Captain of My Heart by @karla_kratovil is a Beach Reads pick #historicalromance #beachread #giveaway
Title: Captain of My Heart
Author: Karla Kratovil
Genre: Historical Romance
The Gentleman Spy…
As a favor for the pirate who once saved his life, jaded sea captain Jack Aston agrees to ferry the man’s outspoken daughter from Nassau to England. While her spirit and daring captivate him, he must keep the petite spitfire at arm’s length or risk her becoming embroiled in his latest mission for the crown.
The Pirate’s Daughter…
Vivian Jamieson is not happy being shipped off to England to visit her aunts, even if it is to protect her from her father’s enemies. She may be a fish out of water in the London ballrooms but she’s a natural at espionage. Together she and Jack track down a traitor and battle a murderous pirate. As Vivian unravels Jack’s secrets one by one, she is determined to convince this reluctant hero to let go of his past and realize he is already the captain of her heart.
Later that night, Clarkson came to relieve him at the wheel for the night shift. Jack headed down to the galley to grab something to eat before going to his cabin. As he came down the passageway, an outburst of raucous laughter rang out from the galley, followed by a string of creative curses muttered in the deep Irish brogue of David Kelly. He swung through the door to the galley and all the laughter died.
Several of his men were standing around the large table. In the chairs, playing cards, sat Kelly, Old Tom, Cooke, and Miss Jamieson. Jack blinked, but there was no mistaking those pale blond curls. She grinned from ear to ear with a large pile of beans on the table in front of her.
“Miss Jamieson?” he barked. “What’s happening in here?”
“She is beating us handily at cribbage, that’s what’s going on.” Cooke explained.
“I swear she’s cheatin’, but I can’t figure how,” muttered Kelly.
“I’m not cheating, but I do know how.” She gave Kelly a cheeky wink.
“Naw, she doesn’t need to cheat. The girl’s a natural. Never seen her lose except to her pappy. Of course, he’s the one who taught her how to play…and how to cheat,” Old Tom chimed in.
It was the most the man had spoken in the past ten days. Jack shifted his attention back to Miss Jamieson. She sat perfectly at ease in the galley, surrounded by a bunch of sailors, and beating them handily at cribbage.
“Good evening, Captain,” she said. “Hungry?” “Um, yes, I missed dinner.”
“I’ll get something put together right quick for you, sir.” Cooke jumped up at once.
“Well, gentlemen, that’s my cue to leave. I must get abed.” Miss Jamieson stood and gave a quick curtsy.
“Wait, I’ll walk you back to your cabin. Cooke, send Johnny with the food to my cabin.” Jack ushered her through the door then swept the room with a disapproving look. He hoped it expressed what he thought of them inviting a young lady to spend the evening gambling with them in the galley.
Jack followed Miss Jamieson from where the galley lay in the bow of the ship past the stalls which held barrels filled with food staples, and fresh water. As they passed the cages of live chickens, he could hear the rustling of feathers as the light from his lantern disturbed their sleep. Miss Jamieson made soothing, shushing noises and the birds settled down.
“The ladder is twenty feet ahead, to the right.” He directed.
She didn’t have any trouble navigating through the maze of hammocks as they passed through the crew bunks. At the end of the row, she turned to the right and began to climb the ladder.
“Miss Jamieson, I think it would be wise if you would stick to the upper decks and the companionship of Miss Beaumont in the future.” He held his light high so the ladder’s rungs were well illuminated.
Miss Jamieson paused halfway to stare down at him. “Why?”
She began to climb again, and he scaled the ladder behind her, admiring the view of her trouser-clad legs. “Because you are an attractive woman and your safety is my duty on this journey.”
“Don’t be silly. Tom would never let anything happen to me.”
As he gained the landing, Miss Jamieson look amused. He moved closer to her, purposely crowding her against the wall. “And where is he now?”
She smelled of lavender and seawater. Why that would be so intoxicating, he didn’t know, but he found he could not step back. Instead, he bent down to speak softly in her ear, “Who will stop me from taking liberties in this dark hallway?” He felt her quick intake of breath. Trailing a hand down her arm, he took hold of her wrist and pinned it behind her back.
Her other hand pushed against his chest as she panicked. Perhaps now she would realize that on a ship full of sailors, bad things could happen. His crew was a good lot, and knew not to cross their captain but still she needed to be cautious. He leaned back to look down at her face but found she didn’t look frightened at all. Eyebrows raised, the corner of her mouth turned up in a half smile.
“Captain, if you are trying to teach me some sort of lesson, you have miscalculated. Did you not just say my safety was your duty?” Her hand gave the front of his jacket a little pat.
He dropped her wrist and took a step back. Damn it, he had just said that. She grinned up at him, and he found himself returning her smile. Taking her elbow, he escorted her down the hallway to her cabin.
In a last attempt to drive his point home he asked, “Wouldn’t Miss Wilmma-hoo find playing cards with a bunch of sailors to be unseemly?”
They came to a stop outside her cabin door. “Well, I am not in London yet. So I will take my amusements where I can have them. Goodnight, Captain.” Turning the knob, she disappeared inside.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Apple Books – https://tinyurl.com/rtdfy3m
Kobo - https://tinyurl.com/vvcay5k
Goodreads - https://tinyurl.com/y8hz6ua7
Why is your featured book a must-read?
Captain of My Heart is a low angst story about a sexy, reserved sea captain and the sunshine that comes busting into his life in the form of a sassy pirate’s daughter. If you’re looking for a delightful distraction from the craziness that is 2020, this is the book for you!
Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 51 books featured in the Beach Reads Bookish Event:
Runs July 17 – 22, 2020.
Winner will be drawn on July 30, 2020.
From the time she read fairytales as a child, Karla was hooked on stories that ended in Happily Ever After. She was fourteen when she read her first romance and discovered there was a whole genre that celebrated the HEA. Karla writes sexy historical romance with strong, spirited heroines and flawed heroes with hearts of gold.
When she is not reading or writing, she is cheering on, applauding, or chauffeuring around her two kids. She lives in Virginia with her very own hero, her children, and two adorable pups.
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