Beauty's Curse

Beauty's Curse

by Tamara Hughes

NOOK Book(eBook)

$2.99
View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now

Overview

England, 1722. Amelia Archer will be the ruin of her family. Her extraordinary bad luck is burden enough, but her sweet, trusting nature often lands her in impossible scrapes. After the last straw, Amelia's harried father ships his unfortunate daughter off to the Colonies to live with her aunt. But wherever Amelia goes, bad luck is sure to follow...

Pirate David Lamont is taken with the lovely young Englishwoman the moment she's pulled aboard from her sinking vessel. But sailors are already a superstitious lot and Amelia is unwelcome. In a feat of chivalry, David defends and claims her for himself...

Now their fortunes-for good or ill-are invariably tied. But as much as she longs for him, Amelia cannot allow a romance. For a lady of misfortune can only bring ruin to those she loves...

Each book in the Love on the High Seas series is STANDALONE:
* Tempting the Pirate
* Beauty's Curse
* His Pirate Seductress

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633752955
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 06/09/2015
Series: Love on the High Seas , #2
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 250
Sales rank: 293,759
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Tamara Hughes began reading romance novels her senior year of high school. A Rose In Winter by Kathleen Woodiwiss was the first, and it swept her away. She read mostly historical romances for many years. Her book Once Upon a Masquerade is a tribute to that genre she loves so much.

She's always envied those who knew their path in life. To have that kind of conviction, that certainty, would have been a relief. She grew up in an extremely small town in Wisconsin - very rural, lots of dairy cows and corn fields. And she had no idea what she wanted to do with her life.

Tamara attended college and majored in mathematics, and after graduation, she did what everyone else did in the 90's...got a job as a computer programmer. She married her college sweetheart and moved to Minnesota. Ten years later, she decided that life in a cubicle, even if it was by a window, didn't agree with her. She quit her job to stay home with her kids and to write. Since then she's had a ball playing with characters and creating worlds filled with humor, love and adventure.

To learn more, stop by her website: www.tamarahughes.com

Read an Excerpt

Beauty's Curse

A Love on the High Seas Novel


By Tamara Hughes, Erin Molta

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2015 Tamara Hughes
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-295-5


CHAPTER 1

February, 1722

A crisis of her own making, yet again. Would she ever be free of this curse that followed her? Amelia's throat constricted with dread. She hung tight to the railing and looked out across the Atlantic at the approaching ship. Its red flag billowed in the breeze under a cloudless afternoon sky. Even if the captain hadn't pointed it out as a pirate ship, the flag displaying a skull with a dagger clenched between its teeth evinced the proof.

"We're to surrender?" the first mate, Ellis Rixon, asked.

As if they could do much else.

Captain Tuttlage's expression turned grim. "We have no other choice. Without their aid we're sure to die. We have but hours left before Fortune's Song sinks to the bottom of the sea."

All too true. Already the ship listed, and the decks slanted at an angle she could barely manage, although the crew had no such issue. Some even rested on the floor, exhausted from pumping water from the leaking hull these last three days. Most kept their sights on her, giving her a wide berth. They blamed her for this disaster. As well they should. If only she'd listened to her father's pleas. She had no business sailing across the ocean, not with her affliction.

"Look sharp," the captain ordered, and all hands rose to attention. "Proceed," he told his first mate.

Mr. Rixon grumbled, but held a white cloth high and waved it back and forth.

The pirate vessel closed in until it was nearly upon them, and from its decks a sound carried. A violin. She'd never heard such music before. The notes were strong and forceful, almost aggressive in nature. A song to urge men into battle.

Grappling hooks found their mooring, and soon a plank allowed passage between the two vessels. All manner of men waited on the far deck, heavily armed. Throughout the duration of settling the ships together, many stood watch with pistols and muskets at the ready.

Her legs shook beneath her petticoats and her hands grew clammy. She searched for anything that might bring her comfort. The violinist. She focused on him. He gripped his violin in a steady hand, the base clamped under his chin and the bow held loosely but with purpose. His face to the side, he paid no heed to the activity around him. If only she could do the same.

One man stepped forth, climbing onto the plank. She ignored him as best she could. Better to concentrate on something less frightening than let her fear get the best of her, or she might melt into a quivering mass right here on the deck. She studied the musician's relaxed stance, his lean jaw, the dark lashes that framed eyes she couldn't see ... his mop of dark brown hair ...

"Do you surrender?" the lone fellow on the plank asked.

"Aye. We do," Captain Tuttlage shouted back.

What would their surrender entail? After all, they'd be under the command of pirates. Her gaze turned to the violinist's fingers, slender and dexterous.

"Good to hear." The man on the plank waved his hand toward his ship. "I'm Captain Swain, and you're welcome to come aboard."

Welcome? Her attention darted to Captain Swain. Instead of a severe mien and an air of menace expected from a leader of pirates, he had a relaxed bearing that suggested mercy. Could it be true?

"Our thanks." Captain Tuttlage nodded to his men who looked amongst themselves before grudgingly moving forward. One by one they boarded the pirate ship until only she, the first mate, and Captain Tuttlage remained.

"We should leave her here," Mr. Rixon advised Captain Tuttlage. "She's caused us nothing but trouble."

Panic jolted through her, smashing what was left of her fortitude like shattering glass. Would they leave her behind to die? Her grip on the rail tightened, her shoulders so tense they ached. She shouldn't be surprised by Mr. Rixon's suggestion. Once their misadventures had begun, he'd been the first to herald her as the cause.

The captain shook his head. "I won't have it. In good conscience, I can't sentence her to death."

"But you see what she's done here," Mr. Rixon exclaimed, his arms swinging wide toward the deck of their sinking ship.

"Nonsense. Be off with you."

The first mate's icy blue stare bored into her before he stepped onto the plank.

"My lady." Captain Tuttlage extended his hand.

She glanced toward the pirate ship. What awaited her there? She'd been safe enough on Fortune's Song. Relatively safe, anyway. But pirates? From what she'd heard, they held no honor, no regard for life or limb.

With the captain's help, she climbed to the plank. He steadied her as she shuffled across, her eyes on her feet and her heart thumping hard. I will not fall. The board will not break. The ocean will not swallow me up.

An eternity passed by the time she reached the plank's end safely. She looked up, and her breath caught. All eyes were on her. Some stares held curiosity, some lust ... others wariness — those faces she knew quite well. The crew of Fortune's Song, the ship she'd sunk.

The pirate captain cleared his throat and attention shifted to him. "Listen here. First matter to attend to ... All those who have come from the sinking vessel, hand over your weapons."

Now that the crew of the merchantman had come aboard, many of the pirates had turned to swords and daggers for defense. Under their watchful eyes, the crew had little choice but to do as the pirate captain ordered. Soon a pile of firearms and blades lay on the deck at Captain Swain's feet.

"William," Captain Swain called out. "As you spotted our guests' sail first, you can choose the finest pistol of the lot."

A pirate with flaming red hair stepped forward, a wide grin on his face. "Aye, cap'n." He quickly picked up the gun Captain Tuttlage had relinquished.

"Now then, a question." Captain Swain addressed his prisoners once more. "How have you fared under your captain and officers? Have they treated you well?"

An odd question. Even if they'd been mistreated, they wouldn't be sailing for those officers any longer. She glanced at Captain Tuttlage who stood with confidence, his head held high. From what she'd seen, the men under his command had always respected him and followed his orders with no complaint, as evidenced by their ready nods now.

Captain Swain smiled his acceptance. "As to the future, each of you who have just boarded The Wanderer will be given a choice. You can join up with us, or you can retire to the hold and be ransomed to your kin." He gestured to Captain Tuttlage with an apologetic look. "Obviously you'll be relegated to the hold as we have no need for another captain."

"What of the girl?" someone shouted. "Can she join the crew?"

A bout of laughter followed the remark until Mr. Rixon spoke up. "I say she be left behind."

Her pulse beat at a maddening pace, and she wrapped her arms around herself. If Mr. Rixon succeeded in swaying these men, she might drown yet this day.


* * *

His violin and bow dangling at his sides, David studied the woman in question. He couldn't help himself. Demure in her simple blue gown, her hair pulled beneath a lace cap, she had a tiny build, fragile and delicate. Her blond hair as light as the sun, full pink lips, and an innocent face so youthful and radiant ... He could scarce tear his attention away.

"Left behind?" Captain Swain shook his head. "For what cause?"

"She's bad luck. Ask any of our crew."

Judging by the full suit he wore, complete with surcoat, stockings, and a plumed tricorn, the one who spoke was the first mate of the captured ship.

The man looked about, and those who had come with him bobbed their heads. The first mate swept his arm toward the wreckage they'd come from. "She sank our ship and got us captured by pirates."

"Rubbish," the man's captain interjected.

"Silence," Captain Swain told him. "You, sir, are a prisoner now. This is for the crew, both new and old, to decide."

"There's more," the first mate insisted. "We barely survived a storm."

Shouts of agreement came from the first mate's crew, and the girl took a step back, her eyes wide. The fright on her face was more than he could take.

"You blame her for a storm?" David called out, gaining him curious looks from his own brethren, particularly William, who knew him best of any here.

The first mate wouldn't be outdone. "We've also suffered with fire, snapped ropes — "

"All common enough when at sea," David argued, his hand gripping his violin in a strangling hold. Who was this man who would so easily sentence a woman to death?

"What do you know of it?" The first mate scowled and stepped toward him. "You weren't there. I was."

Captain Swain turned to the girl, his expression merely curious. "What do you think, my lady? Are you the cause of these misfortunes?"

She scanned the men on deck, her breath coming in gasps.

A ridiculous question. "Do you expect her to answer?" David scoffed. If she said yes, they'd throw her overboard, and if no, they wouldn't believe her.

His own crew murmured around him. "A woman on board is bad luck. She'll be the end of us."

"What superstitious nonsense." David crossed the deck to stand before her and faced his fellow crewmen. "Don't listen to this man. He may have been first mate on the other ship, but he's no one here."

"I'm not speaking as first mate," the man growled and strode ahead. "I'm speaking as someone who'd rather not die because of the likes of her."

David handed his violin and bow to William, then drew his sword. "No one touches the girl." William's red brows shot to his hair. David couldn't blame him. In the eight months David had sailed with this lot, he'd kept to himself, never drawing attention good or bad. But blaming a woman for random ill fortune, to threaten her life. He couldn't abide such injustice.

Although Captain Swain could have taken affront at David's dictate, he contemplated the situation with an amused smile. "You'd fight for her?"

His sword still held in front of him, he spared no thought before he answered. "Yes."

Captain Swain's smile broadened as he turned to the crew at large. "What say you? This could be most enjoyable." He nodded to the first mate. "You there. What's your name?"

"Ellis Rixon."

"Very good." Captain Swain spread his arms wide. "Do you wish to fight our David here for the right to decide the girl's fate?"

Rixon didn't hesitate. "I do." He shed his surcoat and hat, handing them to another.

"Well then," Captain Swain said. "If you win, she'll be returned to your sinking ship. If David is victorious, she'll remain on board under his protection."

Rixon picked up a sword from the pile on the deck. "Agreed."

"Lay aside those blades, lads. I won't risk a crewman for the sake of settling a disagreement," Captain Swain warned. "No weapons allowed. The one who draws first blood is the victor."

David set down his sword and watched as Rixon did the same. The captain's order came as no surprise. He'd heard the same before. In fact, he'd counted on it. He'd been trained at an early age to defend himself with fisticuffs. His father had seen to that. Bitterness welled up like poison in his belly. Making his sons prove themselves to be proper men had been important to his father.

He raised his fists and assumed a fighting stance. This might be the one time his father had been right in his thinking.

Rixon followed his lead, and they circled each other slowly as the crew cheered. David observed his opponent, how he moved and held his hands. The way his eyes darted from one location to the next suggested Rixon wasn't a patient man. He'd be the first to — Rixon lashed out. David jerked away, avoiding a blow to the face. Only a matter of seconds passed, and Rixon swung again. David dodged to the right, and Rixon once again met air.

"Do you plan to do nothing but prance about?" Rixon sneered. "Are you afraid to fight me?" Another swing. David ducked and struck out, connecting solidly with Rixon's jaw. Rixon staggered back, a look of shock on his face.

His brethren roared with satisfaction, and triumph surged through David's veins. Rixon. What an overconfident peacock. And yet the posturing harrier was the kind of man his father would have been proud to call son.

Rixon's gaping surprise soon changed to annoyance. He lunged, his fist thrusting forward. It met its mark, and pain blasted through David's jaw. His father had often called him weak. Too soft.

He received a blow to the ribs, knocking the air from his lungs. Despite the loud cheers and hoots, he heard a soft gasp from behind him. Never good enough.

Rage burned through him like a wick set ablaze. He punched Rixon in the eye, then his stomach. Why can't you be more like your brother? His brother James was a good man, the best. He was a sailor, a captain full of ambition ... David landed a strike to Rixon's neck. The man clasped his throat and doubled over before something in his hand glinted in the sunlight. Rixon's arm made a wide arc, and the knife's edge traced a path across David's chest. The crowd jeered.

"See here. No weapons, I said." Captain Swain motioned to the two closest men, who quickly stepped forward, but Rixon took another swing at David, his blade out.

Enough. David knocked Rixon's arm to the side and seized his wrist. Giving it a hard wrench, David forced him to drop the knife, then bashed him in the nose with a solid hit. Rixon's blood trickled onto his white lace cravat as he dropped to his knees on the deck. He clutched his nose and glared with pure hatred.

One of the crewmen grasped Rixon by the back of his shirt and half dragged him to the captain, while the other fetched the fallen knife.

Captain Swain shook his head. "Ellis Rixon, for your treachery you forfeit your weapons," he chuckled, "your fancy clothes, and for a fortnight your rank is that of a cabin boy."

Rixon's lips thinned and his cheeks grew red at the crew's laughter that followed, but he said not a word. Perhaps Rixon was smarter than David had taken him for.

Wasting no more time, Captain Swain shoved the girl toward David and addressed the prisoners. "Now then, make your choice — join us or be ransomed."

A soft body collided with his, and he grasped her arms to steady her. She regained her footing, her gloved hand on his chest, before her blue-green eyes stared up at him with gratitude. "I don't know how to thank you." Her gazed dropped to where her hand lay, and she snatched it back as a pink glow suffused her lovely face.

He drank in the sight of her sweet innocence.

"Your chest." The pink took on a deeper hue. "You're injured."

David peered down at the rip in his shirt and the slight oozing of blood. A shallow wound. "Nothing to worry over. Merely a scratch."

"I should tend it," she insisted. "You were injured because of me."

He imagined her dainty hands touching him, bringing him ease, and pleasure licked down his spine. A part of him wanted to acquiesce and let her do what she would. Another warned him to stay clear, both for his protection and hers. "No need. I'll heal soon enough." He turned toward Captain Swain.

"Ho, Captain," David called out as William handed him his violin and bow before joining the others across the plank to scavenge the sinking ship.

Swain regarded him with an eyebrow arched in question.

"Where will ..." David leaned toward the girl at his side. "What's your name?" "Miss Amelia Archer," she answered, the lyrical quality of her voice as attractive as the rest of her.

"Where will Miss Archer be staying until her family claims her?" he finished. In the hold with the men was out of the question, and as the ship's musician, he had no cabin to offer.

The captain rubbed his chin for the space of a minute, then nodded. "Procter will give up his cabin for the remainder of the voyage. See it done." Procter uttered a curse. The carpenter and sometimes surgeon strode toward them, his balding head shining from the sun's rays. "I'll remove my things."

"My thanks," Amelia said as he passed by.

Procter ignored her. Dammit. Another crewman with a grievance against her. He'd best be on his guard and prepare himself, for this voyage might prove to be a long one.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Beauty's Curse by Tamara Hughes, Erin Molta. Copyright © 2015 Tamara Hughes. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Beauty's Curse (Entangled Scandalous) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable adventure of Pirates of the past. Fast read...160 pages of fun and excitement. Sorry to see this Trilogy end.......wish there could have been more stories. Just not enough pirate stories out in the literature world to read. Only a few good authors out there and Tarama Hugh's is one of the top ones. Enjoy.
BuckeyeAngel More than 1 year ago
Amelia feels she herself is bad luck . She is clumsy , has very low self esteem . She also seems to trust absolutely everyone and that hasn't always worked out good for her . Amelia has decided to go to America and live with her aunt . Her ship sinks and she is captured by pirates from the Wanderer . david decides to become her protector . Even Though David has low self esteem also Nothing is to happen to Amelia as far as david is concerned . Then they have to leave the ship . This was slow for me . It’s a little hard for me to believe David is a pirate . But the story was ok and the plot and characters were pretty good to a degree . I received an ARC of this story for an honest review.
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
This is book 2 in the Love on the High Seas series. Followed by bad luck her entire life, Amelia Archer has decided to leave her family and travel to America to live with her aunt. Unfortunately, her luck didn't change. The ship she was on wrecked and they were rescued by pirates. Sailors don't like having women aboard their ships to begin with, but when other unlucky things start happening they decided to set her adrift to survive on her own. Having stuck up for Amelia when she first boarded the pirate ship, David Lamont does it again when they insist on getting her off the ship. He won't let her go alone. Can they survive in the middle of the ocean with very little supplies or will Amelia's bad luck follow them to the bottom of the ocean? I always enjoy a good pirate story and this one was no exception. Hughes had the added twist of making them survive on their own. They were in the middle of the ocean with very few provisions and only had a tiny boat for protection. On board a ship, the H/H are thrown together often because there is just not much space to get their distance from one another. By placing the H/H in a tiny boat and making them count on one another to their very survival, Hughes takes her story to another level. This was a great read and I can't wait to see what Hughes has in store for us next! Thanks go out to Entangled Publishing via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
niterayvyn More than 1 year ago
a pirate and a beauty. sime unfortunate bad luck and amelia gets shipped off then rescued by pirates. david is perfect for her. action and romance go hand in hand and i liked it. im gonna have to go back and read the first novel and i cant wait for the next. *arc provided by publisher for honest review
IreneC More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars Beauty's Curse was a good read. It had the perfect amount of drama and it wasn't overly done. There was just enough to keep you interested in both main characters. Overall a good afternoon read.
SummerSnowFalls More than 1 year ago
Miss Amelia Archer is bad luck. Stomach bug? Her fault. Ship attacked by pirates? Her fault. The wind fails to blow? Her fault. Disaster follows where ever she goes and Amelia simply can’t stand to watch the rest of her family suffer, so she books passage to the Virginia colonies to start her life anew. But halfway into the journey, the ship is attacked by pirates and Amelia must convince her new shipmates that she’s not as bad as the others claim. Thankfully, the pirates’ musician, David Lamont, speaks up for her amongst the crew and manages to calm their superstitious minds. For now. This story has everything you would expect in a good pirate adventure novel – sword fights, deserted (sort of) islands, the fight for survival, and, of course, rum! Or something like it anyways. Amelia and David had an instant-love attraction that quickly manifested in the form of David’s intense desire to protect and care for Amelia. Together, they acted as each other’s sounding board and counselor. Amelia convinces David to return to a family he believed abandoned him and David helps Amelia see that her “curse” of bad luck was really just the jealous ravings of her step-mother. The plot was one adventure after another and there were more than a few times I had to remind myself this was a romance novel and our heroes would be just fine. (or would they!? Oh no, keep reading and find out!) I really wish this novel could have been longer to allow those plot lines to develop further. I would have loved to learn more about Issac and Ruth as well and how their story more fully tied into Amelia and David’s story. Overall a very entertaining read! Originally posted at Plot Twist Reviews [dot] Com I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
gigiluvsbooks More than 1 year ago
England, 1722 Amelia Archer will be the ruin of her family. Her extraordinary bad luck is burden enough, but her sweet, trusting nature often lands her in impossible scrapes. After the last straw, Amelia's harried father ships his unfortunate daughter off to the Colonies to live with her aunt. But wherever Amelia goes, bad luck is sure to follow... Pirate David Lamont is taken with the lovely young Englishwoman the moment she's pulled aboard from her sinking vessel. But sailors are already a superstitious lot and Amelia is unwelcome. In a feat of chivalry, David defends and claims her for himself... Now their fortunes—for good or ill—are invariably tied. But as much as she longs for him, Amelia cannot allow a romance. For a lady of misfortune can only bring ruin to those she loves…  Review: Amelia may not be cursed, but I think she has the worst luck of any heroine that I have ever read.  At parts I almost wanted to laugh because if you did not you would feel horrible for all the stuff that happens to Amelia, honestly she is so unlucky that she is lucky...lol  I did enjoy the whole adventure that Amelia has then David too when he stands up to be her protector.  Both David and Amelia are great characters, both have been hurt by a parent that ultimately leads them to this place in time.  Both of them are strong, Amelia has left home alone to travel to the Colonies and David was captured and was a slave and managed to escape.  The adventure was the best part of the story from being set adrift in a life boat to ending up on a deserted island. There is a lot of action and as I said before adventure in this story.  While there is some heat to the story it is minor, I would call it more of a sweet heat.  This is technically the second book in this series, the first is about David's brother, James who is looking for David.  This story wraps up those threads nicely with **spoiler**   James finding David.  Now if you did not read the first story, you will in no way feel lost, both can stand alone. This was a fun, entertaining read! 3.5Stars *Received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review*
Maria-Rose More than 1 year ago
It's adventure on the high seas in this swashbuckling pirate romance starring Amelia and David. Amelia considers herself bad luck based on her life experiences to date and when the ship she's sailing in to escape whatever doomed fate awaits her starts to sink and she is 'rescued' by pirates, it's par for the course. On board, musician David comes to her rescue more than once, defending her from superstitions and wary eyes. When he decides to align his fortunes with hers, he may get more than he bargained for, including a reason to return home again. This was a fun, exciting story. Amelia's luck seems to go from bad to worse with every adventure that befalls her, and then David too, in her quest to be alone with her cursed self. Despite her feelings about herself, she still tries to make the best of every situation and comes across as brave and courageous in the face of adversity. She doesn't complain about the things that befall her, she just works hard to make things better. David was a great hero, kind and considerate and protective. He wasn't a really strong alpha male figure but didn't hesitate to defend her in any situation. Once he'd decided to be on her side, he is in 100%. There is a definite attraction between the two of them that leads to some steamy love scenes. The setting was very well researched and all the little details of travelling by pirate ship and the islands they encountered were interesting and added to the story. All in all, an enjoyable tale! 4 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago