Exclusive Excerpt from Astray
by Elvira Bell
One evening hogsheads of rum are brought up to the deck, and the men drink it down like it’s water. Nick never heard Goldie play the fiddle before but he does so now, and he’s even more skilled than Willie Carter back home. Adriaan has a pipe and another man drums a quick rhythm on the lid of an empty barrel. It’s a rare thing for the entire crew to gather this way. Even Pierce sits among them, drumming his fingertips against his thigh with a pleased expression on his face. Hart is present, too—his smiles are rarer than Pierce’s, but now he’s wearing one as well. As the night grows darker, Avery starts bawling out songs where each verse is filthier than the one before, and Goldie comes over and whispers in Nick’s ear that he shouldn’t listen to such things.
“You’re too young,” Goldie murmurs.
“Am not. What are you, two years older than me?”
“Bit more than that, I think.”
Avery moves on to yet another verse, spurred on by laughs and stomping feet. Goldie covers Nick’s ears with his hands, laughing.
“Get off me! Want to hear it, don’t I?” Nick’s laughing, too.
Among the crowd he spots Hart’s face. Hart is watching them, and he is not smiling anymore.
“You should listen to your elders,” Goldie says, and runs his hands down Nick’s neck.
Hart retires to the cabin.
Nick Andrews has grown up in poverty in a tiny village. All his life he’s been told that he’s useless. After getting one scolding too many he decides to go far away, off to sea. But his experience as a farmhand has done little to prepare him for the hardships of a sailor’s life.
When his ship is attacked by pirates, Nick’s life is miraculously spared by the notorious pirate captain, Christopher Hart—a man in charge of a crew feared for their brutality. Nick is forced to join the pirates, and he dreads finding out for what reason the captain has saved him.
But Hart is nothing like his reputation suggests, and Nick soon finds himself entangled in a relationship that could endanger both their lives. Unless Nick can help Hart on his quest to find a long lost treasure, their forbidden love may tear his new life apart.
Warning: This book ends with a cliffhanger, and it does not have a happy ending. The series as a whole will have a HEA ending.
Content note: This book contains dark themes and depictions of torture, murder, and rape.
Available at: Amazon
About Elvira Bell
Elvira Bell lives in Sweden and spends most of her time writing, reading or watching movies. Her weaknesses include, but are not limited to: vintage jazz, musicals, kittens, oversized tea cups, men in suits, the 18th century, and anything sparkly.
Elvira writes m/m fiction with a touch of romance and has a penchant for historical settings. She adores all things gothic and will put her characters through hell from time to time because she just loves watching them suffer. It makes the happy endings so much sweeter, after all.
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