Elizabeth Rose, author
A woman on board is bad luck . . . unless she is the key to finding a lost treasure. Tristan Fisher and his brothers leave their father's fishing boat and return to a life of piracy, longing for the adventure and riches they once knew. With dwindling supplies and a restless crew, fate finally smiles on them when a storm at sea leaves behind flotsam. However, it is more than just boxes and barrels of supplies they find. Tristan and his brothers fish an old woman out of the water who claims to not only know the whereabouts of a treasure map, but who also says she is their long lost grandmother! Scottish lass, Gavina Drummond's life is turned upside down with one tragedy after another. Now, disguised as a boy and with a treasure map secretly and unwillingly inked on to her back, she finds herself as cabin boy and musician to a dark and dangerous pirate named Tristan. He's not really what she expects and is surprised when he protects her from his cutthroat crew. The handsome man wins her trust and gains her interest. Gavina needs nothing short of a king's treasure to pay back her father's steep gambling debts and to buy back her brother's freedom. Desperate to find the English king's stolen treasure, her only problem is that she can't see the map to read it. With time running out, it is crucial she finds someone to help her soon. Tristan seems the likely choice, since searching for treasure is a trait of his kind. But if Gavina confides in him, she'll have to show him the map. And in order to do that, she'll have to disrobe. Will a dark-hearted pirate discover he's unknowingly brought a woman on board who is also the key to finding his coveted treasure? Or is it not a treasure of silver and gold that he truly desires the most after all?
Rose (Highland Spy) kicks off her Pirate Lords series with this swashbuckling combination of romance and the hunt for buried treasure. In 14th-century Scotland, Gavina Drummond’s father wagers her in a tavern card game to try to win a treasure map—and ends up dead at the hands of his competitors. Though the righteous Gavina refuses to be treated as property, Birk, the man who won her, knows that pirates are en route to the tavern and forcibly cuts Gavina’s hair and disguises her as a boy so that she won’t be harmed. To prevent the pirates from getting his treasure map, he draws a copy on Gavina’s back and burns the original. But Tristan Fisher, the dashing captain of the pirate ship Falcon, believes Gavina’s disguise a bit too well and abducts Gavina to be the Falcon’s cabin boy. It doesn’t take long for Tristan to realize the truth. Once he does, he marries Gavina to protect her from the attentions of his crew—and soon discovers the treasure map on her back. The rich cast are capable of both violence and caring, and Tristan’s fearsome shipboard grandmother, Nairnie, adds wit and charm to the high stakes love story that ensues. Fans of historical fiction with badass heroes and strong female leads will be delighted. (Self-published)