Title: Captured by the Pirate Laird, Book 1 of the Highland Force Series
Author: Amy Jarecki
Genre: Historical Medieval Romances
Story Setting: England, Portsmouth, and Rassay, 1559
Published By: Rapture Books Published
Date: January 18, 2014
Program Type: Audiobook
Length: 11 hours, 16 minutes
Narrator: Paul Woodson
Production By: Amy Jarecki
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Book Synopsis: Wed by proxy to a baron old enough to be her grandfather, Lady Anne trudges up the gangway of a galleon that will deliver her into the arms of a tyrant. Crestfallen, she believes her disastrous life cannot get worse—until she awakes to the blasts of cannon fire. Facing certain death, Anne trembles in her stateroom while swords clash and the chilling screams of battle rage on the deck above. When a rugged Highlander kicks in her door, she prays for a swift end. But Laird Calum MacLeod has a reason for plundering the ship—and it’s not a stunning English lass. With no other choice, he takes Anne to his crumbling keep on the isle of Raasay and sends a letter of ransom to her husband. In time, Anne grows to understand MacLeod’s plight and finds it increasingly difficult to resist Calum’s unsettling charm—until the baron sends a reply agreeing to terms. Ripped from passion that will be forever seared into their souls, will Anne and Calum risk everything for love?
My Thoughts: The story itself was an excellent one. This is the first book I’ve read from Amy Jarecki. She engaged me from the first few pages. Her choice of words depicting the scene only engrossed me further. I absolutely KNOW when I’m so drawn in, the author has the right of it. She smoothly moves from scene to scene with plenty of action, suspense and with a swoonable alpha hero, keeping me flipping the pages, however I ‘read’ it by audiobook.
I loved the fact that the Laird Calum MacLeod didn’t want to be a pirate, but to save his clan from starvation he did what he had to do. Wouldn’t we all do that if we were honorable? He was quite an honor-bound man. He would not take a woman not his, even when it was offered him. He was duty-bound to his clan, and would not have them starve the winter. The English had taken MUCH from his Highland neighbors. As far as he was concerned, they needed to stay in England where they belonged.
But with his determination to save his clan he found his destiny, the Lady Anne, Baroness to Lord Walton. Having captured and plundered the Flying Swan, he found the lady within the captain’s cabin.
Lady Anne, even though married by proxy to a baron almost three times her age, and still a virgin, she found herself face to face with the most amazing masculine specimen she had seen in her life. Yes, my friends, she had encountered our alpha hero Laird Calum MacLeod. She was drawn to the Laird as he was to her.
You could say that the Laird was an honorable pirate. He took what he had to and restrained himself when it was only for his own benefit. (What man can do that?) Our fair Lady Anne, saw life a bit differently and here we have the tug of war between what is honorable, what is right, and what is absolutely necessary to keep breathing and living.
This was a wonderfully exciting story and made more so by the excellent narrator Paul Woodson. When a male voice reads dialog for a woman, most are able to carry it well. Paul Woodson, in my opinion, takes it further. Women, not only speak differently than men, but think differently. As Paul was narrating what was going through Anne’s head, he kept me within character, using the cadence of speech that depicts a woman’s thoughts. I was quite impressed. And…completely captivated.
Paul got inside the heads of the main characters with this thrilling tale. He WAS Anne, he WAS the Laird. His voice only enhanced this exciting story as the emotional tone of the characters flowed exquisitely through the telling.
I love connecting with authors and narrators who make a great team in producing an audiobook. Narrator Paul Woodson records, edits, and master audiobooks commissioned by authors and publishers through Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX). He’s been an AEA and SAG actor for almost 20 years, with most of his work in Theater. He studied theater at Boston University’s BFA program with work in classical theater, dialect and vocal training. When he was a lad (love that word) his family lived in England where his father did graduate work at Cambridge. I asked Paul how he had such great accents in this reading. His answer was thus:
“Perhaps the immersion at a young age, plus my frequent portrayal of Englishmen and Scotsmen has kept my dialects sharp over the years.”
Here is a wonderful partial list of his accomplishments he shares with us. http://home.earthlink.net/~mistermoose18/Pages/DramaticResume2014.pdf
He has narrations of 23 books presently on Amazon. If you are a medieval romance historical romance reader, check out his narrations of books from Ceci Giltenan and Lily Baldwin. If any of my author friends need a narrator who speaks French and German among other talents, seek him out.
About the Author: Amy loves Scotland! She holds an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and now resides in Southwest Utah with her husband where she predominantly writes historical romance.
Amy is the president of the Heritage Writers Guild, and a member of the Celtic Hearts Chapter of the Romance Writers of America and lectures on writing topics.
Amy’s first published novel, now titled Boy Man Chief, won the League of Utah Writers award for Best Manuscript, and the St. George Spark Book Award. Since then, she has won many other writing awards. Her novels, Captured by the Pirate Laird, The Highland Henchman and Beauty and the Barbarian achieved bestseller status on Amazon’s Scottish Historical Romance genre list.