Author: Keira Andrews
Publisher: KA Books
Genre: Historical MM Romance
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.
It’s hard to think beyond “Wow!” when recalling the perfection that is this story of a young man accompanying his pregnant sister to a Caribbean island, on which his father is governor, but is waylaid by pirates who then capture and hold him for ransom. Here’s the problem—his father doesn’t even like him, never mind love him. Plus, his father, Walter Bainbridge, is a money-hungry, corrupt politician who’s squandered any money the Crown gave him to start this new colony, and as he later learns from the pirates, his father is responsible for this group of men actually being pirates. They were privateers who brought in a Spanish ship for the bounty when Bainbridge twisted the law to show Spanish were no longer enemies of the Crown, thereby making the privateers pirates, and of course, Bainbridge kept all the riches for himself.
So that’s the setup for hate, anger, resentment, etc. when the captain of the pirate ship, the Sea Hawk himself, takes the hostage, who he refuses to address by name—instead calling him Plum—into his own cabin where he can watch every move the little weasel makes. But the surprise is on him because the young man, Nathaniel Bainbridge, is nothing like his father and definitely nothing like the spoiled little wealthy brat Hawk expects to encounter. Instead, Nathaniel pines for the fresh air and the ability to run and climb and enjoy physical activities—nothing like other young “gentlemen” might crave.
And slowly, after an event that shows there’s even more to Nathaniel than Hawk might have glimpsed, Hawk stops trying to deny his attraction. Nathaniel, on the other hand, though a virgin, knows very well he’s a sodomite and his attraction for Hawk, a man twice his own age, has been evident to him from the start. When faced with the opportunity to act on that attraction, what eighteen-year-old is going to deny the chance?
And this is how Keira Andrews wins my attention every time. She lays the foundation, gives us a complete background, builds the personality of the main characters, and then weaves in a slow burn, a virginal fantasy, and finally gives us a delightful treat. Or more than one. In this case, many, many sex scenes and opportunities for the two men to interact, until one day, Hawk realizes his feelings for Nathaniel are real and precious. But at that point it’s too late. He must turn Nathaniel over to his father for the ransom he’s promised his men. In what becomes a bloody battle scene, the two are separated and by this time, I was willing to keep reading until 3 a.m. because I wasn’t going to bloody well put down this story!
There’s heartache and hope and heartwarming scenes of love and affection. There’s despair and depressing stories of past events. But most of all, there’s a richly woven tapestry of words that captures the essence of all the grand swashbuckling adventures I watched as a kid and takes those fantasies one step further into the world of MM romance. I very highly recommend this story to all, and most especially to those who enjoy a grand adventure.