The Pirate's Heart
What's a pirate captain's daughter to do when she inherits a ship - and finds that the crew have other ideas about her taking over? Nancy Black dreams up a plan to become the new captain of the Briar Rose. But there's one man who's intent on standing in her way: her old enemy, Heath, who has declared himself captain. Will their reluctant sexual attraction overcome their differences? More
What's a pirate captain's daughter to do when she inherits a ship - and finds that the crew have other ideas about her taking over? Fortunately, Nancy Black is as smart and resourceful as she is gorgeous, and she soon dreams up a plan to become the new captain of the Briar Rose. But there's one man who's intent on standing in her way: her old enemy, Heath, who has declared himself captain. Will their reluctant sexual attraction to each other overcome their differences and allow them to work together?
Advisory: This 10,500-word erotic romance is the first in the Briar Rose series. Contains explicit sexual material and is not suitable for under-18s.
So it was with a flood of memories surging back that I surveyed the polished wooden table. Heath stood facing me, his expression inscrutable. This unsettled me, and I would almost have preferred that he was openly angry.
Eventually he spoke.
"Nicely played, Nancy. I must admit you took me by surprise. I guess I knew in my heart that you would not take your humiliation lightly, but stowing away takes some guts."
"Heath, we have been friends before and I am sure we will be again, but business is business. And the Briar Rose is more than business for me: she is my home. I would not let an enemy steal her from me, and even less a friend."
"And how about a husband?" His tone was lighter now, and I could see that he was teasing me. "Technically a husband cannot steal from his wife because she is his property and anything she owns becomes his."
"If you believe I am lesser than you because I am a wench..."
My tone was less friendly now. Talk such as this made me flare up. My Dada had brought me up to believe I was every bit as good as the men, and I hated to be challenged in this way.
"I am not talking about what I believe," he replied, "But in what the law believes. I admit it was a low blow to try and use the law to subdue you, but you asked for it when you came flouncing into the tavern assuming all the men would follow you. What do you think would have happened to me if you had won and I had disagreed with you?"
"I would have sacked you, of course. A captain cannot have on the ship a crew member who openly foments dissent and mutiny."
"That's my Nancy," he said admiringly. "Of course you are right, and of course you must see why I fought my corner."
"But you did not have to humiliate me like that in front of the men," I whispered, tears pricking the back of my eyes. "You played a clever hand and you won the battle. But I intend to win the war. It was a mockery too far, offering to marry me like that."
He looked surprised and I tried not to be distracted by his noble profile as he turned to stare out of the porthole. The firm line of his jaw and his straight nose made me think of the paintings of ancient gods that my father had shown me in some of the books that he kept locked away.
Eventually he turned around, and spoke through clenched teeth as though he were admitting something he did not want to say.
"Nancy, when I offered to marry you, I was not teasing you or mocking you, and neither did I say that in order to lay my hands legally on the Briar Rose. I would have happily sailed as an indentured captain and paid you your dues. There is no woman in the world whom I would rather marry."