The Captain’s Rebel
by C.B. Halverson
Publication Date: April 3, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Scorched, Erotic, Historical Romance
Land. Power. Influence. Mary O’Malley knows these are the only things that matter in her war-torn country. Determined to win back her ancestral home, she must embark on a journey across the Atlantic disguised as a cabin boy. But her ruse brings her under the control of a dangerous sea captain who demands from her the one thing she will never give—complete and total submission.
Captain Richard Grant runs a tight ship, and he didn’t claw his way up through the ranks of the Royal Navy to be undone by a headstrong Irish girl hell-bent on jeopardizing his mission and his crew. If she insists on dressing like a man, then she can take his punishments. He demands obedience, but his insatiable need for her leads to a complex game of sex, desire, and dominance not even he can control.
Awakened by the passion Grant stirs in her, Mary finds herself falling for the stern captain. But when her false identity leads to rumors of her spying for the French, she must choose between her love for Ireland and the man who commands her body—and her heart.
I was completely caught off guard by the heat level in this book. It was total catnip for me, and I can’t wait for more from this author.
He challenged me, made me want to break him, too.
Mary O’Malley has big dreams. After the Irish Rebellion in 1798, the English rule Ireland with an iron fist. The land and its people are suffering. Mary wants to change this. She plans to marry the lord of their corner—Johnny Brighton—and use her new status to bring food and shelter to the people of Ireland. She must. But Johnny soon enlists in the Navy and with Mary in a tight spot, she takes off after him. She finds herself aboard the Elizabeth, dressed as a cabin boy and serving the commanding Captain Richard Grant.
This blurb reeled me in. I am a huge sucker for pirate romances, and when I learned there was a cross-dressing heroine topped (ha!) with a sexual submissive plotline, I was sold! Absolute catnip. Oh, what a pickle our Mary gets into right off the bat. She is very determined and intelligent, but she also has a very sharp tongue which gets her into trouble—both the kind she should avoid and the kind she desires. She has gumption and courage out to the wazoo, and I admired her for it. Mary is unbelievably devoted to her cause—the vision of her homeland back to its former glory without British rule. This vision truly defines her.
Freed of my petticoats and pretty manners…the desire to prove myself as equal, as good and strong as any man, sent sparks of anticipation through me.
She also never acts with outright foolishness. I think that is one of the things I was concerned about, but that’s not the case for Mary. She does the best she can with what she’s been given. There were moments I laughed, others I gasped, and some I outright fist-pumped at Mary’s audacity.
The action scenes are also real and gritty. I felt the story did a good job of not shying away from the dirtier aspects. It shows murder and gore and the treachery that surrounded seafaring life.
Onto the captain! I really liked him! When Mary masquerades as a cabin boy upon his ship, Grant sees through her disguise. He offers to keep her secret and stay safe aboard his ship, but there’s punishments in store if she steps out of line. Let’s just say, Mary steps out of line a lot—intentionally and unintentionally. There are a lot of submissive scenes. LOTS. It ties in well, and it helps that the captain is such a good man. He truly cares for her. They have a lot in common, neither one having an easy go of it, and these brief snippets and moments together enforce their connection. The story is told in first person from Mary’s POV, however, and I would have liked to see into Grant’s head some.
Also, fair warning: there are BDSM elements as well as F/F action. The scenes are detailed and often. I imagine lovers of historical romance who like an edge of heat edged with even more blazing heat will love this one.
A rabblerousing 4.5 stars!
ABOUT C.B. HALVERSON
As a child, Colleen Halverson used to play in the woods imagining worlds and telling stories to herself. Growing up on military bases, she found solace in her local library and later decided to make a living sharing the wonders of literature to poor, unsuspecting college freshmen. After backpacking through Ireland and singing in a traditional Irish music band, she earned a PhD in English with a specialization in Irish literature. When she’s not making up stories or teaching, she can be found hiking the rolling hills of the Driftless area of Wisconsin with her husband and two children. She also writes as C.B. Halverson.