the cod-headed blighter forgot to give us a care. I could have saved your sorry arse sooner had you not taken him on such a merry chase half way to Campeche Bay.”

Thomas closed his eyes, his face contorting with pain. “T’was allowing you time. I know how sluggardly that hulk of yours can be.” One eye opened. “The bastard seemed fixed on seeing us dead.”

“Old enemy,” Nathan said, looking to the floor.

A non-committal grunt was Thomas’ only response.

Nathan was wet as a whale, himself, water pattering from every aspect. He needed a drink badly. Sadly, at first look, there was none to be had. Then he spotted a miraculous survivor sitting in what was left of a cabinet. He snatched up the bottle and took a long pull. It was Madeira or had been in an earlier life. It was swill—the two or three trips around the Horn it must have taken had done it no favors—and he drank it as if it was God’s milk. He handed it off to Thomas, who took an equal pull and grimaced.

Thomas lay rolling his eyes at the ceiling, considering his new vessel. “She’ll be a wreck, but at least she swims, allowing the pumps don’t give out. Always meant to have a go at these fore-and-afters.”

“Do you know how to sail one of these things?”

The corner of Thomas’ mouth quirked. He grunted at the needle plucking his skin. “Something about canvas and wind, isn’t it?”

Thomas sighed, resigned. “Something smaller and quicker, and can point like a demon will be a welcomed change.”
Cate glared as Nathan allowed Thomas another, but said nothing.

Highly uncharacteristic.

All the while, Nathan played eye tag with Cate, now the width of the table away. Nearer, and seen in the light, he could see she had shifted the new clothes she had worn on Nevis, to her old ones, in anticipation of the blood and filth of battle, no doubt. From the corner of his eye, Nathan thought he saw something. His eye narrowed as he glanced… and again.

She was shaking. Nothing violent, mind, a slight tremor more like.

Cate clutched her fist in the folds of her skirt, hoping no one would see. She stiffened at feeling his gaze and glared defiantly back.

“Might you two turn each other to stone on another day?”

The sound of Thomas’ voice yanked Nathan’s attention away. He looked down to find Thomas lying on his back, eyeing them. Cate bent to tenderly cup Thomas’ cheek in her hand and cooed some bit of nonsense in his ear. With a final cutting look at Nathan, she fixed with renewed determination on her task.

Thomas ground out another curse, far more vehement than a few stitches should prompt. He snorted at Nathan’s scowl. “It’s not the damn stitches.” He lifted his head to peer down his chest at the several inch gash there. “Hell, I could damn near do that myself. It’s my back. Something hit me; knocked me clean off my feet. Just breathing sets it off. It hurts like a sonoffa….!” His words squeezed as another spasm took him.

Nathan was in complete sympathy. He’d thrown his back out himself a time or two. A blade to the gut was more pleasant. It rendered one afraid they mightn’t die. Much to Cate’s displeasure, he handed the bottle to Thomas.
The headiness of battle was wearing off. Exhaustion settled in, dragging at Nathan like an anchor. His neck stung like a demon; the brute who tried to slit it must have come closer to success than credited.


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About the Author

Kerry was a history major in college and went into teaching. That didn’t work, so she had two office careers. That didn’t work either. Through a circuitous sequence of events, she wound up in the decorative painting world, where she travel-taught and published for some 30 years. And then, her hand wouldn’t work. So she went back to what she knew: writing, history and sailing. It remains to be seen if that is working.

SATURDAY SPOTLIGHT: The Pirate Captain by Kerry Lynne

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It’s 1753. Having lost hearth and heart to the Stuart Uprising, Cate Mackenzie is alone in London. A fugitive war criminal, arrest an increasing threat, she purchases passage. En route to the West Indies, the ship is boarded by pirates and she is kidnapped—a case of mistaken identity—by Captain Nathanael Blackthorne, the pirate captain.

Cate is instantly drawn into Nathan’s bloody rivalry with Lord Breaston Creswicke, the man who forced him into piracy. Cate, however, finds what she has longed for: purpose, a place to belong and people who notice if she lives or dies.

This is a story of two scarred people, blinded by their defenses.
It’s the story of trust, or rather, the lack of.
It’s the story of a loss of faith and disbelief that Providence might ever smile again.



“Would you mind not staring at me with those damned eyes?”

Cate started at being spoken to. The captain’s voice held a timbre which could have been quite fearsome had it not been so throaty and ragged.

It took her a moment to find her voice. “I beg pardon. I didn’t realize—”

“Aye, well, you are,” he huffed indignantly. “Seeking to curse me, I’ll wager. I’ve only seen eyes that color once. On a jaguar idol in Vera Cruz, they were. Cursed me the bloody thing did.”

He ended with a dramatic shudder. A squat brown bottle sat amidst the table’s clutter. He snatched it up, uncorked it and took a long drink.
She ducked her head to hide a smile. It wasn’t the first time such comments had been made, most especially while living in the Highlands. Nearly as superstitious as mariners, the Highlanders had more than once accused her of casting spells and curses.
He continued to work, while she continued to stand, her gaze fixed on a point at her feet where rug and floor met. From the corner of her eye, she saw him dart a glance at her now and again, presumably in hopes of catching her evil eye.
If only putting a curse on him would be that simple.

“What are you—?” She was cut short by another fit of coughing, this one full of fluid.

The captain straightened. His scowl was visible even through the dimness. “You look bloody awful!”

She cleared her throat, a wholly unfeminine sound. “I feel like I’ve swallowed half of the Caribbean,” she said more crossly than intended.

“Rum will answer.” He seized the bottle, and then glanced about, muttering darkly under his breath. “Ah,” he said at finally locating a glass atop a desk. “I knew I’d seen one somewheres or another.”

Looking up from pouring, he was disconcerted to find her still standing. “Well, don’t just stand there gaping. Sit!”

She came up against something hard and cold, and realized she had been inching backwards the while. It was a cannon, one of a pair, “Merdering Mary” roughly carved in its carriage.

“Jump and I swear I’ll cheer whilst you drown,” he said.

“Excuse me?”

“Come the bloody hell away from the damned window!”

Another glance showed she was indeed not much more than an arm’s length from a gallery of windows. Running ceiling high, they angled out at the top, with a broad sill at their base.

“I didn’t mean… I mean, I wasn’t—”

“Seems once in a day would be enough, but mark me, I shan’t raise a finger to preserve you from Jones’s locker. Most of the men believe ‘tis the hand of God on a drowning soul. To save one is to deny God, so t’will be no matter to watch you go.”

By the sound of his voice coming out of the shadows, he was pacing.

“Then why did you pull me out?” She considered how much easier things would have been if they had just let her drown.

“Because you are valuable,” he said coldly. “At least for now. But pressing the point could prove unwise. Value can be ever so relative, don’t you think?”

She had the impression the inquiry wasn’t meant to be answered.

“Pray, would you not oblige me to shout like you’re a f’c’stlemen. Sit there if you like. Oh, hell, I don’t really give a damn,” he grumbled with an irritated swipe.

Minding the coat, she reflexively sat on the nearest thing: a chest beside her. Gripping the wood beneath her, the urge to cough built like a rumbling bubble in her chest. She gulped several times, breathing quickly in and out hoping to squelch it.

“Be warned: puke on me deck and you’ll regret it. And take those rags off before you catch your death,” he said.
Squinting at him, she searched for any sign of lustfulness, but found none. Turning her back, she did so, the shift, now so torn, nearly falling off on its own accord.

His path around the table brought him into the full light for the first time. She sucked in sharply at seeing him fully for the first time. Her first impression was of black eyes and a leonine head of black hair and beard. The back of her neck prickled as the name “Blackbeard” sprung to mind. She stoutly reminded herself that infamous personage was long since dead. Of average height and slimly built, his hair was bound by a faded blue headscarf. The remainder of his features being so buried in beard, it was blessedly difficult to tell much more about him, other than he was probably not much more than her score and a half in years.

In spite of the bucket boots he wore, he moved like a great dark cat as he brought the drink around, barely making a footfall, a predator, lithe and lethal. She drew her legs up underneath herself and tucked in the coattail more snuggly around her, then shakily took the proffered glass, murmuring “Thank you.”

She took a drink.

Her throat constricted, requiring her to swallow several times before it was allowed it to pass.

“Rum!” She shuddered. “But, it’s fine. I’m grateful for anything, if it will allow me to warm up.”
A fortuitous fit of coughing helped make her point.

He eyed with suspicion then took a drink, closing his eyes to anxiously await its effects. She eyed him, trying to judge his level of drunkenness. Drink could bring a man to do many things not done when sober. His step was solid, but his speech seemed thickened, almost slurred, although that could have been resultant of its graveled quality.
In spite of its noxiousness, she took another sip. If nothing else, the liquor helped erase the nasty taste in her mouth left by seawater and vomiting.


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About the Author

Nor-Gold-Pirate-Captain2-800 Cover reveal and PromotionalKerry was a history major in college and went into teaching. That didn’t work, so she had two office careers. That didn’t work either. Through a circuitous sequence of events, she wound up in the decorative painting world, where she travel-taught and published for some 30 years. And then, her hand wouldn’t work. So she went back to what she knew: writing, history and sailing. It remains to be seen if that is working.
The Pirate Captain was a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, 2013.

The next book in the series, Nor Gold will be available in June 2014, and will follow both Cate Mackenzie and Captain Nathanael Blackthorne across the Caribbean and back. Join them as they strive to pursue what they treasure most.

The Pirate Captain, Chronicles of a Legend by Kerry Lynn

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This adult historical fiction is a seafaring adventure meant to entertain both the sailor and the landlubber. Having lost hearth and heart to the Stuart Uprising, Cate Mackenzie, a fugitive war criminal, purchases passage on a ship bound for the West Indies. En route she is kidnapped-a case of mistaken identity-by Captain Nathanael Blackthorne, the pirate captain. Accustomed to blood, musket, and cannon, life aboard the pirate ship isn’t the hell Cate expects. She is instantly drawn into Nathan’s bloody rivalry against Lord Breaston Creswicke-the man who forced Nathan into piracy-and Commodore Roger Harte, Creswicke’s puppet. They are an “unholy alliance” of ambition and power, Nathan a rat terrier on their heels. The impending arrival of Creswicke’s fiancé is too much temptation. This is a story of two scarred people, blinded by their defenses. It’s the story of trust, or rather, the lack of. It’s the story of a loss of faith and disbelief that Providence might ever smile again.

Publisher and Release Date:
RHL Classifications: By The Board Publishing, September 2012
Time and Setting: Georgian Era
Genre: Romantic Historical Fiction
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars

Review by Emery

A Diamond in the Treasure Trove


When I first accepted this book for review, I didn’t realize I was taking on an epic work of 614 pages, but fortunately, I was also taking a long trip and decided this book would be the perfect solution to fill the long hours in flight. With any work of substantial length, one is always half- prepared for a lot of slogging through or even skimming long and dull passages of descriptive narrative,  but as descriptive as this book was,  there was never a dull moment. The cast of characters is colorful and interesting. The hero and heroine are both highly sympathetic. The story is told primarily through Catherine “Cate” Mackenzie’s POV with briefer sections written from Blackthorne’s perspective. I was immediately sucked into the pirate world and never looked back. I will add here that The Pirate Captain bears many so many resemblances to Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series that I would almost call it “Outlander: the Pirate edition.”

Cate is a Jacobite on the lamb after she and her husband Brian, the nephew of a Highland Laird, fought for Bonnie Prince Charlie. Brian was wounded in battle and later taken prisoner and after six years with no word of his fate,  Cate believes him dead. She has been on the run all this time as she is also wanted by the crown for treason. It is while trying to escape to the West Indies in order to begin a new and anonymous life that Cate is abducted by pirates. While Cate begins her adventure as a prisoner, she eventually comes to embraces her fate as a “pirate woman.” I loved Cate’s strong character. She was a woman who had suffered greatly but never wallowed in self pity. She always strove to make the best of her situation — even as a pirate captive.

Captain Nathanael “Nathan” Blackthorne’s was a fascinating character indeed — intense, wildly unpredictable, charming and dangerous. I thought he was physically molded a bit too closely after Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow for my taste and I found this to be quite distracting at times. Nevertheless, I was fascinated by him and could easily see how Cate would fall for the enigmatic Blackthorne. And she does fall. Hard. This is where I give enormous props to the author. The relationship between Cate and Nathan simmered slowly from their first encounter and continued this slow and steady burn for about five hundred pages. I never would have expected the author to be able to maintain such a high level of sexual tension for so long, and it was fabulous. I was almost as desperate for Cate and Nathan to be together as they were, but the consummation was well worth the wait. Hot without being overly explicit, the love scene between Cate and Nathan was one of the most romantic I have ever read.

The majority of this book is set at sea with the plot involving a great deal of what pirates do — raiding and pillaging at sea while doing their best to evade capture. There are a number of close calls involving Blackthorne’s nemesis (a relationship that closely mirrors Jamie Frazer and Black Jack Randall), and there is a great deal of description of life at sea. With all the nautical terminology employed, it would seem the author possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of tall ships and pirates, but I never found any of this tedious. On the contrary, I enjoyed the descriptions of sailing and the battle strategies employed by the clever Blackthorne. I was fairly entranced for the majority of six hundred plus pages and emotionally engaged every time a cannon fired.

On the lighter side, I was particularly enamored of Captain Blackthorne’s colorful and creative epithets:

 “A goddamned, swivel-tongued son-of-a-double-eyed Dutch whore.”

“Avast! Away you! Get your goddamned bloody hands off me you cod-faced, motherless bastards. I’ll have every one of you hocked and heaved before the night’s out.”

Although highly engaging, impeccably researched, and extremely well-written, this diamond is not without flaws, and I found a few editing errors and anachronistic slips (pants and trousers versus breeches and ass instead of arse). As to the story itself, there are a number of subplots, one of which involves an act of antagonism and revenge when Blackthorne abducts his dire enemy’s fiancée. I almost wished this had been omitted from the book as I found the fiancée’s character unsympathetic and extremely annoying. I could see how the author intended to use her to instill some levity in the story but I didn’t find the solution that was eventually employed very believable.

Lastly, and most importantly for romance readers, this book does not end with a happily-ever-after, but an unresolved to-be-continued, that left me feeling terribly unfulfilled. Similar to the Outlander series, it seems this pirate adventure will continue over several books to come. This lack of resolution, however, is the only thing that kept me from giving this book 5 glowing stars.

The question now remains if I will invest the time in the next installment of Kerry Lynn’s pirate chronicles. The answer — indubitably. Will I resent the wait — absolutely!

Catching Captain Nash (Dashing Widows #6) by Anna Campbell

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Home is the sailor, home from the sea…
Five years after he’s lost off the coast of South America, presumed dead, Captain Robert Nash escapes cruel captivity, and returns to London and the bride he loves, but barely knows. When he stumbles back into the family home, he’s appalled to find himself gate-crashing the party celebrating his wife’s engagement to another man.

No red-blooded naval officer takes a challenge like this lying down; but five years is a long time, and beautiful, passionate Morwenna has clearly found a life without him. Can he win back the wife who gave him a reason to survive his ordeal? Or will the woman who haunts his every thought remain eternally out of reach?

Love lost and found? Or love lost forever?
Since hearing of her beloved husband’s death, Morwenna Nash has been mired in grief. After five grim years without him, she must summon every ounce of courage and determination to become a Dashing Widow and rejoin the social whirl. But she owes it to her young daughter to break free of old sorrow and find a new purpose in life, even if that means accepting a loveless marriage.

It’s like a miracle when Robert returns from the grave, and despite the awkward circumstances of his arrival, she’s overjoyed that her husband has come back to her at last. But after years of suffering, he’s not the handsome, laughing charmer she remembers. Instead he’s a grim shadow of his former dashing self. He can’t hide how much he still wants her—but does passion equal love?

Can Morwenna and Robert bridge the chasm of absence, suffering and mistrust, and find the way back to each other?

Publisher and Release Date: Anna Campbell, June 2017

Time and Setting: Regency England
Heat Level: 2
Genre: Historical Romance (novella)
Reviewer Rating: 3.5 stars

Review by Sara

Throughout Anna Campbell’s Dashing Widows series readers have seen love come in many forms. Friends become lovers, two people get a second chance at a relationship and an unlikely pair find they have much in common. Catching Captain Nash is a reunion between a man thought forever lost and the woman who mourned the loss of her true love. Their romance tugs at a different set of heartstrings and is an emotional way to end an enjoyable series of books.

Morwenna Nash was married at a young age to the man of her dreams. The dashing, handsome Captain Robert Nash made her laugh and was her perfect match for the months they were together before he shipped out with his crew to South America. When the news came that her husband had been lost along with his crew, Morwenna was devastated. She had just learned that she was pregnant with Robert’s child, and days later she was a widow mourning the loss of her husband as well as the future they’d planned together.

After five years, the pain of losing Robert hasn’t quite gone away but with the encouragement of his family Morwenna decides to marry again in order to provide her daughter Kerenza with a father-figure. Reluctantly pushed into a Season in London, Morwenna has seen her two closest friends find love again and she begins a courtship with the amiable Lord Garson. Their relationship has none of the passion that Morwenna shared with Robert, but Lord Garson is a nice enough man who loves her and is good to Kerenza. Moments away from pledging her life to a new husband Morwenna is shocked when the ceremony is interrupted by Robert Nash, returned from the dead and furious to see his wife marrying another.

Robert’s return to England is a miracle but Morwenna can see right away that the man who has come back to her isn’t quite the same Robert Nash who left five years before. This new Robert is withdrawn, edgy and seems a shell of the vibrant man she fell in love with. Their first night together is an awkward evening full of stilted conversations that provide Morwenna with little information about where her husband has been or what he endured to come back to her. The physical connection she and Robert shared flares to life; however it’s a test of Morwenna’s love and patience to find her husband within the wounded soul who is now virtually a stranger to her.

Catching Captain Nash is unusual for a romance novella in that all of the light, warm emotions of a love newly discovered are absent. Instead readers experience the heavier, deeper sense of an enduring love that can motivate people into doing incredible things. Morwenna has held her memories of Robert close to her heart for the five years she thought him dead and has used that love to give her the strength to raise her daughter alone. She has refused to open herself up to another man and is uncertain about her remarriage right up until the moment that Robert reappears. As he slowly opens up to her and Morwenna sees that there’s a future again for them it gives her hope, which she’d all but abandoned years before.

Robert’s love for Morwenna is what kept him sane during his imprisonment and torture at the hands of pirates. When Robert comes back to England a small part of him is ready to slip back into the life that he’d left five years earlier; however he’s quick to discover that life has continued without him and he’s no longer the Captain Nash everyone around him remembers. There are no resources for someone with PTSD so Robert has to find ways to heal himself and rediscover where he fits in Morwenna’s life. His surprise at learning he’s a father motivates Robert to push through the difficult memories and reconnect with his wife. He too begins to hope that he’ll once again be the kind of man that Morwenna can love despite his physical and emotional scars. As they move closer towards a full reconciliation it’s incredibly moving to watch Robert crawl out of the darkness towards Morwenna’s light.

Unfortunately, all of the emotional breakthroughs that Morwenna and Robert experience seem dictated less by how things unfold in the story and more by the author’s design.  As I was reading, I was completely engaged with the characters and happy for their reunion but once I was finished with the novella I felt like I had been manipulated to feel that way.  Once I separated the romance from the rest of the story I saw that there’s nothing else there.  No real plot and no growth for either character, except for Robert’s amazing ability to manage his PTSD in record time.  The story’s flow is character-driven only in that we finally see a happy ending for the last Dashing Widow but that’s about all we get.  The novella’s short length is the most likely culprit as to why a skilled author like Ms. Campbell would resort to telling over showing but it was definitely noticeable.  Catching Captain Nash may not be the strongest story within the Dashing Widows series but it is still one that I can recommend.

SATURDAY SPOTLIGHT: The Black Morass (Pirates of the Coast Book 1) by Barbara Devlin

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Forever glancing over his shoulder, Jean Marc Cavalier is a ruthless pirate with the blood of countless souls on his hands and a price on his head, but he is a lonely man. In exchange for a chance at redemption, pardons for his crew, and a peaceful life, he accepts a pact that could result in liberty or death, if only he can survive the terms, but at least he will be free. When he rescues a young woman in distress, and vows to return her to her family, he is torn between his natural instincts born of violence and the honorable bargain he struck. What will Jean Marc choose?


En route to Jamaica to join her father, after her guardian dies, Lady Madalene Davies departs Boston in anticipation of a new life in a foreign land. When her ship is attacked and set afire, she is left for dead, until an unlikely savior comes to her aid. Brash and bawdy, her flawed hero defies the conventional ideal, as he is no knight in shining armor and seems forever intent on shocking her, yet she cannot resist the lure he presents. What happens when danger lurks in unexpected places, faith is broken, and Madalene must rely on Jean Marc to stay alive?



Atlantic Ocean
March, 1816

Virtue was a highly overrated characteristic in his estimation. In truth, he ranked it in the miserable depths of humanity comprised of respectability and righteousness. For the strong and fearless, the glorified traits of honor and integrity functioned as an impenetrable barrier to the excitement of the worldly existence filled with violence and debauchery in which he once reveled on a daily basis. In exchange for societal approval, grown men surrendered their dignity, and their whore’s pipe, he would argue, to abide by a set of rules in which most had no say, and for what? High principles? Prestige? Indeed, such noble qualities sucked dry the marrow of life, leaving naught but the simple pleasures to enjoy, as the Black Morass rode the waves.

Sunshine glittered on the ocean, as a sea of precious diamonds, and a cool breeze sifted through his long black hair, as Jean Marc Cavalier directed the helmsman. Restless and yearning for stimulation, something to feed the hunger that gnawed at his harrowed soul, he approached with caution what appeared to be a burning schooner that he might offer aid, in accord with the pact he signed in a moment of weakness or perhaps insanity.

“No movement on deck, Cap’n.” Tyne, the bosun, lowered his spyglass. “Should we continue our advance?”

“We will maintain course and heading, just to be sure there are no survivors in need of rescue.” For some strange suspicion he could not quite shake, Jean Marc surmised all was not as it seemed, given the nearest vessel disappeared below the horizon before he could inquire after the circumstances of the misadventure. For a seaman, naught struck fear in the heart more than fire aboard ship, which could send an entire crew to Davy Jones’s locker. And he had given his word to perform meritorious deeds for a full year, in trade for an unconditional pardon. At the end of twelve months, Jean Marc and his men would be free of past crimes, beholden to none.

But at what price had he bartered his autonomy?

It was for that reason Jean Marc refused to sail past the doomed lady. And then he spied activity at the stern rail, on the quarterdeck. “Come about.”

“What is it?” Peering over his shoulder, Tyne narrowed his stare. “Is that a white flag?”

As they drew closer, Jean Marc smiled, and a familiar itch in his palms had him flexing his fingers. The lure of conquest burned bright in his loins, and he struggled with a craving for fresh meat, if only to reassert authority over his life. “It is a woman.” He laughed. “And she waves her undergarments.”

Perhaps fate smiled upon him, as the chit might be just the balm to ease his unrest and allow him to regain a measure of control. Obligated to the Crown, and no longer the master of his destiny, he thirsted for the power of ultimate domination, and nothing compared to the supremacy inherent in seduction.

“Bloody hell, she is a tasty bit o’ fluff.” Tyne licked his lips. “And a bottle of Jamaican rum says she is unspoiled, too.”

“I believe you are correct in your assertion, mon ami.” That tempered Jean Marc’s ever-growing arousal, as he never claimed virgin’s blood, because he preferred experienced whores who knew what he wanted and gave it to him, without complaint or inconvenient emotional attachments. Then he got a good look at the boon, in question, as the Morass glided to a halt, and full-blown lust threatened to consume him. Maybe it was time to sample the tender flesh of an innocent. “Ahoy, dear lady. Jean Marc Cavalier, most definitely at your service.”

“Kind sir, I would be grateful for passage to Port Royal.” Behind her, the masts collapsed, and she shrieked. How he ached to make her squeal with enthusiasm, as he would wager she could scream much louder with the right inducement. “As you can see, my current accommodation is about to sink, and I am in dire need of new transportation.”

“Lower the plank.” He signaled the crew. “As I am certain we can strike a mutually beneficial bargain.” With a lush figure made for sin, and of that he could envision committing many with her, and alabaster skin he fully intended to explore in more intense inspection, once he got her alone, she presented a delightful distraction. “How is it your ship fell into such misfortune, and where is the crew?”

“They are dead.” Tears pooled in her vivid blue eyes, and she emitted a soft sob, but he cared not for her sad tale. “We were attacked by pirates, and I hid in the captain’s cabin, in a small compartment beneath a concealed floor panel, which he revealed he previously used for smuggling, thus I was spared.”

“Come here, mon chou.” As the bow dipped below the surface of the water, he slipped an arm about her hips and whisked her aboard the Morass.


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Bestselling, Amazon All-Star author Barbara Devlin was born a storyteller, but it was a weeklong vacation to Bethany Beach, DE that forever changed her life. The little house her parents rented had a collection of books by Kathleen Woodiwiss, which exposed Barbara to the world of romance, and Shanna remains a personal favorite.
Barbara writes heartfelt historical romances that feature flawed heroes who may know how to seduce a woman but know nothing of marriage. And she prefers feisty but smart heroines who sometimes save the hero, before they find their happily ever after.

Barbara earned an MA in English and continued a course of study for a Doctorate in Literature and Rhetoric. She happily considered herself an exceedingly eccentric English professor, until success in Indie publishing lured her into writing, full-time, featuring her fictional knighthood, the Brethren of the Coast.

A Pirate for Christmas by Anna Campbell

a pirate for christmas

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There’s a pirate in the house.

What is vicar’s daughter Bess Farrar to do when the dashing new earl, the man gossip paints as a ruthless pirate, kisses her the day they meet? Why, kiss him right back, of course! Now Lord Channing vows to claim the lovely firebrand, despite interfering villagers, a snowstorm, scandal, and a rascally donkey. The gallant naval captain’s first landlocked Christmas promises mayhem – and a lifetime of breathtaking passion

Pursued by the pirate…

Bess Farrar might be an innocent village miss, but she knows enough about the world to doubt Lord Channing’s motives when he kisses her the very day they meet. After all, local gossip insists that before this dashing rake became an earl, he sailed the Seven Seas as a ruthless pirate.

Bewitched by the vicar’s daughter…

Until he unexpectedly inherits a title, staunchly honorable Scotsman Rory Beaton has devoted his adventurous life to the Royal Navy. But he sets his course for tempestuous new waters when he meets lovely, sparkling Bess Farrar. Now this daring mariner will do whatever it takes to convince the spirited lassie to launch herself into his arms and set sail into the sunset.

A Christmas marked by mayhem.

Wooing his vivacious lady, the new Earl of Channing finds himself embroiled with matchmaking villagers, an eccentric vicar, mistaken identities, a snowstorm, scandal, and a rascally donkey. Life at sea was never this exciting. The gallant naval captain’s first landlocked Christmas promises hijinks, danger, and passion – and a breathtaking chance to win the love of a lifetime.


Published by Anna Campbell, October 2015

RHR Classifications:
Place and time: Northumberland, 1822
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1
Reviewer Rating: 3.5 stars

Review by Wendy

Rory Beaton, the new Earl of Channing, has returned to his estate to take up the reins after the demise of his older brother. Bess Farrar, the local vicar’s daughter and from necessity, the village ‘manager’, has written to him on numerous occasions – and been ignored, so she decides to march in and beard the lion in his den. Rory’s donkey, Daisy, is central to the Nativity celebrations, time is running short and Bess needs to obtain his agreement to borrow the animal. She is appalled at the unkempt condition of his home and he persuades her to take control of its cleaning and restoration. This will give the villagers much needed employment and earn Rory some brownie points as he also agrees to allow the villagers to hold their annual Christmas party there. But the Earl has an ulterior motive; if Bess is supervising he will be able to see her every day!

Rory is completely out of his depth, having no expectations of ever inheriting, as a result of his estrangement from his father and older brother after the breakdown of his parents’ marriage. He spent his younger years in Scotland and joined the Royal Navy at the age of eleven, so he did not ever reconcile with his male relatives. It was this latter fact that set in motion the rumour that Rory was a pirate. And as rumours tend to do, those took root and grew so that Rory has acquired a swashbuckling reputation, leading the villagers to be both intrigued and a little wary of him. But Bess is neither. She takes charge of his initiation into the the life and responsibilities of an earl, and helps guide him through some choppy waters, taking him straight into the hearts of the villagers on the way.

The couple are attracted to each other on sight, and as is her style, Anna Campbell creates a delicious, swoonworthy hero, and Bess is smitten by this handsome, but boyishly needy man. Rory can’t explain it to himself, but he knows almost immediately that Bess is the only lady who will fill the position of his Countess, and with the help of the matchmaking villagers, lays siege to Bess’s heart.

Ms. Campbell hits the ‘happy’ spot with this fluffy little Christmas novella with plenty of romance and no conflict other than the recalcitrant donkey who will only co-operate for the Nativity if sung to – which Rory does with gusto! In fact Daisy is quite a central character and it could be said that she plays Cupid for Captain Rory and bossy Bess! A Pirate for Christmas is a quick, entertaining read that will bring a smile to your face this festive season.

SATURDAY SPOTLIGHT: His Pirate Seductress by Tamara Hughes

His Pirate Seductress

With her son’s life in the balance, Catherine Fry is forced to locate and steal the priceless Ruby Cross of the Knights Templar. She knows who has it—it’s just a matter of coercing Thomas Glanville, the handsome and incredibly stubborn captain of the ship she’s captured, into telling her the exact location. Fortunately, Catherine knows that there are many ways to get a man to talk…

Captain Thomas Glanville has the cross and he’ll be damned if he’s going to hand it over now that he finally has the means to buy a ship of his own. He’s at the mercy of a fiery woman who will stop at nothing to achieve her goal. But Catherine has no idea who she’s dealing with—and Thomas has his own means of charming a woman into his mercy and his bed…

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“You’re a pirate?” Obviously. Still, hard to believe. He pressed forward, forcing on her a series of blows meant to test her strength and will.

She parried and blocked his every move with an aptitude that amazed. “Aye. A pirate, and captain of the Sea Sprite,” she boasted, a wry smile upon her full lips.

Indeed, she appeared very much a pirate in her men’s garb—a threadbare, brown suit with overly long sleeves she’d had to roll up. Her ebony hair had been pulled back in a queue and was half hidden beneath a rumpled tricorn. Also, like her men, was her look of desperation and the grim cast to her countenance that bespoke of a hard existence.

“We offered you quarter,” she said as she evaded his thrust with ease. “Why didn’t you surrender? You had to know we outnumbered you.”

He didn’t answer. In all honesty, he’d thought they could defeat the pirates, if not with cannon fire, then with skill. After hearing of all the pirate attacks of late, they’d hired on additional hands, men who could fight. If it hadn’t been for the damn illness…

“It’s not too late. You can save what’s left of your crew. Surrender now, Captain Glanville, and we’ll see that your men are ransomed back.” A wicked gleam brightened her eyes as if victory would soon be hers.

He should do as she asked. It would be the sensible thing, but pride kept him from saying the words. Not yet. He still had another opponent to defeat, and so far she hadn’t been an easy one to overcome. Despite his steady attack, she kept her muscles relaxed, her balance sure. Her attention followed his movements no matter how small, adjusting her stance, looking for weaknesses. “How do you know I’m Captain Glanville?” When work was at hand, he didn’t dress any differently than his men.

“I know much about you.” Stepping clear of two men battling to their left, she blocked his sword with her own and lunged with her dagger. He jumped from the blade, avoiding injury by the barest inch. This one relied on speed and accuracy rather than power. Smart woman.

“What do you want from us?” he asked, launching an attack of his own, this time with so much force and speed, she had no choice but to retreat until her back came up against the railing. “We only just left London four days ago. Our cargo is mainly iron and ale.”

Her gaze sharpened even as her expression became strained. His assault was wearing her down. “I want the Ruby Cross.”

How the hell did she know he had the cross? And did she believe he’d simply hand it over? Hand over a priceless antiquity of the Knights Templar? Absurd. He swung his sword all the harder. The clang of steel rang through the air. Her reactions slowed, and her arms trembled. He made a final cut, putting all his strength behind the blow, and knocked her sword from her hand. Triumph surged through his veins. She attempted to slash out with her dagger. He grabbed her arm before her blade could reach him and hauled her close, their faces nose to nose. “You’ll never take the cross from me,” he vowed as he towered over her, his grip strong.

The point of a sword touched his back. Thomas tensed, he swore beneath his breath, self-disgust heavy in his chest. The distraction of this one woman had sealed his fate.

Bloody hell.



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professional-outdoor-headshotA small town girl with a big imagination, Tamara Hughes had no idea what to do with her life. After graduating from college, she moved to a big city, started a family and a job, and still struggled to find that creative outlet she craved. An avid reader of romance, she gave writing a try and became hooked on the power of exploring characters, envisioning adventures, and creating worlds. She enjoys stories with interesting twists and heroines who have the grit to surmount any obstacle, all without losing the ability to laugh.

You can connect with Tamara at: her website * ~ * ~ * Facebook * ~ * ~ * Twitter * ~ * ~ * Goodreads

Tempting the Pirate by Tamara Hughes

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Charity Goswick thinks she is escaping an arranged marriage to a brute when she slips onto a ship unnoticed. Little does she realize that this is no honorable vessel of the King’s Navy—it is a pirate ship. It’s just a matter of time before she is discovered by a handsome rake of a pirate, who locks her in his cabin. And while she should be scared, her captor sparks the most unladylike feelings within her…

James Lamont is on the ship for one reason, and one reason only: to track down his brother. However, his spirited little stowaway certainly affords plenty of distraction with her many (failed) attempts to escape. And each time, the unspoken—and unbidden—passion between them grows stronger. But as violence and danger mount on the high seas, Charity will have to put all of her trust in the most untrustworthy of men…the arrogant pirate who just might steal her heart.


Publisher and Release Date: Entangled: Scandalous, January 2015

RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: 1721, New York City; Atlantic Ocean; New Providence, Bahamas; London
Genre: Historical romantic adventure
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 5 stars

Review by Maria Almaguer

Captain James Lamont seeks his missing brother, David, a musician, and will stop at nothing to find him, including allowing himself to be coerced into work as a much-needed navigator on a pirate ship. When he discovers Charity Goswick, a beautiful and terrified stowaway in the hold, he spirits her away to his cabin because he realizes the danger she is in. As a lone female on a ship, she is terribly vulnerable, but the principled and seductive James vows to protect her with his life.

But he is a man and he is very attracted to her. Sparks fly but he is not one to impose himself on a woman. Instead, he shows her only consideration in the little details: bringing her water to wash, giving her his bed – he installs himself in a hammock – and bringing her food. As well these considerations, he keeps her locked safely in his cabin.

Charity is fleeing a forced marriage to Captain Richard Shevington of the Royal Navy, a match imposed upon her by her debauched uncle, a man who was supposed to protect her as her only living male relative. But she jumps from one frying pan into another when she finds herself aboard a pirate ship filled with merciless and brutal men. Except for James. Distrustful of him at first, he turns out to be a true gentleman and the first man to open Charity’s bruised heart.

“Perhaps somewhere deep down, he was a gentleman with a kind heart. Very deep down. In his boots.”

The love between James and Charity grows at an unhurried and sexy pace. Though they are immediately attracted to each other and he makes overtures, he never forces himself upon her, unlike the other men she has known. This alone prompts Charity to reconsider her scathing and unimpressive assumptions about all men. When she realizes what it is costing him to protect her, she falls hard and comes to care for him deeply. Their love story is poignant and passionate.

This is an exciting and adventurous romance, the first in Tamara Hughes’ Love on the High Seas series. I love a good pirate story and this one delivers on all counts: passion, derring do, drama, danger, and non-stop excitement.

Ms Hughes writes in a fast-paced style that is perfectly suited to this energetic story; it springs to life and keeps the reader turning the pages. Treachery abounds at every turn but James is a good, kind, and honorable gentleman – the very best kind – who protects Charity even though it threatens his own safety. He watches over her at any price, especially since he failed his own sister years before.

The villains in this story are painted with a very stark, realistic, and frightening brush. The Judge, the truly horrible and ruthless quartermaster, is a terror while Captain Shevington of the Royal Navy is a violent man who will stop at nothing to force Charity into marriage, and isn’t above beating her into submission. Though these scenes are not gratuitous or overly graphic, they are difficult to read and are extremely well written with a fearful authenticity that resonates on the page.

But there are good men as well, including two of James’ loyal companions, Thomas and Whip, who provide some touching and humorous moments in this dramatic story.

The next book in the series will feature James’ missing brother, David, which I very much look forward to reading, as well as more by this talented and most entertaining storyteller.

Falling for the Pirate by Amber Lin

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London, 1820

After the deaths of his parents and a dark, troubled childhood, Captain Nate Bowen vowed he would have his revenge. But he never expected to have the tool of his revenge dropped so neatly into his lap. Juliana Hargate is not only the daughter of his enemy, but is destitute, very much alone – and exquisitely desirable. And now that Nate has saved her life, she’s at his complete mercy…

Captive. All Juliana wanted was to clear her father’s name. Instead, she’s been struck with amnesia – unable to recall even her name – and imprisoned by a tall, imposing, and entirely unscrupulous pirate. A pirate whose eyes seem to look past her skirts and many petticoats, and whose touch sends delicious ripples of desire through her. With every passing day, she finds herself tempted to give him the very thing he’s determined to take…

Publisher and Release Date: Entangled: Scandalous, July 2014

RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: London, 1820
Genre: Historical romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars

Review by Maria Almaguer

This is not a traditional pirate story. It doesn’t take place on the high seas and there are no sea battles. The pirate in the book’s title is more an allusion to its hero, Nate Bowen; he reminds Juliana, the heroine, of a pirate with his dark and sexy looks (and their profound effect on her), his love of the sea, his taste for revenge and success, and his elusive yet captivating nature. It’s also representative of how he steals her heart along with her father’s company.

Juliana Hargate has fallen on hard times, due to her father’s covert and suspicious activity in his company, Hargate Shipping. At the story’s beginning, he has disappeared without a trace, which has left her helpless, shunned by society and alone in explaining his disappearance to their creditors. Yet she’s determined to find out what happened to him. All her fortune has been lost. In short, her father has abandoned her; she doesn’t know if he’s dead or alive.

Nate is a self-made man, a part owner in the Hargate Shipping company with Adrian Mallory, the Duke of Sinclair who, despite his lofty title, is more of a peripheral character here. Nate’s has been a hardscrabble existence as he grew up in a whorehouse and lived a hand-to-mouth existence getting by on his wits and luck. After he catches Juliana sneaking into the company offices after hours at the London docks, he rescues her when she falls and hurts herself. She loses her memory and can tell him nothing when he questions her. Despite his suspicions, and distrust – she was breaking into his company, after all – Nate believes her, is drawn to her, and takes her into his house to care for her as her wounds heal and her memory returns.

As Nate gets to know her, he comes to care for her deeply. Juliana realizes he is a good and honorable man, as he helps with the local London charities. He helps others (as he helps Juliana) because no one took care of him long ago when he needed it most.

Nate is out for revenge against Stephen Hargate (Juliana’s father) for the murder of Nate’s parents and, thus, for leaving him destitute and alone. Indeed, he is a loner; he has no friends because he doesn’t trust anyone. All he has is his wealth and his beloved ship, Nightingale, a place where he feels most at home. Until, that is, Juliana makes him want more.

As Juliana’s memory gradually returns, she becomes torn between duty to her father and discovering the truth and her new love for Nate, his kindnesses to her, and his strength and protection. Who will she believe? And will Nate continue to seek vengeance or accept the unconditional love that Juliana offers?

I enjoy the little details Juliana discovers about Nate that fascinate her. That his library is filled with gothic literature – provocative passages from The Monk fascinate and titillate her – that he has kindly servants. And that he has a passion for the sea that brings him peace.

The writing is very strong and almost lyrical in its calm delivery, the hero and heroine are well drawn, and the pacing issteady throughout. The book is a quick read, perhaps a little longer than a novella. The amnesia plot, while always convenient, is not trite or trivial in the least; indeed, it moves the plot forward. Juliana accepts Nate’s care and protection as she gradually regains her memory, allowing her to adjust and make choices that will affect her life forever.

Falling for the Pirate is a quiet, dark, and compelling romance.

SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Falling for the Pirate by Amber Lin

Falling For the Pirate-500

Vengeance is a dish best served in bed…

London, 1820

After the deaths of his parents and a dark, troubled childhood, Captain Nate Bowen vowed he would have his revenge. But he never expected to have the tool of his revenge dropped so neatly into his lap. Juliana Hargate is not only the daughter of his enemy, but is destitute, very much alone—and exquisitely desirable.

And now that Nate has saved her life, she’s at his complete mercy…

Captive. All Juliana wanted was to clear her father’s name. Instead, she’s been struck with amnesia—unable to recall even her name—and imprisoned by a tall, imposing, and entirely unscrupulous pirate. A pirate whose eyes seem to look past her skirts and many petticoats, and whose touch sends delicious ripples of desire through her. With every passing day, she finds herself tempted to give him the very thing he’s determined to take…

Hi, I’m Amber Lin and I’m excited to share my new release with Entangled Publishing. Falling for the Pirate is a sexy and atmospheric historical romance featuring… a pirate! He’s a bit rough around the edges, and you can meet him here first. Hope you enjoy him!

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Nathanial Bowen was accustomed to people stealing from him. The other children in the whorehouse he’d grown up in had constantly fought over whatever toys and coins they could scavenge, and a hierarchy had emerged. Who had the most food? Who hit the hardest?

Eventually, after getting his nose broken twice, Nate had emerged at the top.

But those petty thefts weren’t the worst he had encountered. That had come even earlier, closer to his birth. The theft of property. The theft of honor. And he was close, so close, to getting it all back.

So when he’d seen the lithe figure climbing the crates outside his new warehouse, well, he shouldn’t have been surprised. He shouldn’t have been offended, either. The short stature made it clear he was dealing with a child. Or a young man too weak to hold a job of heavy labor. Most of all, he shouldn’t have been angry. Anger was a form of weakness. But at nearly midnight, having sunk half a bottle of brandy into his gut before throwing the bottle out his porthole, he had found himself furious.

Nate was on his ship, where the porthole of his cabin gave him a clear line of site to the building. The building that was in the process of being robbed. By a child.


He was just now getting back what had been taken from him. Wasn’t even finished, in fact—his task was but half-done. And here, some lad was trying to snatch it all from his grasp, as if none of it had ever really been Nate’s, after all.

He had a bad moment when the boy lost his footing, his feet dangling precariously. Nate was too far away to help—him on his ship and the boy on land. Six minutes if he ran at full speed. The boy managed to haul himself over. And promptly disappeared into Nate’s offices.

He let out the breath he’d been holding and, with a grunt, pushed to his feet. The whole world tilted sideways, and it took him a full thirty seconds to orient himself. What was making everything lurch beneath him? A disturbance in the water, a disruption on the ship? No, it was the brandy.

Maybe he’d drunk more than half the bottle.

A strange melancholy overtook him. He wished he’d never seen the boy stealing into his warehouse. Then he wouldn’t have to get up while his head was pounding and his mouth was dry. He could wake up in the morning, already relieved of whatever coins or gold was in the upstairs rooms. And what would it matter?

It wouldn’t.

Every time he drank, the liquor made him admit that the money wouldn’t give him what he truly craved.
He really should stop drinking.

On the deck, he found himself checking the ship’s ropes. Old habits. The men on watch saluted him, silhouettes framed by moonlight, and Nate whistled a quick greeting before heading to the fore. He paused, then took two steps backward. A scrawny foot was barely visible behind a coil of rope.

“The quartermaster will take your breakfast away if he finds you abovedecks at this hour.”

The foot slid further into shadow. “He’s always taking it away for something,” came the voice from behind the ropes. “Mightn’t as well not count on it.”

Nate decided he would check with the quartermaster about how many meals could be taken away at most. Then he forced himself to scratch off the reminder. He trusted his quartermaster to provide necessities to the children, to keep them obedient and safe. The boy, Bennett, already looked to Nate too often.

The last thing he needed was to become more involved.

“Get below,” he said gruffly. “Now.”

Bennett scrambled out from his hiding place, mumbling, “Yes, Cap’n.”

Nate waited while the nine-year-old climbed down the ladder and shut the hatch. It would be just like Bennett to follow him to land, defying a direct order. Nate frowned. He wasn’t sure he could mold the boy into an obedient seaman. And the sprat wouldn’t fare much better in a trade on land, not with the way he constantly talked back and fought his superiors.

The problem was inside Bennett, eating him from the inside, struggling to break free. Nate understood, because he’d been there once—an angry, rebellious youth. Grown into an angry, rebellious man. He shook off the thought.

There was still a thief to be dealt with inside the Hargate Shipping offices.

The offices belonged to Nate now. As did the thief.


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About the Author

amberlinAmber Lin writes erotic romance with damaged souls and deep emotion.

Her debut novel, Giving It Up, received The Romance Review’s Top Pick, Night Owl Top Pick, and 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars, calling it “truly extraordinary.” She has been published by Loose Id, Carina Press, and Entangled.

Amber married her high school sweetheart, birthed a kid who’s smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good.
You can connect with Amber at: Her Website * ~ * ~ * Twitter * ~ * ~ * Facebook * ~ * ~ * Goodreads * ~ * ~ * Tumblr