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Thursday, May 1, 2014

{Blog Tour} CUTLASS by Ashley Nixon -- with review and giveaway!

Cutlass by Ashley Nixon
(Cutlass Series #1)
Publication date: April 23rd 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
(More after the jump!)

Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy’s fiancĂ© 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.

Goodreads | Amazon Paperback | Amazon Kindle

As all good pirate stories often do, this book starts off with a kidnapping of a person of high social standing. The Lady Larkin is no whimpering damsel in distress, however. She put up a good fight, surprising the pirate, Barren Reed, as he takes a solid kick from her in the chest. And already, my lips quirked in a grin as I can see that Larkin & Barren are going to have many disagreements and sparks of chemistry as the sail the high seas of The Orient.
Barren Reed is the son of a pirate, Jess Reed, Prince and brother to the King of the Orient, Tetherion. Barren has been hell bent on a mission to draw out his brother, William, to duel him and kill him, seeking vengeance for the murder of their father at William's own hands. With a crew loyal to Saoirse and the meaning of freedom, Barren hunts the wretched Cliffs of Maris, just waiting for his opportunity to draw out William and wreak his vengeance. What he wasn't counting on was Larkin, William's betrothed, and the feelings she stirs within.
I thoroughly enjoyed this pirate and elf tale! With brilliant swordfighting, a few adventures that drew out the tension, betrayal on all sides, and a story that finally comes together showing what a tangled web was woven, this was a wonderful, thoroughly enjoyable read. Being the putz that I am, I did notice a couple of editing hiccups (knight and shining armor instead of "in shining armor" and shuttering versus shuddering, etc), but they didn't detract from the story nor were there so many that you got knocked out of reader zone. In fact, I only know that it was those two because I wrote it down!
Barren is utterly bewildered by Larkin who questions his years long vengeance seeking. He is wonderfully stubborn as you would expect of a young captain and sometimes foolhardy. But he trusts his men and he believes in Saoirse and you can't get much more noble than that. Larkin infuriated me, which shows how well written she is. She is the epitome of spoiled, naive, headstrong, idiot noble daughter you would expect, with eyes shut to anything that doesn't fall into the realm of what her daddy told her. I thought I was going to hate her the entire book and found her ability to defend herself as her only redeeming quality as she ignores what she sees in front of her to blindly follow what her father told her. But Larkin grows and matures as she sees WHO the pirates are. They aren't just what she imagined -- theiving, dirty, scumbags. They're noblemen and ambassadors and second sons who find the rule of tyrants unacceptable when the people they are supposed to protect are starving to death.
As you follow Larkin & Barren on his quest to seek vengeance while being sent on a wild goose chase by King Tetherion, you'll see how BOTH of these young protagonists grow and mature in leaps and bounds. From listening to those around them to experiencing utter failure due to their poor decision making, they mature and become less selfish. With swordfights and giant snakes, hints of magic and hidden lands, the rough waters of the sea, and a code to live by, this was a wonderful pirate's tale that will leave you wanting more! A solid 4.5 star read for me and I cannot wait to read the next book!  

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.

Connect with Ashley!
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Tour wide giveaway (INTL)

• Prize 1) A signed Paperback Copy of Cutlass, include a cute octopus mug (it's purple and ADORABLE), Bookmark, and maybe a poster.  
• Prize 2) A signed Paperback of Cutlass + a bookmark 
• Prize 3) E-book of Cutlass 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thanks for taking the time to connect with me! Happy reading!