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Cross Bones Anthology

Cross Bones Anthology, August 2011
by Anne Regan

Dreamspinner Press
356 pages
ISBN: 1613721250
EAN: 9781613721254
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"A Hidden Treasure of 15 Stories of Gay Pirate Life and Love"

Fresh Fiction Review

Cross Bones Anthology
Anne Regan

Reviewed by Lisa Watts
Posted September 30, 2011

Historical | Fantasy Anthology | Gay / Lesbian

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 treasure.

Learn more about Cross Bones Anthology


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 treasure!

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.

Stories included: 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

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