A Second-Chance Romance on the Enchanted High Seas
Ship of Shadows Book Cover Ship of Shadows
Stolen Crowns, Book 2
Tee Harlowe
Fantasy Romance, Fairy Tale Retelling
Independently Published
April 10, 2024
Ebook, Paperback

He broke my heart once. Now working with him might shatter it for good.

I’m chained to my crown. Queen of a court I don’t want. Ever since my brothers and father disappeared, I’ve been forced to rule, to give up the freedom I crave.

It’s all the pirate lord’s fault. Bastian Lore sailed into my life, charmed me completely—then betrayed me. The scoundrel kidnapped my brothers and delivered them straight to the shadow court, where they’re trapped, their shadows now under the court’s control.

Worse, Bastian has returned—and his offer to rescue my brothers and find my missing father is too good to be true. All he wants in return? My help finding a cure for his mysterious illness. I don’t trust him, but if anyone can navigate the shadow court and get my family back, it’s him.

He’s as charming as ever. But I can’t fall for him again. If I’m not careful, it won’t just be my heart that I lose—it’ll be my family, my court… and my life.

Ship of Shadows is book two in Stolen Crowns, a series of steamy standalone but interconnected fairytale retellings. This enemies-to-lovers, second-chance romance is perfect for fans of banter, (very) snarky heroines, and slow-burn fantasy romance.

I never knew Peter Pan could be so spicy.

Photo credit Raimond Klavins on Unsplash

Ship of Shadows is the second full-length book of the Stolen Crown series of fairy tale retellings by Tee Harlowe. It’s Peter Pan/Hook with a dash of Little Mermaid (and, honestly, I got a taste of Pinocchio in there too with the plot line of luring boys to a paradise island — except without the donkeys). This is the story of Princess Gabrielle of Apolis (the water court) and the dark pirate lord of the seas, Bastian Lore. It’s a second-chance, slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers delight of a romance.

As with the first book in the series, the author creates an imaginative world where the stories of our childhood intersect into something entirely new. There are pixies and pirates but also elemental magic and the mythology of Seven Spirits. There are mermaids and magical islands where boys don’t grow up but also enchanted courts warring against a mysterious shadow king. Harlowe spends more time in this book building this magical world, which is helpful because there are a lot of threads of this plot. I can’t wait to see how these all tie together further along in the series. I think that’s why this isn’t a perfect 5-star rating for me. I was actually craving a bit more simplicity at certain points in the story where a new element, villain, or character was introduced. It’s clear that Harlowe has big plans for the Stolen Crowns series.

Speaking of cravings, I now need more dark pirate lord MMCs in my life. Bastian is a treasure. He’s all swag and swoon in one tattoo-covered, swashbuckling package. Yet when it comes to those who he cares about, he is fiercely loyal and protective. And Gabrielle is his undoing.

It was hard to choose, but my favorite interaction between him and Gabrielle had to have been this one:

“Don’t you get it? I’m not worth saving.” Bastian pressed his hands to his chest. “I’m a sinking ship, and if I let you aboard, you’ll drown with me.”

“I’m already drowning!” My voice broke, and Bastian’s nostrils flared. “Don’t you get it? That’s all I’ve been doing since you left me.”

Ship of Shadows is a funny and spicy high-seas adventure. You’d definitely get the most out of reading it after you read the first book in the series, Mirror of Malice. Don’t miss out on either one!