John Siege is working at the lowest level as a deckhand on Captain Andreas Waite’s pirate ship. He’s just trying to keep his head down and get to land after a mutiny occurred on his own ship and he found himself adrift at sea. But the Captain certainly notices him right away.
Siege is also trying to solve the mystery that is inked into his skin and that will lead him to his father’s hidden treasure. His father designed it so that Siege would need a partner in order to solve the mystery and find the treasure, but Siege has yet to find anyone he can truly trust.
Andreas has questions as to exactly what Siege is doing on his ship, but he also sees opportunity. In addition to that, he sees what a sexy pirate Siege is. Both men have something to lose, but also something to gain and if they can trust each other, they may be able to sail off together.
The blurb on this one promised adventure on the high seas, betrayal, and lust. While technically that is true, it all fell rather flat for me. The beginning started out well enough as we are introduced to John Siege who is working the thankless job of a deckhand. It doesn’t take long to for us to then learn that Siege is actually a pirate captain that was ousted from his own ship. This short story then tried to tackle a whole lot in not many pages.
We learn Siege’s story about his ship and about his father’s treasure that he is trying to find. That part of the story, the inked skin, was familiar so it didn’t work to grab my attention. Also, the argument of why Siege needed a partner to find the treasure was fairly weak and then finding the treasure was way, way too easy, but that’s getting a little ahead.
Andreas and Siege get together quickly and each intimate scene read as rather transactional as there was no chemistry between the men. Andreas tells a story of Siege’s father that read as confusing as the father’s last name changed several times, making the men sound related, but I am concluding these were typos…I think…as there was not another reference to family relations. Andreas has a lot of stories to tell, but each time Siege asked for a further explanation, Andreas told him he was going to save the story for another time. By the third time, I felt like I wasn’t being told any story.
The mystery and the treasure hunt were entirely too basic and as for the men having an ongoing relationship together, it was only there on paper. Under Siege is billed as the beginning of new series, but there wasn’t enough to hook me or subsequently reel me in. The author does have a backlist, but this is her first m/m title and the combination of that, as well as the underwhelming delivery of a high seas adventure, put this book on choppy water all the way through.