May 8, 2014

DeeJay Reviews: Cutlass by @AshleymNixon + Tour #Giveaway!


Excited to be a part of another great blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. Not only do I have a review for you today, there is also a giveaway with three great prize packs, one that includes a darling octopus mug! You can enter to win it below!

by Ashley Nixon

Publication Date: April 23, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Cutlass #1
Source: Received for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review

DeeJay's Rating
As much fun as expected!

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

Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancĂ© 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. (Goodreads)

Pirates. That one word was all I needed to sign up to review this book. Once again, I'm happy I did. Although I kept putting the book down causing me to take forever to read it, it wasn't because it lacked in any way. It didn't. It was as entertaining as I hoped for!

We start off with the notorious pirate Barren terrorizing the seas around Maris in an attempt to lure out his brother William so he can run him through with a sword. Why does Barren want to kill his brother? That's a secret you must read the book to find out. I will say, that I felt Barren's pain. If my brother had done what his did, my brother would be the first name to check off of my hit list too.

At the beginning of the story, Barren's revenge drives everything he does. Until he decides to kidnap Larkin Lee, the daughter of a powerful man and his brother's fiancee. Their first encounter was quite entertaining. Though beautiful and proper, Larkin is trained in swordplay. You can only imagine how much fun it was when Barren found that out. For us, not for him. From there it only gets better. Larkin is set in her beliefs that she knows what pirates are all about, but through their adventures she finds out she's had it all wrong. Among other things...

Both Barren and Larkin find out some shocking secrets along the way to Barren's revenge and finding the Bloodstone for the king. Not everyone is who they say they are and it becomes difficult to know whom they can trust. Both have been lied to most of their lives so the more they find out, the less they trust those that they've put their faith in. I honestly didn't see some of these twists coming though I knew that there would be some sort of resolution at the end.

As much as I liked it, Cutlass was missing something. It wasn't the action-adventure because it had that by the truckloads. I think it may have been the character development. Though I liked the characters, I think they were all kind a way. There was no true depth to any of them. If anyone had depth it was Leaf, an elven prince, and Barren's BFF and quartermaster. But we didn't get to learn as much about him as I would have liked. Bah! It's kind of hard to explain. I guess I wanted to know more about their purpose in life. Sure, the pirates wanted to uphold the ideal of freedom and choices. But is that all? I just wonder if the only purpose they will have in this trilogy is Saoirse and finding the Bloodstone.

Regardless, I liked this book and I'm happy to add another great fantasy to my "READ" list. I liked the plot and the flow of the story, but I do hope for a little more of the lovey-dovey in future books. Either way, I'll be reading them for sure.

Meet Ashley Nixon
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 hard at work on her Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Technology, 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.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads



  1. This does sound entertaining and having never read a pirate book I'm even more intrigued! Glad you liked it DeeJay!

  2. Thank you so much for the review Deejay! I absolutely loved reading your updates on GoodReads! They were great!

  3. How can you go wrong with pirates? (at least the book sort ;)


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