The Sublime and Spirited Voyage of Original Sin
By Colette Moody
Pub: Bold Strokes Books
Buy it Amazon, B&N, ARe
The Gulf of Mexico, 1702: When pirates of the square-rigger Original Sin steal ashore to abduct a doctor to tend to their wounded, they end up settling for the doctor’s attractive fiancée—Celia Pierce, the town seamstress.
Together with Gayle Malvern, daughter of wounded pirate captain “Madman” Malvern, Celia becomes a reluctant participant in an unexpectedly thrilling journey through the Caribbean. For Gayle, Celia’s presence is at first a welcome and shapely distraction, but as her attraction to the seamstress deepens, she realizes that Celia comes to mean more to her than is almost certainly prudent. As Celia and Gayle navigate the perilous territories of gypsies, prostitutes, mercenaries, and slave-traders, they forge a partnership born of necessity that Gayle soon hopes will veer away from insurmountable danger—and instead detour directly to her bed.
This was such fun book to read! It seems really that most lesbian romances are contemporaries, so to read a story set in the 1700’s wherein the characters aren’t the typical of that time as well was a definite treat.
What I liked: Both of the main characters, Gayle and Celia are adventurous and strong. While Gayle has grown up on her father’s pirate ship and is used to the life of being a pirate, she’s tough enough to step up to the plate and has a good head on her shoulders for leading her crew and doing what’s best for the ship.
Gayle also has no compunction about killing other pirates from other ships who are evil incarnate and she’s quite aggressive about going after what’s hers. And while she won’t do nefarious things that other pirates are doing like slave trading, she sort of accepts that these things go on and will do what she can to stop it if it’s something that’s been requested of her. So she’s a juicy mix of heart and ruthlessness, which made her a much more compelling character than the usual.
Celia is an interesting character in that while she’s grown up as the daughter of a well to do man living a comfortable life in Florida, instead of craving a life of having continued creature comforts, she’s so open to any new adventure. In fact, she ponders how dull life will be with her betrothed, a doctor who doesn’t even get her subtle sarcasm about how less than thrilled she is to be with him.
After getting whisked away (kidnapped essentially) by Gayle and crew in need of a doctor, she’s intrigued and turned on by this unique, dynamic woman who’s the captain of a pirate ship and whose romantic preference is for women.
Celia also has no qualms about jumping when needed to fight for the ship and their lives even if she’s less inclined to get into scuffles if she doesn’t need to.
I thought their romance was a bit subdued, but their romantic and sexual dance was sexy and playful. They came across as a couple who definitely complement each other as well as enjoy the hell out of each other, both being game for anything.
The odd assortment of other characters: pirates, port shop keepers, family members are wild and colorful and added so much to this story. I also thought this pirate world, the ship, the towns, and situations were very descriptive and gave me vivid idea of what this world looked like.
What I didn’t like: there wasn’t much I disliked about this book at all. But one thing bothered me throughout the book and that was the constant reference to potential rape by gross, filthy, disgusting, violent men. Of course that was a reality. And I can imagine that the rare women who managed to be on a pirate ship would be a constant target of sex starved men. But still, it was brought up constantly and from many different situations. I kept imagining the worst case scenario even if it never happened. Even the thought of those women who were prostitutes willingly having sex with those men made me gag a bit. So for some reason my mind got distracted with that often while reading this book.
The Sublime and Spirited Voyage of Original Sin is a great read none the less and for the unique setting in lesbian it’s definitely worth reading. There’s tons of action, it moves quickly and there’s never a dull moment. Even when the women are getting to know each other, there’s always some excitement in the air.
Heat level: 3-4 some sexual situations not too graphically written but still spelled out. Heh