DARK FANTASY ROMANCE
The Captain's Revenge eBook
The Captain's Revenge eBook
Seas of Caladhan Book 2
The thrilling sequel to the dark fantasy romance debut, The Syren's Mutiny.
Caelum and the crew must begrudgingly team up with the syrens to save Brigid from the clutches of their former queen. But will Brigid be able to hold on long enough for them to reach her? With some unexpected help along the way... The captain will have his revenge. No matter what it costs him.
The price for vengeance must always be paid… No matter what.
Caelum may have stopped his father, but in the process, he lost more than he’d ever planned.
The syren who had slowly been winning his heart over was gone, taken by the very woman she once owed her life to, and Caelum was now wanted for his father’s murder. In the chaos of the aftermath, Caelum must deal with his grief, and with the other syrens, who only seem determined to make his life more difficult as he searches for Brigid.
Brigid is in agony. As if watching her best friend die in front of her wasn’t enough, she’d been ripped beneath the waves and brought to pay penance to the goddess she’d once sworn fealty to. But the syren queen seems determined to never cease her torture, not until Brigid has paid for her sins in blood.
Resigning herself that she will never see the man she’d given up everything for, Brigid retreats into herself. The only way to endure the wrath of the syren queen is to shut down and silently hope that someone would come for her. But Brigid knows better than to hope. And her body is quickly giving out.
When whispers of a mysterious witch with the ability to grant any wish reach Caelum, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get Brigid back, including giving up that which he holds most dear. And so, the syrens and the crew set off on the dangerous journey to the south to find anything that will lead them to Brigid.
But nothing worth having ever comes easy, and neither Caelum or Brigid have ever backed down from a challenge.
The Captain’s Revenge is the thrilling conclusion to the slow-burn new adult fantasy romance duology, pulling you beneath the waves and into a Celtic mythology inspired world of do-good pirates, cunning syrens, and action-packed adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Dive beneath the seas of Caladhan and discover your next romantic fantasy read!
- Descriptive violence (throughout)
- Descriptive torture (chapters 2, 5, 8, 11, 15, 18, 21, 23)
- Moderate blood/gore (chapters 2, 5, 8, 11, 15, 18, 21 ,23, 24, 25, 26, 40, 49, 50)
- Explicit death/murder (chapters 21, 49, 50)
- Explicit dismemberment (chapter 50)
- Brief and non-explicit references to child kidnapping and deaths (chapters 3, 8)
- Mentions of past domestic violence (chapter 6)
- Moderate sexual content (chapter 42)
- Depictions of anxiety, depression, and PTSD (throughout)
- Imprisonment (chapters 43, 46, 48)
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Sitting in front of the rolling waves, contemplating how I would kill a goddess, was likely not the best use of my time, but here I was anyway.
It had been about a fortnight since Brigid disappeared and I was no closer to finding her than we had been the day the syrens’ goddess, Cliodhna, had dragged her away, vanishing beneath the waves. I had no idea where she had taken Brigid, let alone how to save the syren who had adeptly wormed her way into my life.
Not being able to breathe underwater posed a slight challenge to my rescue plans. Especially when the syrens were even less trusting of me and my crew than Duncan had been of them. Their stubbornness made it even more difficult to achieve anything.
But I tried.
As soon as she disappeared beneath the surface, I tried to get to her. Too many things—Sorcha’s burial and getting the children somewhere safe—had delayed the search, making it feel near impossible to find her now.
At Brigid’s request to the other syrens, we buried Sorcha in the earth instead of the sea to keep Cliodhna from getting her hands on Sorcha’s body. Per my sentiment, we buried her next to Maddock back in Brinemoor, at my old home. Burying her had been hard, and even Maira had shed a tear as she and the other syrens watched us cover her small body with earth.
We had fixed the dilapidated structure just enough to make it habitable while we discussed our next plans, but in the end, we returned to Finn’s cottage. Sorcha’s burial had only made me more determined to save myself from having to bury Brigid next to her, and this home, this structure, had too many emotions connected to it for me to think clearly.
The syrens, all of whom had returned with us, somewhat helped with the burial. They wanted to hold their own rituals for Sorcha, and during these, my crew and I had made ourselves scarce out of respect. But that had been the last time they willingly cooperated. Each day that followed was a battle.
What to do with the fourteen children we had rescued from my father and Cliodhna had been another point of contention. Admittedly, I had been short-sighted in my goal of ending Kellan’s evils and had not truly stopped to fully consider how to care for these orphans once we rescued them.
The syrens had collectively wanted to send the children to a contact in Bhodheas, a woman who had apparently helped with the previous charges the syrens had saved who elected not to become syrens. I wanted the children to stay closer at the orphanage in Brinemoor so I could monitor them and ensure their continued safety. I would not abandon them now that I accomplished my original task. They deserved more from me, from life, and I would ensure they got it. I wasn’t my father, and I would die before I let myself become anything like him.
It had been a hellish argument, almost coming to physical blows with one syren, Maira, but thankfully, it had been an argument that I won. The children were now at an orphanage in Brinemoor under the care of a woman Maddock and I knew named Isla.
Since returning to Finn’s cottage after burying Sorcha, every single decision had been an argument with the syrens. Which rooms everyone would stay in, who would go into town to shop for food and supplies, and who would complete the chores and household duties. All of it was exhausting. But I knew I wouldn’t be able to find Brigid without their help. So, I endured it.
After all, I had endured far worse for far less of a reward. And I would continue to endure anything thrown my way if it meant getting her back.
I rubbed my temples, attempting to relieve the recurring headache forming, and stared out at the water. “Where are you, Brigid?”
Standing, I picked up a stone from the beach and threw it as hard as I could out into the churning sea. It barely made a ripple before it disappeared into the roiling waves. It was a sad outlet, but it was something. My rage was nearly equal in power to my sadness.
“What did the water ever do to you?” An amused feminine voice echoed behind me.
I turned to see Maira walking toward me, and I had to squint against the annoyingly bright shine of her gold hair and pale skin against the overcast haze. Sighing, I moved over to allow her space beside me on the beach. If I didn’t, she would have pushed her way in, regardless.
She was a female version of Duncan. Angry, suspicious, and above all, fucking stubborn. I wasn’t sure why she had come out here, but I didn’t want to speak with her. It would only devolve into another disagreement, and I was already exhausted. Of all the syrens, she had been the one most disapproving of every decision I made. And she had definitely been the most vocal.
Crossing my arms over my chest, I looked at her out of the corner of my eye. “There’s not enough time for me to tell you about it all.”
She smiled, but it didn’t reach her eyes. It was a gesture of forced politeness, one I was not sure why she was engaging in. “So, what are you doing out here, then? Brooding?”
Clenching all my muscles and then relaxing them one by one, I slowly attempted to quell my irritation with the syren in front of me. It didn’t work. It never worked. “Aye, sure. Since no one is doing anything to find Brigid, I might as well. What are you doing out here? Other than intentionally bothering me.”
The fake smile she had pasted on her face finally dropped away, and her eyes narrowed. “What else is there to do? We searched the caves. She was not there.” Her voice could have dropped the temperature of the water, freezing the sea to match her mood.
My patience and politeness quickly faded in the face of this annoying creature. All the syrens had used that same excuse, time and time again, and yet I knew they could do more. Search more. “And that’s the only place you have searched. She could be anywhere!”
“Exactly. She could be anywhere,” Maira retorted, rolling her eyes and crossing her arms over her chest. “So why should we waste our efforts when you don’t have a clue where we should look?”
“Cliodhna was your queen,” I reminded her, pointing at her chest. Rage simmered in my stomach, hot and wild, waiting to be unleashed. “If anyone should know where to search, it should be you. And yet here you sit, eating my food, wearing my clothes, and arguing with my men. No wonder Brigid left you.”
Without warning, Maira snarled and stepped forward, wrapping her small hand around my throat and digging her blunt nails into my skin. I growled, my hands clenched at my side as I struggled not to reach out and strike her. I do not have time for this.
In one swift move, I reached down and pulled a dagger from my belt, pressing it to her throat and raising my eyebrow. I was not one of the defenseless men she faced, and I would not cower to her or her kind. Her grip was tight, but her hand wasn’t even big enough to wrap around my throat, and without her talons extended, I wasn’t afraid of her. She was a mere annoyance, like a fly swarming. And I was about to swat her.
“Insolent man,” she spat, attempting to tighten her grip around my throat. “You have no idea the connections we have with one another. Brigid and I spent years together.”
“And yet, you and your queen abandoned her on a whim after she saved me,” I retorted, still holding my blade to her throat. It was an ongoing battle of wills, and if I let it, it would quickly turn physical. I knew without a doubt that if I gave her an opening, she would take it, and my blood would cover this beach.
“Hey!” a sharp voice yelled from up the path. Another syren. “What are you two doing?”
Coming down the hill were Cameron and another syren, Kyla. They came to a stop in front of us, Cameron’s narrowed eyes tracking our every move. He had argued with Maira too, and I knew he was just as fond of dealing with her as I was. Which was not at all.
Kyla had been the one to shout at us, and her eyes were full of fire, blazing amber that stood out against the deep russet of her skin. Kyla was the leader of the syrens now, an unspoken motion decided after several days of tension and several hushed arguments. For a moment, I worried Maira might end up on top, but thankfully the syrens had more sense than that.
At least Kyla was tolerable. Her soft voice and calm demeanor had deescalated many arguments between us all, including some between the syrens themselves. Cam had especially taken a liking to the woman, siding with her as often as he sided with me when we were on opposing sides of an argument.
Now, though, she was pure power. Her mass of long, dark brown curls lifted and swept back by the wind made her look even more intimidating, an expression I had never seen on her before. At least, never directed at me. Her shoulders were tense beneath the borrowed sweater, and her hands clenched at her side as she approached us, her eyes darting back and forth between Maira and me as she assessed the situation.
“This insolent man believes us beneath him,” Maira said, squeezing her fingers around my throat, irritating me further. “I was simply proving him wrong.”
“Keep digging your nails into my skin, syren, and I will prove you wrong,” I promised, shifting the blade in my hand and pressing it harder against her skin. Her pale skin turned pink against the pressure of the blade, but I was careful to mind the pressure. I just wanted to remind her who was in charge, not actually hurt her.
“Both of you, stop,” Kyla demanded, stepping between us. She put a hand on each of our chests, pushing to separate us, though we didn’t move an inch. She pushed harder, nostrils flaring, and sent Maira back half a step, though the petulant syren’s hand remained wrapped around my throat. “This is not helping anyone.”
Turning my gaze to the brunette, I couldn’t help my lip from snarling. “Aye, that’s the point. You aren’t helping. Brigid has been missing for weeks, and you’ve looked for her once.”
“You act like we’re sitting around doing nothing,” Maira said. “We have helped, more than that oaf you call a first mate.”
“Watch your words, syren,” I warned, looking back at her. I pulled the knife away and easily removed her hand from my throat, flinging her arm by the wrist like I should have done the moment her nails met my skin. Stepping back, I looked at both syrens and Cameron, who stood between them, crossing and uncrossing his arms and shifting his weight, ready to step in if needed. “You’re antagonizing me and my men and arguing with us constantly. You do nothing to search for Brigid, nothing to look after the children we saved, nothing to help keep up the house we are staying in. All you do is huddle in your room and throw barbs at anyone who passes. At least the other syrens help with some tasks.”
“I’ll not bow to the likes of you,” Maira sneered, taking a half step toward me, her fists clenched and ready to engage once more. “You are not in charge of us.”
“No one’s asking you to bow,” I spat back, looking down at her. She truly was an irritating creature, and I couldn’t fathom how Brigid had spent ten years without killing her. “We’re asking you to help us find your friend.”
Kyla moved around Cameron to stand in front of Maira, turning her back to me and effectively separating us. “You need to stop this. Now.”
Maira rolled her eyes dramatically as Kyla stepped away, turning back to me. Her fire and rage died down, leaving room for the diplomatic and soft-spoken woman we’d come to know. The sun peeked out from behind the clouds fully, settling on Kyla’s face and lighting her skin from within. It only made her look more regal, more… in charge.
“I understand your frustration, Caelum, truly I do. But with no clues where Brigid is, we simply cannot go out and search the seas from top to bottom. It would be an impossible task,” Kyla said, trying to placate me as her hands stretched out towards me, palms up. “The only place we all knew was the caves, and they’re empty.”
“Surely you know of other places beneath the seas where Cliodhna could possibly be holding her. You haven’t even looked,” I snapped. Sighing, I rolled my shoulders to ease the tension and lowered my voice. Kyla was not the one who inspired my anger, and while she needed to hear the words, she didn’t deserve my tone. Not like Maira had. “You know these waters better than any of us. But you all sit here, doing nothing instead, while your queen has Brigid.”
“And what are you doing about it, pirate?” Maira leaned around Kyla to speak. Kyla closed her eyes and sighed, reaching up to pinch the bridge of her nose. I felt vindicated that Maira irritated even the most mellow of the syrens.
“I buried Sorcha, who was one of you, in case you forgot. I buried my father, whom I killed, to save these children. The children your queen was ready to murder to strengthen her own power. I took the children to an orphanage where they would be safe and taken care of,” I said, taking a step closer to them with each sentence. Kyla stood her ground, staring me down. Maira’s eyes glowed a fiery blue, and her lip curled up to reveal her teeth. I was so close I was nearly touching Kyla, but my focus remained entirely on Maira. “So, do not stand there, in the clothes I provided for you, staying in the house of one of my men, and tell me I am doing nothing. If I could breathe underwater, I would be out there looking for her and wouldn’t return until I found her.”
“You think we don’t care about her?” Kyla asked softly, thankfully speaking before Maira could again. My eyes flicked toward Kyla briefly. I saw her staring at me with sadness in her amber eyes.
“Admittedly, it doesn’t much seem like it,” Cameron said quietly from the side, pushing the sleeves of his sweater up his forearms to reveal the dark smattering of hair that covered the skin there. He stepped towards us, his hands out toward Kyla and Maira in a gesture of peace. “Caelum’s right. If any of us could do what you could, we’d be searching the seas for Brigid, trying to get her back. And we have only known her for months compared to your decades.”
Kyla sighed, closing her eyes for a moment. She glanced over her shoulder at Maira before looking back to me, meeting my gaze with purpose. “Then I suppose we all must sit down and have a conversation.”
“Perhaps a productive one, for once?” Cameron asked, the humor in his voice falling flat amidst the tension between the rest of us.
I didn’t want their help, but I couldn’t deny we needed it. “Hopefully this time will go better than the last few.”
Without another word, I turned my back on both women, walking past Cameron and back up the hill to Finn’s cottage. Damned syrens, I thought to myself, exhaling loudly.