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Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX  76244-0425


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            Art: Within a Captain's Hold
Within a Captain’s Hold
By Lisa A. Olech
Lyrical Press, 2015, e-book ISBN 978-1-61650-972-9, $2.99
Print ISBN 978-1-60183-694-6, $15.00

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Captain Jaxon Steele, also known as the Pirate King, has two firm rules. No women on board the Scarlet Night and never bed a virgin. Both are nothing but trouble. Soon after he and his fellow pirates-turned-privateers set sail from London in 1683, his cook discovers an injured stowaway aboard. Not only is the stowaway a woman, she’s a virgin to boot. How dare she defy his rules! If she were dead, the matter would easily be resolved. He’d just toss her overboard. She’s not, and if the crew learns of her presence, she’ll rue the day she set foot on his ship and they’ll both be shark bait.

When Lady Annalise Gatherone secrets herself in the hold of the Scarlet Night, she does so because it is bound for Port St. Maria in the Caribbean. Fleeing England is her only option after Benedict Wolfsan murders her uncle for refusing to allow him to wed her. The duke’s power and public face are a far cry from his true self, an abusive and sadistic man, and he’ll hurt her and anyone else who gets in his way. Compared to him, the pirates seem tame, in if the captain imprisons in his cabin and refuses to go anywhere near the French port. He’s bound for Port Royal and nothing will change his mind. Not even after she proposes a marriage of convenience, the only way she sees to thwart Wolfsan’s pursuit. Besides, whenever he’s near her, Jaxon provides what has sorely been lacking in her life – a safe haven.

But once Wolfsan sets his sights on what he desires, no one can stop him from possessing it . . . or in this case, the luscious and unspoiled Annalise. When he discovers she has fled, his anger knows no bounds. He turns over every stone to track her down and he delights in tormenting anyone who gets in his way, including her best friend.

The first title in the Captains of the Scarlet Night series, Within a Captain’s Hold is a captivating tale that evokes a myriad of emotions. Olech artfully breathes life into all her characters, including the minor ones who sometimes steal the limelight from the hero and heroine. Her depiction of pirates is realistic, while her portrayal of each shows that a person is always more than one-dimensional, even a scurvy rogue. For those readers not offended by blatant language or graphic torture and violence, this historical romance will deftly sweep you back in time for adventure, intrigue, and love in seamy London, at sea, and on a sultry Caribbean isle.

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Review Copyrighted ©2015 Cindy Vallar
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