...“What is it you want?” Macdavid said, looking about the deck at his shabby little vessel, which looked like a flounder alongside the sleek, sharklike Prodigal.
Robert gestured at the trio coming abovedecks.
“You! Reprobate! Wastrel! Knave! Scoundrel! Libertine! Villain!” Miss Burke sputtered to a finish having run out of epithets for the moment. The two crewmen escorting her looked at her with new respect, but she needed a few weeks aboard a pirate vessel. That would add salt to her vocabulary.
A slow smile curled his lips. The governess’s ugly linen cap was absent. While her hair was pinned tightly against her head, it shone in the sun, a glorious shade of chestnut with highlights of russet and gold. A few wisps escaped to curl across her forehead, with enough amber depths that it made one itch to unpin the mass and see all the colors gathered there. No wonder the little hedgehog kept it covered! Hair like that would inspire naughty thoughts in her employers and jealousy in their wives.
She was also younger than he’d suspected when he first encountered her, pegging her age at around twenty-five years old. The day just became that much more interesting.
“You missed me, didn’t you, Miss Burke?”
“Why have you stopped this ship? What do you want with me?”
Anger looked good on her. The gray sack she wore hurt his eyes though. He’d have to do something about that.
Robert turned back to the hapless captain of the Clementine.
“This is what I came for.”
“You want her?” Captain Macdavid looked at her and scratched his beard, puzzled. “Well, all right, go ahead and take her.”
Miss Burke gasped, and pulling free of the men holding her, marched over to Macdavid. “You don’t protest this man kidnapping a passenger from your vessel?” she angrily pointed at St. Armand in case there was any question exactly who she meant.
Macdavid shrugged. “Your passage is already paid, so it’s all the same to me. I never guaranteed a safe journey, miss.”
She stood nearly toe to toe with the older man, her fists clenched. “Return my money!”
“I never promised that neither!” he protested, and Robert stepped forward and took the governess by the arm before there was bloodshed...
“...Given the title – and I love the title and its play on the ubiquitous romance book trope – I knew it was going to be fun. Pirates, a shipboard romance, a new father upended by his unexpected responsibilities and a woman who manages to keep her head and agency? Sign me up, Captain...well researched...this is a welcome addition to your 19th century pirates oeuvre...With its smart and sexually aware heroine who has reached for the gusto she wants in life – both then and now – and delightfully self assured hero – he knows which angles and fabrics flatter him – plus a pint sized dynamo just begging for her own story to be told, I had a great fun reading it.” – Jayne, Dear Author
5 STARS! “...Darlene Marshall brings the 18th century raiders to life...authentic but salty details...delicate balance of witty dialogue and sexual tension...The secondary characters also entertain on this Trans Atlantic cruise. In fact, Mathilde transforms into Mattie the Marauder in between her deportment lessons...a humorous adventure of Regency pirates on the high seas!...Recommended read for fans of Regency romance, pirate heroes, and lighthearted repartee.” – Kim Adams, Amazon.com reviews
“...This book has a lot of cute moments...a really cute book...” – Mandy, Smexy Books
4 STARS! “...I always look forward to reading about pirates when Darlene Marshall is the author...I liked this tale of the buttoned up governess going head to head with a pirate...I like the way Darlene Marshall writes about the camaraderie on ships...a great read. I would totally stow away on any ship Darlene writes about. LOL...” – Ames, Book Binge
“...I seriously doubt that any summer experience can possibly be more delightful than sitting on the beach while reading The Pirate’s Secret Baby...sure is a lot of fun...Lydia and Robert both have depth, which grounds the story. Even though the set up of the story is pure fantasy, they have real issues to work through and somewhat to my amazement they ended up working things out in a pretty realistic way... there were plenty of sexy times in the book in which boundaries were respected, and they were emotionally moving, sometimes very funny, and sexy as well...” – Carrie S., Smart Bitches Trashy Books
4 STARS! “...Another adorable and fun pirate romance from Darlene Marshall. Robert, the charming, handsome pirate from Castaway Dreams is back. I love that he's a man that knows his own charm...Lydia is the typical uptight governess, dressed in drab colors and trying to blend into the woodwork. They both have secrets and I have to say I never saw Lydia's coming and it was awesome. I loved that her "downfall" wasn't about her power being taken away, but about her living the life she wanted...I just love these books when I want a fun but not silly historical with unexpected heroines and the men who become befuddled by them.” – Karen F., Goodreads
5 STARS! “...a well-researched historical romance spiced with humor. The story of Robert, Lydia, and Marauding Mattie weaves an invisible spell that tugs at your heart strings, and I particularly liked Robert’s non-violent, but oh-so-typically-piratical solution to thwarting Lydia’s nemesis...The host of refreshing, non-stereotypical, minor characters – such as two Mutt-and-Jeff-like seamen who go to school with Marauding Mattie and go her tea party, or the vicar who doesn’t mind if his daughter dons an eye patch and duels with a wooden sword – truly help bring this story to life...I enjoyed it on so many levels...a wonderful tale of cunning pirates and captivating would-be pirates.” – Cindy Vallar, Pirates And Privateers