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Thursday, 1 May 2014

Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas
Baal's Heart #1
by Bey Deckard
M/M Historical Fantasy/Erotic Romance/BDSM
5 Stars

Blurb

Sheltered and lonely, Jon's life changes drastically when a strange ship sails into the harbour of his small port town one day. Trapped between the possessive pirate captain and his murderous first mate, he must learn to adapt or he will lose himself completely. An epic tale of love, treachery and revelation, this first installment of the Baal's Heart trilogy brings you into the lives of three men so bound together by jealousy and lies that they must sail to the very ends of the earth to find forgiveness.

Deckard's first novel is a masterful portrayal of sorrow, hope, and passion, with a narrative that twists the reader through a world set in the Golden Age of Piracy. A thrilling look into the darker side of human nature, Caged effortlessly melds serious historical fantasy with five star erotica.

***

Review:

A book with BDSM, pirates and an adventure, how could I resist this?

I've seen this book placed in some retailers as erotic, but I think calling it that does it a disservice. This book is much more than erotica, and while sex does feature heavily, it is more about the relationships and emotional aspects than the physical ones.

Jon is an empath and lives in a run down castle with his stepfather, Reginald, head of the castle guards. Reginald uses Jon's skills on the prisoners in the dungeons to decide who is guilty or innocent. His skills reach the ear of a pirate captain, who decides Jon might just be what he's looking for to keep him one step ahead of the other pirates. For who would try to cheat him if they knew Jon could tell they were lying?

Investigating a murder at the town's brothel, Jon is kidnapped by the pirates and brought on board. Jon doesn't know it, but the reader does, Jon has little choice. Either he joins the pirate band or they kill him, simple as that. It would have been a short book if our hero was murdered in the first few chapters, so the readers can almost guess he'll pick joining the pirates.

I loved this book and I loved Jon. He was an innocent virgin before he joined Captain Baltsaros and his crew, and his confusion over feeling these things for a man was well done, without the book being completely unrealistic. But hey, I'm reading about fantasy pirates, I'm not really worried about realism here :)

As for Baltsaros, for a lot of the book he wasn't a particlularly nice character, but he was a compelling one and I could see how Jon could be drawn to him despite his misgivings at first. Throw in Tom, the jealous first mate and you have the start of an intriguing love triangle and eventual threesome, which I'm not usually a fan off, but it works well for these characters.

All the characters were well-rounded and I adored Katherine, the only woman on the ship who became a sort of older sister to Jon.

Watching Jon blossom from shy virgin into a young man comfortable in his sexuality was wonderful, you almost got to take the journey with him. There is some BDSM in the book, but the scenes are more than just kinky sex, they develop the emotional connection between the characters and the reader gets to see Jon experience sub-space, which a lot of BDSM book just don't do at all or gloss over it. The love scenes are very well-writen (as is the whole book), very sensual and emotionally charged, they sizzle.

There is a good balance of sex, action, mystery, intrigue and jealousy and it makes for a very satisfying read.

If you like your pirates for what they are - rough men who think nothing about murder, kidnapping, stealing, then this might be the book for you. They are also very sexy in here, despite the moral hinterlands they inhabit. A fantastic, sexy read.



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