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WHAT THE PARROT SAW

“I don’t need a useless white boy. Find someone else to take him off your hands.”

“Not a boy, a man. The sort you favor, captain—golden curls, pouty mouth. He’s quite pretty, I know you’ll agree.”

Captain St. Armand stretched out long legs clad in close fitting buckskins, admiring the shine on boots freshly polished. The brothel on St. Martin offered a variety of services to its clients, from excellent meals to boot-blacking, along with the usual amenities one expected from such establishments.

“If I bring a pretty lad aboard ship, everyone will want one. I don’t share my toys.”

“You’ll take him,” the madam said. “I’m calling in my marker for the incident last year.”

“That wasn’t my fault!”

“Your ship, your crew, your fault, St. Armand.”

“Really, that man needed some excitement in his life.”

“That’s not the excitement Mr. Carlson sought at this house. He never expected a goat.”

St. Armand snickered at the memory. “I still say what you’re asking is excessive.”

“I thought you’d turn me down.” Barbara Simpson took a sip of the sherry she’d served herself. Her guest was drinking Jamaican rum, as usual. “You should know though, the young man in question is Bunny Rathbone’s relation.”

“Bunny Rathbone! How is the dear old boy?”

“He’s well, moving up in the world. He wrote me to say his cousin was touring the islands and if he came here I should treat him as an honored guest. Bunny implied Mr. Woodruff needed to experience more of life. To put it bluntly, he called the young man a ‘stuffy, boring stick.’ I invited him to the house, but first he ran into a spot of trouble and I brought him here for safekeeping.”

The doors to the parlor were open to catch the afternoon breezes rustling through the bougainvillea—a restful pause before business commenced for the evening. Comfortably rounded and middle-aged, Mrs. Simpson was a shrewd businesswoman whose motto was to give the clients what they desired—within reason—and to treat her girls as she’d wanted to be treated when she’d worked there. She’d miss Captain St. Armand, a favored customer setting sail for Nassau after a stop to provision and catch up on mail and messages from home. A packed valise waited near the door.

“The two of us have fond memories of Bunny’s visits to this house, but I’m sailing on the tide, so bring your package out here and let me see for myself.”

The madam’s bully boys were summoned and returned a short while later with their “package” struggling between them in a futile attempt at freedom. It was a young man in his mid-twenties, and, as promised, he had bright gold hair and sky-blue eyes. One of those eyes was blackened, and a bruise discolored the left side of his face. He was also gagged with his hands tied in front of him.

“As you see, I need your help taking him away, and you could use a cabin boy. You told me so yourself. Mr. Woodruff has an unfortunate habit of speaking intemperately, and there were people who took exception to what he said.”

“People?”

“Americans. Ah, I thought that would interest you.”

“I am slightly tempted,” the captain said, looking the young man over. “I may have a use for him, other than the obvious one. As always, you have an excellent eye for the goods.”

The captive made a noise muffled by his gag.

“Don’t look so horrified, Sunshine. The work’s not onerous and it comes with special benefits.

See what others are saying

"Pirates, a shipboard romance, a new father upended by his unexpected responsibilities and a woman who manages to keep her head and agency? Sign me up, Captain." - Dear Author Reviews on The Pirate's Secret Baby

"I encourage you all to try this author's voice. (She has a great backlist, too.)" -- USA Today Books

"Sea Change is original, fun, and a bit eccentric -- I definitely recommend it!" -- Eloisa James, NYT bestselling author and RITA award winner

"I can’t say enough how wonderful this book is. The ending is just perfect--and will have you laughing and sighing, and not wanting this adventure to come to an end...A wonderful tale full of humor, adventure, and a lovely romance that will sweep you away."- Smexy Books on The Bride and the Buccaneer

About Darlene Marshall

Biography

Darlene Marshall is an award-winning author of historical romance featuring pirates, privateers, smugglers, and the occasional possum. She loves working at a job where business attire is shorts and a shirt festooned with pink flamingos and palm trees. She lives in North Central Florida, a convenient location for putting the convertible top down and researching sites of great historical significance, which also happen to be at the beach and serve mojitos.

Marshall has worked as a broadcast and print journalist, news anchor, radio station owner, obituary writer, and a few other odd jobs. She became a novelist because there were fake people in her head having adventures, so it was either write it down or check into therapy. She’s never been a pirate, but the day is not yet over.

Her books have been published in English, German and Estonian, and she’s Section Leader of Erotic Writing at the LitForum.com.

Represented by Barbara Collins Rosenberg of The Rosenberg Group.

Frequently Asked Questions

“Should I read Your books in order?”

My novels are written so they can be read as “stand-alone” books, but some of them are connected. Here’s a reference guide on how the novels overlap, and a suggested reading order:

The High Seas saga starts with Sea Change (High Seas #1), then Castaway Dreams (High Seas #2), then The Pirate's Secret Baby (High Seas #3), then What the Parrot Saw (High Seas #4).

The Bride and the Buccaneer has characters who have their own story in Captain Sinister’s Lady, and Smuggler’s Bride is set a generation after Pirate’s Price.

“How Do I find out about your new releases?”

I’m so glad you asked! The best way is to drop me an email and I’ll put you on a notification list. The next best way is to follow my social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and you’ll see lots of exciting buzz when I finish a book. Before I finish you’ll see lots of interesting ways for me to waste time when I should be writing.

You can also click on “Add Favorite” at my Amazon Author Page and you’ll be notified when a new book is out. So easy!

"Where are your books available?"

Paper editions are available from all booksellers, including Amazon. Ebook editions are available from Amazon Kindle, Smashwords, NOOK, and Kobo.

As always, I am very, very grateful to all of you who take time to rate and review my novels at Goodreads, BookLikes, Amazon, NOOK and your own blogs.

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