CROSS BONES is an anthology of fifteen stories of gay
pirate life and love edited by Anne Regan. It's a unique
theme for an anthology, and although I was expecting many
of them to have a similar plots, I was pleasantly surprised
to find a wide spectrum of twists on the traditional pirate
tale. There was also plenty of adventure, humor and love
to keep me turning the pages and channeling my own inner
pirate well past my bed time.
Several stories in the collection are surprising tender
given the perception we have of pirates being tough and
heartless. This is true of Captain Merric by Rebecca
Cohen, in which a Navy captain is turned over to pirates
during a mutiny and is held captive by an old lover.
Objectivity by E.S. Douglas is also a sweet and moving
story about a writer who falls in love while living with
pirates so that he can get a feature story.
A couple of the stories take the pirate theme and bring it
into the future, including Ghost of Jupiter by Jana
Denaro. In this good-length story about pirates who raid a
space ship belonging to slave traders and find captured
genetic warriors on board. One of the warriors works with
the captain to seek revenge and the two become closer than
expected. I found this story to be very creative with a
great plot, and it is one of my favorites in the anthology.
In addition to tales of troublesome sea and space voyages,
there are some humorous takes on pirate life that had me
laughing out loud. Two lovers own a pirate-themed
restaurant and spend some time in the "stockade" in The
Golden Galleon by K. R. Foster. This one was not only
funny but extremely hot as well. There is no sex in Peter
in the Lost Boys by Juan Kenobi, but the Peter Pan parody
that portrays the lost boys as porn stars is entertaining
enough without it.
There are lots of other stories of gay pirate love to round
out the collection, and while a couple I found only
mediocre, most are well-written, engaging and sexy. Fans
of male/male romance will enjoy this original spin on the
genre, and will be happy they discovered this hidden
Ahoy, me proud beauty, shiver me timbers! I ask ye to sail
me jollyboat on the high seas, lubber, but will ye dare to
accept? On offer be a pirate's life full of danger and risk,
and not just to yer neck, but to yer very virgin heart!
There's many a bodice to be ripped--or perhaps I should say
many a codpiece to be snapped--and should ye be graced
enough to cross bones with a corsair, don't be an addlepate!
Heave ho, lad, handsomely, and show him how ye bury yer
Pirates didn't only sail the high seas in historical times.
Modern-day renegades and futuristic rebels are just as ripe
for adventure and plunder. No matter the time, place, or
circumstances, bad boys steal affection as often as they
salvage treasure, and in these stories of romance, a rogue's
black heart always conceals a center of gold.
Captain Merric by Rebecca Cohen
Rough Trade by Cooper West
Touched by the West Wind by Ellen Holiday
The Winds of Change by Maggie Lee
My Hand in Yours by Emily Moreton
Ghost of Jupiter by Jana Denardo
The Golden Galleon by K.R. Foster
Objectivity by K.J. Johnson
Worth the Price by Cornelia Grey
Peter and the Lost Boys by Juan Kenobi
Officer and a Gentleman Pirate by E.S. Douglas
On the Wings of Lir by Riley Shane
From a Simmer to a Burn by B. Snow
Irish Red by MJ O'Shea
Black John by Piper Vaughn