Title: Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires
Author: Bey Deckard
Pages/Word Count: 380 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: Reunited once more, the crew of Baal’s Heart must make the long and treacherous journey south to the towering spires of the Devil’s Isles. The path through the mountain range is fraught with peril; mayhem and tragedy plague the pirate ship, but what the men find beyond the spires is the most shocking of all.
In this sequel to the acclaimed Caged, the pirates are dragged into a dangerous new world by Captain Baltsaros’s all-consuming obsession. In the midst of terror and chaos, Jon learns that the captain and first mate have been keeping secrets from him. But will the truth tear them apart?
Review: Is it a tad premature to declare an author has outdone himself if he’s only published two books? Maybe, but I’m saying it anyway—Bey Deckard has outdone himself with Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires, the much anticipated and more than worthy follow-up to Caged: Love and Lust on the High Seas.
Unlike anything I’ve ever read before, Sacrificed packs emotion, sensuality, adventure, fantasy, and danger into every one of its chapters. Knowing that Captain Baltsaros was a more complex character than was introduced in Caged (and, trust me, he was already plenty enigmatic), Sacrificed takes the reader on a perilous journey to a place ruled by a twisted Emperor who preys on the psyches of Erem’ia Balor’s people. There are truths Baltsaros needs to discover and secrets he and Tom have kept from Jon, and these truths and secrets will either set him free or spell his ruin. You can cut the tension with a knife at times in this installment of the series, while at other times these three men could make the hardest of hearts melt as they attempt to navigate their feelings for one another.
One of the things I love about a good, well-written ménage plot is the reality of the built-in complications inherent to making a relationship work. Bey Deckard doesn’t sugarcoat the jealousies and insecurities that underlie Baltsaros, Tom, and Jon’s needs. While there’s a good bit of angst to work through in Sacrificed, it was all necessary to the growth of both the characters and their relationship. These are three men who have pasts that haunt them, which have served to shape who they are, and it’s together that they must try to overcome those ghosts in order to not only continue to be but to learn to live and love and trust what they’re building together.
Thanks to the skill and passion with which the author has told these stories, the Captain, Tom, and Jon have continued to evolve both individually and together. Jon has emerged as a force with which to be reckoned, his strength and cleverness elevating his significance to Baltsaros and Tom, emotionally and physically. Both of these hardened and dangerous pirates are changing, softening not to the point of weakness but are becoming stronger as they each follow their hearts and trust in their feelings for Jon. And for each other. Tom is still a favorite, overflowing with charm and charisma, strong and submissive in equal measures. But perhaps the most significant change is in Baltsaros. While exuding danger and raw sex appeal, the Captain appears to have lost and found his heart all within a single book, and while I won’t give away any spoilers here, I will say the journey to get there was epic. What remains to be seen is in what ways he will continue to transform, though I have no doubt he will still radiate all that magnetism that’s drawn me in from the beginning.
With a skill that equals the author’s developing of his characters, the setting drawn in Sacrificed is lush with detail, the prose rife with imagery which allows the reader to gain a firm sense of the time and place while still keeping the story solidly grounded within its alternate history and universe. If you’re not a big fan of historical novels, let me just say there’s nothing in these books that should feed into that dislike. Yes, these men are pirates; yes, there’s a sense of the historical; but these books are raw, erotic, and offer a depth of story and character at the same time, something often lacking in novels with men who fuck and fight and love in equal measure. They play by their own rules and love by their own code, and it’s nothing less than stunning.
As impressed as I was by Bey Deckard’s debut, Sacrificed has exceeded any and all expectations I might have had for the follow up to Caged. It’s a grand adventure the author is taking us on, a journey of heart, soul, and imagination that promises, at the end, even more to discover as this extraordinary series continues.
You can buy Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires here: