Review: Cutlass

CutlassCutlass (Cutlass #1)
by Ashley Nixon
Genre: Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult

Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy’s fiancé seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it.

Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard.

But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.


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My Review:

4 of 5 Stars

  • The romance annoyed me at first but after a while it grew on me quite rapidly.  By the end of the book I really enjoyed that added touch with the story even if it was fairly cliche.  I admit, sometimes cliche just works – and in this case I loved it.
  • Friendship, enemies, brotherhood, loyalty are all portrayed in a very believable way.  I still have a few questions about how these relationships were established but the gaps in information felt natural.  The way the background is given flows with the current story.  I’m also betting some of these details might be explored further in the series.
  • No altruistic hero’s or complete villains can be found in this book.  Every single character has flaws or at least had redeeming qualities.  Motivations become more and more clear as events unfold leading to an odd sympathy for a few different characters.
  • The only real lasting issue I had with the book was the slow start.  It’s hard to say if this was completely the book or if I’ve been in a reading slump myself (most likely a bit of both).  It took me about half of the book to really get into the story though it wasn’t that I didn’t like it.  I actually really enjoyed the story but it was easy to be pulled away from it.   I never felt the desperate need to ‘not put it down’ until at least the last 30 – 40%.
  • Overall this was a great story if a little cliche in the romance department.  A lot of the twists I saw coming before they happened ( though not all ) but I enjoyed seeing how it played out and changed the course of the story.  I kind of knew what would happen with certain parts of the book but not necessarily how – and I loved finding out.


Barren gazed at the crowd, sifting through the faces. While he wasn’t sure who he was looking for, he could only imagine what sort of wife William would need. A woman who was slight and meek, someone who didn’t like to stand out in the crowd, or speak up—obviously—or she would not have agreed to marry William. Then again, perhaps Barren was not giving this mystery woman enough credit. Perhaps she saw William as a way out of a situation. Either way, he felt sorry for her.

Barren heard Leaf chuckle and he looked at the Elf. “I think you have no idea who you are dealing with.”

Leaf pointed toward a circle of people. Barren’s eyes shifted there, and his breath caught. What he had expected was a fragile girl—someone slight, doll-like, and silent. This girl was not so. The first thing he took in was her strength. It radiated from her like warmth from a hearth. She stood straight with her shoulders back, an observing eye upon everyone. Then he drank in the features composing her beauty. Almond-shaped eyes gleamed with emerald irises that shone like sun on the green sea. Her smile, while charming and beautiful, had something mischievous about it. She had high cheekbones, blushed with pink and long, dark curls decorated with white flowers falling down her back and over her shoulders. Her dress, crimson in color, was unlike the others, hugging her hourglass figure like it was made on her.

Barren could not have thought up a more beautiful girl, and no one around her compared.

A smug smirk crossed Leaf’s thin lips. 

“What am I supposed to do with her?” asked Barren. His thoughts were all muddled. He had forgotten why he was here, or how he had intended to attract this girl’s attention. Could he even do that?

Leaf laughed. “Oh, you silly boy, we won’t make it out of this one alive, will we?”

Barren glared at the Elf. “Don’t tell me you expected her! How could she ever agree to marry my brother?”

Leaf shrugged, still smirking. “Ask her.”


Ashley NixonAbout the Author:
Ashley was born and raised in Oklahoma, where the wind really does sweep down the plains, and horses and carriages aren’t used as much as she’d like. When she’s not writing, she’s watching Pride and Prejudice (1995 version, duh), working out, or pretending she’s Sherlock Holmes. Her obsession with writing began after reading the Lord of the Rings in the eighth grade. Since then, she’s loved everything Fantasy–resulting in an unhealthy obsession with the ‘geek’ tab on Pinterest, where all things awesome go.

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Lola's Blog Tours

This eGalley was provided free from the author through Lola’s Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion and I was compensated in no other manner.


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