En route from Spain to the New World, the ship carrying Doña Rosaria is attacked by English pirates under the command of Sir Nicholas Harcourt, the infamous Black Falcon. Rosaria fears the worst, when she is taken prisoner, but Sir Nicholas proves himself surprisingly courteous – until he places a noose around Rosaria’s neck and threatens to hang her, should her wealthy uncle fail to pay a ransom in exchange for Rosaria’s life and virtue.
Sir Nicholas Harcourt has a reputation of being the most merciless pirate to prowl the Spanish Main. But his beautiful prisoner Doña Rosaria both manages to touch his heart and stir the fire of passion in his chest. Nicholas is resolved to have her by any means. However, he has also sworn to hang her on the deck of his ship, should her notoriously stingy uncle refuse to pay the ransom.
Can Rosaria resist her growing attraction to a man she knows is a pirate and a heretic? And would Sir Nicholas really hang the woman who has captured his heart?
Warning: This novelette contains some fairly hot sex and not overly graphic violence, so sensitive readers should tread carefully. What is more, this is part one of a two-part story, so don’t expect an ending that ties up all loose threads.
Read an excerpt.
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Some background information:
- This novelette is 13000 words long and was originally published in Man’s Story 2 No. 8
- The story is still available online at the Man’s Story 2 site, where you can also see the original illustration. (Attention: adult link).
- Hostage to Passion is the first half of a projected two-part story, therefore it ends a bit abruptly and without a clear HEA. I started writing the sequel, Prisoner of the Inquisition, but never finished it, because my MA thesis ate up all my available brainpower
- However, Prisoner of the Inquisition will be finished and published in the near future. And rest assured, romance readers, there will be a HEA.
- Hostage to Passion includes the first sex scene I ever wrote that wasn’t a fade-to-black. By this point, I was getting the hang of writing spicy pulp adventure. I was also getting the hang of writing sex scenes.
- The sex scene in Hostage to Passion skirts the boundaries of forced seduction and dubious consent. Yet rest assured that if Rosaria had asked him to stop, Sir Nicholas, being a gentlemanly pirate, would have stopped.
- This story was strongly influenced by my love for vintage swashbuckler movies such as Captain Blood, The Sea Hawk or The Crimson Pirate. There is also a touch of old school bodicerippery romance in there to the point that Rosaria has her bodice ripped at one point, which is odd, because I never liked that particular genre very much.
- Mr Hale, first mate aboard the Black Falcon, was named after actor Alan Hale who appeared in several vintage swashbuckler films.
- The cover image is an illustration from dime novel published in 1886 as part of the Boys of New York series. The story it originally went with was called The Corsair of Galway. I picked it, because it looks like an illustration of the confrontation between Sir Nicholas and Scruthers with Rosaria looking on and the unnamed knife thrower waiting in the wings