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Once a Pirate

Narrated by: Louise Barnes
Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
Categories: Romance, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The earl of Sutcliffe has a problem - his son, Daniel, prefers men to women. After two years of marriage to Lady Kathryn Sinclair, Daniel hasn’t produced an heir. Desperate to continue his bloodline, Sutcliffe turns to his illegitimate son, Talon Montgomery. Knowing the prosperous American privateer will never do as he wishes, Sutcliffe arranges for his son to be falsely arrested for piracy.

Talon is devastated when he believes his entire crew has been executed. When he discovers Sutcliffe has interceded on their behalf, Talon is willing to do her anything to keep them safe - even seduce his sister-in-law. 

Can her tender heart survive the love of a pirate?

©2017 Tracy Seybold (P)2018 Tracy Seybold

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Pirates, Romance, and Historical Fiction

Since I was a child I have loved books about or involving pirates. I have a hard time finding books involving pirates and on top of that I have a hard time finding good ones.

"Once a Pirate" ticks all of these boxes. I like that there are not a ton of characters in this book so it is very easy to keep everyone straight. There names are also all different enough which helps as well.

The Earl of Sutcliffe comes to get his illegitimate son Talon out of prison. In exchange the Earl wants Talon to produce an heir with his daughter in law Catherine, since his heir to the fortune Daniel is gay. In exchange for Talon giving the Earl an heir, Talon will also receive some land in the Carolina's that he wants badly. Catherine the daughter in law is completely unaware that Daniel (her husband) is gay. One night she wants in on Daniel and his lover. She goes to try and get the marriage annulled but with no success.

From there, there is a WHOLE lot of family drama, secrets, and lies, sprinkled with some adventure and steaminess.

I have already suggested this book to several friends. I really cannot wait for more books by Diana Bold and I hope Louise Barnes will narrate them.

I received this audiobook at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not your typical historical romance

This comment is based on a complimentary review copy of the
audiobook. A devious earl abuses and manipulates his two sons.
The story starts slowly, with the bastard son, Talon, who's spent
life as a privateer, serving time at Newgate prison. The earl
arranges Talon's release, on one condition. Talon must impregnate
his half brother Daniel's (the earl's heir) wife, Kate, to continue the
bloodline. The story has several twists and turns including an ocean
voyage, a Castaway (Tom Hanks movie) like segment, lots of sinful
taboo sex, on the way to its violent conclusion. The book is an excellent
listen, but two themes that are prevalent in this genre, detract from
its plot. The first is that the male lead can't tell the woman he loves
that he loves her, despite the female lead's having done so. The second
is the female lead's unwillingness to listen to the male lead's explanations.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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What a great story.

The earl of Sutcliffe is in desperate need of an heir from his son. Unfortunately, his son, Daniel, prefers men to women. Unbeknownst to his wife Lady Kathryn Sinclair. Kathryn is advised that her and Daniel will be moving to the US, the Carolina's, where hopefully an heir will be produced. Kathryn has no intention of leaving England, and decides it's time to seduce her husband, only to find him with another man. Completely shattered, Kathryn ends up taking consonances with her brother in law, who she has just met. The earl as an illegitimate son, Talon Montgomery, who he's never had any contact with, but has kept a close eye on. Desperate to continue his bloodline, Sutcliffe turns Talaon to seduce his daughter inlaw and create an heir.
Talon, hating Sutcliffe for abandoning him as a child, does not want to do this, but Sutcliffe basically blackmails him.

Kathryn and Talon do fall in love, but there are some pretty rough seas to get through first.

Good story.. enjoyed it.

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True Love can Win

Love the narrator who kept me engaged. The story was engaging and kept we wanting to know how and if the hero and heroine could get a HEA. The twists and turns, sadness that brought happiness to them where needed to help drive the characters to see their true self.

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  • Zarah
  • St. louis, Mo
  • 09-07-19

good narration, I had problems with the story

Mechanically this was well written, and the narrator did a fine job of it. But I had a hella lot of problems with the plot. For one, while it doesn't quite sink to Bury Your Gays, it comes perilously close (more than once). What's more, it's done off-page, practically without comment and 100% without mourning. And it comes within touching distance of suggesting the gay character is gay because he was sexually abused as a child. (Though I will acknowledge that he doesn't actually die or have a tragic future, just a tragic past.)

Secondly, the "love" is so fast as to feel instant. I didn't feel this relationship AT ALL.

Third, the villain is so villainous as to be a caricature.

Lastly, Kathryn (the heroine) is married. But the book still follows the well trodden love=marriage and children pathway. Which can't really work when the woman is already and still married to someone else! (Thus the need to Bury the Gay.)

This is apparently a republication of an older work, from 2006. I feel like if I'd known that before I read it, I wouldn't have chanced it. The genre has come a long way in the past decade. The fact that the writing itself was decent makes me think I could give a newer work a chance and maybe like it.

Note: I received a credit for this book for the purpose of review. I chose to listen and review it, however.

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Great audio-book

Wonderful story line with twists and very interesting characters throughout. I'm looking forward to listening the next audio-book in this series.

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Good regency story

A good regency listen with a good story and likeable characters and some not so likeable that takes you on an unexpected journey,you'll enjoy. And you'll enjoy the narration to. So when you get a chance pick up a copy and enjoy.

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So much fun

Truly enjoyed the story and the performance. A great hero and a wonderful heroine as well.

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extraordinary

I received a free code to listen to this book and I did so willingly

this was quite an epic story. I enjoyed it immensely.

The book is well written and excellent narration

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Loved!

I loved this story. Maybe it’s because I haven’t read or listened to anything “historical” in a good while… I don’t know. But it was entertaining, and I’d love to listen to more by this author/narrator combo.

The narrator did a beautiful job; I loved her accent/voice. One issue I found was relating to editing, though. The sentence “You’ve been cooped up on this ship for two weeks with the man but that doesn’t make a marriage” was repeated six different times. Obviously that was a mess up.

Questions/Comments:

When Daniel was writing to his lover, why had he only mentioned Talon getting land in exchange for seducing/impregnating his wife as opposed to saying anything about Talon wanting to save his men?

Sorry, but performing oral sex on anyone who hasn’t showered, washed up, or cleaned in any way for several weeks is gross! Sorry, but kissing anyone who hasn’t brushed their teeth in several weeks is also gross!

Daniel mentioned how Johnny, the cabin boy, ended up helping him when the storm was going on. Then he was in Daniel’s rooms when Daniel brought Kathryn back to his hotel. What happened to him after he went looking for Talon? It’s like he disappeared.

I received a free audiobook code in exchange for an honest review.

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Profile Image for bluepits73
  • bluepits73
  • 02-21-19

Pirates and Decite!

This book was full of all kinds of betrayal and decite, it was fabulous! I loved the circumstances that the author orchestrated to bring Talon and Kathryn together. I liked that the author made Talon, the illegitimate son and pirate, more noble than his aristocratic family. This had a couple twists and turns and was well written. Talon, Kathryn and even Daniel were entertaining and delightful characters. A great pirate romance!

I thought the narrator did a fantastic job in this performance. Everything was clear and we could easily distinguish between characters even though she spoke with a slight Brittish accent. The accent is just enough to indicate the time period and setting but not so much that it overpowers the story. Her narration made this an enjoyable afternoon listen.

I received a review copy at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review.

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Profile Image for Kate
  • Kate
  • 01-22-19

Romance, adventure, and intrigue on the high seas

Once a Pirate is a sweeping historical romance full of family secrets, betrayal, passion, and adventure which spans the Atlantic.

In Regency London the only thing the Earl of Sutcliffe dislikes more than his son, Daniel Sinclair, falling in love with another man is that Daniel has also failed to provide the family with an heir. The Earl decides it is time to reconcile with Daniel's estranged brother, Talon Mongomery; the illegitimate son Sutcliffe disowned long ago. If, that is, Talon is willing to strike a deal to seduce his sister-in-law...

The story follows Talon as he grows closer to the innocent, alluring Kathryn Sinclair, and the burden of the contract he has with his father weighs heavier upon his conscience.

Kathryn's strength and vulnerability are well balanced, and often matched by Talon's. I'm glad that Daniel's proclivities were treated sensitively (given the period), with him understood to be just as much a victim of his father's Machiavellian schemes as his unsuspecting wife and errant brother.

Louise Barnes is a wonderful narrator, whose voice deftly conveys the emotion of the characters and helps immerse the listener in a rich and compelling story. Her experience filming the tv drama Black Sails may have contributed to her performance and I think it particularly helped her bring the wayward crew and tempestuous ocean crossing to life.


My only issue with this audiobook was the occasional use of what felt to be rather anachronistic language. The book ends in 1814, which means that the majority is set in c1810. Phrases like "...a child caught stealing from the cookie jar," and "I like the way your mind works," felt too contemporary. A little research suggests that the earliest known reference to 'cookies' was in 1703 when it referred to Scottish buns, but Ngram suggests 'cookie' only gained widespread popularity in literature in the 1900s in both British and American English. In American English it originates from the Dutch, koekje, meaning 'little cakes' and it did not become recognisably Anglicised for some time. Therefore, whilst it would not be impossible for Talon to have made the comparison, it is unlikely to have been synonymous with a guilty expression at that time. It would have been a nice little nod to the word's etymology if an earlier Dutch variant had been used to modify the phrase.

Another jarringly contemporary comment, "...isn't he just the cutest little kitty you've ever seen in your life?", also stood out for the wrong reasons. In that era 'cute' still meant 'shrewd' or 'clever', and would not really emerge as slang for 'sweet' or 'adorable' until much later. It was such a modern mode of address that it felt very out of place, at a time when the characters were being portrayed as having finally settled and in a home of their own. Though a very small and relatively insignificant moment, it did detract from the authenticity of the tale.

I did enjoy the audiobook despite it lacking a little research, and containing a blip in the editing on Chapter 14. My current gold-standard for fun, sultry, lightweight, historical romance is Tessa Dare, and this audiobook compared favourably - though the steamier scenes are not explored in as much detail and there are fewer humorous moments. It was the first title I have heard by this author but I'll definitely add more of Diana Bold's audiobooks to my wishlist when they become available. If you're a fan of the genre, or are just looking for an easy listen which is performed well and driven by romance and intrigue, then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

*I received this audiobook free of charge in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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Profile Image for Sarah
  • Sarah
  • 11-17-18

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Loved the narrator! She did a wonderful job of bringing the each character to life.