Blog Tour Review: Captured by the Pirate Laird by Amy Jarecki (Highland Force #1)

 

Captured by the Pirate Laird by Amy JareckiAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Rapture Books

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Michelle

Wed by proxy to a baron old enough to be her grandfather, Lady Anne trudges up the gangway of a galleon that will deliver her into the arms of a tyrant. Crestfallen, she believes her disastrous life cannot get worse—until she awakes to the blasts of cannon fire.

Facing certain death, Anne trembles in her stateroom while swords clash and the chilling screams of battle rage on the deck above. When a rugged Highlander kicks in her door, she prays for a swift end. 

But Laird Calum MacLeod has a reason for plundering the ship—and it’s not a stunning English lass. With no other choice, he takes Anne to his crumbling keep on the isle of Raasay and sends a letter of ransom to her husband. In time, Anne grows to understand MacLeod’s plight and finds it increasingly difficult to resist Calum’s unsettling charm—until the baron sends a reply agreeing to terms. 

Ripped from passion that will be forever seared into their souls, will Anne and Calum risk everything for love?

I just finished reading this book and honestly I’m almost speechless. I really didn’t delve into this one with high hopes. I’d never read anything by Amy Jarecki before, and something about the title had me expecting a cheesy 1980s Harlequin-type book. Boy was I wrong. I loved it!

Laird of a starving, floundering clan on a small Scottish island, Calum MacLeod uses his knowledge and skill as a seafaring man to plunder English ships in hopes of shoring up his keep’s food supplies. The last thing he expects to find aboard one of the galleons is the beautiful Lady Anne. Lady Anne was wed by proxy to a baron three times her age. En route to meet the tyrant her uncle married her to, Anne is terrified when the ship is taken over by pirates. Scared out of her wits, she has no choice but to go with the Scottish Highlander who takes her captive.

The isle of Raasay and the people who call it home alongside Calum are not at all what Anne expects. They work hard to carve a life out of the rough island countryside. Despite their common ways, the members of Clan MacLeod offer Anne a glimpse into a life she never knew she wanted. As she spends her days in “captivity” befriending the people of the keep and fighting her attraction for the handsome laird, Anne’s heart wars with her mind over her duty to her family. Born and raised a proper Englishwoman, Anne knows she is honor-bound to make it to her husband. A married English baroness has no business falling in love with the man who captured her. She has no idea how she will live her life married to a monster old enough to be her grandfather when all she longs to do is stay with Calum.

Laird Calum and Lady Anne’s chemistry sizzled and the author did a fantastic job of making the reader feel their struggle to do what is right. Their romance was doomed from the start. The contrast between the fierce pirate laird that her body lusts after and the tender, flirtatious man who steals her heart is too much for Anne to resist. Calum’s honor will allow him to do nothing less than deliver Anne to her husband once the ransom is paid. In the short time she spends with him and his clan, though, Anne manages to forge a place in his heart and his life. She is sweet and caring and the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen. Unfortunately she’s also the wife of Scotland’s enemy. It takes everything in him to leave her untouched and turn her over to a man he knows will make her life miserable.

I felt like I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I love when everything in a book is just right. I liked Anne as the heroine; she was smart and sensible and vulnerable. I absolutely loved Calum. He was strong and sexy, responsible and caring, and so much in love with Anne my heart broke with his when he left her. Their romance was so heartbreaking and sweet, yet oh so sensual. There was so much angst and action and sexual chemistry throughout this book. I truly enjoy the way Amy Jarecki writes. It has been a while since I’ve read a historical romance, but this one reminds me of how much I adore a wonderful swashbuckling adventure. This was like Braveheart only with a happy ending.

I give Captured by the Pirate Laird by Amy Jarecki 4.75 stars!

Excerpt:

She turned and caught him staring. He bowed and his heart melted when she smiled—a smile with dimples that could light up the horizon. He half expected Anne to turn up her pert little nose and head the other way.

Before he could persuade himself otherwise, Calum pattered down the steps and stood beside her. She watched the sunset and her warmth pulled him close like a magnet.

“’Tis beautiful,” she said when the sky shone with orange and pink, highlighted against the strips of clouds that sailed toward the ship.

He inhaled. Her scent ever so feminine, Calum inclined his head to capture more of it. “Aye, milady.”

She placed her hand on the rail. Again his reflexes took over and he rested his palm atop it. Calum expected her to snatch it away, but she did not. Her fingers were cold and he held his much warmer hand there as a comfort. They stood in silence as the sun glowed orange-red on the horizon. He wanted to stand there forever—touching her. Barely breathing, he watched the sun disappear and held his hand still, unwilling to move it.

The sun was replaced by darkness. Lady Anne slipped her hand out from under his and the dark of the evening took up residence inside him. She was not his to lust after. “May I walk you to your stateroom?”

“Yes.” Her voice sounded husky. Had she felt the connection too? Of course not.

Calum offered his arm and that same small, cold hand grasped it. “We’ll arrive at Raasay in the morning.”

“Our destination?”

“Aye.”

“Bran told me.”

Secrets were impossible to keep on a ship. “I will send a letter of ransom to yer husband upon our arrival.” He didn’t like how that sounded—ye are my prisoner until Lord Wharton pays for your release. But that’s how it had to be. If he sailed up the mouth of the River Aln, he would incite yet another war between Scotland and England—and this time his countrymen might side with the enemy.

When they stepped into the corridor, warm air relaxed the tension in his shoulders.

Anne stopped outside her cabin door, breasts straining against her bodice with every breath. “I’ve never met him.”

Calum forced himself to concentrate on her face. “Who?”

“Lord Wharton.”

“What? How?”

“We were wed by proxy. My uncle made the arrangements.”

Ah Jesus. Calum understood the way of highborn marriages, arranged for the trade of lands and riches. “Ye ken he’s old enough to be your father?”

“He’s three times my age plus one year to be exact. His children are older than I.”

A hundred questions flooded his mind. “Why?” he clipped with shocked disbelief.

Anne nodded as if fully understanding his monosyllabic inquiry. “I’m told the Baron fancied me from across Westminster Abbey during the Queen’s coronation.”

“No.” She doesn’t even know the bastard. That’s why she wears no ring.

“Yes. My uncle said he kissed my hand, yet so many lords greeted me on that trip to London, I’m at a loss to place him.”

 

2 Comments

  1. Wow! Thank you so much for the outstanding review! I had to ask when you mentioned Harlequin–my writing would never be accepted by them because I go too deep with the action! LOL

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