The Red King by Rosemary O’Malley

Title: The Red King

Author: Rosemary O’Malley

Publisher: None listed; assume self-published.



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…

Warning: this is an erotic m/m romance intended for mature audiences. It contains explicit sexual situations, frank language, dubious consent, torture, and non-graphic descriptions of abuse of a minor.

Review: Overall, an entertaining, engaging read, but there wasn’t as much swashbuckling as I would have liked, darlings. I pictured dashing men prancing about in pirate togs, brandishing cutlasses, and while swords are brandished, there is precious little prancing.  Still, the story is solid, the main characters compelling,

Andrew’s capitulation seemed to happen rather too quickly, considering the circumstances under which he finds himself on Rory’s ship, but it is a romance and that was easily overlooked. The pace slowed somewhat during their overland journey, but picked right up again. The last part of the novel was riveting and gut-churning. I bit my nails to the quick during the scenes between Andrew and that brutish and unappealing man, Maarten, and now I must get them done again. The ending was a bit schmoopy, but satisfying.

Editing missed a few things but nothing that took me out of the story too long. Watch for those superfluous ‘thats’, honey! Like the Precious Moments collection my favorite aunt left me, they’re simply clutter. Donate them to a neighbor’s garage sale, like I did, and let someone else dust them!

Reviewed by: Red Licorice



Posted on September 28, 2012, in Red Licorice. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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