Published by Literary Wanderlust LLC on January 1st 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
All Sophie Bellard wants is her freedom, freedom to sail the seven seas, and freedom to be her own person without interference from some controlling husband. But an arranged marriage to handsome and dangerous Captain Andre Dubois derails all her hopes. After a disastrous wedding night where a ruinous secret is discovered, the two go their separate ways with hopes of never meeting again.
Sophie becomes a pirate, while Andre sets off for the Orient where he makes a murderous enemy. After escaping with his life, Andre returns to home waters, and in an unexpected twist of pirate fate, reunites with his estranged and unwilling wife.
When Andre’s murderous enemy threatens Sophie’s life, he vows to protect what is his, and attempts to win his wife’s forgiveness and love, once and for all.
The mist shifted, and more details became visible to her. The intruder wore a sword at his hip, a pistol tucked into his sash, and a buckled baldric across his chest. A battered tricorn sat upon his black, kerchief-covered dark head, and a silver earring glinted through his hair. Their gazes met, sending her staggering backward.
He strode up to her, stopped bare inches away. His burning gaze roamed her face as if committing it to memory, as if devouring her very countenance.
She noticed how his chest under his open shirt rose and fell at a triple pace, how the pulse at the base of his tanned throat fluttered like hummingbird wings. His thick-lashed, brown eyes roved over her, feverishly bright, boring straight into her very soul.
Of its own volition, her mouth opened, and she heard herself ask in a hoarse whisper, “It’s you, isn’t it? You’re the one I’ve been waiting for, aren’t you?”
At the sound of her voice, the man closed his eyes on an expelled sigh. He dropped to his knees in sudden weakness, leaned his forehead against her stomach as though his head was suddenly too heavy to hold upright. His hat toppled unnoticed to the sand beside him.
His whole body shuddered. At the feel of his loss of self-control, she began to tremble in response, and sank to her knees as well. She gathered his cold hands in hers as he lifted glistening eyes to her face. He appeared ready to snap in two, so she spoke gently, as if to a wild animal. She clasped his hands against her chest.
“I know you. I don’t know your name, but I know you in my heart. Your face, your eyes, your touch—you are as familiar to me as my body. I’ve been waiting for you to come for me.”
Their gazes held, beat after beat, until, on a choked sound, he wrapped his arms around her, pulled her tight against his chest. So tight she could feel the buckle of his baldric through her clothes, could feel the buttons of his coat, even his heart thundering against hers. Their bodies fused together as they knelt in the damp sand.
With his face buried in her hair, his mouth against her neck, he said simply, “I’m Andre.”
“There are many activities pirates do, on and off their ships. If you became a pirate, what one activity would you like to do, which one would you hate, and why, for both? Sailing, pillaging, plundering, sword-fighting, climbing the lines, being the lookout, walking the plank.”
The winner will receive a signed copy of The Pirate’s Bride.
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
The Pirate’s Bride is written by Cathy Skendrovich. In her biography it mentions that she prefers writing contemporary romance. I am so glad she decided not to stick to only that genre because this book was an absolute delight to read.
It’s the story of Sophie Bellard. A young woman who after being raped when she was younger, was determined to live an independent life without the complications of men. Her father was a pirate, and she begged him to let her have her own ship to sail as a pirate too. He of course forbade it, and in his ultimate wisdom decided that she should marry. He set her up with the son of the only other pirate that had more control on the seas than him, not only keeping his daughter looked after, but also forming an alliance with his competition. Sophie didn’t want to marry, and she dreaded what would happen in the marriage bed. Would she be able to have sex after being raped, and even if she could, what would her new husband think when he discovered she was not a virgin?
Captain Andre Dubois is a devil may care pirate, a handsome, very charming man, brilliant at what he does, and well respected. He was none too pleased with his father’s demand for him to marry a woman he hadn’t even met. His father assured him it would just be a case of wedding the girl, and then he could go off to sea and never see her again if he wished. He finally agreed to the marriage and after seeing her and finding her stunningly beautiful, if a bit Missish, he wasn’t too annoyed at the prospect of taking her to his bed. Of course when it gets to that, and when he discovers her not to be a virgin, he is fuming. He thinks she must be pregnant and is trying to make him take on the responsibility of another man’s child. In his anger, he leaves her wanting in his bed, and takes to the seas again. Sophie is distraught, but knows she can’t blame him for being angry, even though his reaction did seem extreme.
Not long after Andre left her, Sophie’s father passed away. Although devastated by the loss, she finally sees a way to fulfil her dreams of becoming a pirate. She approaches her father in law and asks him to give her her father’s ship, and to let sail. Of course he can’t just let her sail off with no training, so he takes her under his wing and teaches her to survive as a pirate. Eventually he lets her sail off with a crew of her own, on a smaller ship that she can handle well. All is going well until her run away husband comes back into her life.
He has done something terrible, something that now puts his wife’s life at risk and he has to take her under his wing in order to keep her safe. Of course she isn’t happy about it, but the time that she is forced to be with him, is time when they come to learn more about each other, and find that they very much like what they learn.
Can Andre keep his wife safe, or will she be taken from him when he finally decides that he might just want and need her in his life??
This book was fabulous, so good in fact that I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it, and I read it in one sitting. From the very beginning of the story I was hooked, and the more I read, the more I wanted to read. There is excitement from the start, there is passion, there were tearful moments, and there were many laugh out loud moments including a particular scene where Andre discovers his wife is a pirate! Not forgetting a scene where Sophie is taking the wheel of a ship much to the near detriment of the crew. I am smiling now just thinking about it. The author paints a scene so well that you can just imagine life onboard a pirate ship, feeling the wind in your hair, and smelling the sea. I can’t stress enough just how much I loved this book. It definitely had the wow factor for me, and I was left wanting more. This author might prefer contemporary romance stories, but I hope and pray that she will continue writing more like this one too!
I voluntarily read an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book.