Review: Pirate’s Pleasure by Lisa Kessler

Review: Pirate’s Pleasure by Lisa KesslerPirate's Pleasure by Lisa Kessler
Format: eARC
Source: publisher via NetGalley
Formats available: paperback, ebook
Genres: paranormal romance
Series: Sentinels of Savannah #3
Pages: 295
on April 22, 2019
Purchasing Info: Author's WebsitePublisher's WebsiteAmazonBarnes & NobleKobo
Goodreads

John Smyth has survived mutinous pirate crews, wars, and the passage of centuries by keeping his life as he did his ships, organized and well stocked. But when his crew is tasked with stealing Pandora's Box for the government, it opens a door to destruction, and her name is Harmony Andrews.

A risk-taking investment broker by day, and a thief by night, Harmony is a member of the underground Digi Robins crew. Stealing relics to sell on the dark web, they donate the money to people without insurance who need life-saving medical treatments.

What she doesn't realize is the box she just stole is the very one her boss is looking for––the boss who just happens to be an immortal pirate. And as their adventure heads into the danger zone, she doesn't know what's more dangerous: the risk to her life or the risk to her heart.

My Review:

One of the things about human beings is that we all require purpose. That purpose might be a career or a cause, or it might just be the hard work of keeping your family housed and fed and clothed and working to give your kids a better life than you had.

One of the problems of being immortal, or nearly so, is that the world changes and you mostly don’t. That the world passes you by while you stay frozen in it. And that it’s hard to find a purpose when you have already amassed all the wealth you could possibly need and when you have to stay out of the public eye in case someone figures out that you don’t age. And that it’s heartbreaking to have a family to provide for when you know up front that you’ll watch them all, including your children, grandchildren and great or even great great grandchildren grow up, grow old and die while you remain young and are forced to keep your distance.

The problems of immortality catch up with both the pirate John Smyth of the Sea Dog and the FBI Agent David Bale who leads Department 13 – the agency that deals with the paranormal and supernatural.

John Smyth was the Sea Dog’s boatswain back in those long ago days when they roamed the seas in search of booty and bounty. His job was to take care of the ship’s stores and hand out the pirates’ shares of the prize money. And he’s still doing it, over two centuries later.

But now he also does that same job for others who look at the success of his investment brokerage, Privateer, and put some of their own hard-earned money into his care. The rituals of his life keep him sane, but they aren’t really living.

The events of Magnolia Mystic and Pirate’s Passion, when someone stole the Holy Grail that gave the pirates of the old Sea Dog their immortality woke up the sleeping buccaneer in his soul. In the quest to get the relic back from the Serpent Society that stole it, John Smyth’s wild spirit woke up out of a long sleep – and it won’t go back.

Enter Harmony Andrews. Not exactly. Harmony is one of his top brokers at Privateer. She’s so good that he’s thinking of promoting her. But Harmony also has a secret wild side. She’s one of the Digi Robins, an underground hacker collective that robs from the rich and gives to people who need expensive medical care. Once upon a time, the Digi Robins saved her brother. Now she pays that gift forward by hacking and stealing to save others.

But someone has stolen Pandora’s Box. The very real, and very dangerous, box that contains all the world’s ills. Department 13 has contracted with the crew of the Sea Dog to steal it back.

From Harmony and the Digi Robins.

Escape Rating B+: If the Holy Grail is real, and it is in this series, there’s no reason why Pandora’s Box couldn’t be real too. As well as a whole lot of other dangerous artifacts that need to be locked up in the bowels of Warehouse 13 or Area 51 (or Area 52) or someplace else extremely secure. And deeply, permanently secret.

Pirate’s Pleasure is all about putting one of those extremely dangerous “genies” into that seemingly secure bottle – although we discover that Department 13’s warehouse isn’t quite as secure as everyone thought. Their method of transferring material into it certainly is not – as the Digi Robins exploit to kick off the story.

There are multiple things going on in this entry in the series, and all of them fascinating.

At the top, we have the very messy quest to get Pandora’s Box into safe (and secure) hands. But that quest sets off a worm-eating-its-tail loop of betrayals, counter betrayals, intended betrayals and feared (and preempted) betrayals. No one seems to be telling anyone much of the truth in this one.

When Harmony reveals her participation in the Digi Robins to John, in hopes of getting him onside their goals, it also sets off a chain reaction between them. No one has ever played him before – not in over two centuries. He’s intrigued. More than that, Harmony’s wild side speaks to his own – he’s just not sure he can (or should) trust her.

And she’s afraid to trust him. Or anyone. A situation that nearly leads to disaster. All of them.

Because Harmony has already been betrayed, and not by John Smyth. There’s a darkness at the heart of the Digi Robins, one that has reached out and compromised both her group and Department 13.

It may make Agent Bale just a bit more human and less unfeeling Agent Automaton. If he survives the experience. If any of them survive his experience.

There’s a whole lot to unpack in Pirate’s Pleasure – and there’s a whole lot of pleasure in reading all about it!

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