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Blood and Oak

Narrated by: Travis Baldree
Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
4 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In 1798, the Barbary Pirates stole his freedom. Now, John Sullivan wants blood. 

Growing up on his father's ship was an adventure for young John. His world crumbled the day the Barbary Pirates took him away in chains, along with his mother and sister. Five years later, after a daring escape to America, John is eager to join the USS Philadelphia and meet the corsairs with steel.

Then, one stormy night, a stranger brings word: His sister, Kaitlin, is alive. John must risk everything on a bold plan to sail to the Barbary Coast. To defy the odds and free his family, he'll need his skill with a blade, his leadership in battle, and his wits at sea. In his path - cutthroat smugglers, ruthless pirates, and a deadly foe bent on destruction. 

Yet in John Sullivan's heart, the fires of revenge blaze ever hotter, threatening to burn those he loves. In his bid to save the lost, he may find his most dangerous enemy lies within....

©2018 Garrett Bettencourt (P)2018 Garrett Bettencourt

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Draw for the ace win with the deuce

Very character driven and given the length this also has a solid plot. I was more focused on the characters as we meet a lot of them, and I assume that many would come in and out. I really enjoy hearing how John matures throughout the story, even though he seems to straddle a thin line of being the hero I want him to be. All of the characters are well developed and everyone’s story really gets you sucked into this world and connect with each of them.

The plot had everything I would expect a swashbuckler would want; gambling, duels, fighting, romance, a kidnapped family. This book is clearly setting up the world that Bettencourt is going to play in for what I hope to be more books. Nautical adventures are far from my normal reading but this was a great adventure and a lot of fun. Once I started I was hooked, plus I’m a sucker for a good revenge story. I’m glad that this wasn’t the Hollywood version of pirates and I assume more truthful to how things really were. This is book one in a series and while there is some resolution at the end the story is far from over and definitely ends on a cliff hanger.

I’m a huge fan of Travis Baldree’s narrations and think he does fantastic character voices. With the many different characters in this story he pulls out all the stops to do a truly awesome job with them. Paviat was one of my favorites. Baldree’s ability to quickly go back and forth within conversations between the different characters and keeping them consistent is really amazing. Baldree clearly had fun with this story and it really shows and added so much to the already great writing.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Epic!

An adventure you won't soon forget! excellent writing and story.

This is my first audible by author and narrator. they work very well together.

The narrator read this audible in a way that puts you right in the story getting to know the characters and feel for them

I was provided a free copy of this audible and I'm thrilled to be able to provide my review

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Swashbuckling goodness...

This book is really far afield from my usual tastes... I really don't know how long it's been since I've read any straight up historical fiction... but Travis Baldree narrated it, and he had me hooked as soon as I listened to the audio  snippet!
Blood & Oak has all the swashbuckling goodness that I fell in love with as a child, and it fit right in with the romantic tales of the high seas, books by Rafael Sabatini's, like Captain Blood and Scaramouche, and then brought to life on the screen by the likes of Errol Flynn, or Stewart Granger! Well, Travis Baldree is sorta like my Errol Flynn, bringing life to all the wonderful characters and world building that was envisioned in Garrett Bettencourt's fantastic tale...
I gotta say that I'm generally rather angry at an ending that leaves the reader looking down a cliff face, but in this case the cliffhanger is so well done, so perfect that I had to be the first one in the metaphorical  audience to jump up clapping, and shouting "Bravo" like a deranged maniac! 😍🤩

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review...
          
         Story and narration: 5 Big Freakin' ⭐'s

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This story has everything!

In Blood and Oak, Bettencourt's vivid writing confidently balances a compelling cast of characters with well paced action that never misses a beat - by the final chapter, the only thing you'll be looking for is the next book. The story is fast, focused and original. It's also clearly rooted in solid historical research that's woven into the details of the wide, rich world through which John Sullivan, Melisande Dufort and others adventure. The only thing that may be better than reading a good book is listening to one, especially with a narrator like Baldree. Other reviewers have mentioned the possibility of sequels. I'm really hoping this is the first in a series, that Bettencourt and Baldree team up again, and that there's much more of John Sullivan and his adventures to come.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Adventure at Sea!

In 1798 people took their lives into their own hands when sailing the Barbary Coast. John Sullivan and his family are sailing his father’s boat only to be boarded by pirates. The pirates slaughter some including John’s older brother and enslave his sister, mother, father and himself. His family split apart John finds the opportunity to escape to the America’s where he plots the rescue of his family. Several years later with the Navy and their USS Philadelphia and his questionable friends behind him, he maneuvers his way back to the Barnaby Coast to rescue his family and defeat the pirate “silver hand.” Several surprises that keep you on the edge of your seat!

John is a young idealistic man who does not realize that the family he lost to the pirates that day will never be the same even if he can find them. While I don’t think he has realized the inevitable change, he is beginning to grasp it a little bit.

Action packed, this audiobook takes the reader down a rocky and twisting road. The characters are intrinsically built on a strong foundation, their dialogs and actions are realistic as well. One can see the world created by Barrett Bettencourt down to the last detail, one can almost smell the salt water! His descriptions are vivid and rich in detail but do not bog down the story.

Bettencourt keeps the historical aspect of the story flowing with accuracy and interesting detail that any reader can follow. I am not a huge pirate fan but found myself lost in the characters and details of the story. Friendships and family, as well as honor, play a huge part in this action-packed story. I can honestly say I am looking forward to the next book in this series. This is a very well written book that captures the listener’s imagination.

The narrator, Travis Baldree performed the audiobook in a solidly giving voices to the characters that fit their personality and gave them their unique identity. Baldree spoke clearly and with authority throughout the book, owning each and every character and incident. I found his narration to not only be pleasant, but it also kept me invested in the book.

There were no issues with the production or quality of this audiobook. It was a pleasure to hear! I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys an epic adventure, historical accuracy, and a great narrator!

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wow What an Adventure!

What an entertaining story!
From beginning to end I enjoyed it.
Action and adventure, intrigue, revenge, all sorts of fun going on.

If you're looking for action, suspense, adventure, danger, all of the above? Look no further, this is a fun ride.

Loved the writing and the narration was awesome.
Recommended :)

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Please take a moment to click the "YES" ("Helpful") button below if you found this review helpful :) Thank you!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • TU
  • 11-14-18

I really enjoyed this adventure story

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

This was a fantastic book. There was so much adventure and mayhem to keep me thoroughly entertained. I was sucked in really quickly and kept engaged throughout the book. The narration is done very well and it really brings the book to life. If you like a good adventure story, you should definitely check this one out!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Captivating Experience of Romance and Pirates

I must say this book has exceeded my expectations and kept me entertained through its course. I can not wait for the 2nd release of this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Lead with an Ace, win with a Deuce.

Blood and Oak is an epic tale based on the Sullivans, an Irish family who owned a small fleet of ships used for trade . The story opens with their ship being boarded by pirates and folds out accounting what happened after that fateful day. Bettencourt uses a diary type format; each paragraph starts with a date mostly going back and forth j. A five year span but with incidents between. The point of view changes between characters to give a fuller insight to the whole of the story and what seems to drive the characters, especially John the main protagonist. Although the story is over 15 hours, I was captivated and the time flew by. Apparently, the story continues; that surprised me since so much happens in this initial volume. I am intrigued.

Travis Baldree does a fantastic job of narrating Blood and Oak. There are numerous characters from all over the globe, men, women and children. He does justice to all of them including accents. Men doing women’s voices can come across sounding silly, but Baldree makes them believable.

If you enjoy a great historical adventure with pirates, slavery, revenge shortly after the American Civil War and the French Revolution, this story covers globe with John Sullivan and his family and friends. I would recommend Blood and Oak. I was given this audiobook, at my request, in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of my new favorite books!

A good book to me has well written characters.
Well written characters keep me engaged and make me care about their story. Exceptionally written characters are the ones I think about days or even years later. Characters that I mourn with and wonder how they're doing now, or celebrate with and think of when my mind wanders. This book has exceptionally written characters. Days after I've finished it I find myself thinking of John and Melly and Ethan.
The plot is also important to me, and without giving anything away I'll say the plot of this book was well done also. Fast paced, engaging and well written. Told from the "now" and a series of flashbacks, it flowed well and was easy to follow.
I absolutely loved this book and am eagerly awaiting the second one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful