Title: The Pirate’s Gamble
Author: Eden Winters
Publisher: Rocky Ridge Books
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: M/M Time-travel Romance.
Length: 18 pages
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
A guest review by Jenre
Archaeologist Ian Lewis has an interesting hobby. He’s the captain of the pirate ship The Naughty Maid. With the help of a mysterious artifact, he travels back in time to save priceless treasures otherwise doomed to be lost forever.
His greatest treasure, however, wants to stay lost, or rather, deeply in the closet. Tired of the hiding the true nature of the relationship he shares with fellow archaeologist David Kane, Ian risks all on his partner’s love in a gamble that just may cost him his life.
I was attracted to this story because I love pirates and time-travel stories so what could be better than a time-travelling pirate?
The book begins with hero, Ian, on his pirate ship. However, Ian is no ordinary pirate captain. He travels backwards and forwards in time between the present day and the 18th Century Caribbean islands using a special stone which was found in an archaeological dig where he also met his lover David. As a pirate he ‘rescues’ important artifacts from ships which are known to sink without a trace whereupon he hides the treasure in a special place for David to find in the 21st century. He then travels back to the present time to fame and fortune.
There were quite a number of things I liked about this short story. Firstly I felt that the author had done a good job in showing the differences in Ian between the past and the present. When Ian returns he gradually strips away his pirate outfit and cleans away the dirt and grime which accumulates whilst he’s at sea. This transformation is also necessary as he prepares himself for facing his lover, David. This scene went a long way in showing us how much Ian loves David as well as building up anticipation and tension for the coming sex scene. Ian and David’s relationship was another aspect I found interesting. David is much older than Ian, but that aspect wasn’t the cause of the friction within their relationship, but rather David’s unwillingness to bring their relationship out into the open. David has all sorts of reasons why he can’t do that and when Ian pushes, their relationship is fractured, especially when Ian returns to his pirate ship on the eve of it’s documented sinking. I also liked how David was Jamaican in origin but that their interracial romance was not held up to be a big deal apart from Ian citing it as a possible reason as to why David won’t be open about him.
If I have one criticism of the story it is that there were a number of things which were either glossed over and not explained fully or could have been expanded upon. This would have made the story longer, but I felt that maybe the story would have been better for it. An example of this is the statue that Ian risks his life to get for David. A little foreshadowing of David’s desire for this piece would have taken away some of the abrupt way this was introduced right at the end. Also there were some details such as how Ian managed to convince his crew to take him on as captain and how he kept that captaincy in the cut throat world of piracy, how the two men agreed on hiding places that wouldn’t be discovered in the intervening 200-300 years and the actual properties of the stone and the ‘special cloth’ used in the time travel which could have enhanced the story had they been filled in a little better.
However, these are just slight niggles in an overall interesting and well written love story and how it pays to take a chance on love rather than let it slip away. As far as I can tell, Eden Winters is a new author and I shall look out for more of this author’s writing in future. As for now, I recommend that you read The Pirate’s Gamble if you are looking for a short, romantic read of excitement on the high seas mixed with the problems of two men who love each other very much.