Title: The Pirate Rogue
Author: Anna Markland
Genre: Historical Romance
Capitán Santiago Velázquez falls afoul of the Spanish Inquisition after a disgruntled lover falsely accuses him of perverse tendencies. Forced to flee to the Americas, he follows in the footsteps of his pirate ancestor and plunders ships the length and breadth of the Spanish Main. Captured by the Spanish governor of Florida in the last days of the Seven Years War with the British, he agrees to attack Royal Navy vessels under the aegis of Letters of Marque. In exchange, he secures a pardon for himself and his crew.
Valentina Melchor is trapped in St. Augustine with her father, the governor, when Florida is ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Paris.
The turmoil caused by the end of the war is Santiago’s opportunity to flee, but he risks his life and his ship to rescue Valentina, despite his resolve to never trust a woman again.
A high seas adventure set in the political mire that was the end of the Seven Years War in the Americas, “The Pirate Rogue” is a fast-paced, stand-alone adventure full of action, intrigue, and passion. This tale nicely balances the instant passion felt by the lead characters with the action-packed tension of the war ending. The plot flows and engages the reader from beginning to end. Overall, fans of pirates, intrigue, and page burning attraction will want to give read this book.
Bahía Escondida, Cuba, Summer 1762
Santiago supposed it was an uncharacteristic overindulgence in Cuban rum that had led to the giddy feeling making his head spin. But a man was allowed to celebrate two years since his fall from grace, wasn’t he?
Sprawled at the foot of the Santa María’s mainmast, he looked up to the stars spangling the night sky. On the long voyage across the Atlantic, not a single star had appeared in the cloudy night skies. If he’d been a superstitious man, he might have seen that as an omen of things to come once they arrived in Cuba.
“I discovered two things about this far-flung outpost of Spain,” he confessed to his first mate.
Christian took a swig of rum then went back to whittling.
“Man of few words,” Santiago mumbled. “That’s what I like about you.”
In truth, there were many things he admired about Christian Williams. Thousands of slaves from British and French possessions had fled to Spanish colonies, lured by the promise of freedom and citizenship. Christian was the only one who had sought out Bahía Escondida, the pirate hideaway on Cuba’s southern coast. Santiago had trusted the taciturn black man from their first meeting. The Jamaican had never betrayed his trust even when they’d got themselves into some risky situations.
“Two things,” Christian reminded him.
Santiago closed his eyes, trying to concentrate. “First, generous as my father’s gift was, it didn’t go very far and most of it was gone by the time I arrived in La Habana.”
Speaking of his father was painful. The man he respected more than any other in the world had died shortly after Santiago’s flight. When he received the news three months after the event, he blamed himself and carried his guilt around for months. Emilio was an intelligent, capable brother who would continue the success of the family business, but Santiago seethed that he had forfeited his birthright thanks to a conniving, vengeful woman.
“Second, it’s a sad truth that a man with nothing but sorrow in his heart cannot build up a shipping empire in a foreign country from scratch with no money and one ship.”
His failure to accomplish something he’d thought would be easy had been a sharp reminder that he wasn’t the man his father had been.
“And third,” Christian said, still whittling.
Santiago chuckled, which led to a fit of hiccups. “I’ve obviously told you this story before.”
Santiago eventually managed to hold up three fingers. “Third, too many rich and powerful Spaniards had taken control of the shipping industry here. They weren’t interested in allowing an upstart from Andalucía to make inroads.”
He still had the bruises to prove it, but he’d survived and decided the only way to prosper was to emulate the pirate ancestor he’d never stopped thinking about on the voyage across the Atlantic—when he wasn’t busy plotting Salomé’s demise.
Three hundred years before, Santiago Paredes had made his fortune plundering vessels in the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel aboard his ship the Santa María, the same name as Santiago’s ship. That was a good omen.
What better way to seek revenge on the country that had betrayed him than to steal from Spanish ships carrying goods and gold to and from the colonies scattered the length and breadth of the Spanish Main.
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Doing the research and writing happy endings.
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Be honest with yourself and your partner.
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As an amateur genealogist (aka an addict of family tree research) I became obsessed with tracing my English roots back to the Norman Conquest in the 11th century.
This turned out to be a pipe dream since I am not descended from the nobility and records were not kept for "common folks" until much later. Even then, early parish records are often indecipherable.
As a result, I began to write stories about a noble medieval family I conjured from my imagination. The Montbryces were born.
Like many people, I had an inner compulsion to write one good book. What was originally intended as that one book about my fictional family eventually became the 12-book series, The Montbryce Legacy.
In other words, writing superseded genealogy as my principal addiction, and I have since published more than 60 novels and novellas. Almost all are historical romances that feature, Vikings, Highlanders, medieval knights or Regency earls. You can find more details on my website https://annamarkland.com/
I've lived most of my life in Canada, though I was born in the UK. An English grammar school education instilled in me a love of European history which continues to this day. While I may boast of being a proud Canadian, I'm still a Lancashire lass at heart.
Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an elementary school teacher, a job I loved. I then worked as administrator for a world-wide disaster relief organization.
I love cats, although I haven't been able to bring myself to adopt another one since unexpectedly losing Topaz a few years ago.
I have few domestic skills. You'll notice most of my heroines hate sewing!
I try to follow three simple writing guidelines. I give my characters free rein to tell their story, which often turns out to be different from the original version in my head. I'm a firm believer in love at first sight. My protagonists may initially deny the attraction but, eventually, my heroes and heroines find their soul mates. It seems only natural then to include scenes of intimacy enjoyed by people who love each other deeply. I believe such intimacy is wholesome. Historical accuracy is important to me, although I have been known to tweak history when necessary. I write romance because I find happy endings very satisfying.
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