Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Review: Jennifer Bray-Weber’s DEAD MAN’S KISS – A Hardened Pirate Falls in Love

Back to pirates today… This story is set in 1728 in Cuba, Venezuela and the Caribbean. It tells of Valeryn Barone, captain of the Rissa and a pirate for hire. Arrested as a result of a drunken brawl, Valeyn is forced to escort the mayor’s niece, Catalina Montoya, across the Caribbean so she can gather plant specimens. (Her life’s goal is to be a naturalist.) But there is a condition: he’s to leave her untouched, or lose his ship, his crew and his life.

Catalina was sent to live with her uncle after an illicit affair and now wants only to become a naturalist. She knows Valeryn’s life and that of his crew depends on him delivering her “untouched”, but she intends to seduce him all the same. And how anyone was to know she had been “touched” when she wasn’t a virgin was unclear. But somehow they’d just know. One has to wonder what her uncle was thinking in sending her off with a pirate not known for his morals.

The story is full of authentic pirate dialog and the ship scenes are exciting with a battle that will keep you turning pages. Of course, Valeryn does not resist the cute Catalina long (was anyone surprised?). Catalina seems a selfish, spoiled girl but she is certain she wants the pirate captain. Valeryn has his hands full with all his problems, yet he manages to find time for Catalina. They do seem made for each other.

There are some references to earlier stories and some characters come in at the end that were not a part of the main tale so I assume this is part of a series. But it can be read as a stand alone. Pirate fans will love the action.

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