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Baal's Heart #1

Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas

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Newly-edited release - August 11, 2014
* Alternate Edition for ISBN: 9780993701702

Novel (123,100 words)
Genre(s): Historical Fantasy, Erotic Action/Adventure, Polyamory, LGBT+/GSM

Sheltered and lonely, Jon's life changes drastically when a strange ship sails into the harbour of his small port town one day. Trapped between the possessive pirate captain and his murderous first mate, he must learn to adapt or he will lose himself completely. An epic tale of love, treachery and revelation, this first instalment of the Baal's Heart series brings you into the lives of three men so bound together by jealousy and lies that they must sail to the very ends of the earth to find forgiveness.

Themes: Erotica, Historical Fantasy, Ménage, Enemies to Lovers, Polyamory

358 pages, ebook

First published February 11, 2014

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About the author

Bey Deckard

25 books626 followers
Artist, dog lover, and writer of very queer, very adult fiction.

Bey Deckard is the author of a number of novels including the Baal’s Heart books, Max, Beauty and His Beast, and Better the Devil You Know.

Bey lives in Montréal, Canada where he spends most of his time writing, doing graphic work, painting portraits, speaking French, cooking tasty vegetarian eats, or watching more movies than is good for him. If you’re the curious type, www.beydeckard.com is where you’ll find art and free stories by Bey as well as information on his published works.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 277 reviews
Profile Image for Nancy.
557 reviews762 followers
September 30, 2017
Cross-posted at Outlaw Reviews and at Shelf Inflicted

The story begins with the sad life of Jon. His mom died of the weeping plague and his dad died in a fall. Jon is frail and sickly, suffering from migraines and persistent bad dreams. Unsuitable for hard physical labor, Jon’s indifferent stepfather felt his unusual empathic abilities would come in handy to help determine the guilt or innocence of the prisoners locked up in the castle’s dungeon. Jon’s next task is to help discover who is responsible for the brutal murder of a call girl at a local brothel. Suffering from ill health, Jon takes some rest after his investigation and promptly gets kidnapped by the pirate Baltsaros, and his first mate, Tom, who were made aware of Jon’s talents. Baltsaros nurses Jon back to health and asks him to join their crew. Reluctant at first, Jon then sees this as a fresh start.

The three men grow closer, but all are deeply flawed characters with enough negative experiences in their lifetime that cause their relationship to be complicated, turbulent, and downright sexy.

Baltsaros and Tom are not quite what they seem, and Jon learns quickly that lies roll off the captain’s tongue just as easily as his knife shreds flesh. As Jon begins to spend more time with the captain, Tom’s anger and jealousy is aroused.

I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with these three men as they fought, loved and hurt. Their many adventures, the steamy sex, and the memorable secondary characters made this story a joy to read. I especially loved the badass Katherine, whose relationship to Jon was almost sisterly and I even liked Baltsaros’ ex-wife, Abetha, who went through changes of her own. Jon’s growth throughout the story was very convincing and well portrayed. He’s a solid character with the right mix of strength and compassion that brings all three men together.

The story was very well paced with a minimum of errors, and was a satisfying length. The historical setting was vivid and realistic and the dialogue flowed naturally.

I’m definitely on board for the next adventure!

*Book provided by author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for SheReadsALot.
1,838 reviews1,183 followers
November 4, 2017
Before reading- PIRATES?!




I am in cloud one million, right now!! I'm floating!!!!!

Swashbuckling BR with Cupcake! Thanks for joining *coughs* I might have coerced...but she liked it! Honest! Ignore any wayward grumbles. :P

After reading?: 5 HEARTS--When you learn that there is a book that you've ached to read about actually written and quite masterfully...

...a treasure. It's not a book for everyone but hearties....this book was made for me!! *licks pirate sword*

Sometimes it's hard discussing why a book rocks. There are very few books where I want to just say: ' eff this reviewing shit, just 'effing read this 'effing book! NOW! ' Doesn't happen to me a lot but when it does I just want to crow from the rooftops.


This is one of those books for me.

This book has heart, actually, hearts (literally and figuratively) and it's dope. For a first time novel...I was impressed. Is this book going to be for everyone? Hell no. And that's okay. I'll love this book enough for the non readers.

Who would this book appeal to? Hmm...if you're a fan of Rosemary O'Malley's "The Red King", run to "Caged". Readers who like dark, erotica, mystery, action, abused heroes, fantasy, love triangles, kink, D/s, (it's not as BDSM heavy as I expected but fingers crossed for books #2-3), getting close to that incest line but never crossing it (though I wouldn't have minded if it was crossed), rough sex and menage. And don't mind MC's with psychotic tendencies. Oh, a lot of flashbacks.

Is this book romantic? Mmm yes...but it's more about the main characters and their growth into a triad of sorts. But fluffy this book is NOT. It ends HFN-ish with the promise for a HEA in their future. Hey, it's book #1 of the Baal's Heart Trilogy...it can't end without a few loose ends that need to be tied in the future books.

This book is fantasy with a historical feel so the dialogue read like present day, hell there's even some present day topics such as pop psychology mixed in. So if you're a stickler for it to read like a real historical, etc, this might not be for you either.

Now, if I've weeded this down to potential readers...let's get down to "Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas".

Young twenty something Jon has a gift of an empath (or a curse if you ask him) he lives on the island of Portsmouth with his dog, Brutus and stepfather. He gets sent in for a job in the local brothel and gets more than he bargains for by being kidnapped by pirates. Yawr! And the pirates are questionable in their agenda. Poor virginal Jon has to deal with the handsome yet sinister Captain Baltsaros who lies with a practiced smile that does not meet his eye and an even more cheerful bruiser, foul mouthed first mate Tom (who I adored). They sail on the seas of alternate universe, visiting brothels, dealing with topsy-turvy sea life, pirating (living on their own terms, being bad asses, etc.) They aren't your gimmicky pirates, so no peg legs and talking parrots in "Caged". They were more gentlemanly unless it came to retribution, then its whatever means necessary.

There's some minor editing issues (which I've learned is being fixed so I won't mention them) but I did not have a problem following along. The author paints very vivid details, I can picture the room, smell the follows, see the silks on the ladies of the night. I was right there sailing along with the crew. Even the secondary characters were vivid and an important part to this story. Could be that it's a benefit the author is an artist, but it was very nice to have an author pay attention to detail with the imagery. There were also a few parts where the story dragged especially around 55%-about 70%. But this story lingers so I'm overlooking any niggles because the story was tops. I was going to rate it 4.5 but you know what, I loved this story too much to give it anything less than 5 hearts.

“What do I see? I see a man who has higher and thicker walls than I will ever have. I see a terrifying beast enveloped and hidden by a cleverly fashioned mask. I see tears that will never fall. I see blood and death. I see a heart that devours itself. I see the promise of pain and deceit. I see a lot of things, Baltsaros. Many of them frightening.”

Jon is caged. Baltsaros is caged, Tom is caged. They all have their personal demons. There are metaphors that can be found in all there but philosophy was one of my least favorite subjects so I won't bore you or myself. I love a good triangle relationship. All the men had their roles to play. Jon is the quintessential good guy/virgin. Tom has a horrific past and love for pain and submission. Baltsaros is a puzzle, a block of ice that lives and breathes but his heart was never a factor for him...until Jon. And Baltsaros does some depraved stuff, mateys with no conscience. He's a sociopath but there's something about him. He never had anything to care about.

Jon was the missing piece to get the blood pumping and bridge the gap between fuck buddies, Tom and Baltsaros. And also Tom and Baltsaros are open agents, so other men and women are fair game. Minor girly bits in the story, BTW. The three men (Jon, Baltsaros, Tom) struggle with their passions. There is jealousy, petty moves, things I expect when two people who've been fucking get a new third added to the mix.

Did the menage go as smoothly? Nope and it made for such the better read. I like the main characters working for their happy endings. I hate it when everything is neatly wrapped in a bow and told instead of being able to discover along with the main character. Like when Jon finally understood the power of submission and the difference between liking pain and the need for it.

And the erotica, it was not 300-plus pages of smut but when it happened,

“Aye, I love the shite out of that asshole, ducky. He’s strong, smart, and fucks like a bloody madman. What’s not to love?”

Oh boy was it hot ESPECIALLY THE LAST 10%!

Just. Yes.

Kinksters? Bondage, CBT, Wax Play and Breath Play. Have I whet your appetite?

The story is a journey, the author gives you a worthy story to apply to said journey. I enjoyed these multifaceted characters, the twisty turns and surprise themes. I have a list of things I want from this series:

-more kink
-keep that adventure coming
-more info on Baltsaros (I know that deviant has more things up his sleeve -evil conundrum he is)
-more of Tom
-more of this series

I was thoroughly satisfied. I will most definitely be paying attention to this author because he has skills. I highly recommend this story for any MM fans who don't mind some dark dirty with a potential HEA.

Well done, author!

Profile Image for Shurrn.
559 reviews835 followers
March 15, 2015
Brilliant from start to finish!
"It's probably difficult for you to understand. However... as inexperienced and as... conventional as you are, you have to realize that you're not a blushing maiden, and I'm not an evil pirate king here to sweep you off your feet and force you to resign your body to me."
Prepare yourself, because I fucking LOVED this book and I have a lot to say about it.

To be completely honest, I'm a little surprised by how much I enjoyed it - You see, I'm not generally a fan of love triangles and the obligatory angst which accompanies them, but I found myself so transfixed by the rest of the book that everything felt completely natural.

This was beautifully detailed with an almost cinematic quality. It's the kind of story which keeps you absolutely absorbed in the pages. This is a fabulous blend of adventure, romance, suspense, action, and erotica - it bends genres and keeps the reader on their toes.

So let's get the obvious stuff out of the way:
We've got a dangerously hot gay pirate theme happening here.
There's a few menage moments (MMM) but beware my vaginaphobic readers - there is an MMF moment. It's brief, but I know how many of you get downright offended when ladybits show up in your MM.

There are plenty more moments which might push your limits, but I can't say anything else without being spoilery...

Sometimes you just have to agree to let an author take you on a journey.
Trust me when I say this book is a journey worth taking.

I laughed, I squirmed, I worried for the characters... I loved them, loathed them, cheered them on, and most importantly - I WANT MORE. I will absolutely continue this trilogy. I can't wait to find out what new adventures we embark on!

The grieving boy with no one to turn to had grown into a man with incredible empathy and no ability to control his own emotions; someone who craved being touched like a man craved water in the desert without even recognizing it. Jon was so drawn in on himself that it was a wonder he had made it as far as he had in this life.
I instantly liked this character - he's the everyman in this story and the reader learns all about being a pirate through his experience. Jon grew up in a small port village watching ships come and go. He's a sickly little waif when we first meet him - weak and terrified of people.

Jon has lived his whole life in loneliness and obscurity - hovering on the periphery of castle society - always watching and never noticed. Jon's observational skills have been sharpened over his twenty-two years to the point that he's basically a human lie detector.

Jon's gift was put to use in the interrogation sessions of the castle dungeon. It was a quiet existence, until one day he finds himself abducted and hauled out to a pirate ship...

Pirate Captain
Baltsaros was attempting to ease the young man's anxiety with a human touch, but he realized in dismay that his motives had little to do with how useful that would make him to the crew; the truth was that Baltsaros foolishly wanted to win Jon over, both mentally and physically, for himself. To what end?
Jon's talents are invaluable for a pirate - When you're trading with other pirates, having someone at your side to tell you if you're being fucked over is a dream come true.

Baltsaros is a fascinating, terrifying, sociopath who develops a soft spot for his captive. He's mysterious and suave, and unlike anyone Jon has ever met before. Jon finds himself mesmerized by the captain's charms, but he won't be fooled into thinking the man isn't a deadly predator.

To make matters worse, Jon's new connection to the captain is earning him a vicious enemy...

Pirate First Mate
Tom was the very essence of summer at sea, with his blue-green eyes, and the sun's heat coming off his bronzed skin. Just like the sea, he was callous and dangerous...
Tom is a wonderfully complex character. I oscillated between loving and hating him several times over the course of this book.

He's a ruthless killer with an easy smile. He's jovial with a hidden darkness. He's a masochist to his core and takes pleasure from driving the captain mad enough to punish him. The work-horse first mate has developed a D/s relationship with the pirate captain he calls "Da"... Yeah... Tom is complicated, and an absolute pleasure to read - even when I hated the guy, he was a fun character.

As Jon and the Captain become close, Tom's jealousy begins to rise.

Jon is surrounded by murderers and thieves - surviving on a pirate ship is hard enough without the added pressures of murderous first mates and possessive sociopathic pirate captains... Jon also has to worry about the rest of the crew, the dangers of sea, battles, plagues, and wading through the constant lies and half-truths told by the captain...

"Is it love? I don't know," he said truthfully. "Sometimes I think I'm just addicted to him. Or that he's cast some kind of horrible curse on me where I'm to follow him for the rest of my life, doomed to fall for his lies over and over again."
This story has plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing.

I had several moments of shock as the mountain of secrets which Baltsaros kept hidden were slowly revealed... Do you know how hard it is to shock me? Nearly impossible - and this book pulled more than one "OMG" moment out of me...

You'll just have to read it for yourself and discover all the awesomeness for yourself!
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,843 reviews5,563 followers
June 10, 2014
Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

**3.5 stars**

This is most certainly not a Heather-book.

From reading the synopsis, I was instantly intrigued. I mean, gay pirates!? So much fun! I immediately thought of Exit Strategy, if anyone has read that, and, in truth, there are a lot of similarities. I was anticipating a fun read and was ready to go with my eye patch and bandana. However, this book ended up being a lot tougher than I had anticipated for me.

One of my main issues is that this book moves dangerously close to one of my hard limits. I'll say no more because spoiling anything about this book takes away all of the excitement of it. But, being vague, if I had known more about certain aspects of the plot I don't think I would have picked this one up to begin with.

I also had a lot of trouble with the killings. Baltsaros is an unrepentant, sociopathic kind of killer and it rubbed me the wrong way. I strongly disliked his character for the majority of the story, only warming to him marginally by the end. I think fans of Quentin Tarantino's movies might like this one. A lot of the book made me really uncomfortable because of Baltsaros creepy enjoyment of killing. I also wasn't quite sure how the killing factored into the overall story arc. I kept asking myself, "What does Baltsaros get out of it?"

I don't know how I feel about Jon. I found him to be a difficult character to relate too and I wasn't particularly rooting for him. My favorite character, by far, was Tom, who I immediately warmed too. I love a misunderstood, damaged man and I couldn't wait to get to know him better.

Now, some content warnings for you M/M readers who don't like lady parts in your books. There are lady parts in this book, though it is a minor part of the plot. Also, this is what most would consider a M/M/M book, so be aware of that. In addition, though many would classify this book under BDSM, it is not a main focus so don't read this hoping for a BDSM-awakening type of story.

I think what impressed me most about the story was the writing. Congratulations, Bey Deckard, on a most imaginative and well conceived debut story. This book really doesn't read like a work of a first time author, and I admire all the polish and care put into the story. The plot moved along at a nice pace, and the characters were all multi-layered and interesting. I got to know each of the men and women, for better or for worse, and felt like they were fully fleshed out, fully realized. My one complaint about the writing was the flashbacks, which I felt were somewhat awkwardly inserted at times.

Did I enjoy this story? Sort of, yes. However, between the moral ambiguity (that is putting is VERY nicely) and the gory plot, I think this book is better left to more daring audiences. I'll be passing on the rest of the series.

Profile Image for Optimist ♰King's Wench♰.
1,764 reviews3,836 followers
July 1, 2014

ARRRR! My BR adventure with Baby!

I admit it. I’m a sucker for this trope-the downtrodden who finds a home and family, one not borne of blood, and blossoms like a flower in spring. I love it. It gets me every time. Every. Single. Time. AND they’re kinky too? Kinky pirates, no less. Shut the front door! I mean… it doesn’t get much better than that.

Jon and Baltsaros’s romance is non-traditional to be certain, but no less arresting. However, a great romance is a great romance is a great romance. What sets Caged apart are these characters and all their layers, this world he’s built and this story arc. Caged is Book 1 of a trilogy, but the ending isn’t too cliff-y, though it definitely has a “to be continued…” feel.

Bal, as I’ve taken to calling him, fulfills the treachery component of Caged in spades. Bal’s personality was forged by a monster’s hellish whimsy. He’s complicated, arrogant, cold and has a tendency to lie compulsively. He still has a secret or two and he most definitely has a dark side. I’ve got some working theories on what or who Bal actually is. Secret kraken is one of them. >___> Probably not. The trilogy is called Baal’s Heart, so the question is does he have a heart? AND if he has no heart, which in romancelandia terms means he can’t love, then what are we to make of his attachment to Jon?

…in attempting to possess Jon, he himself had become completely and totally ensnared.

When we meet Jon he’s sickly and milquetoast-y. Honestly, if I hadn’t witnessed the transformation myself I would’ve thought he was a natural born pirate. He’s certainly has a knack for this piracy gig. You might be thinking why was Bal, the badass, heartless pirate interested in Jon. Well, Jon has the gift of empathy which somehow Bal knew. Caged is only the opening volley of the trilogy, but in my heart of hearts I believe Jon is the glue that will bind the three of them together. Yep, there’s a third, Tom, but by and large Caged focuses on Jon and Bal.

“When you look at me like that…” he said softly after a moment, his blue eyes wide.”It feels like I’m home.”

True. The kinky pirates weren’t as kinky as I had hoped, but this actually turned out to be something I admired quite a lot about this writer and this story. Let me ask you, if you’d just started dating someone would you let them blindfold, bind and cane you from the get go? Outside the confines of a club wherein that’s what you’ve negotiated, that is? Probably not, right? Right. There is some mild D/s going on initially and it’s clear early on that Bal is a dominant and a sadist, but that aspect of their relationship evolves organically and, I believe, is still evolving. Let’s just say I smell a switch. At any rate, the kinky bits were a total win for me. It gives me the willies when a couple goes from zero to ARE YOU FUCKING CRAZY?!?!? Thankfully, the kink kicked up quite nicely toward the end which gives me the warm fuzzies for books 2 and 3.

It was as if their talents, strengths, desires, and weaknesses were woven into a three-sided tapestry.

Now, Tom… *sigh* lovely, naughty Tom is the masochist here. I liked all of these characters, but I’m #TeamTom. Woof! He’s snarky, cusses like a sailor, fights a little bit dirty, has tattoos… he’s a pirate! P-I-R-A-T-E. He so wants to hate Jon. He really does, but Jon is beautiful and honest and a little bit naive, an innocent with teeth to boot. No chance in hell against all of that. So what does that do to his relationship with Bal? Especially when Bal seems to be so enamored of Jon. Yep. The green eyed monster rears its ugly head. Green-eyed monster + pirate = ruh roh raggey

“Aye, I love the shite out of that asshole, ducky. He’s strong, smart, and fucks like a bloody madman. What’s not to love?” responded Tom with a rueful twist to his lips.

Be still my heart. I think I’m in love.

I’m a character person through and through. I like ‘em kinky and bad with lots of personality. Chances are if I like the characters I’m going to like the story and if there is a entertaining tale along with a swashbuckling adventure to go along with it, I’m in hog heaven. Caged delivers on this; reading it was like being on a ship at sea. In a hurricane. Every time I thought I had my footing another wave would crash over, knock me on my ass and leave me sputtering. Needless to say, there are still a lot of questions yet to be answered, adventures to be had, and demons to be vanquished all of which has me on pins and needles in anticipation of Book 2.

I haven’t the words to express how impressed I am that this is the debut novel for Mr. Deckard. Superb effort. The writing is smart and beguiling with vivid imagery. There are two things that are niggling me, but I can’t, in all fairness, count them against the rating because they could be addressed in the future. I’ll just leave it at that.


Reviewed for

Profile Image for Sheziss.
1,289 reviews432 followers
December 5, 2015
First of all, I love pirates and of course, by loving pirates I mean I adore the Romantic kind we find in a book and not the real one. The kind of pirates José de Espronceda wrote about in my favorite poem:

My treasure is my gallant bark,
My only God is liberty;
My law is might, the wind my mark,
My country is the sea.

This is a spectacular trilogy and the first volume couldn't have been better.

And needless to say, Bey Deckard is one my little treasures of this year.

Honestly, I'm not fond of threesomes. But surely I'm very fond of good books, and I welcome every book that makes me feel something, or lots of somethings, like this one did. This is a tale of three untamed men and their chemistry between them and the various conflicts that are awaken. First hostility and jealousy, then attraction and awe. And before you ask, yes, it works surprisingly well.

I already went over the top with Sarge and Murphy so I was 99% sure I'd like this one, and Bey hit the nail on the head. This threesome is like Sarge and Murphy and another one, but no one of them felt like a third wheel. Even more, when one of them was removed, you immediately missed him. Every one of them has a defined personality and the counterpoint and harmony that result from every possible mix gives the story a very fascinating sparkle.

Make a notice this is a book with kinky pirates having fun in many sorts of ways. Combinations are infinite and they haven't been totally explored yet, so of course this is quite promising before beginning the book but also after finishing it. Expect several-to-many hot sex scenes and lots of naughty time.

But even though we have three disgusting, perfect bodies dancing together in varied positions, we can't look down on the inner development of the MCs. They all have something interesting to tell and you feel encouraged to go on and find out something new about them. Or to see them giving in to each other. My lips were grinning the whole time but my heart was inflamed almost as often.

Baltaros is presented as the typical secretive dark hero every main character should fall for, but he is not as inscrutable as they want us to think. He is rumored to be heartless and bloodthirsty, and in a way, he is. He is considered a psycho but, in truth, hasn't learnt as a normal human being how to deal with his feelings and his urges, so his appetite and rawness are well-known and feared through-out his crew. Still, we glimpse pieces of his soul that, even though they cannot be considered romantic per se, awake a longing in both Jon and Tom I could feel identified with.

Jon is shy and feeble at first. The only person he loved, his mother, died a long time ago, so he has been alone forever since, with no human touch or a meaningful friendship to worship, apart from his loyal dog, Brutus. But there is steel in him, a steel Baltsaros sees instantly when their glances first meet, so Baltsaros kidnaps Jon and proposes him to join his people and become free. Jon has an empathic ability that allows him to read people's minds and intentions. But somehow Baltsaros seems immune to said skill and Jon has a hard time trying to read him.

Tom... Tom is like Pete from Brethren having his own story. He is the secondary promoted into principal. And I can't complain. He's blond, huge, and loves pain and being used and manhandled. His blue-green eyes mirror his longing for being valued and precious to someone. A desire so profound that Baltsaros has yet to learn to appreciate but Jon soon discovers.

We have plenty of both of Baltsaros's and Tom's POVs, but Tom's is painfully absent. He tells so much while actually saying very little, and mostly snarky comments and provocative hints. But the betraying signs he displays now and then that he with so much effort tries to hide shows his yearning and make you hopelessly ache for him. I hope I get to see more of him, because he has so much potential and he hasn't yet been properly analyzed as he willingly deserves.

I'm not sure yet who is the nexus here. At first the nexus seemed to be Baltsaros, because Tom is already Baltsaros's lover and first mate when Jon comes into scene, and consequently, jealousy and rivalry takes place between Tom and Jon. Baltsaros's hunger is covered with Tom, but something in Jon arises feelings that he had never found in his first mate. He finds himself in the middle of a storm, he wants Tom, but Tom's animosity towards Jon is not a secret, and Baltsaros can't let anything bad happen to Jon. He also wants Jon, but Jon doesn't seem willing to share.

This precarious situation comes to an end when something unforgivable occurs and in that precise moment it seemed that only Jon could bring them all closer. Because it's here when he gets to know Tom better, and he realizes that the feelings he has towards Tom are not only those of the negative sort. They set up an unspoken truce of sorts and in those moments I really wanted to hug Tom and not let go. In truth Tom doesn't appear long, but his appearances are more memorable precisely for that. But that's also due to our over-interpretation of his actions. You try to read him all the time and you always come to your own conclusions, which often are more of acts of faith than real facts. Because the author lets very little of Tom to be known.

In the end, Tom is the one who seems necessary and becomes the dreamy key to get any sort equilibrium and, above all, a happy ending that manages to fulfill the needs of them all. At any rate, the relationship finally becomes balanced when the last piece is put in its place, something I didn't expect because it didn't even seem possible at first. But it is.

So, all in all, this is a totally recommended book. Bey Deckard is an author worth to follow very closely. His writing is exquisite and poignant, without losing that mischievous facet I have become so addicted to. It's not that his style is overly flourished or studiously poetic but the story flows with such an ease there is no moment to consider putting down the book for a while, the thought itself is unthinkable. The characters are multi-layered and complete at every level, it's just that not very much is portrayed about them. Because the trick about seduction is showing little and left the rest to imagination, to draw you in. I liked how these characters seduced me, each one in their own particular way. I finished the book with a huge smile and good vibes and now I only rub my hands viewing myself sinking my fangs in the second and third volumes.


Whole Song of the Pirate:

Profile Image for Bey Deckard.
Author 25 books626 followers
April 17, 2016
I'm not going to rate my own book because of bias, but I'm going to review it. It's a good book. I think it's great for being my first attempt at writing a full-length novel. My own take is this: Lots of angst, three lost souls, lots of sex, complicated characters, and plot twists. Add to that a love of boats, deep respect for the ocean, and a fascination with the darker side of human nature, and you have a book that skirts the line between serious historical fantasy and shameless smut.
Profile Image for Ula'ndi Hart.
898 reviews15 followers
April 3, 2017
Overall book rating: 5 ++++++++++++
Audio Book: Michael Ferraiuolo – 5+++++++++
Book Cover: 4.5

Take a little of this

and a little of that

and I still not be able to tell you what this book made me feel

In fact, I’m still all over the place. And the one thing concrete thing I CAN tell you about this book, is that it made my all-time-favourite list with bells-a-ringing!

You have to experience this for yourself. No amount of review reads or chat sessions will live up to the joy/horror/anger/emotionally-messy/hate/sadness it will make you feel if you just let go and let Michael Ferraiuolo take you on a trip across the high seas.

The audio, has you can see, was F@#! BRILLIANT! The characters – F@#! BRILLIANT!! The feel of this combined experience...

I am so in love with Tom, I’ll fight a thousand battles to make him feel loved and cherished. He surprised me the most with how much he touched me in the little time we get to know him.

Baltsaros is brilliant! His character brings out a myriad of emotions! Those are the best aren’t they? When you can’t decide if you want to stab them to death or hug them breathless? I still don’t know what exactly makes him tick. He is a mystery and an addiction all in one.

Jon is his own little enigma. He starts of as “young” and inexperienced. But his character growth is so well done, and I have a feeling he’ll makes us sit up and take note in the coming days. Jon has a way of blending and observing, that I personally think makes him dangerous in his own way.

There is an ever present aspect of mystery that keeps me on the edge of my seat.

I honestly am now 100% addicted to this series. It’s going to cause one major book hangover when it’s over. I know this, but I can’t stop and I can’t get enough!
Profile Image for Erth.
3,428 reviews
February 27, 2020
Bey Deckard's storytelling and dialogue drew me and sped me along in their travels. I especially enjoyed the journey of the three MCs' relationship, as well as their different characterizations, each having it's own journey, so that I did end up understanding and liking them. Now, some may shiver in their timbers at the light bdsm and m/m/m...not me, I did a different kind of shivering.

Sure, I would have liked it to be a true historical set in the real world, but it's evoked well enough. Maybe a little more umph to the action scenes. And the murderous MCs made me pause, but that's what I get with pirates.

I appreciated that it didn't end in a cliffhanger, but wrapped up the storyline nicely in this start of the series, while also setting me up nicely for book 2.
Profile Image for SheReadsALot.
1,838 reviews1,183 followers
November 4, 2017
When the right book is narrated by the right narrator: MAGIC!

5 Stars--I loved Caged when I first read it few years ago. (A more detailed review link) These pirates are definitely on my top list. You end up holding favorite characters on a pedestal, as did I. So when it's narrated, you just want it to be perfect.

Consider me a fan of Michael Ferraiuolo's narration after my first experience!

The narration was masterful. I was hesitant on the voice of Jon in the beginning but Ferraiuolo's Tom and Baltsaros were spot on. So much so, his Jon won me over too!

The text was long and Ferraiuolo was evenly paced. He had multiple voices, lent the perfect amount of emotions where needed. Every character including the minor ones were distinct. (How many voices live in the narrator? It was like a small country or something, all the different people on the speakers!) 😊

I highly recommend this series, author and narrator! (Though I warn there are triggers, vaginas (not a deal breaker for me - obvs.) and it is dark. So if you prefer lighter themes, don't precede. It gets darker in the next two books, especially the next one)

It was a delightful experience, well worth the listen! I have no time these days but for this audio, I made the time to listen. That's how excellent the book is and will always be.
Profile Image for Chelsea.
864 reviews7 followers
September 28, 2017
Reread: Feb 2017 - Audiobook Addition - Wow that was a fantastic audiobook! I don't usually listen to books I've previously read, (especially if I loved the book) because a lot of the time the voices don't match what was in my head. Here they seemed to enhance the story even more. I loved all the accent changes for Baltsaros, Tom and Jon. I think these voices suited the characters to perfection. I wasn't planning on rereading Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires because it was pretty dark the first time round, but now I can't not listen to the next one. Might be out the end of March *fingers crossed*.


READ THIS!!! If you like morally corrupt men who find someone who stirs some humanity in them, read this! If you like pirates, read this! If you like great character development, read this! If you like lots of sexy times, read this! If you like quick, witty banter, read this! If you like amazing world building, read this! If you like, rough sex, sweet love making, sexy submission and just a little bit of pain, read this! I don't know what else to say really just, READ THIS!!

I think what I love most about this book other than all of the above was Baltsaros' character. I love a good amoral man! I especially love an amoral man when their not redeemed, they just find some happiness or love in another that humanises them more, which is exactly what Baltsaros and Tom are. Jon was such an interesting and intricate character to watch develop. I Just LOVED this book. It was so much better than i was expecting. If your thinking about reading this book... stop reading these reviews and just go read it!!
Profile Image for Vivian.
2,839 reviews389 followers
April 8, 2015
Obsession is hard to give up, or how I made my dysfunctional relationship work.

Baltsaros, psychopath with a physic's knowledge.
Tom, smiling sociopath who is the right hand man.
Jon, sickly empath whose talent is desired and then some.

Pirates? Okay, coming from the seas of Blackbeard I really was expecting more pirate action. Technically, there were no acts of piracy. Mayhem, murder, kidnapping, and various acts of violence--but not on the open sea. The one big battle scene happened on land :(

There was a disturbing tendency in the last quarter of the book to jump ahead in the story and then divulge what happened via a flashback. Anyone who's read my rants knows that this drives me bonkers. Timeline jumping willy-nilly is a pet peeve. Makes me want to smack my head on my laptop.

That said, the commentary on ship life was spot on. I really felt like I was onboard at times. There are some fun twists and turns in the story and the sexy times between the three are erotic, aggressive and eventually emotional. The ending has a Jack Sparrow feeling as the next adventure for the crew is laid out as they sail into the sunset.

Btw. I found it highly disturbing that Baltsaros and the crew were sailing a bareback for as long as they did. Not right.

Overall, entertaining sailing tale that hit the doldrums a spell or two.

Favorite quote:
Baltsaros had never felt relief at not having to kill someone before. It was… noteworthy.
Profile Image for Shin Mon Thway.
663 reviews1,475 followers
November 4, 2019
As you can see, it took me almost 3 weeks to finish this book since I stopped reading when I reached 85% of the book and continued only after about 2 weeks.

I also really don’t know how I feel about this book. First of all, this is a ménage book and I started reading this without knowing it was one. This book was highly recommended by most of my friends and seemed very appealing so I gave it a shot.

So there are 3 MCs, Captain Baltsaros, his first mate Tom and a young lad called Jon.

Bal is truly a diabolical man. He’s heartless, cruel, emotionless and broken in a way. He practiced cannibalism and believed in achieving strength by eating a raw human heart. He also truly liked to torture and kill without any reason only for his pleasure.
Tom was a former slave and the current/ex/current lover of Bal. He’s also broken inside and he loves Bal a lot. The poor guy worshipped Bal like god and does everything he bids.
Jon, a small town guy who was kidnapped unexpectedly by the pirates because of his unique talent. The guy is honest, simple, caring and just an affectionate person.

When Jon arrived to their ship, the relationship between Bal and Tom had become strained as Bal immediately was wooed by Jon’s charm. There unfolds a lot of interesting and unfathomable events. And in the end, two broken burly men were healed by the great love of Jon. Baal’s heart is truly a unique and very well written book. Jargon and terminology were very well researched, the plot was simply thrilling and interesting with lots of unexpected twists and turns along the way.

However, personally, I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I wanted to simply because of the fact that this is a polyamorous relationship book. So I’m not sure I would read the second book in this series. I’m really interested “plot wise” what will happen when they arrive to the devil’s isles but “love wise” I can’t bear to see people sharing love with lots of people. So I really am in a dilemma.

However, me personally not enjoying this book that much has nothing to do with the statement that this book was an amazing book. If you like pirates, steamy sex, angst and a very enticing story and also don’t mind a relatively long read, you will truly love this book. I’m excited to explore more works of this author though. Hope he has some monogamy works that I prefer.

Overall 4 stars
Profile Image for Jo * Smut-Dickted *.
2,038 reviews457 followers
April 24, 2014
I read this on a flight from DC to Phoenix. I was completely absorbed in it. The characters were rich, mysterious, fallible, and real. No shying away from a bit of controversy and some kinks not perhaps held by all. While this book has BDSM it is not about it at all. No BDSM 101 here. It's all about personalities and circumstances and what happens when you discover what you thought is not what is. It's a great length - bit of swashbuckling and even great female characters who get some "screen time". I'm not usually much for historicals but this is a very meaty book with a lot going on. The writing really shines - very smooth, great structure, and the erotic parts are erotic but this is not even close to too much sex not enough action. There is plenty of both here to satisfy anyone.
Profile Image for Lucie V..
999 reviews1,636 followers
July 15, 2022
✅ Steamy M/M sex
✅ Pace
✅🆗 Pirates
🆗 World-building
🆗❌ Characters
🆗❌ Plot
❌ Insta-lust / Insta-love

DNF at 45%

1.5 stars sadly because of the insta-lust and insta-love...

Meh… This one was kind of a letdown… The only pirate thing about this book is the fact that they are on a ship and murders/crimes happen. But the crimes do not necessarily happen at sea. I was expecting more swashbuckling action and adventure mixed with a sexy M/M romance. Instead, I got an almost insta-lust/insta-love between a psychopath with cannibalistic tendencies, a sociopath with attachment issues, and a poor misunderstood, and too sensible young man (actually I don’t know if they would fit in the psychopath and sociopath categories, I just decided that it’s what they are).

The beginning is very good and I was super excited to see where this would go after Jon is being kidnapped by pirates because of his (kinda) empath gift, but then there is just no plot. Jon is not trying to escape, he agreed to become part of the crew so they freed him, and he’s basically living it one day at a time on the ship while trying to escape Tom’s unwanted sexual moves and lusting after the captain. There is no bigger picture there besides the romance developing and evolving between those three characters. Sure there is drama, and by drama I mean Tom having crazy plans to frame Jon for murders because he’s jealous, among other things, but no real endgame so far.

I honestly don’t like the two “love interests” that much, nor did I like Jon’s relationship with them. Tom is creeping me out and he’s clearly not mentally sound and while the Captain doesn’t seem so bad, he clearly is a violent and deranged man who enjoys the feeling of carving the heart out of a woman and wished he could have had the time to eat it. WTF?! I just don’t care for him. At all. His enjoyment of killing clashed with the benevolent facade that he showed his crew and it was just creepy.

Back to Tom though, his character is interesting and complex, it’s more Jon reaction to Tom that doesn’t sit well with me. I can’t really explain it, but it just feels weird and I’m not sure if the fact that he seems willing to forgive almost anything to Tom because he got beaten up and Jon pitied him shows empathy or stupidity. Honestly, Tom had potential as a dark character, but even though he was creepy, I feel that the author didn’t really explore and showed his dark and tortured side, only the unhinged one. And please, please stop calling the captain “Da”, it’s just too weird for me. I’m not a fan of the daddy-kinky stuff I guess.

Finally, there’s Jon… He’s not a bad character, but he is rather bland and lacks depth. He grows an awful lot in a short amount of time, going from a shy man afraid of crowds and shying away from any physical contact to a confident “pirate” and proud of it, with witty remarks at hand and not hesitating to argue with the captain and let him know exactly what he thinks. The problem is that we do not see character development. It just happens between one chapter and the next. He’s been shy and socially awkward and anxious his whole life, and after spending a few days of freedom on the ship, he’s a completely different man.

Besides the fact that I’m not a fan of the Tom/Jon interactions or Baltsaros as a character, the “romance” part started off well, Jon was suspicious and kept to himself, which is normal since he was kidnapped, but then it turned into some kind of insta-lust. That I can deal with, but when the insta-lust became love rather quickly (I would be tempted to use the words “insta-love”) that was it for me. I rolled my eyes many times... Also, since there didn’t seem to be any plot besides the relationship part, am I to understand that the rest of the book will simply be some relationship drama because of Tom’s jealousy with a dash of daily sex involving two or the three of them?

This is not exactly a bad book, and you might enjoy it if you don't mind the insta-lust/insta-love part. Sadly I can't deal with insta-love so that killed this story for me... That and the lack of plot.

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Profile Image for Eugenia.
1,586 reviews230 followers
July 17, 2020
Audiobook Re-Listen, July 2020: I had forgotten much of this book from when I first listened to it three years to the day--what a CRAZY coincidence!!! I had the pleasure of experiencing a lot of this book anew & adored it all over again!

Original Review, July 2017:
4.5 Stars--I loved and shuddered at the ugly, and simmered in the heat.

This 13+ hour audiobook was masterfully narrated by Michael Ferrailuolo. The life he gave each of these, at times loathsome, characters drew me into Deckard's fantasy world of pirates, death, lust, and love.

Torture? Yes. Kidnapping? Yes. Drug-fueled whenching in brothels? Yes. Treason, and death, and loss? Yes. HEA? A most definite, sexy yes.

But wait, there are two more books in the series. I can't wait to see what waits in store for this magnificent, unforgivable (and unforgettable) trio.
Profile Image for Al.
Author 27 books156 followers
April 21, 2015
Piss kitty!!
Lots of lovely dirty pirate sex, and interesting juxtapositions of the pirate sausage. I didn't really get any of the characters but after all, it's not an exam. Tom!! Very luscious character.

Profile Image for Plainbrownwrapper.
948 reviews72 followers
June 7, 2014
I received a review copy of this book via Goodreads' "Don't Buy My Love" program in exchange for an honest review.

This is a good tale, which is unfortunately hampered by both first-book-itis and self-published-itis. Deckard obviously has talent, and I hope to see great things in his future books. Now, for the rest of the story —

Let me 'splain... No. There is too much. Let me sum up.

First, One of my pettest of pet peeves: FOR GOD'S SAKE, HIRE AN EDITOR. Seriously, people: readers are PAYING FOR YOUR BOOK. Show them a little respect by getting your book EDITED. When you use the phrases "young man" and "younger man" a total of **178 times** in your book; when you have at least one colon or semicolon in nearly every paragraph; when your age-of-sail yarn is peppered with concepts stolen from modern psychology and medicine; when your timeline keeps bouncing around with flashbacks from a couple of paragraphs to a page or so in length (sometimes italicized and sometimes not) scattered hither and yon; when one MC recovers from a nearly fatal illness within a couple of days and another MC is able to easily row a boat within a couple of weeks after ; when you’ve got missing words right and left; YOU NEED AN EDITOR. Editing gaffes like these are distracting and irritating for readers. And if readers are distracted and irritated, they won't enjoy your books as much as they could. And if they don't enjoy your books, they WON'T BUY THE NEXT ONE. Get the drift?



As for the content of the tale –
“What do I see? I see a man who has higher and thicker walls than I will ever have. I see a terrifying beast enveloped and hidden by a cleverly fashioned mask. I see tears that will never fall. I see blood and death. I see a heart that devours itself. I see the promise of pain and deceit. I see a lot of things, Baltsaros. Many of them frightening.”

That’s a fairly good summary for the whole book.

This had a promising basic setup. A meek young man is swept up into a life of piracy, complicated by not one but two dangerously unbalanced pirates who both become enamored of him. There is lots of drama as well as complicated and rounded characters who actually change and mature throughout the story. Lies, treachery, regrets, complicated and shifting motivations, sex scenes that actually moved both plot and character development — all of this is good stuff.

Also, I really enjoyed the repetition of the title theme with all three MCs, and the inclusion of both physical cages and metaphorical ones. One MC feels caged by fear, and the other two are caged by horrific pasts and the damage those pasts have done to them. Only together can they all break out of their cages — as they all eventually become ensnared by each other.
“In attempting to possess Jon, he himself had become completely and totally ensnared.”
“Jon opened his eyes wide, new bricks sliding into the walls around his soul, and looked up into Baltsaros’s face.”
That sort of thing gets a big thumbs up from me.

It was also great that Deckard didn’t allow Jon to remain a weak character throughout. He wasn’t actively powerful like the other two MCs, but he developed a strong spine, which was gratifying.
“Also... I may be yours but understand here and now that you are mine. Learn to keep your cock in your fucking pants or I will end this.”

But -- no actual piracy happens DURING THE ENTIRE BOOK. wtf? Is this a pirate book, or isn’t it? The only semi-piracy that we see AT ALL occurs when they come upon a galleon , which obviously doesn't require much pirating! I was greatly disappointed by this omission.

And Jon is said to have an "almost uncanny ability to take the perspective of others" and "powerful empathy, giving Jon a seemingly magical ability to both predict and recreate the behaviour of others." Well and good, and an interesting concept. It seems underutilized in the story, but more egregiously it is used in an obviously inexplicable way when he . BZZZZZZZ. That's my BS buzzer going off. There ain't no way to figure that sort of detail out by empathy or perspective. That's got to be magic/paranormal ability of some sort -- but there is absolutely no acknowledgement of such a thing in this volume. Now, Deckard may very well develop a magic/paranormal angle in the next book, but if so then: 1. there should be some foreshadowing in this book that magic exists in this world; and 2. throwing magic into the mix will completely change the nature of the story, changing age-of-sail into a magical-MC-with-powers story.

And please, people — if you’re going to write a pirate/age-of-sail yarn, try not to imbue your characters with 21st century pop psychology. Quips like “Tom’s a pathological liar,” “You could have warned me, you sadist,” “You’re having an anxiety attack,” and “control issues” all made me want to roll my eyes and laugh out loud. And that’s not to mention 21st (or at least 19th) century medical knowledge, as when one character confidently states that a sword “managed to miss your heart and only just nicked your left lung.” Really?? Who knew that pirates carried portable X-Ray machines around with them??

And finally — while Baltsaros is busy being redeemed by the power of love, does anyone remember that he’s ?? I’m a fan of broken and imperfect men, men who may be self-centered liars and manipulators and even killers before love matures/frees/redeems/whatevers them — but, while Baltsaros definitely changes a lot during this book, he never (yet) cares one whit about his victims. That’s a big stretch for me, though I’m willing to play along for now in hopes that future books will deal with it.

Overall, I’m pleased with Deckard’s talent — and not so pleased with the pitfalls he succumbed to. The story itself deserves 4 stars, but because of the flaws I can only give this one 3. I’m very hopeful that the rest of the series will deserve more.

Profile Image for Lori.
Author 2 books98 followers
October 31, 2014
Team Tom.
Team Tom.
Team Tom.

Oh wow - what a book.One of my favourite book series is The Gentleman Bastards series by Scott Lynch, this book really reminds me of that series (especially Red Seas Under Red Skies - but with the added bonus of a more-than-friends relationship between the main characters.

The world building and set up was wonderful. It was so easy for me to imagine this world they lived in, the harshness, the debauchery...the mainland, sea and islands. It was all there, descriptions vivd but not over the top. It all felt tangible, the kind of writing where it's almost a surprise to find myself still in my house when I pause in my reading. The writing style was so easy to read. Words were chosen with care and I heartily approve of the word lusty - all books should contain the word lusty! But the thing that made this book for me was the characters.

Jon, Tom and Baltsaros. God I loved these men - especially Tom. Jon is stolen from the world he knows and has to learn to survive with the pirate Captain Baltsaros and his first-mate Tom. Thrown into a situation far beyond even his wildest imaginings, Jon has to learn how to survive. An innocent, virginal and otherwise, he needs to toughen up and fast. Despite his apparent weaknesses though I loved Jon. Most of the time.

Baltsaros is the heartless but charming Captain. Telling the truth is not a high priority if a lie works better for him. Baltsaros was so interesting - one minute he creeped me out with his coldness and manipulation, and the next I was swooning along with Jon, I found understanding him difficult, which is his true face? I hope it's the one he shows Jon, I really do.

Then there was Tom. God Tom - be-still-my-beating-heart, someone-run-me-a-cold-shower, Tom. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...
This ex-slave, first-mate, and more, to the captain just has to open his mouth and I'm quelting. Yep, lots and lots of quelting. I love the way he speaks - mate, boy, lovey...SWOON. He's the epitome of a rough diamond, seemingly souless and yet more vulnerable than anyone. I died about halfway through the book, I was so, so sad. My heart broke. I need to read book two NOW. I want Tom.
I'm stopping there I don't want to spoil the story.

I have to mention the sex before I leave because fuck a duck it's HOT. Like smokin' hot. Virgin. menage, bondage...and it all adds to the story. It doesn't feel unnecessary. It was just freaking great.

This is the best AU fantasy I've read in a long time and I can't wait to read book two. Thank you Bey Deckard. Thank you very much.
Profile Image for Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight).
876 reviews120 followers
October 13, 2019
5 Stars

Polyamorous pirates who are terrible people but super interesting characters! It's like someone asked me to list a bunch of things I wanted to read about and then combined them all into one book! And it was amazing! Truthfully, I was hesitant going in because things like BDSM and an abundance of sex and horribly unhealthy relationships are more often "miss" than "hit" with me, but as I said, this turned out to be everything I've been wanting but had given up on finding, like...

- Pirates! I had never read about pirates (unless you count Peter Pan and retellings) but really wanted to. To be honest, they did more banging than buccaneering in this book, but they were on a ship and had cannons. It counts.

- Characters who are bad people but interesting! Two out of the three main characters in this book were terrible people. I'm talking "enjoys murder" kinda terrible. The third wasn't directly terrible, but he just let all the bad things slide, so. Maybe that sounds like a weird thing to want books about, but I think it's fun when the main characters are bad people and the author still manages to make me like them or feel for them or find them interesting anyway. And man, did this author succeed at that. These characters were so complex and interesting, and I felt so much for them.

- Polyamory! A polyamorous romance that was was complicated and still not all figured out even by the end. It was even kind of enemies-to-lovers! Let me make this clear: No relationship in real life should be like this. These were some of the most unhealthy relationships I've ever read about (more on this below). But books are not real life, and I love when fictional relationship struggles come from within and are full of emotion. I also love seeing the dynamics in poly relationships as the characters figure things out and eventually find their groove.

Ok I don't know how to segue smoothly into the rest of the things I want to say. This review is a mess. I just have so many THOUGHTS and FEELINGS.

Tom. Many of my thoughts and feelings are about Tom. He was so terrible from the start---brash and violent and impish and unstable---and I very quickly came to love him. He's one of those characters who's just so entertaining that you can't help but love them. Every time he was in the background going off on the crewmembers, yelling at them to do their jobs, I had to smile because it was hilarious. Just the combination of what he was saying with the narrator's performance. But then Tom turned out to be complex and emotional and damaged, and he was the one who tugged on my heartstrings the most.

Baltsaros... he didn't feel empathy. He didn't care about people. He enjoyed killing. He treated his crew fairly, but he didn't get sad when crewmembers died. He was possessive and controlling. He was dangerous and violent in a quiet, imposing sort of way. And not that it excuses anything, but he was broken too and also had a terrible past. I can't say he was likeable, but I still enjoyed reading about him.

Jon started out as what seemed like a good person and kind of slowly lost more and more of his goodness the more time he spent with Baltsaros. He just let all these terrible things happen and, for the most part, it didn't faze him. He knew he was losing himself, but he was too wrapped up in Baltsaros to care. But he was also the most astute and caring and sensitive of the bunch, even though I could definitely see him hardening over time.

Oh, and remember those unhealthy relationships I mentioned? These men had issues. There were moments of abuse/domestic violence. There were sex scenes that started a bit dubcon but became consensual. There was one scene that started consensual but became violent sexual assault. Tom calls Baltsaros 'da,' not in a daddy kink sort of way, just a casual way. At some point in the book, *MILD SPOILER* *END SPOILER* There were lies and secrets and jealousy. Their relationships were (and still are even at the end) just... a mess. They were a mess. But they were also so passionate and intense and had moments of sweetness.

Speaking of which, there were A LOT of sex scenes (some of them very BDSM in nature, involving D/s, pain, ropes, and maybe some other things I don't remember), but not in a way that seemed like too many. They fit with the story, in my opinion. But if you don't like sex scenes, I wouldn't recommend reading this.

Last but most certainly not least, I am super picky about audiobooks, but I am OBSESSED with this narrator. Michael Ferraiuolo is AMAZING. 1) Everything he reads sounds so natural; he puts the exact right tone and inflection and emotion into everything. 2) There is true acting behind his narrating; the emotion behind the words, the way a character stutters or sobs or is out of breath, he truly performs and makes it sound so genuine. 3) He's so good at accents; some narrators, when they do accents, they lose the emotion and natural feeling, but not this guy! 4) He just has such a pleasant voice to listen to. If you're interested in this book, I 500% recommend the audio because Ferraiuolo gives it so much life. He is actually a large part of the reason I decided to try this book in the first place.

So, to summarize, in case you couldn't tell, I loved this audiobook. Both the story and the narration were fantastic, and I loved these awful but complex pirates and their messed up relationships!

*TRIGGER WARNINGS*: Abuse/domestic violence. Sex scenes that started dubcon but turned consensual. Sex scene that started consensual but turned into violent sexual assault. Two characters in a sexual relationship, one calls the other one 'da.'

Recommended For:
Anyone who likes pirates, complicated polyamorous relationships, BDSM, and characters who are terrible but complex and interesting and who you can't help but love as the series goes on.


Initial Thoughts:
Polyamorous pirates who are terrible people but super interesting characters! YAS. LOVED IT. Was hesitant going in because it has some things I don't normally like, but it turned out to be my first 5-star book of 2019! Full review soon.
Profile Image for Monique.
971 reviews387 followers
April 2, 2015
 photo Caged .jpg

Joint Review with Macky

Monique: Macky and I have no words for this series… we were both completely awestruck with the superb writing of Bey Deckard and blown away by the brilliant story line he so cleverly captivated us with. If you like a sexy pirate or two… well actually three, with an unconventional love story and adventure on the high seas, then this book is a MUST READ. Occasionally, we come across a book that totally outshines even those five star reads, or those that sit on our favourites shelf, because there is just something about them that sits head and shoulders above all else… and Caged is a shining example of just that.

Macky: Yes, this book did shine Mo! WOW... I know it's a reviewers cliche but it really did blow me away! When you told me how fantastic it was I had to drop everything and read it with you, and oh boy did I get hooked from the moment I picked it up. I am soooo in love with pirates now!

Monique: OMG… YES!!! Pirates are now officially the new bad boys with tattoos, and It takes a pirate book to find real treasure and this book is a veritable gold mine of epic proportions. It was bloody brilliant Macky and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t tend to gravitate towards historicals, although personally I wouldn’t class it as such, as it’s not in a world we are familiar with, what would you call it.?

Macky: Honestly...I don't really know Monique, it's not that easy a book to pigeon hole. I must admit in terms of picturing the world Bey created, I was channelling vintage pirates like Blackbeard and Henry Morgan, even Long John Silver...that's how I visualised the look of them all, but you're right, it didn't really feel like a historical. It was just so exhilarating, and fantastical, that it transcended reality and the experience became a vivid, full HD buccaneer cinematic experience, so dramatic and exciting.

Monique: You are so, so right! Visually as well as literary this book was stunning, stimulating and fast paced, with twist and turns that certainly kept us on our toes, with no cliches. This definitely doesn’t fit in the formulaic fiction section. It’s like a storm at sea, dark and treacherous with the swell of emotions, and the pit of my stomach sick with compassion. These men are complex characters and Bey Deckard gives us an understanding of their complexities which enables us to understand and feel for these broken men…. it’s a beautiful disaster, a love story so profound, and their journey fraught with danger, treachery, and wanton passion… oh the passion of these men and their desire and lust was palpable. The depth of emotion floored me at times. What about you Macky, which one of these bad boys stole your heart?

Macky: Actually I don't have to think too hard about that Monique. Although I found Baltsaros charismatic and disarmingly charming, and Jon beautiful and endearing, my heart belonged to one pirate alone, and that was Tom! I loved Tom, I wanted his pirate babies I loved him so much!.....

Click on the banner for the rest of the review...


Profile Image for Trio.
2,931 reviews171 followers
May 13, 2017
I was totally blown away by this book. The story was so vast and had so many twists - I loved the author's style of backtracking and explaining events, it was completely wonderful. The characters and their relationships were so interesting and the way they grew with the story was done incredibly well. Just an absolutely fantastic read. Can't wait to read the next in the series!
Profile Image for Ann.
1,452 reviews125 followers
August 9, 2014
What a bunch of wonderfully fucked up characters!

This story was, in turn, exhausting, arousing, stressful, heartbreaking and humorous. Every time they did something completely sociopathic I couldn't help but shrug and think, "Well. Pirates." and all was well.

I don't think I've read a book where 2, well 3, characters complimented each others crazy and humanity better. It's a good thing they found each other or their world would be a much more dangerous place.

I can. not. WAIT. for the next one!

Profile Image for Claudie ☾.
543 reviews133 followers
September 1, 2021
4.5 stars

I would’ve probably rounded it up to 5, if not for the fact that this book needs an editor. Not so much for typos or grammatical mistakes, I don’t think there were that many here (if any), but because it suffers from an affliction that sometimes made me think I was reading fanfiction online: the excessive use of adjectives to differentiate between the characters — “the [older, younger, muscular, taller, shorter, dark-eyed, etc] man…” was a common sentence structure that kept me from enjoying it to the fullest.

Despite this little hiccup, Caged was really good. The worldbluiding was well done, and there was a nice spot of action here and there, but the story is mostly character-focused, which is exactly what I want in my books! Baltsaros, Tom and Jon… each one of these men is so beautifully complicated and fascinating (though I freely admit my weakness for Tom 💘 ). I can’t wait to see how this relationship will change them. On to the next book!
Profile Image for Sunny.
1,012 reviews121 followers
November 12, 2014

An unconventional romance with an often darker storyline. The darkness centers mostly around the captain and his interactions with the other characters. Complex, compelling characters, complete with some not so pretty attributes. The captain, in particular, could be so gentle, and in the next moment, incredibly rough or even brutal. The romance comes in those same interactions, though, as the MCs are affected by each other in ways they weren't expecting.

I was impressed with the writing...vivid imagery, well drawn characters, consistent characterization, realistic dialogue. At several points, the story was wonderfully intense and I was engrossed by the riveting descriptions. I was uncomfortable with some of the darker elements of the story, but I was so vested in the characters I couldn't not read on.

One negative was the awkwardness of the flashbacks, especially the first one. I didn't realize it was a flashback at first, and it was very confusing. The rest weren't as bad but part of that might have been due to my increasing familiarity with the author's writing style.

Side notes:
For a self published story that was self edited, I was impressed by the small number of editing errors I noticed.

Much was made of Jon's gift early in the story, but it isn't mentioned or used much later on.

While the captain and the crew were definitely pirates, don't expect a lot of pillaging or smuggling if you read this story.

There is something that happens in the story that isn't really addressed. I'm hoping it will be mentioned in future books, otherwise it would a huge string left hanging. I need it wrapped up.
Profile Image for Dee Wy.
1,456 reviews
August 19, 2014
Finally, a REAL pirate story with a bad-ass Captain who appears to have no heart for much of the story and even a female pirate with a wife waiting for her at home. I was completely taken with Jon's story of misery and illness living with his heartless step-father who simply uses him for his unusual ability to "read people" and their intentions. When Jon is captured by pirates, it's not at all clear if that is a good thing even after Captain Baltsaros heals his illness.

This story kept me captivated throughout. The captain's on-and-off again relationship with his first mate, Tom, was so intense it left Jon and the reader not knowing what to think about the captain's intentions. And Tom was no less a mystery for much of the story. I just love how it all came together at the end with an HEA for all concerned.

For me, this is an author to watch. Highly recommend!

Profile Image for JustJen "Miss Conduct".
2,270 reviews151 followers
December 29, 2016
edited to add Audio review - 12/29/2016

4.5 star review by The Blogger Girls.

Wow, where to start with this one. This called to me right away, from the cover and the blurb, it just sounded like my kind of story, and I wasn’t disappointed. It is everything that the blurb leads you to believe and then some.

It starts out with poor Jon, who already is suffering because of his life and the horrible migraines he has been getting. Then, he is taken captive by a pirate captain, Baltsaros, who is already in a sort of “relationship” with his first mate, Tom. They basically have a d/s thing going on with Tom in the role of the masochistic sub. Things get pretty harsh between them, but there is such depth to each character. Tom is pretty ruthless, but I loved him from the start. He’s cheeky and mischievous even when he’s being used and abused and asking for more.

Baltsaros, even though he cares for Tom, cannot help but be drawn to Jon. He helps bring him back to good health and they form a sort of bond that is totally different from the one Baltsaros shares with Tom, which puts a lot of strain on their relationship leading to much of the treachery part of this story.

Jon is a sweet soul. He has had very little pleasantness in his life, with little to no physical contact or nurturing to this point, which seems to fascinate and draw Baltsaros to him. As he gains strength and finds his way and position among the crew, he grows so much and is, by no means, a doormat. He doesn’t take much crap from Baltsaros, which I loved.

This remains a fairly high tensioned love triangle throughout most of this story with various circumstances keeping it that way. I really loved all the characters here and was feeling for them at various times right until the end. There is so much to this story, but it moves along at a nice steady pace that I never felt as though I wanted it to move faster or end anytime soon. When everything came together in the end with Baltsaros, Jon and Tom, I was disappointed it was over, but it left me eager to read the next installment of this fabulous story. These three guys provide something different to each other that makes them a perfect fit, and I’m really excited to see where things go next.

There is one aspect that never seemed to be really addressed, and I kept waiting for it to come to light or be an issue. I’m hoping to get some answers as the story continues.

I’m always excited to see something like this from a new author, and for a first novel, this was a very good start. It is well written, very nicely fleshed out and quite engaging. I’m really looking forward to more of Bey’s work in the future if this is any indication.

Audio Review - 5 stars by The Blogger Girls:

Review – Book: I previously reviewed the the original version of this book here, and it was wonderful at that time. It has since been revised and further edited, which I have not doubt only made it better.

This is one of those stories that has a life of its own and you are lucky enough to be sucked into. It is a very descriptive world with some very complex characters (Tom being one of my all-time favorites). It is not fluffy or overly romantic, but still a love story. Three very different men come together, each with their own pasts, needs and secrets, who end up becoming integral pieces to their overall relationship puzzle. How they get there is a very exciting and suspenseful, and often difficult journey.

Review – Audio: I don’t read a ton of audio books, but I have read enough to know a good narrator when I hear one. The narrator can make or break a story for me, can either dull a story down or bring more life to an already fabulous one. Mr. Ferraiuolo falls into the latter category. He did a fabulous job with these tricky characters. He easily distinguishes between the three, as well as others in the crew, and does an excellent job at portraying each one. Mr. Deckard has already given a vividly clear picture of these characters, so they are some pretty big shoes to fill, but Mr. Ferraiuolo has definitely succeeded in my opinion.

If you are looking for a story to get lost in, one that makes you feel as though you are right there watching it unfold, that allows you to escape reality for a bit, with characters you can’t help but love (and even some to dislike at times), this one definitely fits the bill, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Definitely heed the trigger warnings on this one though, because things can get pretty rough on the Baal’s Heart, so if you have any tendencies of “sea sickness,” you might be better off staying on dry land. :)
Profile Image for M.I.A.
406 reviews77 followers
February 14, 2022
2nd Read
Just as perfect as the first time, it was nice to revisit. It's one of those books where on the 2nd read you notice details/clues that you missed the first time around.
I really need to get around to giving Bey Deckard's other work a chance. ^^

An epic tale full of pirates, adventure, unconventional relationships, twisted dark characters, incredible psychological incite captivating fantastical historical world-building, beautifully skilled writing style, and narrated perfectly by Michael Ferraiuolo.
Baal's Heart series blew me away. One of those moments where a book truly fulfills all my desires for a work of fiction. I'm writing this review after reading all four books in the series because I couldn't untangle myself enough to gush or share.
I was doubtful about the polyamory aspect of the relationship but I'll say this, it's incredibly believable and completely imperfect which makes it perfect. Expect it to be a work in progress, all the way to the end. Each book breaks the mc's, tearing them apart until they are raw, rebuilding and reforming them into the men they will become in the end, and finally leaving us with a relationship that's whole. As whole as broken men could be. Perhaps whole is too generous. Hopeful might be more fitting.

Highly recommend this series ^_^ Also recommend just jumping in head first, this story grabs from the get-go.

******** Minor spoilers ahead. I want to gush about the mc's but I do feel like anything I say about them can be considered a spoiler so proceed with caution.********

Jon appears to be mostly ordinary, living a dreary life and holding loosely hope for change. Working as an interrogator, utilizing his natural talent to read people and their subtle body language. Suffering from nightmares and chronic migraines. His life changes when Captain Baltsaros has him kidnapped in the hopes of utilizing his innate skills to further his own piracy. Jon evolves during his time on Baal's Heart. Though innocent from sexual explorations he has witnessed the darkness in men. He's not blind to the horrors of human nature and yet still holds this optimism and even some naivety. Captain Baltsaros awakens him, fascinates him and he can't help but fall for him and the world he offers.

“What do I see? I see a man who has higher and thicker walls than I will ever have. I see a terrifying beast enveloped and hidden by a cleverly fashioned mask. I see tears that will never fall. I see blood and death. I see a heart that devours itself. I see the promise of pain and deceit. I see a lot of things, Baltsaros. Many of them frightening,”

Captain Baltsaros is most definitely the most interesting of them all. He's like the Hannibal Lecter of the Baal's Heart universe. A cultured monster . He's unable to empathize or truly looks beyond his own needs and desires. And he's drawn to Jon almost instantly. There is something about Jon that simply entices him and he feels possessive over this man that seems to awaken something in him that he's never felt before. But there is also this clinical and calculating aspect to his interest.

"Baltsaros now belonged to this lithe, dark-haired creature that fucked him with an urgency and passion born of staggering emotion. He himself could never attain it… This depth of feeling came so readily to Jon. However, he could hold onto this strange ache, this rift inside his deformed soul that belonged to Jon and only to Jon."

Tom is the man that's had Baltsaros's attention for nearly four years. He's gruff, playful, a masochist but also one just as capable of inflicting pain and death onto others. Baltsaros keeps Tom from unraveling. This is the man he's chosen to keep him sane. He's his anchor. Tom is the easiest to sympathize with, having lived his life as a slave, survived physical and emotional abuse. Never giving up, never allowing what has happened to him to break him. Strong. Only to be tossed aside when the man he counts on, even cares for finds a new toy. Tom broke my heart.

There is nothing smooth about the way these three come together. It's utterly imperfect and I was completely fascinated.

“Is it love? I don’t know,” he said truthfully. “Sometimes I think I’m just addicted to him. Or that he’s cast some kind of horrible curse on me where I’m to follow him for the rest of my life, doomed to fall for his lies over and over again.”
Profile Image for Tina.
1,642 reviews1 follower
March 19, 2017

Shiver me timbers! This one was a surprise!

The title, the cover, the blurb…. it all seemed to add up to a fantastic adventure involving guns, swords and hot pirates.

Did I get what I wanted? Hell YESSS!

Baltsaros, the hot as hell captain is a cuel, deeply flawed, inscrutable man… yet still cute Jon feels attracted to the pirate and his first mate Tom.

The story is fast paced, violent, action-packed and full of hot pirate-sex… and let me tell you, the sex is not always vanilla…

Halfway through the story, though is a short M/M/F scene... It didn’t stop me from reading further... but I was tempted…

Okay, I have to admit I got over it quickly even though Baltsaros reason to drag poor Jon to a whorehouse was a somewhat flimsy excuse.

"See... didn't coming here help?" he said teasingly...


At some point our three pirates get their shit together (I'd call it a HFN) and they are finally all set to sail into their next adventure.

So stop ye whining ye yellow bellied, lily-livered landlubber and read the book!
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