Bad Boys Ahoy!
Bad Boys Ahoy! is pretty much what you should expect from the long running Brava series. It is fun, fast and full of the other f-word I don’t think the filters will let me use. In fact this might be a little more sex than the typical Bad Boy reader is used to, but Sylvia Day manages to introduce the series to an historical period, turn up the steam, all the while offering the reader actual character growth.
It is always difficult to write a completely rounded anthology. Since Bad Boys Ahoy! features three interwoven stories and occurs over a four-year period, we are given the opportunity to see some characters change. If you are looking for a meaty historical, you are on the wrong review, otherwise, stay with me.
- by Sylvia Day
Grade : B- Sensuality : Burning
Stolen Pleasures starts our journey with a great plot twist. Instead of the pirate kidnapping his soon to be sister-in-law or most hated enemy's fiancee, he ends up with his own wife, the one he had no idea he had. I am short on knowledge regarding marriage-by-proxy in the British West Indies in 1813, but I didn't stop to consider the logic of it until after I finished the book, which means - right or wrong - it works.
Finding out the dreaded pirate Captain Phoenix, is really Sebastian Blake, Earl of Merrick, is unsurprising. Sebastian is the least bad boy in the book and the only uber pirate. He has spent the last five years terrorizing the high seas, only killing when he has to and wouldn't dream of rape. Of course it wouldn't be rape, since he is a master of seduction but really things get a little wild a little quickly with him and his virgin bride.
Having read Sylvia Day's ebooks, I expected the high level of sensuality in the story, so the part at sea, while full of idioms, was fun. It got annoying when the hero reacted like a baby near the end. But the reader is won back with how Olivia handles his behavior.
- by Sylvia Day
Grade : A- Sensuality : Burning
The characters in Lucien's Gamble were my favorites, and this is the best of the anthology's three stories. Chronologically I believe this story ought to have come first, although we are introduced to its characters in a scene at the end of Stolen Pleasures.
Lucien is a rake, a rake rake...not a fake rake. Women all over London are ready to fall into his bed and he gives them directions. He is the bastard son of a duke and a courtesan and the wealthy owner of a popular club. After Lucien sees Lady Julienne La Coeur across a crowded room, he can't get her out of his mind. So he does what any good rake would do, tries to work her out of his system with other women and extends a huge line of credit to her younger, very irresponsible, selfish, bother Hugh. Any good rake knows a note a debt can come in handy.
The story is nothing new, and historically speaking, Julienne's actions should ruin her. Who cares? Not me...I loved this story. Julienee is too outspoken, spends her free time reading Hugh's erotica, manages to stay overnight in a gentleman's club, spends time alone with Lucien, and visits Lucien's famous demimondaine mother even though she knows she must marry money to dig her family out of debt. At twenty it is clear Julienne runs the roost, not her fifty-year-old aunt, who raised Julienne and Hugh for the last ten years. It is also clear that Hugh has done nothing but play while Julienne has cleaned. And now she must marry some man she won't want for money to once again fix Hugh's mess. But she is tired and wants Lucien, so where she would never make the "choice" to not do her duty, being ruined by accident would clear that up. And it is wonderfully fun to watch a rake be turned inside out.
Her Mad Grace
- by Sylvia Day
Grade : B Sensuality : Burning
The last story, Her Mad Grace, takes place in 1814 - four years after Lucien and Julienne's story but only one year after Sebastian and Olivia's. Hugh La Coeur, Earl of Montrose, a very young Earl in his mid-twenties is once again wealthy having been taken under the wing of his brother-in-law. On his way to visit his sister Julienne, Hugh has a carriage accident and is taken in by the near-ruined home belong to a rumored "mad" duchess.
Hugh misses something he really should have caught onto right away, but he is completely turned inside out by Charlotte, the duchess's companion. And not only is he behaving out of character for him, he knows it. Hugh admits both to himself and to Charlotte that his unselfish concern, unquenchable desire, and admiration for another person is not typical for him.
Charlotte is the first of the heroines to be sexually experienced and she isn't ashamed of it or her desire for Hugh. She isn't a martyr, she made her choices, understands life, and accepts her responsibilities. Charlotte is a great heroine and a breath of fresh air until she hits her TSTL moment and holds Hugh's past against him when he didn't do the same. That last odd misunderstanding and breakdown between them, caused by the one person they both knew would hurt Charlotte if he could, makes no sense and the story could have done without it. But the final scene does show how much Hugh changed and it's amusing to watch the woman have the grovel scene for a change.