My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...
You know what? I REALLY enjoyed The Captive Pirate by Alison Shaw! I just love how sexy her heroes are, not to mention the HOT love scenes! My only regret, this didn’t have as many love scenes as I would’ve loved to read (after reading the The Earl and the Governess An Erotic Romance, this seemed rather mild to me lol). Better yet, she was able to deliver a rather dashing pirate story and give me that sense of completion that novella length books usually lack.
Lady Letitia traveled to the Caribbean from England with her husband a few months earlier because this is where he wanted to start anew. Letitia doesn’t really like this environment, too hot and full of mosquitoes but she had no other option. Worse, her husband passed away a couple of weeks ago due to a bad fever. It did make me wonder why she didn’t seem like a grieving widow when the infamous Black Orchid comes to pay her a visit in the middle of the night, but I didn’t mind. Maybe she didn’t love him enough or was annoyed by his decisions, we’d never know but The Black Orchid’s visit scares the hell out of her.
Everyone in and around Caribbean is very much aware of this man known for murdering and pillaging. Or so the story goes where he’s concerned. One thing is sure, The Black Orchid is a wanted man. As far as Letitia could see, he is big and tall with sun darkened skin, vivid blue eyes and a shaved head. Letitia is attracted to him on spot, though she wouldn’t voice it. Apparently she doesn’t have to as the ruggedly handsome man gives her a grin that says not only he knows what she’s feeling but also he reciprocates. Letitia is beautiful with dark hair and eyes, only wearing a thin chemise in this hot weather that doesn’t hide much. When she starts wondering why he’s here, the man speaks in first class English accent that confirmed that he, indeed, is an Englishman (which The Black Orchid is, as we learn later in the story). Then he tells Letitia that Robert, her late husband, had a bargain with him, but never fulfill it before he passed on. Now as his widow, she must fulfill whatever it was between The Black Orchid and Letitia’s husband. Even though nothing is actually ‘fulfilled’ in that sense, the encounter as he rips Letitia’s chemise into halves, leaves her definitely speechless. There is no menace, just a kind of possessiveness in the Pirate’s eyes. He doesn’t even touch her but then, just leaves, leaving Letitia panting after him.
Thomas Ashdown, The Black Orchid knows that he’s in trouble; a soft and beautiful kind but nevertheless, a trouble. He can’t forget Robert’s beautiful widow and how much he wanted her at that moment. His initial plan was to intimidate her and be done with the business about Robert but somehow, apparently he’s the one who got caught. And he definitely didn’t expect that kind of all consuming attraction... But Tom has to tread lightly and think of another way to get his money back because as he already knows, Letitia could be a big trouble for his Pirating ways. He can’t let a woman weaken his resolve after all.
So it happens, Tom doesn’t return for a while and in between, Letitia’s plantation is raided and torched by some hooligans. She was wounded in the head from a blow and loses consciousness. The person, a man named Henry Lucas, was supposed to be looking after her but at that moment, he was nowhere to be found. Letitia was even attracted to him, but after meeting Tom, she didn’t think she can think of that dandy as a potential husband. After the attack though, a brothel owner finds her wondering the streets alone and takes her in. Letitia survives the blow... and meets up with Tom one day, again, all of a sudden. This time she doesn’t remember him but he does, every exposed part that he viewed that night tormented him so much that Tom was only thinking of shaking off the edge when he stepped into this brothel. What he certainly didn’t expect that the Madam would send the reason of his torment to him!
As Letitia informs him she doesn’t know who she is, a plan forms inside Tom’s scheming head. He can’t take a woman in his ship (a rule created by himself is now biting his arse) and so, he decides to tell his men that she’s his captive! He trusts his first mate Hanson more than anyone and could use his help (the guy was also present at the brothel on the same business). Tom has enough trouble on his hands, especially that of a pirate hunter after him and he could do without the added trouble of Lady Letitia but his mind and body rebels at the idea of leaving her in that brothel. So that is how Letitia finds herself on aboard Innocence as the Captain’s fiancée with Tom’s men, except for Hanson, knowing she’s a captive.
Letitia is kept in a good room, fed well but her movement is entirely restricted inside that room. When asked, the Captain tells her that it’s for her safety as sailors going without women for months... well, they are threats to a beauty like her. But that doesn’t stop the Captain himself from kissing and touching her in sexy ways and Letitia can’t help but think that somehow he and his touch feels familiar. Maybe that’s because he’s her fiancé? There were some decidedly hot scenes though none went as far as I wanted them to go, to my utter frustration. Once, Letitia even spies on the blonde and handsome Hanson showering and felt how her body reacting to the naked male glory, which made her blush, as well as intrigued.
One day, Tom decides to anchor on a small island he’s been to many times before. In here, we find another story, that of a secondary romance. Joshua is a charming rogue and always flirting with Letitia, though I didn’t think he ever meant for it to go any further because there was someone else on his mind, a certain Dr. Ferris to be precise. When the said doctor, blonde and short himself, comes and asks Joshua to go with him, I got a little suspicious. After some moments, on a walk, Letitia discovers the doctor and Joshua in an intimate embrace... well, I thought he’s a bi man or something but turns out that Dr. Ferris is a woman and both can’t keep their hands off of each-other!
Later that night, Letitia meets the girl, who she can’t yet tell that she knows her secret. Why is this girl, whom Joshua called ‘Grace’ is hiding in a man’s clothing? I wish we had the backstory in details and how she met Joshua in the first place but no luck on that. It is just mentioned that Grace’s father was killed by someone. She has been hunting for this man for sometimes now and there was no other safer way for her to do that. She has been trained as a doctor by her father at a young age, which came handy for gathering information and to use at her convenience. Joshua knew almost everything of course, but there were some things that Grace couldn’t tell. It was obvious that they are crazy for each-other, though Grace had always thought she’s plain to look at and a gorgeous specimen like Joshua Hanson might not be for her. At least not anything that spells ‘lifetime’. Grace is in love with him already. She has let him touch her in every other ways but to have sex. It’s not that she doesn’t want to but she herself harbors a dark secret of her own.
What happens next is, Grace identifies Letitia because she once treated her some months ago while her plantation was still thriving. When she informs her of that, Letitia’s memory bounces back and she’s mad as a hellcat. She blames Tom for lying and abducting her, and later, makes a plan and runs away with Grace’s help on the next stop. Joshua and Tom are left baffled by this but angry no matter. They begin hunting for the women. No details but some jump in the story here... Joshua does track Grace down, who confirms that Letitia has gone back to her own home to see if she can salvage whatever is left of her plantation and start over. Grace gives over a portion of her own story in depth to Joshua and they finally end up making love with Grace confessing her feelings for him. This only made Joshua determined to help and protect her.
On the other hand, Tom is angry, enraged. He now has an idea of what Robert has been up to and how he has been duped by the man. It seems like Henry Lucas is THE pirate hunter, the slimy a$$hole who was supposed to protect Letitia that night, but didn’t. A few months pass by in between. Letitia has been working dawn till dusk to salvage her plantation. It is a backbreaking job. Suddenly, one night, Tom pays her a visit, just like the old times... or that one night so long ago. She starts spewing negative things about him but Tom is not thwarted by that, and he’s a determined man if nothing else. What Tom wants now is to make Letitia his, once and for all. What ensues later is a really sexy love scene. Some readers might get offended at how Tom liked to tear up Letitia’s dresses but I found it delish! Not only I loved the scene but also their conversation in between. Tom has a way of dirty talking that made him even adorable to me. I was just grinning while I was reading that part. Letitia was almost giving in, ‘almost’ is the word here. She’s still a bit stung over everything but no matter, her heart is beginning to be involved where this Pirate is concerned. But can she trust him? When Tom doesn’t see her for a while afterwards, Letitia begins missing him fiercely, more than she ever did in the past.
I must quote:
“You must leave,” she said, even more coldly than she had intended.
He just fixed her with those implacable eyes. “So you use my body all night and then throw me aside like a cheap whore,” he smiled, his hand stroking his prick as he spoke. She gulped. There was something about his relaxed demeanour that made her a little scared.
His eyes grazed over her body. “What if I haven’t finished with you?” Then he suddenly uncoiled like a wildcat and she found herself pinned down to the bed, his erection grinding into her belly.
“Tom!” she cried in exasperation. “Don’t! I am too sore!”
He laughed wickedly and then lowering his mouth onto hers kissed her with surprising tenderness. “I could stay here with you and be a farmer,” he murmured, his fingers tangling in her curls.
“We could toil together in the fields all day and then you could use me every night. Strip me naked and have my big c*ck, all for your pleasure,” and he stroked himself against her, rubbing his rigid shaft along the smooth skin of her belly just to demonstrate what she could have.
She breathed in the musky scent of him and shuddered with the promise of it. A sudden vision of dark haired blue-eyed children came to her and she quashed it, blushing at her own unconscious mind. “Ridiculous fancies,” she said, pushing him away. “As if the Crown would leave you in peace to grow sugarcane!”
Next, Henry Lucas returns from wherever the hell he was all these months (my guess, obviously hunting down Tom). I got mad at how easily he manipulates Letitia into thinking that it was Tom who raided her plantation and set it on fire. I wanted to slap her to see reason. She even got engaged to the guy soon. But Letitia was just tired, not knowing whom to trust any longer. When, this time, Tom comes for a visit (and I was readying myself for another sexy scene), everything goes out of hand........ He’s caught by Henry and is taken to the prison, knowing he’d soon be sent to the gallows... The rest of the story is amazing, full of actions with a few more minor but good twists. I forgave Letitia because one, she comes to her senses soon thereafter and helps Grace and Joshua to free Tom and two, she did try to make Tom happy.
I would love to see this story expanded with more details, backstory for the characters and descriptions. A few more installments wouldn’t be bad either! Needless to say, I’m a new fan and off to check out more of Alison Shaw’s books. 4.25 stars.
PS: This is a free read and can be downloaded from smashwords. Recommended from me.