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(Cutlass Series #1)
Publication date: April 23rd 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Goodreads | Amazon
Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy’s fiancé seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it.
Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard.
But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.
First off, let me just remind everyone how much I adore pirates. I have always, and will always, love me some swashbuckling high seas action. But it is hard to find a good pirate book that has plenty of action AND romance to keep me interested for long. I am happy to report that the book had ample action and enough romance to keep me turning the pages. And as if pirates and romance were not enough to keep me busy, there were also ELVES. Are you freaking kidding me? I LOVE elves. And with elves, comes magic. *dances with glee* A pirate romance with fantasy elements? Freaking yes! And the sword fights.. did I mention the sword fights? :D I love sword fights! (calm down, Ryan.)
The book follows the journey of Barren in his quest for revenge on his brother, William. For five years, he has been waiting for his chance to fight his brother and avenge the death of his beloved father and pirate lord, Jess Reed- who died at his brothers hands. Larkin is a high- born lady and is marrying William to make her father happy. Barron decides his best chance at luring his brother into their long- awaited final duel is to kidnap Larkin from their engagement party and draw William out to sea- where Barren has the upper-hand. Only Larkin turns out to be more trouble than he or his crew bargained for and there may be more important things at stake than his petty revenge. Political Intrigue, spies, and prejudice follow Barren wherever he goes and he is soon on a quest far more important than any he had been on before with Larkin at his side.
Cutlass is the sort of book where you can never tell who all the bad guys are and betrayal, politics, and revealed secrets are constantly shaking the plot and causing problems for our hero and heroine.
The villains were plenty and they were pretty hardcore if we are rating in terms of skill with a sword. *wiggles eyebrows*. Some were more complex and I could empathize with. The others were straightforward and I could understand their motives. One, however, baffles me. I wonder if the second book will expound further on his motives. So the villains were okay.
Larkin was an interesting character. She grew up believing in the system she was raised in by her father. She lived a life of privilege and is stubborn to recognize the hard truths she has to face about the system and people she has known all her life. I liked that she was bad-ass and could hold her own against Barren. I also liked that she had morals and convictions that guided her actions. Some of her actions are foolish- as some heroines often are- but her heart was in the right place and she can admit when she is wrong, so I forgive her. I did not get as deep of a connection to her as I did to Barren, but hopefully I can bridge that small gap in the next book!
Barren. Barren, Barren, Barren. What to say about Barren.. The nineteen year old pirate lord with an entire crew at his every command.. and he has them chasing after his petty whims. He is rash and immature, constantly getting everyone in trouble- everything you would expect in a typical nineteen year old. He is also cocky, hot, bad- ass, and loyal- everything you would expect in a pirate lord. I love that - out of all the characters- you see a growth in him and his mindset throughout the story. I am very impressed that he grew up and shifted as the story progressed. Every character should change for the better throughout a story and Barren's change was both necessary and interesting. He was a very human character and I feel like a lot of people can relate to his rash nineteen year old side. He is- after all- human. And to be human is to make mistakes and be ruled by your emotions. I am glad he changed, because I sort of wanted to smack him for a few of his choices.
Speaking of smacking Barren for his choices- that reminds me- Leaf!
Leaf was a secondary character, but I just felt the need to mention him and praise him for his sexy elfed..ness. (: He was charming and funny. Ah.. Leaf. He was the perfect first mate- trying to get his idiot captain to see reason, while still trying to see the laughter in bad situations. You, my dear Elf, are awesome and the story would have had a sad gap without you to provide your warmth to the story in the light of our two serious main characters. <3
All in all? Cutlass was an entertaining read. It was full of violence, political upheaval, betrayal, romance, mystery, adventure, secrets, pirates, a sexy elf, a pirate lord with a grudge, a lady with a choice to make, and most important of all.. sword fights. :D I loved it.
4.5/5 (round to 5)
:D PIRATES! <3
Ashley was born and raised in Oklahoma, where the wind really does sweep down the plains, and horses and carriages aren’t used as much as she’d like. When she’s not writing, she’s hard at work on her Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Technology, working out, or pretending she’s Sherlock Holmes. Her obsession with writing began after reading the Lord of the Rings in the eighth grade. Since then, she’s loved everything Fantasy–resulting in an unhealthy obsession with the ‘geek’ tab on Pinterest, where all things awesome go.
Tour wide giveaway (INTL)
• Prize 1) A signed Paperback Copy of Cutlass, include a cute octopus mug (it's purple and ADORABLE), Bookmark, and maybe a poster.
• Prize 2) A signed Paperback of Cutlass + a bookmark
• Prize 3) E-book of Cutlass