It's me, your friendly neighborhood pirate lover, coming at you with another pirate book review! If you like pirates, enemies to lovers, and some good old fashion romance, then this historical fiction/adventure standalone by Pam Godwin is definitely up your alley!
Bennett Sharp is on the run.
Wanted for piracy, she fears neither God nor death nor man.
Except Priest Farrell.
The unfaithful, stormy-eyed libertine hunts her with terrifying possessiveness. Nothing will stop him from coming for her. Not his unforgivable betrayal. Not when she’s captured by the ice-cold pirate hunter, Lord Ashley Cutler.
She must escape Ashley’s prison and Priest’s deceit. But can she walk away from their twisted desires?
Two gorgeous captains stand on opposite sides of the law. When they collide in a battle to protect her, the lines blur between enemies and lovers.
Passion heats, secrets unravel, and hearts entangle until they break.
Can love prevail in the sea of ruin?
CW: Sexual assault, non-consensual sexual activity, violence, torture
"Love isn't a decision. It arrives unannounced, breeds madness, and leaves a sea of ruin in its wake."
Talk about enemies to lovers.... oh my goodness. This book was FANTASTIC.
This a deliciously gritty and violent historical fiction standalone. It follows Bennett, the daughter of a notorious pirate, and notorious in her own right, while she flees from Priest, a violent pirate who broke her heart, only to fall in the hands of Lord Ashley Cutler, a Royal Navy pirate hunter. It only goes downhill from there. Bennett knows love... and loss.
Bennett reminds me of Elizabeth Swan in At World's End. She's ruthless and cunning. She doesn't care for aristocracy or for societal rules. To her, they are hypocrites. To her, the seas are her domain.
Bennett has a type, and that type is handsome and dangerous. She fell in love with Priest, only to have him stomp on her heart. No she's running from him as he desperately wants her back. She gets captured by Ashley, who intrigues her in a way she didn't know was possible.
This story is raw and violent. Bennett is a survivor and has to endure repeated sexual assault at the hands of a fellow violent pirate (not Priest, don't worry). A woman in a pirate's world, Bennett does whatever it takes to survive. No matter what.
This story follows pirates. In the 1700s. Sex does happen. Lots of sex. Lots of explicit sex. Some of it is non-consensual (she gets tortured...she's a woman pirate...). The majority of it is consensual. Please keep this in mind and please be warned. There are parts of this book that are uncomfortable to read. However, they build Bennett's character and she wouldn't be who she is without enduring and surviving these tragedies.
The first 5-6 chapters are slow...very slow. I almost gave up on it, honestly. Keep pushing through. It does pick up, and it doesn't ever let you go again. There is a happily ever after and plot twists you wouldn't even dream of. Like the quote says, love isn't a decision. And this book made me fall in love.
There's a lot of pirate books out there. Even more enemies-to-lovers books out there. This book takes those themes and throws them out the window and stomps on them a few times for good measure. This is not a predictable book by any stretch of the imagination.
Sea of Ruin is a standalone novel. While I wish with all my heart I could read more about these characters, the story is wrapped up nicely in the one book. If you're in Australia, there is a prequel available called King of Libertines. Sadly, this prequel is only available to those living in Australia as part of a limited time romance anthology.
I highly recommend this book. If you like love triangles, enemies to lovers, pirate adventures, and strong, resilient female characters, this book is definitely worth a read.
If you've read this, let's chat about it!
Thanks for reading!