'Ruined by the Pirate' by Wendi Zwaduk
Two adventurous souls will always find their way together.
Pirates aren’t in vogue in 1910, but that’s not stopping Captain Killian Thomas. His exploits have been splashed all over the newspapers for more than ten years. He takes what he wants, no questions asked. He’s happy with life on the water—until he sees her.
Sarah Moyer, heir to the Moyer real estate fortune, is a rare jewel among the upper crust. Her independent ways are notorious. She’s driven a car, traveled to England on her own, and now she flatly refuses to marry the man her father’s picked out for her. The chance encounter with Captain Thomas changes her perspectives. Will she follow the ways of a proper lady or will she allow herself to be ruined by the pirate?
'Temptation Released' by Ayla Ruse
“When is a pirate not a pirate? When he refuses to ravish a perfectly willing captive.” – Lady Elise Clifton
Raphael de la Torres, the pirate captain El Angel, is notorious for kidnapping travelers to the colonies. He leads a rewarding life, and one that cleverly covers his true purpose—getting close to the cousin who betrayed him.
Raphael’s latest capture, the beautiful Lady Elise Clifton, is the one person whose ransom will give him an edge. Simple plans are rarely simple, however. He must deliver her untouched in order to have his revenge, but Lady Elise is desire untapped, and more than ready for the taking. His every effort to frighten and push her away only excites her and tests his limits of control.
Lady Elise is desperate to get out of an unwanted engagement. She will do anything to avoid being under another man’s control, even seduce a pirate to ensure her ruin. To her mind, once the Captain ravishes her—as all notorious pirates do—she will be free. Her plans would be perfect if the Captain would cooperate, but no matter how hard she tries, the sexy Spaniard refuses to take her to his bed.
With the currents stirring up between the two, will the sweet taste of revenge shift to a deeper passion, and will the control Elise is running away from, be exactly what she needs?
'The Running Game' by Meg Harding
There’s something to be said about great adventure, an impossible moment in time when everything falls into place. This is undoubtedly her impossible moment.
Some people just don’t have any luck. On the run from her murderous fiancé and a very angry father, Irene is pretty sure her luck can’t get any worse. After all what’s worse than being the lone woman stuck on a cargo ship headed to the Americas? How about getting captured by pirates as her money and only shot at freedom sink to the bottom of the ocean? Not that she ever could have anticipated that.
Oliver is a man burdened with a great amount of luck and a fine sense for all things adventurous. Holding up one little cargo ship isn’t supposed to give him much more than a few bits of gold and some excitement. Who could have anticipated the spitfire on board who would turn his world inside out?
Things are about to get messy as Irene tramples all over Oliver’s image of a proper lady and sets about showing him just how much trouble one little woman can truly cause. Oliver has never enjoyed an adventure so much.
Reader Advisory: These books contain scenes of anal sex, voyeurism and dubious consent.
General Release Date: 1st September 2020
Excerpt from 'Ruined by the Pirate' by Wendi Zwaduk
“A woman has no right traveling alone—least of all you,” Sarah Moyer said and stared at her best friend, Felicia. “Understood.”
“I’m telling you,” Felicia said, “nothing good can come of this voyage. Stay here and ride out the storm. Your father will see you’re not interested in Isaiah and he’ll let you decide what you want to do.”
Sarah shook her head. She knew this conversation all too well. She loved Felicia, but even her friend couldn’t help her. Staying away from Norfolk, Virginia, for almost a year hadn’t prevented the wrath of Nelson Moyer. No, the real estate magnate insisted his only daughter come home. She knew darn well what he wanted her to do once she reached Norfolk—find Isaiah Landry and get married. She clutched her pocketbook tighter. No. She didn’t love Isaiah and refused to tie herself down to any man only interested in her father’s money.
“Please stay. Southampton won’t be the same without you.” Felicia grabbed Sarah’s hands. “Please?”
“I’ve got to appease him.” Sarah gazed out at the deep blue ocean before her. In a few minutes, she’d be sailing and free from her cares for a few days. “Come with me. There are plenty of American men who would love an exotic British woman on their arm.”
“You know better.” Felicia blew a blonde curl from her forehead. “Your father wants you home in Norfolk. Mine wants me to be right here in Southampton.” She let go of Sarah. “Then be safe. I’ll write you and try to come visit before autumn.”
“Do.” Sarah kissed her best friend on the cheek then waved.
England hadn’t been the second home she’d been looking for. Nowhere seemed to be home. Over Felicia’s shoulder, Sarah noticed a man weaving through the crowd. Unlike the other passengers, he didn’t appear to be making his way to the main gangplank. He surveyed the passengers then hurried to the far end of the dock. She leaned over the railing to see where he’d gone. Drat. She waved at Felicia once more then made her way onto the small ship.
In typical Moyer fashion, her father had sent a massive yacht to bring her and a few of his friends back to America from England. She stood at the railing of The Lady Moyer and waved to the people on the dock. Once again she spotted the dark-haired man from the throng of people. This time, he seemed to be looking right at her. A shiver skated up her spine. He gazed at her like she was a piece of meat, not a lady. She should avert her gaze, but no matter how hard she tried, she continued to watch him.
“Come along to the cabin, Miss Moyer.” Frederick Rourke, her father’s right-hand man, touched her elbow. “It’ll be cold soon.”
She suppressed the urge to snort. She doubted he cared about the weather. Frederick wanted to make sure she finally went home. He probably had a fat finder’s fee waiting on him at port. She sighed and allowed him to escort her to the luxury cabins on the second level of the ship.
“Your father is quite excited about your arrival.” Frederick placed her bag on the armchair. “He’s been making plans for a month.”
“Oh has he?” She rolled her eyes. “Father doesn’t want me home just to see me. He wants to marry me off. Give a nice boy the deed to the house and the money. I can handle myself.” She untied the lace beneath her chin and removed her hat. “I’m shocked he didn’t try to convince you to marry me.”
“He did, Sarah. I refused.” Frederick’s ears turned bright red. He tugged at his collar. “I told him I didn’t fancy you.”
“Oh?” What a relief, she thought. “The rumors must be true. You and Delia are having a fling.”
Excerpt from 'Temptation Released' by Ayla Ruse
“It is so blasted hot,” Lady Elise Clifton complained. She’d stripped down to her chemise and was pacing the cramped cabin, praying for a cool wind to slip through the tiny porthole.
“You could go up on deck, you know,” stated her companion, Brianna. “There’s wind there.”
“I know, but I have to make sure I’m packed. You go on ahead if you want.”
“I might. I’ve watched you go through this bag every day for the past week.” Brianna upended the cloth satchel and repacked it, naming each item as she did so. “Look, you have a pair of slippers, a day dress, a corset with your money sewn in, the breeches and shirt I stole from my brother for you, a brush and ribbons. Same as yesterday. Same as the day before. Nothing’s changed. Besides, if we are attacked, I’m sure the pirates won’t be gentleman like and ask for your luggage.”
“You’re probably right, but if I’m to go through with this—”
“If we’re attacked, that is.”
“Yes, if we’re attacked, then I want to be ready. I’ll not begin my new life empty handed and shy.”
“Like there ever was a shy bone in your body,” Brianna mumbled.
Elise heard and chuckled. “You know me well. And you do know what you’re to do if a pirate comes for us, right?”
“Do exactly what he says.”
“You sure you’ll be all right?”
“Elise, I’m here, aren’t I? I could have stayed in London, but I’m the one you’ve confided in all these past months. I couldn’t let you do this alone.”
Brianna’s brother, Elise had discovered several months ago, was a sailor in the British Navy, and he’d often write to Brianna with tales of the pirates they’d captured or those who had run away. When Elise’s father had determined she move to the colonies, Elise had paid closer attention and latched onto the tales, yearning to live the life of a pirate, a life full of independence.
“I’m this close,” she said, pinching her fingers nearly together, “to having the freedom I want, Brianna.”
“Well, your idea of freedom and mine are two different things. I still say we should have switched places. You could’ve been me and I would’ve assumed your identity. No one on this ship knew us when we boarded and surely no one will know us in the colonies.”
“And you know I wanted to, but my uncle would recognize the falseness in an instant. I told you that my father sent him a portrait of me barely a year past.”
Brianna screamed. “What was that?”
Elise turned to the sound and rushed to the window. “Damn, I can’t see from here. It sounded like a cannon.”
Another shot rang out and Elise spun around. “I bet we’re being attacked,” she said excitedly. “It’s time.”
Elise caught Brianna’s wide-eyed stare and laughed. “Don’t look so aghast. You know this has been my dream for months. With any luck, by nightfall I’ll be onboard the pirate’s ship and, if things continue my way, I’ll be debauched, lying in the captain’s bed and free from marriage.”
“You’re crazy, you know that,” Brianna said, a tremor in her voice. “Remember my brother writing about how violent pirates can be? And smelly? And ugly? You could wind up dead in the pirate’s bed.”
Excerpt from 'The Running Game' by Meg Harding
Fate had it out for Irene.
The ship was rocking beneath her feet, bouncing her like a ball from one spot in her cramped cabin to another. Her stomach roiled and sweat beaded on her temples as she desperately tried to get a grip. The sound of cannon fire and the clash of swords rang around her, filtering through the walls and making her heart race.
Her father’s men had come for her. Or maybe her fiancé’s. Neither was a bright prospect but she wouldn’t be going back, not a chance in hell. If she could just get her bearings she could make her way topside and endeavor to find a way off this godforsaken ship and away. Far, far away. That’s if they didn’t accidentally kill her first.
Really, she wondered, isn’t the fighting all a bit much? Overkill for sure. Stupid men. Her stomach churned something fierce as she was thrown into the bolted to the floor desk, her hip slamming painfully into one sharp edge. Pain shot all through her leg, but she stubbornly pushed away and once again resumed her mission.
Eventually she thought she would make it to the door.
Her skirts swirled around her legs, just adding to her many problems. They twisted and confined and all around made her job harder, tripping her up when she could finally gain some footing.
Not a moment later, the whole ship shuddered and she was thrown violently to her knees. She started to stand, thought for a moment then decided that it couldn’t hurt. So she began to crawl toward the door, hands and knees on the rough wood floor, more stable than on just her two incompetent feet.
She made it to the door. ‘Twas a miracle.
With the knob as a crutch, she hauled herself up and swung it open, tripping her way through and slamming it shut behind her. The hall was narrow, allowing her hands to touch each side with no problem. She used them to pull herself forward and keep from falling right onto her face.
The stairs were much the same, though a little trickier, and she had moments when she thought for sure she was done for and backwards she would go. Thank the Lord that didn’t happen. She just wasn’t in the mood for a tumble.
There wasn’t time.
The shouts grew louder as she came on deck and the noise was quite deafening. Men ran to and fro, swords brandished and yelling unintelligibly. She ignored them. She was trying to remember just where she had seen the extra rafts and thought it might have been in and around the quarter deck.
Off she went, stumbling the whole way and praying that a stray cannon ball wouldn’t take her out. She hadn’t come this far to die.
In the end, it wasn’t a stray cannon ball that took her out. Not even a misplaced sword or knife. It was a ridiculously fat man who propelled himself into her much like a cannon ball would have.
Over she went, her head making nice, hard contact with the wood beneath her and the breath leaving her in an almighty rush. She fluttered her hands against her chest trying to calm the wheezing and bring in air somehow. Her ribs felt tight and she was mildly glad the idiot had managed to land himself a little way away from her. She quite feared that had he landed on her, she would have been squashed.
It took precious time to get her breath back and she was painstakingly trying to make her way to her feet once again when a shadow cast over her. Her eyes slid shut for a moment, allowing all the curses she’d ever heard the men around her utter filter through her mind—turns out there were quite a few.
She did eventually peruse them all, however, and she slid her eyes open, tilted her head back and just stared for a moment.
Then she laughed. She couldn’t help it. Relief poured through her when she saw the fellow in front of her stood in regular clothing, not a uniform. His boots were scuffed and his leggings a dirty tan. Definitely not her father’s nor her fiancé’s man.
“Oh, thank God.” She giggled, relief making her giddy. “I thought you were someone else.”
Wendi Zwaduk is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to BDSM and LGBTQ themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been the runner up in the Kink Category at Love Romances Café as well as nominated at the LRC for best contemporary, best ménage and best anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com and the former AllRomance Ebooks. She also writes under the name of Megan Slayer.
When she’s not writing, she spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice.
You can find out more about Wendi on her website or on her blog. You can also find her on Instagram, Bookbub and Amazon.
Handed a historical romance at the age of twelve, Ayla Ruse fell in love with love and with happy endings. Having grown up living life tasting a little of this and a little of that has not changed this attitude, but it's expanded her views. Love isn't always happy and it isn't always the way a person ?thinks it should be.? Sometimes it's outside the box, and it's always a challenge.
The challenge of finding and holding onto this love is what drives Ayla in her fiction. She likes stories that strip love ? among other things - down to the skin and tests the attachment and beliefs of the participants. Sometimes that test can come in the form of multiple partners, overcoming a desperate fear or even being sexually inventive.
Meg Harding is a senior at UCF, currently studying psychology in the hope of becoming a couple's counselor. For as long as she can remember, writing has always been her passion, but she had an inability to ever actually finish anything until recently. She's immensely happy that her inability has fled and looks forward to where her mind will take her next.
You can follow Meg on Twitter.