by Linda Barlow
Publication Date: August 18, 2014
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All I did was take a few pictures. I didn't realize I was witnessing a crime.
I was hoping for a kick-ass adventure when I set off on my dream vacation. Instead, I've fallen in with a ruthless band of thieves.
Kidnapped, bound, and ordered to submit, I'm stuck on a yacht with a sun-bronzed pirate who caught me photographing his antiquities-smuggling operation. He doesn't want me tagging along any more than I want to be here. But that hasn't stopped him from finding a use for me.
She thinks I'm hard-assed. Dominating. Cruel. But I've got a dirty job to do. It has required months of scheming, a billionaire's yacht, and a shitload of priceless stolen artifacts.
I'm not about to be distracted by one inconvenient redhead. Even if she is supremely fuckable and oh-so-sweet when I have her on her knees.
She probably doesn't realize it, but I'm doing my best to protect her. There are guys here a lot badder than me. But I can't allow her to mess up my plans. There's no place in my life for softer emotions, and no space in my body for a heart.
First of all I would like to thank the author for being generous in providing the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I have to admit that originally I was not the one who is scheduled to review this book. But since my co-blogger is busy with other things, I gladly took over.
The first time I read the blurb, I said to myself "Well this is kinda different." Different in a way that it has a modern day pirate flavor to it. There are numerous plots in the book market and its not everyday that I get to encounter this kind of book. So I welcomed it with open arms and get to reading.
Ellie, the heroine, is a photographer who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. But it seems fate had brought her to Nick. The instant that she laid eyes on him, she felt this instant attraction. She's feisty and does not submit easily. She stands her ground, responds back and fights for what she believed in. The only thing she can't fight is her attraction to Nick, her captor. In the beginning, she's convinced that she's suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. But as time goes on and she'd taken a peek of some of Nick's personality, she had fallen for him. Loathing and hate slowly turned into trust and love.
Nick is a smuggler and is involve in illegal trades of stolen artifacts and human trafficking. He portrays himself as the bad guy. He's good-looking and was compared by Ellie to Apollo. He's knowledgeable and well-educated, characteristics that are contradiction for being a thief. So is he the villain or the hero?
Secondary characters constitute of a villain that you will definitely hate. A side character that will take you by surprise. A gang that is rowdy, ill-mannered and unscrupulous.
I can compare this book to the movies Indiana Jones and National Treasure. There's not that much action in the story like in the movies but there are some similarities to it. The book displays a lot of archaeological and geographical information and some historical information about the Trojan War. It contains light BDSM, some f-bombs and strong language, some rough, edgy and passionate scenes, some suspense, a nice plot twist in the end, a little bit of intrigue and mystery that would spice the story.
Everything considered, this is a romantic love story set in the exotic place of Turkey. If you're tired of the same old billionaire-biker-fighter-rocker hero, then try this one. You might like it and even recommend it some of you book friends.
MY RATING 3 Fairy Wings
I shook back my long hair, which was falling into my face. "People will be looking for me. When I don't check in with my mother and my friends, they'll call the authorities. You won't get away with this."
He smiled thinly. "We'll see."
"The sensible thing would be to take the yacht into shore and drop me off. I'm a complication that you don't need."
"The sensible thing would be to weigh your body down with something heavy and drop you overboard. It's an option that will remain on the table while I assess what other uses I can put you to."
The uses I pictured were scary and degrading. It was nothing but bravado that kept me from curling up in a ball. "I won't be used by any man, so stop threatening me."
His eyes darkened and he grabbed me, fisting a handful of my hair. It hurt. "You're frightened and trying to cope. I get that. But you've landed in the middle of a fucked-up mess, and it's gonna get worse. Right now, I'm your best hope of staying alive, so don't piss me off. Do exactly what I order you to do, and maybe you'll survive. Defy me, and you're dead."
I noted for the first time that there were dark circles under those large eyes of his, that he was weary and not quite as much in control as he was pretending to be.
"I don't want you here," he went on. "You've no idea what a complication your presence poses. It would have been far more convenient to shoot you and toss your body into the sea. Maybe you haven't realized how close you came to endless night."
I felt the sweat break out again. He'd chanced upon a metaphor that called up my worst anxieties. So I continued to beat at him, knowing no other defense except attack.
"So I should thank you for saving my life? Am I expected to lie back, spread my legs, and express my gratitude? Is that what you mean by obeying your orders?"
He still had the knife in one hand. He saw me staring at it and his knuckles whitened around the handle. "As a matter of fact, yes," he said coldly. "If I tell you to strip, you will strip. If I tell you to spread your legs for me, you will do so. If I order you to drop to your knees and suck me off, you will do that, too, and gracefully. If you disobey me, you will be punished."He grabbed the shirt he'd stripped off and pulled it over his head. Then he opened the door to the cabin and exited. I heard the key turn on the outside; I heard him stomp away. Then there was silence, except for the pounding of the sea, and my own heart
"Don't shoot!" Putting down my camera and raising my arms over my head, I stepped out from the olive grove into the sun. "Lutfen," I added, the Turkish word for please. "I'm a tourist. Do you speak English? I'm sorry if I'm trespassing, but I thought this was public land."
It sounded ludicrous, but with my heart thudding and my stomach so cramped I thought I might double over and collapse before he could bother to shoot me, it was the best I could come up with. He was advancing again, his hard face expressionless, his eyes narrowed to slits as they flicked over me, taking in my appearance from my long, ill-kempt hair to my new leather boots.
His gaze lingered for an instant on my breasts and hips. As he closed in on me, I could see that his eyes were light green, the color of tropical seawater. Beautiful eyes, thickly fringed with gold-tipped lashes. Yet for all their beauty, they were mercilessly cold.
He was five yards away, then two, then one. He stopped. The gun, a large ugly pistol, was pointed dead at the center of my body. If he shot at this range, he couldn't miss, nor would I survive. "Please," I said again, lips trembling. "No English? French, then?" My French was not terrific. "Je suisamericaine." Instinct warned me not to try Turkish—an American tourist wouldn't speak more than a polite word or two of that language. "Je suisunetouriste. Comprenez-vous?"
"Who are you and what the fuck are you doing here?" he said in English.
"Thank god, you do understand me. It would be stupid for you to shoot me just because we couldn't communicate."
He must have found this answer flip, since he reached out, caught my wrist and jerked me against his body. My yelp of surprise died in my throat as one hand captured my arms behind my back while the other held the barrel of the gun to a point just below my left breast. His touch was both impersonal and professional. It didn't hurt, but this wasn't reassuring. If he had to kill me, he would do so swiftly, with a minimum of fuss.
"You have five seconds to explain yourself."
"I was camped here." I nodded in the direction of my pack. His English was more than excellent; it was perfect. He sounded as if he might be British, although there were American inflections, too. "I had trouble with my bike. I couldn't make it to the official campgrounds."
"You were photographing us."
"I was photographing the coastline. Not you."
"You expect me to believe that?" He kicked at my camera, which rolled over in the dirt. Inwardly I winced, and would have cried out "Don't hurt my camera," if it hadn't seemed a frivolous concern, given that he was probably about to end my life."That's a telephoto lens, so cut the lies.
Linda Barlow is the author of 23 novels in various genres, including family sagas, historical and contemporary romance, romantic suspense, erotic romance, and general mainstream fiction.
Publishers have included Doubleday, Dell, Penguin, Warner Books, New American Library/Signet, Berkley/Putnam, Silhouette and Harlequin. Her books have been translated into approximately 20 foreign languages.
Her romances have won numerous industry awards, including the Rita from Romance Writers of America (1989), Best New Historical Romance Author from Romantic Times (1986) and a Lifetime Achievement award from Romantic Times. She also contributed two essays to Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women, a collection of scholarly essays on the enduring appeal of the romance. This book won the Susan Koppelman Award for Excellence in Feminist Studies of Popular Culture and American Culture in 1993.
Linda is now indie publishing and loving it! She is updating her backlist and writing new novels, too. The first book to be rewritten and indie-published is the new edition of her classic historical romance, Fires of Destiny, which was a finalist for the Rita Award in 1987 (available now!).
Linda served as President of Novelists, Inc. in 1992 and did two three-year terms on the Executive Council of the Authors Guild in the 1990s. She was Romance Writers of America’s keynote speaker at the annual conference in 1989.
When she is not at her computer writing, she is likely to be reading. She can't imagine what her life would be like without books!