With her son's life in the balance, Catherine Fry is forced to locate and steal the priceless Ruby Cross of the Knights Templar. She knows who has it—it's just a matter of coercing Thomas Glanville, the handsome and incredibly stubborn captain into telling her the exact location. Fortunately, Catherine knows that there are many ways to get a man to talk...
Captain Thomas Glanville will be damned if he's going to hand the cross over now that he finally has the means to buy a ship of his own. He may be at the mercy of a fiery woman who will stop at nothing to achieve her goal, but Catherine has no idea who she's dealing with—and Thomas has his own means of charming a woman into his mercy and his bed...
Each book in the Love on the High Seas series is STANDALONE:
* Tempting the Pirate
* Beauty's Curse
* His Pirate Seductress
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 bookOnce 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
His Pirate Seductress
Love on the High Seas
By Tamara Hughes, Erin Molta
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Tamara Hughes
All rights reserved.
The mizzenmast at his back, Thomas Glanville, captain of the Argo Navis, the finest vessel in Lamont Shipping's fleet, slashed his sword at the two pirates who attacked him. He'd hoped he was done fighting pirates after his adventure as first mate to James Lamont. Unfortunately not. And yet, not a twinge of fear invaded his heart. In fact, in a sick sort of way, he enjoyed the challenge, the test of his skill. If it weren't for the lives of his crew and the fate of his ship, he might toy with these vultures a bit longer. Instead, he sliced one across the middle and the other across the throat. They both fell to the decking, their pitiful lives cut short.
Through the haze of smoke from cannon fire, he surveyed the battle waging around him. Sweet mother in heaven. The ship had sustained more damage than he'd thought. The torn foresail hung clear to the decking, and the mainmast had cracked. Outmanned and still recovering from the illness that had plagued the crew these last two days, his men were losing the struggle. He raced down the stairs to the main deck and his first mate. Although Hugh was holding his own, his face was pale and his movements were weak.
Stepping past the wounded and dead, Thomas came up from behind and dispatched the devil who had Hugh bleeding from cuts on his leg and shoulder.
"Are you well?" Thomas asked Hugh.
Hugh nodded, then crumpled to the planks, his eyes rolling back in his head.
No time to help him. Another pirate attacked, this one dealing a decisive strike toward Thomas's ribs. With a quick move, he evaded the swing and assessed his opponent. The pirate held a saber in his right hand and a dagger in his left, which meant the bounder would likely block with his sword and strike out with the shorter blade.
Thomas dodged another swing and thrust forward, only to be deflected. The pirate had a small build. Using brute strength, Thomas should be able to overpower ... her? Thomas's gaze caught on the pirate's face, a face with soft, feminine features. What in heaven's name? She struck again. This time, his sidestep wasn't quite quick enough, and her blade scored his outer thigh. The resulting sting restored him to his senses. "You're a pirate?" Obviously. Still, hard to believe. He pressed forward, forcing on her a series of blows meant to test her strength and will.
She parried and blocked his every move with an aptitude that amazed. "Aye. A pirate, and captain of theSea Sprite," she boasted, a wry smile upon her full lips.
Indeed, she appeared very much a pirate in her men's garb — a threadbare, brown suit with overly long sleeves she'd had to roll up. Her ebony hair had been pulled back in a queue and was half hidden beneath a rumpled tricorn. Also, like her men, was her look of desperation and the grim cast to her countenance that bespoke of a hard existence.
"We offered you quarter," she said as she evaded his thrust with ease. "Why didn't you surrender? You had to know we outnumbered you."
He didn't answer. In all honesty, he'd thought they could defeat the pirates, if not with cannon fire, then with skill. After hearing of all the pirate attacks of late, they'd hired on additional hands, men who could fight. If it hadn't been for the damn illness ...
"It's not too late. You can save what's left of your crew. Surrender now, Captain Glanville, and we'll see that your men are ransomed back." A wicked gleam brightened her eyes as if victory would soon be hers.
He should do as she asked. It would be the sensible thing, but pride kept him from saying the words. Not yet. He still had another opponent to defeat, and so far she hadn't been an easy one to overcome. Despite his steady attack, she kept her muscles relaxed, her balance sure. Her attention followed his movements no matter how small, adjusting her stance, looking for weaknesses. "How do you know I'm Captain Glanville?" When work was at hand, he didn't dress any differently than his men.
"I know much about you." Stepping clear of two men battling to their left, she blocked his sword with her own and lunged with her dagger. He jumped from the blade, avoiding injury by the barest inch. This one relied on speed and accuracy rather than power. Smart woman.
"What do you want from us?" he asked, launching an attack of his own, this time with so much force and speed, she had no choice but to retreat until her back came up against the railing. "We only just left London four days ago. Our cargo is mainly iron and ale."
Her gaze sharpened even as her expression became strained. His assault was wearing her down. "I want the Ruby Cross."
How the hell did she know he had the cross? And did she believe he'd simply hand it over? Hand over a priceless antiquity of the Knights Templar? Absurd. He swung his sword all the harder. The clang of steel rang through the air. Her reactions slowed, and her arms trembled. He made a final cut, putting all his strength behind the blow, and knocked her sword from her hand. Triumph surged through his veins. She attempted to slash out with her dagger. He grabbed her arm before her blade could reach him and hauled her close, their faces nose to nose. "You'll never take the cross from me," he vowed as he towered over her, his grip strong.
The point of a sword touched his back. Thomas tensed, and he swore beneath his breath, self-disgust heavy in his chest. The distraction of this one woman had sealed his fate.
* * *
Catherine's cheeks flamed. Struggling to catch her breath, she stood mere inches from Captain Thomas Glanville, his grasp on her firm. The air tasted of smoke and ash, and her sword-wielding arm ached to high heaven. This close, she could feel the heat from Glanville's body warm the chilly November air. Even with a sword to his back, his green eyes smoldered with defiance.
Blast. He would have won if not for Barnet's sword poking into his spine.
Yanking her arm from Glanville's hold, she stared him straight in the eye. "You're wrong. The Ruby Cross will be mine."
She sheathed her dagger. Sorry, dear brother. Emmett would be sorely disappointed after all the hours he'd spent teaching her how to wield her saber. Although, in her defense, her brother's sparring hadn't adequately prepared her for Glanville, a man who fought with such ferocity. Obviously, he was a well-seasoned combatant. Which might explain the slight crook to his nose.
Two men grasped Glanville's arms and jerked him away from her, and Barnet, the Sea Sprite's quartermaster, lowered his sword. "Ah, Catherine. You should have listened and stayed aboard the Sea Sprite," Barnet scolded, the scar on his upper lip stretching with his frown.
Glanville watched her with interest.
"Be silent, Barnet," she hissed, surveying her crew for any sign of antipathy. "I'll not listen to your nonsense." Detecting no mockery or derision from the men, she cast her quartermaster a glare. Damn, Barnet, chastising me in front of the men. I am the captain here. Stay aboard the Sea Sprite, indeed. She could hold her own with a sword ... or so she'd thought. Catherine directed her attention back to Glanville, the rest of the merchantman's crew subdued. She'd deal with Barnet later. "Where is the cross?" she demanded.
Glanville's blond head bowed, and he studied the deck for the briefest of moments before those green eyes came to rest on her again. "It's not on board."
"You're lying." She'd seen enough charlatans on the streets of St. Giles to know. And Glanville had all the makings of a crook. Calm when faced with danger, his movements controlled ... a cocksure devil if she ever saw one. "Search the ship," she called out to those of her crew not busy with captives, although the likelihood they would find the cross wasn't good. To her knowledge, both this ship and Glanville's house had been searched by Simon Brewer's men. Her heart quickened its pace, and a shiver raced over her skin. Just the thought of that vile man holding her mother and son for ransom, for a treasure only Captain Thomas Glanville could provide ... Clenching her teeth, she retrieved her sword and approached Glanville, drawing her dagger once more. She set the blade to his throat. "Where have you hidden the Ruby Cross?"
He shrugged, a bare shift of shoulders given the grip the men had on him. "I already told you. It's not here."
"Tell me where it is, then," she bit out. She needed that cross. Her son's life depended on it.
Infuriatingly dispassionate, his reaction was to raise his chin, exposing more of his throat. "Kill me, and you'll never get answers."
He was right, of course. Torture would be needed. The thought sickened her, but she kept her expression grim and her voice firm. "I don't intend to kill you ... at least not yet." She shifted her blade, enough to add more venom to her words, and envisioned cutting his skin. But the stench of blood from the dead and injured around them filled her nostrils, and the groans of the wounded ate at her nerves.
Crew members of the Sea Sprite returned one by one, each empty-handed. Not a surprise. And yet, an edge of panic tensed her shoulders. What if they never find the cross? What if ...? Stop. She couldn't think that way. Too much was at stake. Still, the hand holding her dagger trembled. "If you wish to save your men and yourself, speak up."
Glanville narrowed his eyes, a stubborn set to his chin. "Do what you must. I'll never tell you what you want to know."
"Allow me, Cap'n." Barnet stepped forward with a menacing glower and a knife in hand.
"No. Stand down." The crew had elected her as captain for this voyage out of deference to her late husband Peter, the true captain of the Sea Sprite. A mixture of grief and anger throbbed within her chest. Peter, the scoundrel, had left her and their son six years ago on a quest for riches, only to die as poor as he'd always been. Nevertheless, if she wanted the crew's respect, she'd best handle this situation herself.
Barnet lowered his weapon and stepped aside, although he looked none too happy. "As you wish, Cap'n."
She scanned the decks, desperation flaring bright. "If not you, Glanville, then perhaps your men will suffer," she taunted as her stomach churned, the smell of death and gore taking their toll.
Her captive nodded toward a man sprawled unconscious on the deck whose face was deathly pale. "There's my first mate. You're welcome to torture him. I don't think he'll mind."
She scowled and ran her blade's edge over the skin at his throat. The thin line bloomed red. "No, I think I'll test your mettle first. A few scars might improve your looks." Her voice didn't waver, even as bile rose in her throat. Although she had spilled blood during the battle, torturing a man was an entirely different skill, one she had yet to master. And she would. Later. At this moment, if she had to cut this man until he howled in pain, her sparse luncheon would make a reappearance on her boots. The last thing she needed was to vomit before her crew.
Despite her roiling gut, she braced her feet apart and addressed her men with authority. "We have no time to waste. Take the prisoners below and lock them away. We'll split our numbers between the two ships and head back to London." She nodded toward Glanville. "This one will be strung up in his cabin. Never fear. By the time we reach port, I'll have the cross in my hand." She would do whatever she had to, even make this man's life a living hell if it were required, and judging by the arrogance of Thomas Glanville, that possibility was quite likely.CHAPTER 2
Catherine watched as Glanville was tied with rope to the wall in his large captain's cabin, his arms secured over his head. He didn't fight his bondage. Instead, his piercing gaze never left her. Perhaps he was reserving his strength — a wise move. Not that it would matter. He would tell her where the cross was hidden. She'd see to that.
After the ropes were tied tight, the men pulled the boots from his feet and began to scavenge his pockets.
"Go," she commanded. "This one is mine."
Their search for valuables stopped, although one man picked up the boots as he headed out. Very well. She had no use for them, anyway.
"Close the door," she ordered as her men left. She didn't need an audience. She'd never tortured a man, and it might take a few goes before she got the hang of it. Her pulse skipped a beat at the thought, her nerves twitchy. The door shut, she set aside all doubt and approached her prisoner. "Shall we begin?"
A smirk lifted a corner of his lips. "Whenever you're ready, my lady."
So smug and confident. How annoying. She unsheathed her dagger and settled it along his ear. He didn't need two of them, did he? He'd be fine with just one. She squelched any weak thoughts that sprang forward. She'd be strong, for her son.
Those green eyes mocked her, and his arse leaned into her blade as if daring her to slice him, nicking himself in the process. A single drop of blood oozed from the cut on his cheek. And damn it if her softer instincts didn't rise at the sight. She wanted to blot the wound with a clean cloth and sooth the ache with comforting words, just as she would with family or friends.
Family, like her mother and son. Oh God. Jonas. Was he hurt? Or ill? And her mother. She was already a sickly woman, ever tired and weak. Would she survive Simon Brewer's imprisonment?
Her resolve strengthened. "Listen here. I will hurt you, if I must."
"No, you won't. You don't have it in you."
She stared at his slightly crooked nose, and those green eyes that dared and defied, a frown on her face. "You don't know what I'm capable of." She would do anything for her family.
His brows slanted, and a serious look infused his features. "If you truly intended to cause me pain, you'd have done the deed on deck, or let your quartermaster do the job."
Catherine lowered her blade. He was right. The mere thought of drawing his blood churned her stomach, and it didn't matter whether the deed was done by her hand or not. As much as she needed the cross, she couldn't obtain it by that means. But there were other ways. "We'll see how you fare without food and water."
A chuckle laced his breath. "That method of persuasion will take some time."
"I'm a patient woman," she lied, her mind already grasping for other ideas with which to provide quicker results. Would reasoning work? "Why do you want the cross? You're the captain of this ship, not its owner. All cargo belongs to your employer, Gordon Lamont."
"He has nothing to do with the cross. I made the arrangements to obtain it, and I'll arrange its sale."
"And with the profits ...?"
He paused, his gaze settling on her. "I'll buy my own ship."
Ambition and pride. Her husband had been driven by the same need. In fact, his ambition had become more important to him than his wife and son. Nothing should come between a man and his family. Nothing. "What if I told you I need the Ruby Cross to save two people I care for very much? Family."
"You're lying. You'd say anything to get what you want."
"But I speak the truth. My son Jonas is seven years old, and my mother ..."
His expression, ripe with stubborn cynicism, stopped her from saying more. He didn't believe her. Just as she'd expected. She had seized his ship and taken his crew hostage, after all. In his mind, she'd say anything to get the cross, and in that much, he was right. Just the same, she was learning what sort of man Glanville was. She scanned the room. "I don't believe you would leave the cross in the care of someone else. Not if obtaining and selling it is your responsibility." She glanced at him, but he remained still and silent. No mocking. No denials. Encouraging.
Catherine moved around the immense cabin that took up the width of the ship, keeping Glanville in her sight. "No, you would want to keep it close at hand." No matter where she paused, he didn't so much as twitch. Damn. He would make a good card player. Ah, hell. What would it hurt? She opened the armoire and rifled through his belongings. Next, the table by the bed, a chest in the corner, his desk, and finally the bed itself. Was the cross hidden in the mattress? She almost tore the thing apart in her quest. Nothing.
Excerpted from His Pirate Seductress 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
One great pirate book. 157 pages of action, romance, and more adventure on the high seas.
Originally posted on my blog: Tangled Up In Books I received a copy of this book, from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this sway either my review or my rating. Even with my love of Historical Romances, I never thought that I'd be one for the swashbuckling and danger on the high seas. I really didn't think pirates would be my thing. Okay, sure. I admit that I may have had a fantasy or two about a certain captain with an affinity to rum and a very bird-like name but come on....Johnny Depp. Anyway. When the first book in this series, Tempting the Pirate, came across my path, the little book devil that sits on my shoulder and pressures me to read ALL THE BOOKS, was like "you really need to read this book." Well I listened. I've been hooked on the Love on the High Seas series ever since. With this addition to the series, and the promise of a female pirate I was the most excited I'd been to step into this world and lose myself. While it took me a minute to really get into the story, once I did I fell just as hard for this one as I did both it's predecessors. I think the reason it took me a few pages to truly accept the storyline and get into the flow of things and really enjoy what I was reading was the fact that Catherine was more of a reluctant pirate. It definitely wasn't a choice or something she sought doing. I kind of went in blind because I prefer it that way when I'm working my way through a series. So I guess I was expecting more of a fierce, tough as nails woman. While she had strong, stubborn streaks she wasn't what I had pictured in my mind I was going to find. Once I embraced the story though, I think this is a very good thing. I don't think I would have found the romance between the type of woman I was expecting and someone as stand-up and alpha-ish as Thomas very believable. It ended up being more fun than I had been hoping for anyway! Though I do feel like the previous book had more of a heart pounding intensity and danger to it, this one still had quite an edge of danger on it's own. Definitely enough to keep you turning the pages and make it nearly impossible to want to put it down. There has been such a fun variety of characters within this series. They're all very well written and complex. Plus Tamara Hughes always does a fantastic job at making you feel as if you truly are on the high seas or sucked back in time. It's fantastic. If you love Historical Romance and haven't read any pirate books before, but are curious, I highly recommend giving this series a go. They are so much fun and filled with banter, breathtaking romance, heart stopping danger and sexy swashbuckling men (and women). I've thoroughly enjoyed the Love on the High Seas series and can't wait to see what Tamara Hughes has to bring us next! Huge thanks goes to Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book!
This is book 3 in the Love on the High Seas series. Trying to save the life of her son and mother, Catherine Fry has captained her late husband's ship and gone after the owner of the Ruby Cross. She and her band of pirates soon capture Thomas Glanville's ship, but he is not telling her where the cross is. Thomas can't believe that he allowed himself to be captured. He is not about to let the Ruby Cross out of his hands, not when it is his means to purchase his own ship. But being held captive by an alluring woman has Thomas thinking of intriguing ways to gain his freedom and they soon give into their mutual attraction. Can Catherine and Thomas find a way to use the Ruby Cross to get what both of them need? I really liked that the pirate is this story was the female lead. It definitely put a different twist on the story. Catherine wanted to use force to get Thomas to give her the cross, but when it came down to it she couldn't. But she did have power over him in another way and she definitely used it to the best of her ability. Of course, then the tables were turned on her!! The chemistry between these two was red hot!! I can't wait to see what Hughes come up with next! Thanks go out to Entangled Publishing via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
A rambunctious adventure which takes place on both land and sea.... “Be quiet, or I'll run you through with my sword." "I'd much rather run you through with mine," he suggested, his voice a sexy rumble that made her shiver.” HIS PIRATE SEDUCTRESS by Tamara Hughes was a rambunctious adventure which took place on both land and sea. I'm a sucker for a good pirate story. When I saw pirate in the title and the pirate ship flying the Jolly Roger flag on the cover, I knew I wanted to read this book! This is the first book I've ever read by this author and I enjoyed her writing style. It was well-edited with plenty of action. I wanted to love it! Instead, I had trouble connecting to both the hero and the heroine, there was just an inkling of a romance and it just never grabbed my attention. DURN! Catherine Fry, our heroine, would stop at nothing to free her son and mother. Their captor has set the Knights Templar's Ruby Cross as the price of their freedom. Unfortunately, that priceless artifact is in the hands of Captain Thomas Glanville, who plans on selling it for a pretty penny. Catherine is determined that the Cross will soon be in her possession as the lives of her family come first even if she has to become a pirate to steal it away from the pompous Glanville. Captain Thomas Glanville, our hero, can't believe that he and his men have been bested by a band of brigands lead by a female. Now he's a prisoner in his own former cabin - naked as a jaybird - enjoying a strange kind of torture. Unfortunately, the scenes where Catherine was supposed to be torturing Glanville, didn't pan out; I felt that there had to be more. It fizzled in the romance department too. I did finish the book, so it wasn't a DNF; I kept hoping that it would improve. If you are a fan of this author or if you enjoy historical fiction with very little romance, you may want to check this book out. Sadly, HIS PIRATE SEDUCTRESS was a miss for me. My full review is posted at Reading Between The Wines Book Club. Please check it out there! 2 1/2 Wine Glasses!
I was pleasantly surprised by Tamara Hughes writing and style. She has a way to draw you into the story and capture your attention and not let go until the very last page. I really felt like I was lost in this book while I read it and did not feel that it was historical too much at all. I felt like it could be modern day as well. There was tons of action and adventure that kept you on the edge of your seat and a great heroine that could hold her own with the men, all while keeping her son and mother safe. Catherine is a young lady that is on a quest to obtain the Ruby Cross of the Knights Templar in order to save her family and keep them safe. Catherine knows that Captain Thomas has the cross but she just does not know where he is hiding it. When Catherine confronts Thomas for the cross, she never expected things to heat up between the two of them. Catherine never expected one of her men to profess their love for her either and ask her to marry him on the spot when he sees how close that she and Thomas are getting. This story is so fun and keeps you going! I enjoyed this read so much and I can not wait for more from Tamara Hughes so that I can get lost in another story of hers. Tamara definitely has a way of making a story captivating! Thanks for the great read!
"His Pirate Seductress" by Tamara Hughes - *** I love a cheeky sea captain and a brash female pirate but for some reason "His Pirate Seductress" did not "spark" me. I honestly do not know why because all of the elements were there: handsome and saucy gentleman sea captain - check. Formidable and audacious female pirate determined to get her prize - check. Saucy and undeniable sexual attraction - check. And danger and deceit - double check. But the heroine wasn't as confident as I wanted her to be with the hero and the upper hand went back and worth a couple of times too many. And since this is my first experience reading a novel by Tamara Hughes I'm not sure about her typical sexual heat level. But in the case in this novel, I thought that with the threat of the large and volatile pirate, her second in command, who fancied himself in love with her - a higher heat level with a bit more drawn out description would have leant more of an air of "oh my God is he going to walk in during the middle of things"? In my opinion the sex was good, but a bit lackluster. I also felt that even though the heroine was adamant about not needing help to fight her battles the author put her in situations that she needed the heroes help in order to come out victorious - loading her down with all of the weapons for his men rather than her finding a better way to transport them. Or having a plan in which she wouldn't have to fight the bad guy with her son in harms way as a distraction so he had to come to her aid. The hero's growth was big but the heroine never truly got past feeling a bit "less than". Again, "His Pirate Seductress" has all of the makings of a fantastic novel but to me there was something missing, a sparkle or jolt that perhaps might have happened if the novel was a bit longer and the sex scenes more spicier. The sex scenes - even when the couple didn't have to rush had a feel of "wham, bang, thank you ma'am" to me. The hero, James' emotional growth was outstanding and when comparing it to that of Catherine, the heroine's, her maturity seemed rather stagnant and vague. I really wish I could have loved this novel, unfortunately I only just liked it and sincerely I am not drawn to read any of the other novels in the Love on the High Seas series. To read the entire review please visit: http://bit.ly/1MvXc6T This novel was provided by the Publisher in exchange for a honest review.
I think that the author was certainly on the right track when she penned this story in general. The idea of a female pirate was not only highly clever, but I have been loving the stronger heroines that are making their debut in historical-romances. I think my main for my love of such heroines is for the simple fact that I find much more relatable to the modern woman so I will to say that Hughes deserves applause for such creativity. The one thing that this story lacked in my opinion was a lusty romance. The romance was present as well as the attraction between the characters and yet it wasn't enough for me to label this book "romantic." I think the book should have better suited as a historical-fiction which was fine with me because the plot was very interesting and this was a book that I found to be highly likable minus the romance. I have always thought that Hughes had a true talent for penning stories. Perhaps romance is not the author's strongest writings, but I return to her time and time again because she had pen such wonderful stories. I love authors that are sharp and bold such as Hughes that are willing to go the distance and give readers something refreshing in an overcrowded industry. For the most part I would recommend this book. I would suggest that if you are looking for a great, romance than this book isn't it.