Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas by Bey Deckard
Series: Baal’s Heart #1
Source: Review by Request
Copy provided by the Author
My Rating: 5 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.
Brilliant from start to finish!
“It’s probably difficult for you to understand. However… as inexperienced and as… conventional as you are, you have to realize that you’re not a blushing maiden, and I’m not an evil pirate king here to sweep you off your feet and force you to resign your body to me.”
Prepare yourself, because I fucking LOVED this book and I have a lot to say about it.
To be completely honest, I’m a little surprised by how much I enjoyed it – You see, I’m not generally a fan of love triangles and the obligatory angst which accompanies them, but I found myself so transfixed by the rest of the book that everything felt completely natural.
This was beautifully detailed with an almost cinematic quality. It’s the kind of story which keeps you absolutely absorbed in the pages. This is a fabulous blend of adventure, romance, suspense, action, and erotica – it bends genres and keeps the reader on their toes.
So let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way:
We’ve got a dangerously hot gay pirate theme happening here.
There’s a few menage moments (MMM) but beware my vaginaphobic readers – there is an MMF moment. It’s brief, but I know how many of you get downright offended when ladybits show up in your MM.
There are plenty more moments which might push your limits, but I can’t say anything else without being spoilery…
Sometimes you just have to agree to let an author take you on a journey.
Trust me when I say this book is a journey worth taking.
I laughed, I squirmed, I worried for the characters… I loved them, loathed them, cheered them on, and most importantly – I WANT MORE. I will absolutely continue this trilogy. I can’t wait to find out what new adventures we embark on!
The grieving boy with no one to turn to had grown into a man with incredible empathy and no ability to control his own emotions; someone who craved being touched like a man craved water in the desert without even recognizing it. Jon was so drawn in on himself that it was a wonder he had made it as far as he had in this life.
I instantly liked this character – he’s the everyman in this story and the reader learns all about being a pirate through his experience. Jon grew up in a small port village watching ships come and go. He’s a sickly little waif when we first meet him – weak and terrified of people.
Jon has lived his whole life in loneliness and obscurity – hovering on the periphery of castle society – always watching and never noticed. Jon’s observational skills have been sharpened over his twenty-two years to the point that he’s basically a human lie detector.
Jon’s gift was put to use in the interrogation sessions of the castle dungeon. It was a quiet existence, until one day he finds himself abducted and hauled out to a pirate ship…
Baltsaros was attempting to ease the young man’s anxiety with a human touch, but he realized in dismay that his motives had little to do with how useful that would make him to the crew; the truth was that Baltsaros foolishly wanted to win Jon over, both mentally and physically, for himself. To what end?
Jon’s talents are invaluable for a pirate – When you’re trading with other pirates, having someone at your side to tell you if you’re being fucked over is a dream come true.
Baltsaros is a fascinating, terrifying, sociopath who develops a soft spot for his captive. He’s mysterious and suave, and unlike anyone Jon has ever met before. Jon finds himself mesmerized by the captain’s charms, but he won’t be fooled into thinking the man isn’t a deadly predator.
To make matters worse, Jon’s new connection to the captain is earning him a vicious enemy…
Pirate First Mate
Tom was the very essence of summer at sea, with his blue-green eyes, and the sun’s heat coming off his bronzed skin. Just like the sea, he was callous and dangerous…
Tom is a wonderfully complex character. I oscillated between loving and hating him several times over the course of this book.
He’s a ruthless killer with an easy smile. He’s jovial with a hidden darkness. He’s a masochist to his core and takes pleasure from driving the captain mad enough to punish him. The work-horse first mate has developed a D/s relationship with the pirate captain he calls “Da”… Yeah… Tom is complicated, and an absolute pleasure to read – even when I hated the guy, he was a fun character.
As Jon and the Captain become close, Tom’s jealousy begins to rise.
Jon is surrounded by murderers and thieves – surviving on a pirate ship is hard enough without the added pressures of murderous first mates and possessive sociopathic pirate captains… Jon also has to worry about the rest of the crew, the dangers of sea, battles, plagues, and wading through the constant lies and half-truths told by the captain…
“Is it love? I don’t know,” he said truthfully. “Sometimes I think I’m just addicted to him. Or that he’s cast some kind of horrible curse on me where I’m to follow him for the rest of my life, doomed to fall for his lies over and over again.”
This story has plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing.
I had several moments of shock as the mountain of secrets which Baltsaros kept hidden were slowly revealed… Do you know how hard it is to shock me? Nearly impossible – and this book pulled more than one “OMG” moment out of me…
Shortly after his bath, Tom appeared with a bundle of clothing for Jon. The muscular first mate, sporting yet another bruise on his handsome face, seemed strangely passive as he set the pile down on the table. With a preoccupied expression, the unusually silent Tom just stood there sizing Jon up before picking out a light-brown, loose linen shirt and dark-grey trousers that could be rolled and tied at the knee. Then, after a thought, Tom also pulled a clean pair of unbleached, knee-length linen undershorts out of the pile.
Jon felt a little suspicious at Tom’s placid nature as he took the clothing from him. When the first mate saw his distrust, he just shook his head and tutted.
“Lovey, just try these on, ok? Captain’s orders.” A hint of his usual brash cheerfulness faintly touched the smile on his face. “I’ll even turn around so ye don’t have to show me yer willy, Jonny,” he added, his grin widening.
Jon frowned at Tom. Earlier, loath to put his soiled clothing back on over clean skin, he had opted instead for the marginally cleaner sheet; he had hoped the captain would come back to lend him some clothing.
Disconcerted, Jon stood holding the sheet around him as he watched Tom turn around, granting him some unexpected privacy.
What happened to you today, Tom? he wondered as he quickly pulled on the shirt and fastened the pants at his hips. To his chagrin, Jon saw that they were too big at the waist. He cleared his throat, and Tom turned around to look at him.
“Yer a skinny thing, aint’cha, lovey,” he said, shaking his head. He turned and walked out of the stateroom without another word, leaving Jon clutching miserably at the waistband of the ill-fitting trousers.
However, after only a few moments Tom strolled back into the room, a roll of narrow hemp rope looped over his shoulder. Jon watched as the first mate slid a few feet of the rope through his big, scarred hands, cutting it off with his knife when there were a few parallel lengths. He passed the ends of the pieces through a metal ring and doubled the rope up.
“Be a dove and hold this,” he said to Jon, passing him the ring.
As Jon looked on in amazement, Tom’s surprisingly nimble hands swiftly braided the lengths of rope together to make a corded belt. When he was done, and the ends were knotted off, he took the ring out of Jon’s hand and leaned forward.
Jon flinched and felt his pulse start to race when Tom’s muscular arms came around him. Tom’s laugh rumbled deep in his broad chest.
“I ain’t goin’ to kiss ye, poppet. Just keep still like a good little lad,” he said, his tone amused. Jon noticed that Tom had fresh abrasions down the side of his neck, and the skin around his right collarbone was mottled and bruised.
He had to close his eyes as Tom fiddled with the belt at his waist; the bigger man was so near that he was completely overwhelming Jon’s senses. In dismay, he felt his body responding to Tom’s proximity; Jon could feel the heat coming off the first mate, the other man’s lusty masculinity making him feel incredibly flustered.
What am I becoming? he thought miserably.
Jon gasped when he suddenly felt Tom’s hands stroke down his hips and grasp his buttocks as the first mate pressed him against his hard body for an instant before pulling away with a sly grin. Jon reeled in shock at Tom’s temerity, and he tried to quash the steady pulse of desire the bigger man’s actions had wrung out of him.
Tom stepped back a pace and cocked his head at Jon, his brash good-nature revived as he winked at the stunned man.
“There. That’ll do ye until we dock somewhere’s ye can buy yerself something in good leather,” he said, his white teeth flashing in his tanned face.
Jon looked down at the belt knotted expertly at his waist, trying to hide the fact that he felt more than a little breathless. When he raised his head Tom had gone, silent as a cat. Jon closed his eyes.
Tom is dangerous, he reminded himself. He means you no good. Jon knew he had to keep that thought in mind; anything else was pure folly.
About the Author:
Artist, Writer, Dog Lover.
Born and raised in a small coastal town in northern Québec, Bey spent his early summers on his uncle’s boat and running wild on the beaches of the surrounding islands, lighting fires and building huts out of driftwood and fishermen’s nets. As an adult, he eventually made his way to university and earned a degree in Art History with a strong focus on Anthropology. Primarily a portrait painter and graphic artist, Bey sat down one day and decided to write about the two things that he felt most passionate about: sex and the sea.
Bey currently lives in the wilds of Montréal with his best buddy, a spotty pit bull named Murphy. Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas is his first novel.