ABOUT THE BOOK: Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy’s fiancé seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it. Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard. But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.

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REVIEW: Ashley Nixon is a terrific fantasy author. Her first of the series called Cutlass is filled with adventure and the promise of freedom on the open sea. When Barren learns of his brother’s engagement to Lady Larkin Lee, him and his crew decide to show up uninvited. Since Barren and his brother are enemies, Barren embarks on a kidnapping mission. He kidnaps Larkin in an effort to force William out of his home and to the sea for revenge over a past tragedy. While aboard Barren’s ship, Larkin learns several things about loyalties of her father and many others. On this trip, Barren discovers that there is a stone that possesses a certain power contributed to the Reed family line. He also finds that his brother is in search for it so that he can become King. Can Barren get to the stone before William does? If he can, can he trust Larkin enough to help him or go back to her fiance willingly?

I did really enjoy reading Cutlass and Flintlock. Both novels were wonderful! Even though I read these backwards, I still favor Barren, Larkin and Leaf the most. Larkin has a huge part in how the characters change over the course of the story, mainly Barren. Leaf’s strength and ability to heal is constantly needed to combat against Barren’s careless decisions and misguided views. Finally, Barren is stern and has the capacity for love and leadership. His morals are high, even though he is going after his brother in vengeance.

I recommend this novel to those who enjoy fantasy and fiction. Both books had so much creativity and original twists; I did not find them predictable. I give this story a five star review because it is well written, the pace is steady and in my opinion, the author captivates the attention of her audience with her characters and their lives.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ashley was born and raised in Oklahoma, where the wind really does sweep down the plains, and horses and carriages aren’t used as much as she’d like. When she’s not writing, she’s hard at work on her Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Technology, working out, or pretending she’s Sherlock Holmes. Her obsession with writing began after reading the Lord of the Rings in the eighth grade. Since then, she’s loved everything Fantasy–resulting in an unhealthy obsession with the ‘geek’ tab on Pinterest, where all things awesome go.

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