Read The Red King by Rosemary O'Malley Online


WHAT HE WANTSThe pirate captain known as Ruaidhri lives only for revenge. Tall and lean, with long fiery hair and a corsair’s deadly smile, his body still bears the scars of a brutal captivity at the hands of Maarten Jan de Worrt. Once Ruaidhri was a slave, but now he is the Red King, feared and respected across the high seas. Few know his true name. And fewer still know RWHAT HE WANTSThe pirate captain known as Ruaidhri lives only for revenge. Tall and lean, with long fiery hair and a corsair’s deadly smile, his body still bears the scars of a brutal captivity at the hands of Maarten Jan de Worrt. Once Ruaidhri was a slave, but now he is the Red King, feared and respected across the high seas. Few know his true name. And fewer still know Ruaidhri will use anyone as a pawn in quest for vengeance — even a beautiful, innocent young man.WHAT HE NEEDSRaised in a monastery, the Scottish orphan called Andrew is helpless when pirates slay his guardians and clap him in irons. Ruaidhri offers the virgin lad freedom, but only at a terrible price. Andrew must go to Maarten’s bed, seduce and kill him. In Ruaidhri’s clutches Andrew will receive the training he needs in the art of violence — and lust.PIRATE AND VIRGINThe Red King is more legend than mortal. He fights tirelessly and knows no fear. But Andrew‘s very innocence, his open and honest nature, threatens to unlock the man inside the pirate. Ruaidhri can tempt Andrew, teaching him the forbidden pleasures of a man’s touch. But not without awakening a side of himself he long ago gave up for dead…Warning: this is an erotic m/m romance intended for mature audiences. It contains explicit sexual situations, frank language, torture, and non-graphic descriptions of abuse of a minor....

Title : The Red King
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781476290478
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 383 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Red King Reviews

  • SheReadsALot
    2019-05-14 18:03

    Arg!! *waves sword and tweaks fake beard*Before I begin, let me warn ye...there's both sweetness and darkness in this epic treat by Rosemary O'Malley. Declarations of love are made and licentious acts are made (even of the minor M/F variety - tis brief). There be mentions of child abuse and scenes of rape/torture/abuse, so if ye be soft of stomach, please exit via the plank! Tis not the story for ye! Yawr har har!!!!Rosemary O'Malley's debut novel tis an epic historical pirate tale that travels through and land on a quest for revenge. The sweet sea of love, the crashing tide of learning the depth's of oneself and murky waters of angst are all traveled with a fine tuned hand in this humble temporary pirate's opinion. A fine tale with blood, guts, piss, vinegar, seduction, hurt, comfort, woe, damage, shit, lion sex (yes there be actual mating in the wild), battle, pillaging, true love and even a eunuch! Tis a pirate's tale split into two POV, young Scotsman Andrew, the young orphan raised by priests who's been captured and Rorik aka Rory aka Ruaidhri (pronounced Rou-ar-ree) aka the Red King!Aye, the Irish, ginger haired young captain of the ship Taibhse is hell bent on thwarting the evil bastard Dane, Maarten, Rory's ex-master. Rory's childhood was a painful one, aye, one full or sorrow and pain. His crew helps rescues the seemingly timid, virgin Andrew who is not wordly but has a calming quality that calms people, pulls people to him. Could be a religious or a philosophical undertone, depends on who is reading this, ya savvy? I enjoy Andrew and his nuances/intricacies. A bashful, fainting flower, he is not. And he proves himself wondrously. More on him soon, aye?I shall break down the things I enjoyed:The story-A swashbuckler's delight- Tis a long, well crafted one spanning sea and land, settings of Africa and Europe. I give it 4 stars some parts may seem drawn out but tis necessary for the entire portrait the author paints, ya ken?The Red King-This ginger lover's wet dream found in a pirate- The slave who turns into a master of his own rights, he is, he is! He's second to my #1 love of Captain Jack Sparrow. He's a mix of dark and light though his light was never recognized until he learned to see himself and his self worth through Andrew's eyes. Oh please, Ruaidhri is naughty and has tales to tell but when he falls...he falls hard and loves even harder. He defies so many things to hold onto that bit of happiness.Even a little bit of: (view spoiler)[Don't worry no magics involved! (hide spoiler)]I rooted for him to persevere and crush any insubordination. I was not disappointed in the Red King. He deserves the title. He has my 5 Stars.Andrew-The little engine that could!- Have I mentioned that though my little wolf, Andrew did not enter the story as a warrior he leaves as the bravest of the brave? I'm sure if Davy Jones himself came upon, little Andrew, he would smite with a few words and nary a weapon. He's martyr-ish but for this story it works. He gets 10 out of 5 stars!The sacrifices made and angsty road traveled by Andrew...I love him even the more. The little non priest has teeth, he does. Grrr!!“I am not your dove," he ground out, barely loud enough to hear. "I am a wolf.” Do not underestimate him, arg! The Secondary Characters J'adore a French pimp named Etienne and many more- Etienne, the brawny, sweet giant of Malik and wordsmith that be Fleming any many others more (Privateer Ortega, brave Laurent...crewman Yousef) There was an ease with each character, I wanted to know their back story, I wanted to fight and laugh with them, live in their world.Especially brothel owner and masterful pimp Etienne...Aye, the mayhem he would cause would be divine and I ken he's deviousness. All secondary characters get 5 stars but Etienne, he shall get 6 or it'd be a sword to the gullet of naysayers! Argh!Maarten -He's the villainous hostess with the mostest- 5 stars- vile, repulsive, murdering, disgusting, evil, mad, fucking bonkers pedophile rapist and somehow I kept picturing Maarten like this, just a younger version: (Yes, Vigo from Ghostbusters 2 as the blonde Dane villain) Do not think I don't ken the dark, mateys...I do. Maarten goes balls to the wall in the darkest of evils, tis makes him a better villain, it does. Alas he was with us for a small time, though his grey shroud choked the first half before his appearance around 65%. He gets 5 Stars! I hate him and curse him down to Davy Jones' locker but I appreciate his evil for the purpose of the story.Surprisingly, the story navigates itself towards the sweet promise of happieth of ever after...but there are some pain filled bumps along the way but worth it.So how many stars to give thee, "The Red King"? Let me average out me stars...More than 5, arg! For the purpose of this wizardry known as goodreads the highest I can gives is FIVE Stars!So, I loved this book. Definitely in me top favorites for the year. So much so if everyone else dogs it:All the way to me pirate lovin' soul, ya savvy?["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • T.J.
    2019-04-28 17:51

    4.5 stars and some minor spoilers.You know when you finish a book for the first time and you are so impressed by it that you immediately want to turn around and buy everything the author's written, only to find out that this is her first novel?Yeah. I fucking hate that. The Red King has an awesome sense of place, is adventurous, violent and sexy. The research gone into the the life of the pirates is well done and I couldn't pick out any inaccuracies (because apparently I'm like an expert on pirates or something). Those with sensitive reading habits would do well to steer clear because the bloodshed is not held back here, and there are scenes of rape. The villian here is so disgusting and evil that you just want to wish him real so you can junk punch him with a machete.There were times that it did border on sugary sweet, which was slightly jarring when blood was spilled, but Rory and Andrew's love was well earned and the author wisely chose not to always take the easy route with them. I enjoyed watching them grow, especially when Andrew didn't turn out to be a damsel in distress.But TJ! you say. It sounds as if you love this book! You're gushing to the point that it sounds like you'd cut a hole in it and have a bone sesh with it! Why the asinine .5 reduction?First and foremost, you are way gross for thinking that.Second of all, the reason for the deduction is quite simple and no fault of the author's. It's strictly on me. When reading about pirates or buccaneers, WA Hoffman's Raised By Wolves series will ALWAYS take precedent and I will judge every historical novel of this type against that series. The RBW series is my all time favorite historical m/m series. But the simple fact that this book measured up well against RBW is a testament to the author. Well done.

  • Emma Sea
    2019-04-26 20:04

    I made a big mistake going in to this book: I had it in my head it was a darker book than it is. I was looking forward to non-con and dub-con galore. However, this is not that kind of book. It's instead an incredibly sweet and tender story about true love reclaiming a wounded heart. Therefore in itself it's probably a fabulous book for most readers: it just wasn't what I wanted (or was expecting) to read, and I didn't find the writing good enough to pull me in despite my false preconceptions.I got bored from 30%, and I skimmed through 36% to 65%. It was fine, it just didn't grab me. Intent to ravish, falling in love against will, dark past, only you can touch the real me, yadda yadda yadda.At 65% the dark bit started and the dark bit was so good!! Swoony good. I wanted more and more and more. (view spoiler)[Andrew thinks his true love is dead, so to get his revenge he becomes the pet of a sexually sadistic man. It's not rape, dub-con or non-con because Andrew definitely wants to be there, lulling Maarten into trusting him, waiting for the moment to strike. However the sex is violent, although it's not actually described particularly explicitly. Andrew's tenuous hold on his goals through his drug-addled perceptions is vividly described, along with the textures and colours of this environment.(hide spoiler)]I enjoyed Maarten enormously: a really good bad guy always makes for a good story. However this section is so teensy! 580 locations out of 5424, so just a smidgeon over 10% of the book.After the dark bit there's endless hurt-comfort tropey stuff: Oh how will I come to terms with the horrors I have committed, argh I suck, power of love will redeem me, yadda yadda. I did read all this, but it was almost against my will and I did not enjoy it. The final ending was right out of a Disney film.So sadly I did not love the book. The dark bit I give four stars. The end I give one star. On the whole I'd actually average it out to a 2: I found this book OK. I wouldn't recommend it, but it wasn't a bad book, and I didn't actively dislike it.I am the only person not to love it, so it's almost certainly me, not the book.

  • Kaje Harper
    2019-05-04 17:59

    4.5 stars. This book is very intense and very dark in places. There is torture and rape, slavery, and sadism. The relationship between the MC's is loving and intense, and yet even they at times exorcise their demons with sex that is rough to the point of pain. The book is well written and the setting feels very authentic. Events of the real world are only a minimal part of the book however. The setting is one of sailing ships and swords, focused down to the actions of a few individuals, so that this book would probably work as well for lovers of sword-fantasy as those who like historicals.The intensity of this story pulled me in and I read straight through. At times, though, the degree of pain in the background and lives of every character was almost too much. I'm not sure I will reread this, even though both Andrew and Rory were characters I loved and would like to spend more time with.

  • Jason Bradley
    2019-04-27 15:57

    It's rough, it needs some editing but this is a book so good you can overlook all that. These characters are alive, brilliantly colorful, and believable. I loved every minute of this adventure and look forward to reading more by this author.

  • ~ Lei ~ Reading Is An Adventure ~
    2019-05-05 22:04

    ★★★★☆½Couldn't put it down - stayed up late last night reading it, then up early reading. Andrew is kidnapped off a missionary mission and ends up with Rorik - The Red King, so named because of his fiery, red hair. Virginal, innocent Andrew attracts all kinds of licentious attention. Rorik was kidnapped as a child and kept by a monster for thirteen long years until he angered Maarten who imprisoned him and he was ultimately able to escape. For the last seven years, Rorik has planned his revenge but his plans are at a standstill - until he meets Andrew who is just the kind of sweetmeat Maarten likes. He sets on using Andrew but along the way, falls for Andrew and he has to make new plans.Andrew endures some heart-breaking torture - check my tags, if these are no-goes for you, don't read the book.An adventure-packed, smexy, angsty read. This is apparently the author's first novel and I'm very impressed.

  • Tiya Rosa
    2019-04-30 21:48

    This was a delicious combination of chin hands and porn. Kind of like the literary equivalent of someone quoting Shakespeare to you while they take you from behind, holding your hair for leverage and roughly slamming away. You want to go "awww shucks" and "fuck yeah" all at the same time.This was an intense, comparatively long read about Rory, his campaign for vengeance against his childhood tormentor and all around jackass, Maarten, and his salvation of and by the beautiful Andrew. O'Malley created a vivid world and such compelling characters that as long as the read was, it didn't feel dragging at all. The MCs had chemistry in spades, the dialogues felt authentic, and the supporting characters were each realized that you could tell one from another.This is the author's first solo writing work, and it was brilliant, romantic, and sexy. Can't wait for what she dishes out next.

  • Don Bradshaw
    2019-04-20 18:59

    Reviewed on Hearts On Fire... received this book from the author to read and review and have to say that the 723 pages was a little off putting. Turns out that this is Ms O'Malley's first novel and it was great. Ruaidhri is a pirate captain called the Red King because of his long, flowing red hair. He and his men work the north African coast taking contracts and swashbuckling their way all over. Ruaidhi has his mind and heart bent on only one thing though and that is vengeance. He wants Maarten Van de Wort dead and will use anything and anyone to get it done. Through a series of flashbacks we learn that a 10 year old Rory, Ruaidhri, was stolen by Maarten and raped, tortured and made to do some heart scarring things. Now a grown man, Ruaidhri lives to kill Maarten. Andrew is a Scottish orphan who had been raised in a monastery. Eighteen years old, innocent and beautiful he is rescued from a burning ship where he was being held captive. Malik, one of Ruaidhri's men makes a mad dash below the burning decks and saves young Andrew from certain death. Once aboard the pirate ship, Andrew heals and insists on helping with the work. He becomes the favorite of the crew and butts heads with Ruaidhri more than once on moral and personal issues. The sheer innocence and beauty that is Andrew makes him a pawn in the revenge plan being hatched by Ruaidhri. As time passes though a great attraction forms between the Red King and Andrew that may just kill everyone. This was a wonderfully written story of lust, passion and a love that passes every barrier a man can put up. It takes place somewhere during the Spanish Inquisition though the date is really not important. What makes this story outstanding is the absolutely wonderful characters and the wealth of strong emotions that Ms O'Malley has created. Every man on the pirate ship is damaged in some way yet their unwavering devotion and love of Ruaidhri binds them together into a cohesive unit. Truly they are a band of misfits each with his own story. The dichotomy between Andrew and Rory and their eventual coming together was masterfully written and definitely does not read like a first novel. I found the way that the rough edges that both Andrew and Rory had were used perfectly to smooth down and bring out the best in each man. This story was driven by the love that the that I developed toward each character and the strong disgust and hatred that is fostered toward Maarten. There is a good deal of violent rape and torture in this book which is necessary to the story so if the subjects are offensive to you or you can't read it, this book may not be for you. Maarten was a man that found pleasure only in the pain he could inflict on others and was a merciless and depraved being. Don't be put off by the length of this story because you will devour each page and want more. The eventual HEA is well worth the emotions that were wrung from me. I cannot recommend this exceptional love story strongly enough. It is not your typical sweet, sappy love story. You need to read this book. My thanks for the memorable ride Ms O'Malley.

  • Syfy
    2019-05-11 20:04

    The problem with these long, drawn out books is the culminating scenes are rarely payoff enough for the slow dramatic buildup. Not the case here. At all.For instance; Every moment leading up to the reunion between Rory, Maarten, and Andrew has reason and purpose. Soak it in, let it fill you up, then *wham* ultimate satisfaction!Then there's the issue of gratuitous dropping of wisdom when religion is part of the package. In this case? Never gratuitous, always perfect in timing, pitch. Lots of merit, in my opinion.So high sea adventure with all sorts of pirates and captives. Good guys, bad guys, evil guys, FANTASTIC! Epic battles on land as well, some horrific hand to hand. A bloody, gory few places.Beautifully done. Amazing characters throughout... This one will stay with me a long time, and then? I will read it again! p.s. (view spoiler)[ In the epilog, there is a passage that was so sexy I cannot say why.... (hide spoiler)]

  • ttg
    2019-04-23 20:52

    A very solid historical/pirate adventure story about a pirate captain who plots revenge against a madmen who had tortured him. He intercepts a ship and rescues a young man who was being sent to the madmen as a “prize”, and he realizes that maybe he has the last piece for his plan to work. (Little does he realize how important this piece would become to him.)I really like historical adventure stories, especially the pirate variety, so for the most part, I enjoyed this book. The MCs were engaging, the side characters were both colorful and fleshed out, the dialogue was good, and the settings felt very vibrant and real, whether it was on the ship at sea, or at a small village on the coast of Africa. The writing was very smooth, and I appreciated how effortlessly the author included details to make all the settings feel very real.The developing romance between Rory (the pirate captain) and Andrew (the rescued captive) was sweet, thrilling, and romantic.It’s a long story though, at over 120,000 words, and I felt the pacing dip from about 30% to close to 60%. There was some nice relationship development here, as well as plentiful sexy times, but it definitely felt slower for about 100 pages.The guy that Rory wants to kill is a terrible villain, and there is some awful violence in the third quarter. At first, it was tempered because the MC walks into it “willingly” but soon that changes because the guy is terrible, and there is violence and non-con. I really dislike non-con, and I wasn’t sure of the level that was going to be here, but there is some on-page, and it was heavy and unpleasant, which kind of wrecked my reading, to be honest.If you’re fine with some non-con, you will probably be fine. If you really dislike it or have a hard time with it, then that section might be too much for you. It was really upsetting and stressful for me. Everything ends very well though, so don’t worry.If you’re okay with some heavier violence/non-con, and you enjoy historicals, then I would definitely recommend you check this out. It’s a long romantic adventure where you follow the characters from the high seas to the deserts to evil fortresses. There is a sweeping love story in there, and one that ends very satisfyingly.

  • Kukko
    2019-04-30 21:54

    Nothing I write about this book will ever do it justice!. An epic adventure, set in North Africa and Western Europe, and the surrounding seas, at a time when pirates were commissioned by wealthy benefactors to kidnap the innocent, plunder villages, intercept other pirates, and bring back treasures. This is the story of the romance between a supernaturally gifted, red-haired, Irish pirate (Rory aka Ruaidhri aka the Red King), and a beautiful, monastery-raised Scotsman (Andrew aka Coinin).....and their revenge against a sadistic nobleman.It's an amazing story of loss of innocence, obsession, madness, revenge, tragedy, forgiveness, redemption, love and adoration. The story has an expansive, cinematic, film-like feel to it. At times, it was an amazingly beautiful love story, and at other times, it was a gut-wrenching and horrifying story of torture and murder. The MCs spectacular journey to HEA was so captivating, I did not want their story to end….despite a couple of annoying typos!

  • Em
    2019-05-10 22:41

    I do love a good Pirate book every once in a while and this one certainly didn't disappoint!!! I enjoyed it immensely and even shed a few tears here and there which doesn't happen very often :) I would highly recommend it!

  • Plainbrownwrapper
    2019-05-01 17:40

    Oh DAYUM, this is a terrific book. I'm tempted to go with the 5 stars....and I may do that eventually. This is a solid 4.5 without any doubt, but I may have to raise it to 5. Over all the 415 romance books I've rated so far, I've only handed out 5-star ratings to 7 books...and boy, I'm tempted to add this one to the list. I'll have to think about it awhile, and I'll have to reread this too. I'm looking forward to the reread. :-)The Red King really wasn't what I expected it to be. And that's a good thing. Please, for heaven's sake don't pay too much attention to the book blurb -- you could easily be led astray in your expectations, as I was. I don't want to reveal too much about the book, 'cause not knowing what's coming up next is half the fun, but I will say that this is a wild ride in the best traditions of Captain Blood or The Sea-Hawk -- if those had been written in times when authors could be more candid about subjects like homosexual relationships, and if Sabatini cared as much about people in love as Ms. O'Malley obviously does. Yes, I do have some minor quibbles about the book -- but, really, the overall reading experience overrides any quibbling I might want to do. My enthusiasm for this book built gradually over about the first third of the story, and by about the half way mark I was cheering it on full steam ahead. The book repeatedly surprised me, again and again -- first in NOT being the "fainting virgin mastered by the domineering pirate" tale that I expected it to be, second in giving so much strength to both main characters, third in doing such a good job of presenting meaningful emotion in all the characters (both primary and secondary) without lapsing into "let's all stand around and talk about our emotions" territory, fourth with the unexpectedly high quality of the writing (nothing personal, Rosemary, but I don't know ya and I didn't expect you to be such a darned good writer!), fifth with the exciting ups and downs of the plot, and....well...I'm sure there's lots more I could gush about, but I'm probably boring you by now.One caveat: if you are sensitive to rape scenes, stay away. This book does not pull its punches while a MC is being mistreated. But if you want excitement, love, suffering, and Good Triumphing Over Evil, read this book!disclaimer: I received a free copy of this text from the author, but I was under no obligation to review it. I have now purchased this book for myself, because an author this good deserves to be supported! Vote with your wallet!

  • Urbanista
    2019-05-10 22:02

    Hard to believe this is a first novel. Full of vivid descriptions, lively action, and arrgh-- clever pirates, The Red King is a rollicking romantic nautical adventure. One pirate, bent on revenge, finds redemption in an innocent young man bound for slavery. Although full of humor and action, this novel takes a very dark turn at some points. I am impressed with the author's willingness to explore the depths of human evil, greed, and madness--even in the main characters. Both MCs are very appealing, and it's fascinating when they are less than ideal examples of humanity. Their conflictedness gives them surprising depth for a pirate novel.Not to worry, though. The Red King is a pirate novel through and through, full of lovable pirates, exotic locations, and hoards of treasure, with a sweet love story. I loved reading about the various types of ships and their capabilities. Lots of.good nautical detail, without being overwhelming. A good read, you'll love the main characters and a few of the fairly stock sidekicks. The villain is exceptionally warped, and he is somehow always present; a driving force of evil. Recommended!

  • Barb ~rede-2-read~
    2019-05-02 19:49

    This book was phenomenal! Using my thesaurus, I will also add: extraordinary, impressive, outstanding, incredible and exceptional. In very simple terms, it's the story of Rory, the Red King, a man utterly set on revenge to Maarten, a greedy, self-serving, sadistic, evil man who captured Rory when he was only 10 years old and kept him as a sexual slave for 13 years. The only reason Rory didn't die is that Maarten sent him away, starved, beaten and chained in the hold of a slave ship from which Rory ultimately managed to escape. Andrew, a young man traveling with a group of priests on a holy pilgrimage is enslaved and chained in the hold of another pirate ship which happens to be raided by Rory's crew. When he realizes that Andrew was being escorted to Maarten, Rory sees his chance to exact revenge. The story is complex, well-written, dark, erotic and there's nail-biting suspense in the last third of the book. It is just so amazing to me that this book is the author's first published work. I want more, please! I can't go into detail on this story, it's just too intense for a few simple paragraphs, but if you are in doubt, just read it. It will be well worth your time.

  • Edina Rose
    2019-05-12 20:48

    Moving tale of a happy child who was made an orphan then used as a sex and pain slave. Many years later he escaped and he swore the demise of his captor, a sadistic man who sexually abuses and feasts upon the misery of young boys. When he was close to strike that mortal blow to the old bastard, he fell in love with his own secret weapon, a young and innocent man raised by priests. The story of their love is epic and beautiful. The age difference is irrelevant as both men bring the best out of each other and learn from each other equally.The characters (main and secondary) are so colourful, full fleshed, imperfect, endearing, exotic! And I'm sure I'm missing some more well deserved adjectives! The end of the story is magnificent in an old fashioned way with a big drama and some grand gestures. It is sweet with a bit of sting to keep up with the angsty quality of the book. I was listening to "Air on a G string" when I finished the last pages and it perfectly fitted the tone of the end: happiness but also a bit of nostalgia and sadness because of goodbyes and the price paid for love and freedom. Apparently it's the first solo novel written by this author.

  • Day-thief
    2019-05-09 21:51

    Lame story, lame characters, lame historical setting, lame sex. Did I mention how lame I thought this was?

  • Brainorgan
    2019-05-15 23:46

    Could not put it down, finished it in a day. This is bad, because I would like to still be reading it. It was a faithful representative of the "Captain Blood" genre and others of that ilk, all of which she mentions in her blurb. Even Kathleen Woodiwiss, for goodness sake! Rory and Andrew really get put through the wringer, everything happens to them individually and together, I'm amazed they can be happy! But just forget all that and enjoy it for what it is, a wonderful adventure-romance. The ensemble cast kind of reminds me of the Casablanca cast of characters, lots of interesting people, & some with questionable motivations.There is torture, but it was not too intense for my delicate sensibilities - even so, I almost cracked going through it with Andrew.As always, I do have to quibble with the copyediting, lots of usage errors & nonwords. Not too distracting to have to put down though.

  • Manuela
    2019-05-04 16:35

    2.5 starsUnfortunately I couldn't get into this story at all. I never connected with the characters so I found myself mostly uninterested in what happened to them and in their relationship in general. I found the first part to be too slow and a little boring. When the villain enters the picture, the pace gets faster, but I couldn't fully enjoy this part of the book either because some things just didn't ring believable to me and the villain seemed to me a little too over the top. The part I liked the best was the very last one, but it's not enough for me to say I liked the book.Maybe it's the fact I had to read the story in bits and pieces, a little at a time, because of real life keeping me busy. I do wonder if maybe, read in one of two settings, I could have immersed myself into this universe better and so enjoyed it more.

  • Karel
    2019-05-03 20:50

    So. I'm massively disappointed by this one. I put this off for a long time thinking it'll be so good it'll send me into depression when I'm done and leave me with the productivity of an Artic pineapple farm*.Alas.I found the book overly descriptive to the point of tediousness. As I pointed out in my status update, every overturned rock needed a paragraph to describe the exact angle in which it reflected the sun. The book was only 350 or so pages, but it's so wordy that it easily feels like a thousand. Worse is that despite its descriptiveness, I was left with very little impression of their surroundings. Half the time I had literally no idea where on God's green Earth they are (nor do I care, because the narrative gives me no reason to care). There's also the fact that despite its wordiness, it conveys very little of the atmosphere or the general feel of the place. It describes rooms as such: that it has a cushion here and a pile of rags there and a hearth. But what kind of place is it? Is it a threadbare rug in a cold hut with a hearth that looks like it was last used a century ago? Bugger me if I know.I know, I know. I sound like I'm contradicting myself by demanding more description. I'm not. I'm demanding more quality description. You don't get anything out of a description that sounds like an IKEA shopping list, even if you describe it so thoroughly that I can draw you an interior design scheme for it.Then there's my complaint with the characters, which are really too shallow for so wordy a work. The two main characters are defined so much by their past and pain (a complaint I seem to be making frequently, it seems) that there's no actual personality in them once you remove their past. Angsty pasts do not a character make. I talk myself sore about this all the time but again: it doesn't matter if you write them a history all the way back to their stone age ancestry, it's still not personality.//rageragerage//Once you take away their pasts this is what the main characters are reduced to:-Gorgeous kid everyone wants to coddle-Ginger Jack SparrowAnd the secondary characters... Well, despite them appearing all over, all the time, they barely have any personality to describe them. You can reduce most of them to sentences like 'Wants to coddle MC' and 'Bad guy gone good'.The interaction between the two MCs fell flat too, because all Malley did was repeat the sex and give you countless little sneak peeks into their time together that doesn't actually add anything or deepen their relationship. It reads like an extract from someone's diary - today we had sex and swam a lot - but it didn't develop their feels. Nobody understood anybody more because of it, or discovered a new aspect of themselves, or obtained a new aspiration, or even waxed philosophical about life in general. What's it all then? Yeah, you heard me the first time: filler.Overall, it's a work that needs an editor to rip into it,cut out all the extra bits that don't add or mean anything. It's an okay job for a maiden effort, and it's certainly a cut above a rehash of Shifter and Mate (#48000). If you're the sort to have the patience to read every word and enjoy a fluffy, romantic pirate romp... This one will cater to your needs.* This expectation comes from the fact that she co-authored S.A. Reid's Manhandled and the fact that reader reviews were largely positive and Goodreads likened it to Reid's work, though I now suspect the latter was because of the co-authored book.

  • Mello ❣ Illium ✮Harry✮ ☀Myrnin☀ Torin Ichimaru
    2019-04-25 22:52

    Synopsis:A man abused and discarded is left to rebuild himself with naught but vengeance in his heart. A youth cruelly torn from all he knew and loved is cast adrift with no hope for the future. What will happen when Fate thrusts them together?He is known as Ruaidhri and his extraordinary strengths and stamina are said to be born of the Devil. His ferocity is matched solely by his ruthlessness. For seven years, he has sailed his ship the Taibhse with one goal in mind: to avenge the years of torment he suffered at the hands of a depraved Danish lord. He has one final plan to succeed, but he searches yet for the implement.His family destroyed by violence and his body enslaved to a brutal master, Andrew’s future promises only misery. He is saved from this desolate fate by a pirate captain with fiery hair and an ultimatum; help him achieve his revenge and go free, or be sent to a horrific, painful death. As Andrew struggles with the choice of slave or assassin, he finds that all is not as it seems aboard the corsair’s ship.Pain is tempered by pleasure and loss consumed by love in the flames stoked by…The Red King.Warning: this is an erotic m/m romance intended for mature audiences. It contains explicit sexual situations, frank language, torture, and non-graphic descriptions of abuse of a minor.My Thoughts:I ended up enjoying this book a lot. There were some points where it seemed to drag for me and I had to stop and read two other books before I could come back to this one. Once I did, though and got to the part where Andrew goes to fulfill the mission all on his own, things picked up for me again and I was sucked back in.I did like the book starts right off with what happened to Andrew, not long after he was first taken. I was terrified for him from the start when it became apparent that one asshole wanted to rape him. I was glad someone intervened on his behalf. Next thing you know, he's on another ship against his will apparently to be used as the lynchpin in someone's vengeance plan.It didn't take long for him to fall under the captain of this new ship's spell or vice versa. That was odd to me, at first. But then, I started to enjoy their times together. Especially when Andrew became quite the little seducer. I liked that he was able to get Rory to become a better man. That he was able to get Rory to open up and become more thoughtful of others. Andrew was truly a remarkable person. Even when he was pissed at Rory, he held his own and he learns fast. I really enjoyed him. I liked Rory a lot as well. What a passionate guy. He made some mistakes early on with Andrew, but he got better as time went on and became incredibly sweet where Andrew is concerned.Things kind of waned for me in the middle of the book until (view spoiler)[that fight on the beach where Andrew thinks Rory dies and then asks Ortega to take him to Maarten (hide spoiler)]. Things definitely pick up there. And get a bit darker as well. Andrew really goes through so much during this time. He nearly becomes broken by the end, but holds true to the little wolf nickname Rory and his crew give him. I was so proud of him in that moment.After this, comes a time of healing and it wasn't easy. Something Andrew had done during his time with Maarten causes him to withdraw. It took a little while, but he rallied and made it back. Things end well and happily for our heroes and I was happy for them. This was a really nice standalone book. I'd probably read it again someday.

  • DaisyGirl
    2019-05-03 18:02

    2.5 StarsThis book is not for the faint of heart!Ruaidhri ("Rory"), also known as The Red King, is a man bent on vengeance. He is determined to seek justice for the horrific ills he suffered as a youth. For the past seven years, Rory has captained the Taibhse with a fiercely loyal crew of like-minded sailors. Together, their lifes' mission is to destroy Maarten Jans de Worrt, the depraved Danish lord. Andrew is an orphan twice over. After witnessing the murders of the holy men who cared for him, he is kidnapped by slavers. Salvation comes in the form of Ruadidhri and his crew. Initially, Rory sees Andrew as a means to an end; a tool to use in assassinating Maarten. But as the two get to know each other, in and out of bed, a deep-seated love begins to bloom; one that changes everything, including the courses of their lives and those of the Taibhse.This book was alright. I really enjoyed many of the characters, especially Rory, Malik, and Etienne. Andrew was likeable enough. The world building was interesting and I liked watching Rory and Andrew's relationship develop. So why not a higher rating? First, the gratuitous violence. Torture and rape in this book abound, and graphically so. Not my cuppa. Second, it was really slow at times. The length could've been shortened. And lastly, though there was a lot of sex, the scenes were meh IMO.Bottom-line: a great debut novel but over-the-top graphic violence diminished my enjoyment.

  • Тамрико
    2019-04-27 21:38

    DNF-ing at 60%, applying math, rounding up and marking as "read".I get it that Rory suffered abuse and betrayal. I get it that he was a lowly slave. He and the author told us that many many times. So many times, in fact, that I am sick and tired of it. I haven't seen him being a pirate, though both the author and Rory insist on it.I haven't seen him defending the fishermen villages, though both the author and Rory insist on it. Again. I don't get it why the village he visited with Andrew is short of worshipping him. What I do see is an angry and bitter man, who is using an innocent soul, manipulating Andrew, turning the boy he "loves" into a whore and coercing him to commit murder in the name of justice. Get your own revenge, with your own bloody hands, Rory. I really hate the guy.One star.~~~*I just have to add:This is another book with too many words. I am clueless as to why some of the people and adventures are even in it, they carry no purpose at all. The book is packed, so to speak, with the proverbial guns that never get a chance to fire. Most of it is meaningless and tiresome. I was promised more action and angst somewhere later in the book. Maybe I am too impatient, but I can't possibly enjoy a book that can only hold my interest in the beginning - 10%, somewhere later - 8%, and maybe another 6% closer to the end. It's absurd.

  • Aղցela W.
    2019-05-08 22:34

    Spoiler Ahead This was a really good book that I read for a challenge. Rory, also called Ruaidhri "The Red King" escaped from sexual bondage and slavery to create a new life as pirate and captain of the Taibhse ("Ghost"). Although now feared and respected, Rory shuns love, obsessed with taking revenge on the man, Jan de Wortt Maarten, who nearly destroyed him. So when Rory's crew captures Andrew, a beautiful young man raised by holy men Rory sees Andrew as a potential weapon in his quest for vengeance. But Andrew brought up to lead a simple life that is now lost to him, is no simpleton. What begins as mutual lust and self-interest slowly turns into something deeper, forcing Rory to decide which is more important his long-awaited vengeance, or Andrew. Rory is so broken on the inside because of what was done to him. I don't normally read a lot of high seas type books but this was a really good book this was my first time reading this author but not my last. The sex scenes were hot as hell. The book also had a lot of violence in it and I really liked both of the MC's in this book. The book was well written with no errors in grammar or spelling. If you like reading m/m historical pirates mixed in with a love story than I recommend that you read this book.

  • Mercedes
    2019-05-11 15:58

    4.5 starsThis is a very good book. Just short of amazing for me. After being held captive as a sex slave for 13 years Rory (31yo) is now the captain of his own ship. He also seeks revenge from his captor and torturer Maarten. As part of these he keeps intercepting Maarten's raiding ships and liberating his victims. This is how he comes to meet Andrew (18yo). Andrew is the sole survivor of a raiding on his ship which was taking him ad his brethren of monks to a new country. Rory thinks Andrew is the perfect tool to carry on his plan to kill Maarten. At first Andrew comes off as this beautiful, virginal, hard to resist young man. But he turns out to be this very wise and strong man who helps Rory finally overcome his years of abuse.There's a lot of pirate action on this story: several raids, fights and more. But please beware of graphic depictions of child abuse, rape and torture.

  • Beth Wirth
    2019-05-13 17:47

    This book was so highly rated I was a bit wary getting into it. I've been burned before by books that everyone else loved, and burned badly. I was pleasantly surprised in The Red King. I found both of the main characters to be engaging, and the supporting cast and world a ton of fun. I wouldn't exactly say that I "loved" this book- I found parts of it far too frustrating for that. Instead I would call it deeply satisfying in a way that few books I read truly are. Everything that I wanted to happen, happened. Every depth of emotion that I didn't even know I wanted to plumb, was plumbed. I will most certainly be looking forward to any future work from this author!

  • Pjm12
    2019-05-21 23:40

    Full on, intense pirate-y goodness. Read it almost in one day.Great main characters with lots to love about both of them, in very different ways. We just need to see how these boys react with the people they come in contact with, to know these boys care about others.Their relationship develops quickly, but because Rory has an agenda and Andrew is alone & unhappy, it doesn't seem unexpected or unreal. There was humour as well, which I really appreciate. But there was also angst and drama, so they had to do a bit of fighting to get happy.Great first novel.

  • Shannon
    2019-05-12 19:49

    Wow. I know, what a review. Not at all my time of book but soooo very good. I felt like I was living in the times right there with them. And painful, like gut achingly painful. A pirate love story. A harsh, brutal, violent love story but a love story none the less. Oh and the smexing was fantastic. And hot and ....I don't have the right words. Just read it!

  • Mandy Beyers
    2019-05-19 20:47

    Not for the faint of heart - but a very good story with themes of redemption, overcoming past abuses, and of course, true love conquering all! I loved this read and look forward to future works from Ms. O'Malley.

  • Jayhjay
    2019-04-30 19:03

    This review was originally published on my blog Joyfully JayAs The Red King opens, we meet young Andrew, captured by pirates and praying for his life. The monks he was traveling with, the only family he has ever known, have all been killed and Andrew assumes he is next. Little does he know he faces a worse fate. The pirates intend to take him as a gift to Maarten Jan de Worrt, a man who is both powerful and sadistic. Maarten’s fondness for young, beautiful men is well known, and as a sheltered, 19-year-old virgin, Andrew is exactly the kind of play thing Marteen would love.Fortunately, Andrew finds himself rescued by another group of pirates led by Ruaidhri (Rory), the Red King. Rory’s tale of fighting his way to freedom, slaughtering all his captors, and taking over as ship captain is legendary. He and his sailors protect the coast, stopping slavers and fighting to keep the waters safe from Maarten and his men. And Rory has his own history with Maarten and that personal experience makes it clear exactly what Andrew would face at his hands. But Rory has spent years seeking revenge against Maarten is also determined to stop him once and for all. He decides that the price of Andrew’s freedom will be to help him destroy Maarten.But Andrew is not ready for that challenge yet. He needs to learn to fight and defend himself and prepare for the task. What neither Rory or Andrew expects, however, is that during their time together they would fall for one another. Andrew is so sweet, so innocent and good. He draws Rory in with his open and loving nature. Yet he is also incredible strong, determined, and fierce when he needs to be. The combination of innocence and strength totally wins not only Rory’s heart, but the respect and admiration of the crew. And Rory is powerful, a natural leader with a wild mane of red hair and a strong body. Yet he is loyal and fiercely protective of his crew and those people he cares about. Despite his lack of life or sexual experience, Andrew finds he can’t resist Rory either. Rory has lived his whole life seeking revenge against Maarten. But now that he has fallen in love with Andrew, he can’t imagine sending him to risk his life with the dangerous man. Yet Maarten is still out there and the list of the victims of his violence and treachery continues to grow. The men must figure out if they can stop him without destroying their own lives and chance at happiness.The Red King was such a wonderful, sweepingly epic story and I was captivated from the very start. The book takes us on a journey where the quest for revenge twists and turns into a tale of two unlikely men who find love with each other and courage to face their own fears. O’Malley creates such a fascinating world of pirates who rule the seas. We meet pure innocent souls and men with evil in their hearts. And every time I thought I knew how the story would unfold, it took another turn that kept me eagerly reading to see where the journey would go.O’Malley has created two such wonderful characters in Rory and Andrew. When we meet Rory he is a man living for one thing only – revenge against the man who ruined his life and who continues to harm so many others. Rory managed to survive under circumstances that would have destroyed lesser men, and he commands the respect and admiration of both his crew and the people he protects. He is willing to use Andrew because he needs him. Andrew is just the prize that a man like Maarten would love. And at first Rory can’t let himself care about Andrew’s safety. Yet as he gets to know the man, Rory finds himself falling for him. After closing himself off for so long to anything but the pursuit of his goals, Rory finds himself in love with Andrew and suddenly must rethink everything about his life. I loved watching Rory grow and change here as he learns to open his heart to someone. He struggles, especially early, with letting go of that captain role and allowing Andrew to make decisions for himself. Rory’s instinct is to control and care for him but Andrew is stronger than he seems and becomes a true partner for the bold Rory.But for me this is really Andrew’s story and his journey from a terrified, innocent man to someone with incredible internal strength and fortitude is amazing to watch over the course of the story. The pirates call him Coinin, or little wolf, for the fierceness inside of him. Andrew refuses to be cowed and pushed aside. He is witty and clever and strong willed and despite his small size he will not be pushed around by anyone. Andrew faces enormous pain, suffering, and heartache during the book, but his strength is incredible. And most amazing is that he retains that goodness, that caring and patience he learned at the hands of the monks that continues to guide him.The two men together are such an interesting partnership. So different but at the same time working together so well. You guys probably know by now I love a good virgin hero story and O’Malley captures Andrew’s innocence and Rory’s experience so well as the two come together. The sexual tension between them is great and once they get together they are super hot.I truly enjoyed the epic feel of this story and how it really takes us on a journey. However, my main issue with the book is the length. At 300+ pages I just felt like things really could have been tightened up. The story never bored me and I was eager to see how things would develop. But I think there are times when the energy flags a little. Frequently the book builds to a key moment and then there is a delay as we get just a few more scenes, or another twist that postpones a big event. By the time the book ended I just felt that so much had happened I had a bit of trouble getting my head around it all. Again, I never found the story slow or dull, I just think tightening things up would have helped with the energy. My only other issue is that Maarten is just so evil as to be perhaps over the top. He is cruel, sadistic, and horrifying in every way. I get that he needs to be truly awful so that we can understand Rory’s quest for revenge, but maybe just a tiny bit too far here.While I am on the subject, I will mention that this story has some pretty intense scenes, both that happen in real time and in memories. There is rape, abuse, and torture that are at times graphically depicted. For me everything worked for this story and nothing felt overdone, but I mention it because I know there are people who are sensitive to this type of content.Overall this book was such a delightful surprise for me. I felt myself caught up from the very beginning and I loved the journey. Rory and Andrew were such wonderful characters and their love was so strong and beautifully depicted. The side characters are well developed and interesting and the descriptions of life aboard the ship was very well done. This was a lovely sweeping story that has an incredibly sweet and romantic center. I really enjoyed it and would definitely highly recommend The Red King.