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I love the idea of pirates decorating for the holiday season, hanging their stockings, snowflakes, and festive garlands. Of course in Careened: Winter Solstice in Madierus they do it all with the flair only Bey Deckard can bring to a story.
Visions of sugarplums? *ahem*, well not quite...
Reeling from the after effects of his capture at the end of book three in the Baal’s Heart series, Jon has sunk into a deep depression. Hoping to bolster Jon’s spirits and pull him out of his funk, Tom and the Captain plan a little holiday celebration one can only appreciate if they’ve followed these men from the start of the series.
There’s a scene early in the story when Tom is trying to help Jon cope with his abuse. The intensity of his love for Jon, Tom’s utter devotion, is so beautifully written it just tugged at my heart. I’m so pleased to see these two men find such fulfillment in each other; I think Bey Deckard does an amazing job building the characters in this series, and the fact I feel so emotionally invested in their happiness is the mark of an incredible author.
Careened includes a wonderful side story about Kat and Maya expecting their first child. Kat is thrilled but overcome by feelings of jealousy at not being included in the babe’s conception. Ah, to be a fly on the wall, right? Banter between Kat and Tom is as clever as always, “Need a hand?” Tom asks the one armed pirate struggling with a load of boxes. Yes, he has a death wish.
Withholding Tom’s pleasure is a recurring theme in this installment, culminating in the presentation of Baltsaros’ gift to Tom... well let’s just say it’s a gift for all three of them.
Thankfully this little gem goes a long way in restoring the balance in their relationship.
Michael Ferraiuolo does an excellent job infusing Jon’s voice with his emotions. The angst over the after effects of his rape, his frustration with his sad little gift for Tom, and especially projecting the passion that Tom always manages to rise in Jon.
The Variety Ferraiuolo finds in his voices is always excellent, but I found his insight into Jon’s character particularly wonderful in this book.
Careened is an absolute pleasure and I can’t wait for more stories of my favorite pirates.
Careened: Winter Solstice in Madierus is the perfect treat for fans of Bey Deckard’s Baal’s Heart series. I remember being pretty excited when I learned that Mr. Deckard was releasing a short holiday story of my three favorite guys! And even more excited when I learned of the audio edition. I’ve been a fan of the very talented Michael Ferraiuolo throughout this series and in his other works. He truly delivers a flawless narration of the complete Baal’s Heart series.
Careened picks up right after the events of book three Fated: Blood and Redemption, making it imperative for readers to have followed the entire series for full enjoyment.
Jon can’t seem to make heads nor tails of his emotions after his and Tom’s kidnapping. He is slowly withdrawing from both Tom and the Captain. He spends his days and nights in turmoil and buries his pain with alcohol.
Tom is beside himself as he watches Jon pull away. He loves Jon so much and doesn’t know how to “fix” the young man. The Captain is equally pained by Jon’s withdrawal especially because Jon seems almost afraid of him. Tom and Baltsaros are both at a loss.
Michael Ferraiuolo captures Jon’s pain and anger captivating his audience and keeping them enraptured in the story.
His voice conveys Jon’s anguish and hurt so beautifully you can’t help but feel it. I could also hear the frustration and love in both Tom and the Captain’s voices.
The holidays have come to the island of Madierus and Captain Baltsaros tells his boys the story of Winter Solstice, or Corestmas as he calls it. He even goes so far as to put on a little red hat! The story inspires all of them in different ways. Jon wants to do something nice for Tom who didn’t have much of a childhood. And Tom wants to buy Jon something special to show how much he cares for him.
But our scheming Captain has the best surprise and it will most definitely pull at your heartstrings...and some other places!!
I really enjoyed seeing these guys scramble around in an effort to do something special for each other. Maya and Kat even put in an appearance and help out with some holiday decorations. The two women, especially Kat, have become very close to Jon and maintain a mostly lukewarm relationship with Tom. Everyone seems caught up in some good holiday cheer.
And oh Lord let me not forget to mention the sexy times. There are quite a few good times and the scene where Baltsaros gives Tom his present had my ears burning. These men have such amazing chemistry and their scenes together are always electrically charged.
Careened: Winter Solstice in Madierus is a definite must if you’re a fan of the series. Bey Deckard gives us all the feels in this short and Michael Ferraiuolo delivers yet again!