Book Reviews

The Red King by Rosemary O'Malley at Phosphenes

Genre Gay / Historical / Pirates / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Alex on 10-January-2013

Book Blurb

The pirate captain known as Ruaidhri lives only for revenge. Tall and lean, with long fiery hair and a corsair’s deadly smile, his body still bears the scars of a brutal captivity at the hands of Maarten Jan de Worrt. Once Ruaidhri was a slave, but now he is the Red King, feared and respected across the high seas. Few know his true name. And fewer still know Ruaidhri will use anyone as a pawn in quest for vengeance – even a beautiful, innocent young man.

Raised in a monastery, the Scottish orphan called Andrew is helpless when pirates slay his guardians and clap him in irons. Ruaidhri offers the virgin lad freedom, but only at a terrible price. Andrew must go to Maarten’s bed, seduce and kill him. In Ruaidhri’s clutches Andrew will receive the training he needs in the art of violence – and lust.

The Red King is more legend than mortal. He fights tirelessly and knows no fear. But Andrew‘s very innocence, his open and honest nature, threatens to unlock the man inside the pirate. Ruaidhri can tempt Andrew, teaching him the forbidden pleasures of a man’s touch. But not without awakening a side of himself he long ago gave up for dead…

Book Review

Well, shiver me timbers! What we have here is a good little pirate action-adventure story. If you're feeling like a sea journey with a right nice crew, a handsome red-headed captain, and a brave young man who was raised by priests, this is the book for you. Rich in historical detail, spirited men, both friend and foe, and a fine lead pairing who have a mission of vengeance in their future, The Red King does not disappoint.

We first meet Andrew, our sweet hero, who has been taken aboard a ship by unsavory sorts. He is in chains, praying for his life and doing his best to ignore taunts from one of the degenerate crew who wants to bugger him. Luckily, Andrew is off limits, he's to be a gift to an important man. This ship has actually stolen him from another ship and the crew plan to sell him back to said important man, so he's to remain untouched. A fight breaks out over him and Andrew is placed in the hold, in shackles, with only bread and water and a tiny sliver of light for a number of days. He sleeps, he cries, he prays, and then the ship is attacked and set afire.
In short order we meet our second lead, Rory, captain of the ship that destroyed the degenerate's ship, but managed to save Andrew. Rory takes one look at the young would-be-priest and realizes that finally…he has a tool to destroy his enemy. While Rory is a handsome man, he's also a pirate. He offers the devastated Andrew a place on his ship, but demands payment in the form of vengeance.

I loved both of these lead characters and the manner in which their romance blossomed over the course of the tale. Innocent and brave, Andrew takes to the sea life like Horatio Hornblower, and the author gives him just the right touch of purity, intelligence and curiosity to make him highly lovable. Rory on the other hand, is a ruthless man with an unspeakable past, who has awaited an opportunity to avenge himself, with a single-minded determination. He takes his captain responsibilities seriously, runs a tight ship, and treats Andrew with both firm and gentle hand.  As he teaches the young man the skills necessary to succeed on their mission, he finds much to admire in the boy and slowly finds himself conflicted. The two men grow to care for one another and when disaster strikes, both must rise to meet unforeseen personal challenges.

Told in a series of exotic mini adventures that cover both land and sea, the fast-paced story is full of action, charismatic supporting characters and romantic, sexy love scenes. Although there are several villains in the story, when the arch villain shows up, all others pale in comparison and I, as a reader, was definitely raring for revenge… And when it arrived it was quite satisfying. Thank you, Rosemary O'Mallery, for penning this nice-sized, intimate swashbuckler's tale…pirate's booty indeed.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 120000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 19-August-2012
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link