“Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Author: Bey Deckard
Pages/Word Count: 356 Pages
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Blurb: 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.
Deckard’s first novel is a masterful portrayal of sorrow, hope, and passion, with a narrative that twists the reader through a world set in the Golden Age of Piracy. A thrilling look into the darker side of human nature, Caged effortlessly melds serious historical fantasy with five star erotica.
Review: I’m fairly newish to the romance genre, in the grand scheme of things, but I’ve more than made up for lost time over the years. I love my romance books like I love my coffee—hot, addictive, and insomnia inducing. Bey Deckard’s Caged: Loved and Treachery on the High Seas is all that and more, and did I mention pirates?
I went into this book with no preconceived notions or expectations whatsoever, and came away from it not only with the impression that this author is one to sit up and pay attention to, but also with a deep and abiding love for the three men who clash and crave their way through this novel. But trust me when I tell you they don’t always make it easy. Captain Baltsaros is the pirate who is sometimes cold and ruthless, sometimes utterly charming, smoldering with lust for his first mate, Tom. Tom is the man whose sanity is questionable at times, who’s cheeky and bold and more than a little bit broken. Together they capture a young man named Jon, an innocent with a special gift that Baltsaros wants to possess, a young man whose very life hangs in the balance in his decision to become a part of Baltsaros’s crew and eventually, a part of the captain’s life.
There are a few things this book is not and many things it is. Caged isn’t anything like the damsel-swooning romances upon which I whetted my appetite for love on the high seas. In the strictest sense it’s not even romance let alone a tale of piracy, unless, of course, you count all the ways in which these three men plunder and pillage each other’s hearts while trying to make sense of their feelings. That is the beauty of this book—its treasure goes far beyond material possessions, and the journey isn’t measured in distance traveled, but in time and lies and danger and betrayal.
Bey Deckard has written a book that’s a study in contradiction and a sublime characterization of three men who will eventually become one, introducing two characters in the dominant Baltsaros and the submissive Tom, two men who should be difficult, if not impossible, to love, but then makes it entirely impossible not to love them. When Jon comes between them, through no fault of his own, and then falls in love with both his captain and with Tom, becoming the foundation upon which both men will anchor themselves, Jon risks not only losing his heart but his sense of self, in the process, and it’s an evolution that’s a glory to witness.
Caged is, at its best, this: a shiver me friggin’ timbers from stem to stern erotic journey. Sex is the way these men fight, it’s the way they forgive, it’s the way they forget, and it’s the way they ultimately will move forward as this series continues. Will it be smooth sailing from here? I can’t fathom there’s any chance of that but can guarantee I’ll be there for every league of their high seas adventure.