Title: Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas (Baal’s Heart #1)
Author: Bey Deckard
Publisher: Self Published
Rating: 5.0 of 5 Stars
Sheltered and lonely, Jon’s life changes drastically when a strange ship sails into the harbour of his small port town one day. Trapped between the possessive pirate captain and his murderous first mate, he must learn to adapt or he will lose himself completely. An epic tale of love, treachery and revelation, this first installment of the Baal’s Heart trilogy brings you into the lives of three men so bound together by jealousy and lies that they must sail to the very ends of the earth to find forgiveness.
I admit it. I’m a sucker for this trope-the downtrodden who finds a home and family, one not borne of blood, and blossoms like a flower in spring. I love it. It gets me every time. Every. Single. Time. AND they’re kinky too? Kinky pirates, no less. Shut the front door! I mean… it doesn’t get much better than that.
Jon and Baltsaros’s romance is non-traditional to be certain, but no less arresting. However, a great romance is a great romance is a great romance. What sets Caged apart are these characters and all their layers, this world he’s built and this story arc. Caged is Book 1 of a trilogy, but the ending isn’t too cliff-y, though it definitely has a “to be continued…” feel.
Bal, as I’ve taken to calling him, fulfills the treachery component of Caged in spades. Bal’s personality was forged by a monster’s hellish whimsy. He’s complicated, arrogant, cold and has a tendency to lie compulsively. He still has a secret or two and he most definitely has a dark side. I’ve got some working theories on what or who Bal actually is. Secret kraken is one of them. >___> Probably not. The trilogy is called Baal’s Heart, so the question is does he have a heart? AND if he has no heart, which in romancelandia terms means he can’t love, then what are we to make of his attachment to Jon?
…in attempting to possess Jon, he himself had become completely and totally ensnared.
When we meet Jon he’s sickly and milquetoast-y. Honestly, if I hadn’t witnessed the transformation myself I would’ve thought he was a natural born pirate. He’s certainly has a knack for this piracy gig. You might be thinking why was Bal, the badass, heartless pirate interested in Jon. Well, Jon has the gift of empathy which somehow Bal knew. Caged is only the opening volley of the trilogy, but in my heart of hearts I believe Jon is the glue that will bind the three of them together. Yep, there’s a third, Tom, but by and large Caged focuses on Jon and Bal.
“When you look at me like that…” he said softly after a moment, his blue eyes wide.”It feels like I’m home.”
True. The kinky pirates weren’t as kinky as I had hoped, but this actually turned out to be something I admired quite a lot about this writer and this story. Let me ask you, if you’d just started dating someone would you let them blindfold, bind and cane you from the get go? Outside the confines of a club wherein that’s what you’ve negotiated, that is? Probably not, right? Right. There is some mild D/s going on initially and it’s clear early on that Bal is a dominant and a sadist, but that aspect of their relationship evolves organically and, I believe, is still evolving. Let’s just say I smell a switch. At any rate, the kinky bits were a total win for me. It gives me the willies when a couple goes from zero to ARE YOU FUCKING CRAZY?!?!? Thankfully, the kink kicked up quite nicely toward the end which gives me the warm fuzzies for books 2 and 3.
It was as if their talents, strengths, desires, and weaknesses were woven into a three-sided tapestry.
Now, Tom… *sigh* lovely, naughty Tom is the masochist here. I liked all of these characters, but I’m #TeamTom. Woof! He’s snarky, cusses like a sailor, fights a little bit dirty, has tattoos… he’s a pirate! P-I-R-A-T-E. He so wants to hate Jon. He really does, but Jon is beautiful and honest and a little bit naive, an innocent with teeth to boot. No chance in hell against all of that. So what does that do to his relationship with Bal? Especially when Bal seems to be so enamored of Jon. Yep. The green eyed monster rears its ugly head. Green-eyed monster + pirate = ruh roh raggey
“Aye, I love the shite out of that asshole, ducky. He’s strong, smart, and fucks like a bloody madman. What’s not to love?” responded Tom with a rueful twist to his lips.
Be still my heart. I think I’m in love.
I’m a character person through and through. I like ’em kinky and bad with lots of personality. Chances are if I like the characters I’m going to like the story and if there is a entertaining tale along with a swashbuckling adventure to go along with it, I’m in hog heaven. Caged delivers on this; reading it was like being on a ship at sea. In a hurricane. Every time I thought I had my footing another wave would crash over, knock me on my ass and leave me sputtering. Needless to say, there are still a lot of questions yet to be answered, adventures to be had, and demons to be vanquished all of which has me on pins and needles in anticipation of Book 2.
I haven’t the words to express how impressed I am that this is the debut novel for Mr. Deckard. Superb effort. The writing is smart and beguiling with vivid imagery. There are two things that are niggling me, but I can’t, in all fairness, count them against the rating because they could be addressed in the future. I’ll just leave it at that.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND TO KINKY PIRATE AND SWASHBUCKLING ADVENTURE LOVERS! READ THIS BOOK! YOU MUST!
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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