Title The Pirate’s Jewel
Author Ruth A. Casie
Genre Medieval Romance, Pirate
Publisher Dragonblade Press
Deception and family honor are at stake – so is her heart.
Wesley Reynolds will do anything to avenge his family’s banishment from Dundhragon Castle even throw in with the notorious pirate, MacAlpin. His plan, ruin Lord Ewan’s trading network. He has a more devious plan for his father’s ‘best friend,’ the man who abandoned them at the eleventh hour. He’ll ruin the man’s most precious jewel, his daughter Darla. Wesley’s so close to ruining the trade network and succeeding he can almost taste it, but revenge is not nearly as sweet as Darla’s kisses.
Darla Maxwell, beloved by her parents has no prospects of marriage. Her father and Lord Ewan search to find her the right husband. Darla’s special gifts are frightening to many. She has visions that often come true. The murky image of a man haunts her, she’s sure it’s Lord Ewan’s soon-to-be son-in-law, but the vision morphs when she meets Wesley. The meaning couldn’t be any clearer to her, her destiny lies with Wesley.
When revelations surface indicating Wesley has been deceived and his revenge misplaced. Will he find the truth of what really happened to his family in time to stop the pirates? Will Darla ever forgive him? Will he ever forgive himself?
A prickly sensation ran across Wesley’s back. Before he lifted his head from whispering to Therese, thanking her for the pearl, he knew Darla stared at him.
“What is it?” Therese asked as she turned and followed his gaze. “Who was that?”
“I don’t think she’s too happy.” Therese pulled her shawl around her.
He hardly made out her words. Before he realized he was going after Darla he was halfway up the lane.
What was she doing, spying on him? When he got a hold of her, he would tell her a thing or two. He rounded the corner and hurried up the lane.
There. Her body shifted and he noticed someone with her. Who was she talking to?
Wesley got a good look. Justin. The man’s clothes were stained, his hair greasy. His sunken eyes were threaded with scarlet so densely they appeared pink.
“Look who’s here. The witch.”
Darla didn’t move. She didn’t flinch.
Curses fell from Wesley’s lips as he raced forward.
“Come on. Leave her alone.” Justin’s friend pulled on his arm, but Justin wiggled out of his hold.
“Are you afraid of a little spell? I tell you all we need is a little of her blood, dab it around the boat, and we’ll be protected. You can’t back down now. You hold her and grab that little pouch around her waist she’s so fond of. I’m told she always carries it.” Justin took out his knife and waved it at her.
“As above so below. As within so without,” Darla chanted with her hands raised and fingers stretched pointing to them. “Let me see, how to finish the curse. I can make you into toads. No, that won’t do. You’d give the little creatures a bad name. Something more particular to you.”
She looked at the sky and tapped her finger on her cheek. The two men bounced from one foot to the other and grew paler by the minute.
“Ah yes. I can make your ballocks fall off. Of course, I’m not proficient with this spell, so you’ll never know when it will happen, when you bathe, relieve yourself, or other more intimate times.”
A well-practiced evil grin spread across her face that left no doubt she enjoyed the torment she inflicted. She stretched her arms and flexed her fingers reaching toward the two men.
“Yes, that will do.”
Justin’s friend took off running down the lane. Darla lowered her arms.
“Oh, what a pity, your friend has left you and the curse is specifically for two people.” Her brow wrinkled. “Ah, but I’m sure I can refocus it all on you.”
Darla raised her hands again. This time she pointed at Justin’s crotch. Her expression turned intense as she glared at him. The drunk squirmed. His eyes lit with fear. Slowly, he lowered his knife.
Wesley took advantage of the man’s preoccupation and worked his way behind him. As soon as he was in place he tapped the drunk on the shoulder.
Justin gave a small yelp. When he turned, Wesley threw a right fist across his chin and laid him flat. Satisfied the man was out, he marched over to Darla and grabbed her hand.
“Where are you going? What were you thinking? And what is this nonsense about casting a spell?”
“You sound like my father. In what order do you want me to answer those questions?”
Her angry tone startled him. Did she think she could stop Justin’s attack with words?
“What I do is none of your concern.”
A man just threatened her life and it was none of his concern? She turned to move on.
He caught her elbow and hauled her around to face him. Her anger was evident, but he wasn’t sure if it was due to what she witnessed between him and Therese or his action with Justin. She stared at him and said nothing. He didn’t move. He could be just as obstinate.
She shook her hand free of his grip.
“He thought I was a witch so I obliged him.” She stormed away, heading toward Leo’s cottage.
“One minute, I’m not done.” He caught up with her.
“Ballock,” Wesley’s voice was low. “What do you know about, about that?”
She stopped so abruptly he bumped into her.
“It’s a man’s most valued possession. Threatening that would make him reconsider his actions.” She moved on.
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RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of historical swashbuckling action-adventures and contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. Her stories feature strong women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. She lives in New Jersey with her hero, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and vice president at an international bank where she was a product/ marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance. She hopes her stories become your favorite adventures. For more information, please visit RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.
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