Circumstances had changed; they had gotten worse. Valoree no longer had to
masquerade as her murdered brother and scourge the oceans as Captain Red. She
no longer had to command his pirate band in a quest to regain his birthright.
She had been named heir to Ainsley Castle. But no executor would ever hand over
the estate to an unmarried pirate wench and her infamous crew - no matter to whom
she'd been born. And the will had distinctly stated that in order to inherit,
Valoree must be married to a nobleman... and pregnant.
Upon learning that, the virgin captain had been ready to return to the seas,
but her crew had put it to a vote - and for those rascally cusses she would do
anything. Reluctantly, she agreed. If they could find a way - Henry and One-Eye
and Skully - to put on her a sweet face that would fool the ton, she would handle
the rest. Even with a drunken prostitute as an "aunt" and her merry
cutthroat crew as "servants". But to herself she swore one thing; she
could only marry a man who fired her blood, a man who was not afraid of a... Lady
Lynsay is unlike any writer in the romance field today. If you like quirkiness, with wild dashes of humour, if you like Jayne Anne Kretnz, then Lynsay is your cup of tea!! She does not follow patterns, but speaks with her own original voice, and delivers the really warm and fuzzy read that makes for one good time. I laughed, I giggled and then went in search of family members to read passages outloud.
I mean the whole premise is a howl. Valoree has been masquerading as her murdered brother, the scourage of the seas, the Notorious Captain Red. But suddenly she is to be the heiress to Ainsley Castle - provided she can find a nobleman to marry her and get her pregnant asap. Since Valoree is hardly prepared for this task, it falls to the crew to turn this sow's ear into a silk purse!!
If you would like a light, romantic romp, then don't miss Lynsay's Lady Pirate. It's a gem!!
WISE Writers and Readers' Book of the Month January 2001
Five out of five stars. Reviewed by Debra MacGillivray.
I read the preview on Lady Pirate and it was just so funny that I had to order it from the bookstore at the first chance. The Heroine was great. I hate weak females, but she isn't weak. She gotta be brave to be a pirate. The Hero was great too. He was very understanding, intelligent, and he acts so cute.
The story has lots of humor like when her "face" fell off. Not really her face, it was makeup.
The storyline is that in order to inherit her family lands, she has to marry a nobleman and be with child by her 25th birthday which is in 9 months. A funny part is that her crew is always voting on what she should do for her own good. They voted that she so marry and enter society in order to do so. Lots more happen but I shouldn't reveal it and ruin your fun.
This book was so good, I finished it in two days. I hope you'll like it too.
Five out of five stars. Reviewed by bookaddict01.
The Caribbean- late 1700s
The water was flat as a looking glass, capturing the moonlight and stars that
twinkled down from above and reflecting just enough light that the ship gliding
ahead of them appeared black and ghostlike in the darkness.
From her position at the front of the small dugout canoe in which she rode,
Valoree motioned, and the men at the oars immediately slowed their rowing. At
another signal, the sailors raised their oars out of the water, and the craft
slid silently up beside the larger craft.
Immediately those on the left side of the canoe with drew hooks on long ropes
and sent them whistling through the air to catch on the rail above. For a moment
they waited, staring breathlessly up the side of the large galleon and holding
the lines, allowing their craft to be dragged along by the larger ship’s
momentum. At last, when a hue and cry failed to arise, all eyes slowly returned
She stared back, knowing these men all saw her as a slender young man- little
more than a boy, really. All of them but Henry. He alone knew that their deceased
captain’s younger brother Valerian, who had served as a cabin boy these
last eight years, was really a girl. Of course he knew; he’d been the one
who had suggested the charade so many years before, when he’d realized that
Jeremy- his captain and her brother- intended to keep her aboard a ship full of
Aye, these men all thought her a lad, young and untried. And yet, they had
vowed to follow her. Only a desire for vengeance could make these two dozen men,
cutthroats and hooligans all, follow someone they had always looked upon as a
green lad, a little brother or son to be coddled and spoiled. And vengeance they
Glancing down into the water, Valoree took in her reflection. Her body was
slim- she was lean rather than muscular- and it trembled with anticipation. For
a moment she imagined that her eyes were no longer those of the youth who had
moved easily among these men, laughing and chatting as she’d gone about
her chores. Nay, her eyes now seemed old, hard, bitter with fresh loss. A loss
these men shared as well.
Her brother had been a good man and a fair captain, and his ship, the Valor,
had been the only home most of his crew had known for the last eight years. The
men who now accompanied her were the last of that crew. She glanced around at
them, then back at her reflection.
Though her shirt was her own, she now wore her brother’s breeches, along
with his hat and jacket. Jeremy’s boarding ax and pike were hooked through
the thick belt at her waist, and a brass-barreled flintlock was sticking out of
those baggy, too-large pants. The captain’s cutlass rested in its sheath
where it hung at her side. She had taken his clothing when she had sworn vengeance
for his death- and she had not bathed since.
Every inch of her body, every item, every inch of cloth, wood, and metal was
covered with its owner’s dried blood, as were Valoree’s face, hands,
and feet. Even her long hair was crusty with the stuff. Though it was normally
a vibrant, fiery red- as her brother’s had been- it was now streaked through
with crimson, marked by the red blood of her brother’s death- a reminder
of her vow.
Her brother had not died easily. He had not died quickly. He, along with the
majority of his men, had died slowly and in torment. And for that, Valoree and
the remainder of Jeremy’s crew had vowed, these Spaniards would pay.
She glanced toward Skully and nodded. The cadaverous man immediately reached
for his tools, and Valoree turned her back as he began to bore holes in the bottom
of their craft. She regarded her crew, awaiting their reaction. She did not have
long to wait. Skully was still working on the second hole when the last of them
turned to her in understanding. In their faces she read approval and a grudging
respect. To reassure them of her intent, she half hissed, half whispered, “We
take this ship or we die. There is no escape. We fight not only to avenge the
deaths of good men, but for our lives.”
“For our lives and vengeance,” Henry vowed beside her in a hushed
tone. His words were immediately taken up by the others.
“Life and vengeance!”
She relaxed somewhat at their acceptance, an odd calm overtaking her as she
silently watched Skully finish boring the holes in the bottom of their boat. The
holes were relatively small, but even so, by the time he had started on the sixth,
the boat was already gathering water and beginning to sink.
As Skully hurriedly returned his tools to his satchel, Valoree drew her brother’s
cutlass from its sheath. Moving to the side of their slowly sinking ship, she
led the men in a stealthy climb up the side of the Spanish galleon. Her bare hands
and feet moved surely up the rope until she reached the top, the others close
behind. Pausing there, Valoree peered over the side and glared about.
Several men, taking advantage of the night breeze, were sleeping out in the
open air of the deck. Valoree glanced toward the helm and smiled grimly upon seeing
the helmsman. The man, while still at his post, had nodded off and was now dozing
away his shift, sense less. There was no one to give an alarm. The Spaniards would
be taken completely by surprise.
Slipping silently over the side, Valoree hunkered low, sticking to the shadows.
Her men followed. As the last of them slid to the deck, she gestured silently,
dividing them into two groups with one simple wave of her hand, then gesturing
for one group to stay above deck, while directing the others toward the dark hole
that was the entrance to the cabins. They all began to move at once, separating
and moving all over the ship. The men above deck positioned themselves among the
sleeping Spaniards, ready to set to work, but waiting the few moments necessary
to allow those men slip ping through the hole to reach their targets, lest some
sound or death cry warn their enemies below.
Leaving the rest of the crew to the others, Valoree moved stealthily toward
the helmsman. She had nearly reached him when something startled the man awake.
Drawing a sword, the Spaniard peered blearily at her. She froze, but his gaze
found her anyway. Taking in Jeremy’s bloody clothes and her red hair flowing
about her blood-streaked face, he blinked.
“Rojo... El Capitan Rojo?”
Valoree stiffened at the words, recognizing the name the Spanish used for her
brother. Captain Red, because of his red hair.
“Regresa del muerto... El Rojo,” the man whispered faintly, then
straightened abruptly, shrieking. “Regresa del muerto. El Rojo!”
His cry awoke others nearby, and the sleepy-eyed men turned to gape at her
in horror. The helmsman’s cry was taken up again and again. “Regresa
del muerto. El Rojo!”
For a moment, everyone was still. The others she’d brought with her,
startled by the shouting, turned to peer at Valoree. She drew back, annoyed, then
peered about at the frozen tableau. Her crewmates seemed as transfixed as the
Spaniards. With a glance at the near est of the men, she snapped irritably, “What
the devil is he saying, Henry?”
Drawn out of his startled state by the question, the quartermaster relaxed
and grimly smiled. Then he shrugged. “He’s thinkin’ ye’re
yer own brother, Captain Red. He’s thinkin’ ye’re back from
the dead. He’s screamin’ “Back-from-the-Dead Red,””
he explained. The cry continued around them.
del muerto. El Rojo!”
“Back-from-the-Dead Red?” Valoree repeated, then frowned at the
terrified Spaniards. “Well, at least they shall know why they die”.
Raising Jeremy’s cutlass, she advanced on the helmsman, but much to her
consternation, the man immediately dropped his weapon. For a moment, Valoree was
nonplussed, but the sudden chorus of metal against wood drew her attention to
the fact that every Spaniard aboard the ship was now giving up his weapon unasked,
all dropping them to the deck floor.
“What the devil are they doing?” Valoree cried in dismay. “Are
they not going to fight?”
Henry glanced around, then turned to face her. “Well,” he drawled,
scratching at his ear. “I’m thinkin’ they’re thinkin’
that since ye’re a ghost and all, there ain’t no sense in afightin’
ye. Most like they think we’re the rest of the men that were kilt... and
ye cain’t kill someone what’s already dead.”
Valoree glanced up at hearing again the helmsman’s terrified murmur.
The Spaniard was now tugging his pistol free and dropping it on the deck beside
his sword. Throughout, he continued mumbling, “Regresa del muerto. El Rojo.”
Before she could decide on a course of action, a scuffle at the entrance to
the cabins drew her attention. Valoree glanced over as the men who had gone below
returned, pushing several captives ahead of them. The first was obviously the
captain, and he looked angry. He also looked willing to fight, Valoree saw with
relief. At least someone would. It was hard to take revenge when the enemy refused
to fight. She wouldn’t simply kill unarmed men; that was not fair. She was
just about to move to confront the Spanish captain when the helmsman spotted his
commander. He immediately shrieked, “El Rojo! Regresa del muerto!”
The captain started to glance toward the man, but his gaze caught and stayed
on Valoree. The whipping wind filled the cloth of Jeremy’s jacket, making
her appear larger than she was, and she had to fight to keep her bloody red hair
from covering her eyes. She pulled Jeremy’s hat down further onto her head
and glared at the Spaniard with hatred. The man gaped, then murmured, “El
“S’aai,” the helmsman cried. “El Rojo, regresa del
“Shut up!” Valoree said in a growl to the mouthy sailor. She was
sick of hearing those words. Stark terror entered the captain’s face as
well. “Tell him to shut up, Henry,” she said hurriedly.
Henry translated the order into Spanish, but the panicked helmsman could not
have obeyed had he wished to. He seemed able only to repeat himself over and over.
Irritated, Valoree drew Jeremy’s flintlock pistol and shot him.
The man dropped to the deck with a shriek, grabbing for the wound in his leg.
As if that were the signal for some preplanned form of action, the Spaniards
all made a sudden exodus to ward the sides of the ship. Taken by surprise, Valoree
and the others could only watch in amazement as the crew of the galleon, as one,
cast themselves screaming into shark-infested water.
Cursing under her breath, Valoree stalked to the side of the ship and peered
down at the men in the sea below. They were thrashing about in the water, moving
in the general direction of the nearest island. “The gunny cowards,”
“Aye,” Henry agreed. He and the rest of the men had moved closer
to peer down at their fleeing adversaries.
Slamming a palm down on the rail in frustration, Valoree cursed. “Jumping
rather than fighting, can you imagine?”
Henry shook his head. “Spineless Spanish bastards.”
Sighing, she frowned at the water below. A moment later, One-Eye let out a
dismayed oath. Glancing up, Valoree peered over at where he was pointing. The
helmsman was on his feet, and had hopped to the side of the ship. He was now balancing
himself precariously on the railing. As she watched in amazement, the man hefted
himself over the side of the boat to land with a splash in the water behind his
comrades. It seemed that swimming with sharks was more attractive than keeping
company with ghosts, even for the wounded man.
“Ye want we should shoot them?” One-Eye asked with little enthusiasm.
Valoree shook her head in disgust. “Leave go. They are not likely to
make it to shore. ‘Sides, none of them bore the scar.” She desired
revenge, but there was no pleasure in killing cowards.
The others nodded in agreement. Besides, this was apparently not the ship of
their true enemy. One of the few things they had learned from Jeremy, ere he took
his last breath, was that the Spaniard who had ordered the torturous deaths of
her brother and so many of his men bore a scar in the shape of a question mark
on his neck. And the captain of this vessel had borne no such scar.
Sighing, Valoree straightened and turned to survey the Spanish galleon. “Well,”
she said softly, “it would seem we have a ship.”
“Aye,” Henry murmured. “That it would.”
“Have we enough men to sail it?”
Henry surveyed the small number of their remaining crew. “Aye,”
he said. “Enough to get to port and pick up more men... Captain.”
Valoree glanced at him sharply. “Captain?”
He nodded solemnly. “Aye. Of this, the Valor II. I’m thinkin’
we’ve got us a fine captain. Ye’ve the spirit, the courage, the determination...
and, better yet, ye’ve already got yerself a reputation and title.”
When she looked bewildered, he shrugged. “Ye’ve already taken yer
first ship. If any of those men out there survive their swim, all will hear about
their terrifying encounter with Back-from-the-Dead Red.”
Valoree rolled her eyes and glanced at the others. All of them were standing
about, nodding in agree ment. It seemed she had not only stepped into her brother’s
clothes, but she had also stepped into his command. Back-from-the-Dead Red, indeed.
Thanks to a load of superstitious Spaniards, she was now the captain of some of
the most bloodthirsty cutthroats it had ever been her misfortune to meet- if she
wanted them. She was only nineteen. That was young to be a captain. But then,
Jeremy had been only eighteen when she had helped him purchase and outfit the
Valor. And as for her gender, they already thought her a boy.
Seeing her hesitation, Henry moved closer. “Now, think on it for a minute
before ye go making up your mind. Cap’n Red - yer brother Jeremy - he did
this only to make some money; then he planned to go claim your family estate,
set it to rights, settle down, and start a family.”
“Aye, but – “
“But nothing. Now that dream is yours.”
Valoree blinked at that. “What mean you, now that dream is mine?”
she asked suspiciously.
“I mean, with him gone, ye have to make his dream come true for him.
Claim the inheritance, settle down, start a family.”
Valoree was silent for a moment, then frowned. “But I do not have the
money to – “
“Well, that there is true enough. That was what Jeremy was doin, earnin’
the money to claim the estate. It’s not been lived in since ye was a wee
babe. He said he needed a fair sum to put the place to rights.”
“And he had earned it,” One-Eye put in bitterly. “More than
enough to claim the land and set it to rights. We were all to have homes there,”
he reminded her. “He promised all of us a cottage and a little plot of land.
He – “
“The boy knows all about that, One-Eye,” Henry interrupted, silencing
“Aye, I know.” Valoree sighed. “But the Spaniards took the
riches when they killed Jeremy.”
Henry nodded. “Aye. And that means we would have to start over.”
“Start over!” Valoree glared at him. “Eight years it took
my brother to acquire that money. Do not tell me you now want to waste another
The man hesitated at that, then cleared his throat. “Well, now, I been
thinkin’ on that, too. It occurs to me that out there somewhere is a Spanish
galleon with yer brother’s treasure on it- or someone who knows where it
is. If we could just manage to find that...”
“The Spaniard with the scar!” Valoree exclaimed. Henry nodded solemnly.
“We could kill two birds with one stone. We could have revenge and settle
down in England all nice and proper, too.”
“For life and vengeance,” she murmured thoughtfully.
“Aye,” the quartermaster agreed. “For our life, and Jeremy’s
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