Title: The Puritan Pirate
Author: Jules Radcliffe
Publisher: Loose Id
Length: 239 Pages
At a Glance: The kink and the chemistry between these two MCs is off the charts, and I totally enjoyed reading their love story.
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: The Caribbean, 1664
An uptight naval lieutenant. A free-living buccaneer. Enemies from the first.
It all changes the night Quinn reluctantly rescues Lieutenant Peregrine from the consequences of his folly. Their tentative truce leads to a wild tryst and the thrilling discovery that their unconventional desires are perfectly matched.
Perry is the most delightfully submissive lover Quinn has ever had, and he wants Perry by his side for good. But such an affair would not only end Perry’s career, he may never be able to return to England and his family. Fearful of discovering Perry’s desire for respectability is stronger than his love, Quinn leaves him behind in Port Royal.
But in his darkest hour, Quinn discovers that Perry will risk his life for them to be together.
Review: Jules Radcliffe is a writer of historical m/m and m/m/f romances. She was a new author to me on this one, and even though I had some issues with the timeline of this story, I am glad to have discovered a new historical author and her work.
The setting is in Caribbean waters, the year 1664, a time fraught with political intrigue and the changing of a way of life…. Who knew?! Apparently, this author, who did her research and does a great job of captivating her audience and taking them there in a very believable way. This story is about Quinn and Perry, two men who, being just one generation removed from the English invasion of Ireland and the pressing of her people into slavery, have every reason to hate each other based on their upbringings alone.
Lt. Thomas Peregrine is as English as they come. His deceased father and extended family have strong Puritan beliefs and Perry was raised to be as radical as they are…. Only Perry wants no part of it and joins the Navy as a way to escape his cousins and still take care of his widowed mother and his sister. Perry also has certain inclinations, secrets he has kept hidden his entire life, which are about as far from Puritan as you can get. Perry is stoic, aloof, a bit prejudiced by his upbringing and totally out of his element among all the men on a ship. This feeling of being alone has been with him his entire life, and his way of combating it is to be haughty and unapproachable. When Perry is transferred off a naval vessel to one filled with buccaneers, or pirates as they were commonly called, he begins to question a lot about himself and the country he serves.
“Perry cringed inwardly. He had been a judgmental arse, and his priggish views had led him to make erroneous assumptions about the men who served under the Black Wolf. Deep in his heart he had resented their freedom, something he would never have as a lieutenant in His Majesty’s navy, and he had buried his envy in sneering disdain. But while he might feel guilt and remorse for his attitude, there would be no forgiveness for his behavior. He certainly deserved none. For the first time since he had joined them, Perry regretted that he had no rightful place among the Brethren of the Coast.”
Gabriel Quinn is a former slave. Sold into slavery by the English, he escaped to the sea and lives his life openly and wantonly. Gabe is master of the Audacious and is fiercely proud of all he has accomplished. The instant enmity between him and the new mate on the ship is often querulous but also stimulating. He loves to rile the seemingly formal, stoic naval liaison—it’s almost better than foreplay with the two of them. Gabe is involved with many things both on and off land, and wondering just why his particular ship needs a naval liaison is something he is determined to figure out. Following Perry when they dock in Port Royal seems like a no brainer until he saves the man from being robbed, or even killed, and the passions so easily ignited between the two finally explode.
“Quinn felt gratification wash through him at his friend’s words. “We all misjudged him, Kit. I thought him surly and cold; soothly he is private. Shy, sometimes. The stony face is a mask he wears, and when he takes it off…” Quinn drew a breath, recalling his lover’s face transformed by laughter, filled with passion, writhen by an exhilarating mix of fear and ecstasy.”
I love a good pirate story and this one didn’t disappoint. The historical aspects are spot-on (at least, they seem that way), and learning about the politics of the time, as well as life aboard a privateer, was interesting. Radcliffe does an excellent job blending these “facts” with her romance between these men. The political intrigue only enhances her story, it doesn’t detract—actually, it makes her romance seem rooted in real life and we get transported to 1600s Tortuga. Radcliffe did her homework on this one. You can tell, and I appreciate that.
Now, I did mention the timeline of the story, and I did have issues with how the book was laid out. The book is divided into three parts. Why? There is a fair amount of jumping around in time—don’t get me wrong, I am all for flashbacks, things that give us insight into a character’s motivations and help us make sense of current events—but, I need them to tell me something useful. I need the kernel, the takeaway, not just be an overview. I still had too many unanswered questions that could have been addressed better in those flashback paragraphs. Like, Perry’s back. Why did he get flogged? What really was at the core of the animosity with his old captain, Pobjoy? Especially if you are going to end the book with the confrontation between the two; I needed to understand the root of the relationship better. I actually think this would have been a great story told straight through, start at the beginning and take it to its conclusion. I would have loved to experience more of the sparks and foreplay between our MCs. And yes, I know, that would have made the book longer with the input of all the intrigue in the latter half of the story, but honestly, that wouldn’t bother me at all.
The things I loved about this story far outweigh the issues I had with the timing. This is an interesting historical, at times a suspenseful and intense story. Part three especially paces very well and has a colorful and satisfying conclusion. Frankly, the kink and the chemistry between these two MCs is off the charts, and I totally enjoyed reading their love story. I have found a new author to get my historical fix from. Yay!
“And when you’re pleasure-flushed, aroused, your eyes dark with it, I want to kiss you and fuck you, over and over until there’s naught left of me but what’s inside of you.”
Whew. Yeah, I recommend it!
You can buy The Puritan Pirate here: