Title: The Penitent Pirate (Pirates of Port Royal: Book Two)
Author: Jules Radcliffe
Publisher: Loose Id
Length: 305 Pages
At a Glance: Yes, this is a swoon worthy pirate adventure, and I enjoyed every minute of it. If anything, this book is even better than the first one in the series.
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: The Caribbean, 1664
After peaceful months ashore strengthening their new union, Perry and Quinn are ready to return to the life they love best–roving with the buccaneer ship Audacious. Quinn is still haunted by his torture in a Spanish dungeon, and Perry hopes being back at sea will restore his matelot to his old self.
In Port Royal, they are swept into intrigues–the worthies of Jamaica are conspiring against the buccaneers, a baby is found on their doorstep, and a mysterious gentleman has a secret he will kill to preserve.
Just when Perry and Quinn hope to sail and leave it all behind, Quinn is asked to become the sailing master of Night Hawk, captained by the dashing Raphe Ashburn, his former lover. Charming, aristocratic, and witty, Captain Ashburn is everything Perry wishes he could be. But Night Hawk is a valuable ally, so Perry convinces Quinn to go.
All goes well until Perry is taken by an old enemy. He is certain he will never see his matelot again, for Quinn is not a man to brook deceit or infidelity from a lover. And Captain Ashburn is waiting in the wings to pick up their old affair.
When everything in their path seems intent on keeping them apart, will Perry and Quinn find their way back to each other?
Review: Jules Radcliffe has done it again. If anything, this book is even better than the first one in the series. Book one was full of political intrigue, the brutal realities of war, and the forging of Perry and Quinn’s relationship. Now, in book two, the political landscape is still constantly changing in a time full of uncertainty, but the story concentrates more on the posturing of men who are free to manipulate the winds of history and the grabbing of land and money for their individual kings. The Caribbean in 1664 is ruled by the Spanish, the Dutch, the English and the Brethren. The Brethren are the men who live there, they work there, and they sail the seas looking for bounty.
Kit Harrington, former English nobleman, captains the Audacious. Raphe Ashburn, former aristocrat himself, captains the Night Hawk. These men are partners—on land, in bed, as well as at sea—but there is no love lost between the two, and their querulous relationship is pivotal to the story. Quinn and Perry are looking forward to getting back to sea. We left them in book one in Jamaica, living in the house of the Black Wolf’s Captain Harrington. The rainy season is almost over and the men are becoming restless. Quinn, however, is still plagued with nightmares, haunted by his time spent in a Spanish prison, which happens in book one. The two are excited to be sailing together once again, Perry hoping that time spent at sea will help Quinn to heal mentally and physically from the trauma he endured. Circumstances change, and suddenly Quinn has no choice but to move his berth to the Night Hawk and become their sailing master.
Jules Radcliffe uses actual history to lend credence to her stories, and in doing so, easily transports us to her chosen place in time. The use of language, local colloquialisms, and the accurate descriptions of the people and places give us a colorful backdrop for her novels. There were several times I had to reread sentences, or actually look up a word, and frankly, I loved that! All this reality engages you on an intellectual level, and because she writes characterizations with the same amount of detail, you find yourself engaged emotionally as well.
Perry and Quinn are matelots, a practice on sailing ships, especially among the Brethren, whereby they are in essence married under the law of the sailing ships. It is unspoken law that matelots are never separated, so when Quinn has to move to another ship, Perry feels the loss. The connection that these two men have is palpable. The trust and the chemistry is off the charts. There is an element of D/s in their relationship that suffers after Quinn is held hostage. The amount of healing he has to go through doesn’t truly resolve till the final pages of this book, and you hurt for him on so many levels. There is a sweeter touch in the middle of all these pirates, with the addition of a baby girl found on the doorstop of the house Perry and Quinn are staying in. Perry is immediately smitten with the tiny thing, and immediately you are led into believing in a HEA with Quinn and Perry as fathers of the little bundle. I also truly loved the title of the book—the penitence both Quinn and Perry feel they have to pay for their supposed sins, and the play off Perry’s middle name was incredibly clever.
And then the ending is just perfect for these two pirates, and brings their adventures to a fitting conclusion and solidifies their relationship.
“But in sooth, God made you for me, and who am I to doubt his intentions?” Quinn held the Bible up and held Perry’s eyes with his own. “I swear I’ll always be yours, Thomas Peregrine, and you’ll always be mine, and no man will come between us. And when we die—God grant it be many years hence—we’ll not be truly parted, for we’ll meet again in the land of promise.”
Yes, this is a swoon worthy pirate adventure, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Read book one first—you need to understand the journey these men take. You can start with this second book, but why when the story is so much better told from the beginning. Swamp Dog is the next story in the making, and then A Pirate’s Promise. I would really love it if one of these is Kit’s book. I think there is more to his and Raphe’s relationship than meets the eye! If you love different kinds of historicals, or just plain great love stories. then this series is for you. Highly recommend.
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