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Skye O'Malley (O'Malley Saga #1)

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  4,048 Ratings  ·  227 Reviews
There has never been a woman like luscious, raven-haired, hot-tempered Skye O'Malley. She is the courageous seafaring captain of her own mighty fleet, and intelligent enough to win a battle of wits with Queen Elizabeth herself. Follow along as Skye O'Malley is swept up in a journey filled with romance and passion that takes her from glittering Ireland, to lush Algeria, to ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published October 26th 2004 by Ballantine Books (first published 1981)
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Community Reviews

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Rbrs #3

This was supposed to be the "good" romance, the one that has some popular acclaim and merit. Hah!

The book itself is a no-star wonder. I hate it, with the same passion all the characters seemed to have for endless and immediate boffing. I skimmed a bit then went back to the beginning with a non-drinking drinking game-type system, of marking certain types of passages with colored tabs:

Yellow = dumb, eye-rolling, wtf, you're kidding, now you're making sh-t up
Pink = well that wasn't too bad b
May 17, 2010 Sparrow rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: run for the hills, humankind
Recommended to Sparrow by: I'll spare blame
**This review contains spoilers, but don’t let that turn you away. Really, I’m doing you a favor.**

I’ve generally thought of myself as a fan of drunk writing, but Skye O’Malley is solid proof that even the best ideas can go horribly wrong. What I’m saying is that there is no way most of this book wasn’t written in a creepy, drunk, sadistic binge. Until now, I have been reluctant to label the shelf of books I hate just "burn pile" because it seems so wrong to burn any books. This book has convinc
Bad Book Is Bad, Scientists Say

A team of top researchers from the prestigious Goodreads Institute of Bodice-Ripping Studies have recently published a report concluding that a bad book is bad.

"We were very surprised when we analysed the data," said the Institute's charismatic director at yesterday's press conference.

The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be given for Goodreads policy reasons)
Re-reading this with my sis and Rachel.

Original review:
Oh that sneaky summer of 1988 when I would pull Bertrice Small off Mom's shelf as soon as the door shut behind her in the morning! Hours of frantic reading, only to pop it back on the shelf just as she walked through the door. As far as I can recollect, this was the first romance I ever read and it is probably my favorite book of Small's (as well as being the best of the O'Malley saga that followed).

Skye's adventures begin on her wedding nig
On the verge of marrying a man she loathes (the betrothal had been made when they were children), Skye O'Malley meets Niall Burke and it's love at first sight - but the betrothal can't be broken and Niall must make a better match than Skye. On her wedding night, Niall claims the right of droit du seigneur and gets first shot at the young virgin, enraging her husband Dom. Skye suffers mightily at the hands of her abusive husband, but by the time she's free Niall is married (unhappily) and what th ...more
After nearly 25 years, it was time to pick this Bad Girl up again and see if it was as awesome as I remembered. The very first bodice ripper my tender eyes absorbed, it titillated this 12-year-old and burned into my memory, and I quickly re-read it in high school. But it's been a long road since 15 and I wondered, "Would it hold up?"

Well, yes and no.

First, Skye is the Biggest MarySue that ever MarySued. I didn't hate her, but she wasn't the awesome alpha wench character that I remembered. She's
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Skye O'Malley is perhaps the most famous of Bertrice Small's novels and as she is the Grand Dame of the old timey, non p.c., bodice-rippers, you will find here all the elements you expect, from the purple prose to the over the top swashbuckling adventures and a required trip to a harem. What will make some readers cringe however was an absolute hoot to me. I just adore Bertrice Small's style and spirit. Skye, though based on a real life Irish female pirate who lived in the Tudor era, is a Small ...more
This started out as a fun trashy romp with wild plots and hilariously bad sex scenes, but somewhere along the way it crossed the line into repetitive tedium - just how many taut little nipples, pulsating manroots, orgasmic faints and obligingly dead husbands can you get? Shame, as I would have rated the original trashiness an amused 4 stars, particularly for those manroots; I've read a lot of tat in my time and they have to be the best/worst ever. Genius.
Aug 20, 2012 Algernon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012

This is my first 1 star rating in 2012, but I have to confess I knew what to expect and still picked up the book for a summer read. The impulse came from a couple of very funny reviews (Ceridwen's in particular) and general fun some members seem to have had recently with sexually charged books (Fifty Shades, The Virgin Proxy). Or I might as well admit I was feeling randy and needed an excuse to check out a bodice-ripper.

I was actually going to give Skye three stars after the first couple of hund
Apr 20, 2010 Tonya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves bodice rippers!!
Shelves: 2010-reads
I loved this book! Very fast paced, exciting tale. I laughed and cried, loved and hated right along with Skye. Great escape reading. The author pulls you right into Skye's world and keeps you wanting more.
this has been one of my all-time favorites for years. fun, romantic, hot, sad, shocking, all of the above in one story.

i love Bertrice's version of Elizabeth too (well except for a certain VERY horrid thing Elizabeth does to Skye that pisses her off and fires Skye's need for spoilers here!). and having enjoyed the movie Elizabeth with Cate Blanchett, when i see the scenes in my head, i see Cate across from Skye. and Sir Richard Attenborough as Cecil, who really wasn't done justice i
Skye O'Malley by Bertrice Small is a 1981 publication. I checked this book out from my Overdrive library account.

I recently read a novel by this author in which Skye's granddaughter was featured, which prompted me to go back and check out the original O'Malley saga.

Written way back in 1981, I was sure this book would be quite different and I was right. Not only that Bertrice Small wrote historical romance novels that were way ahead of their time and not at all like anything else being publishe
Nov 30, 2011 Kit★ rated it really liked it
Add this to my list of Bertrice Small books I liked. Whatever, call me strange, or, as I've seen in some other reviews, a "disgrace to my gender", but I liked this book. Pure escape from the humdrum of my boring life. I'm not condoning rape, I don't want real women to get raped, and I hate that it happens for real. I don't want myself to be raped either. My opinions on what's acceptable in real life are different than what's acceptable for my reading purposes, and I'm comfortable with my stance ...more
Apr 13, 2010 Hazel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Reading for the Bodice Rippers. I've only got to page 12 and already it's heavy-going. Sigh...

But on the plus side, I like comedy. I can imagine the Carry On gang doing this dialogue.
"Niall an iarain, Niall of the Iron," she said softly. This was a famous man, the secret dream lover of half the maidens in Ireland.
"I see my reputation precedes me, my lady Skye."
"It is an open secret that you are Captain Revenge, and that you conduct those daring raids against the English who live in the Dublin
Sep 23, 2011 Karen rated it it was amazing
If you're going to read this book comparing it to another genre, say classical literature, then of course you are going to hate it! But if you see if for what it is, a total escapist fantasy, then it is quite possible that like me, you will love the fictional heroine Skye O'Malley. It is Skye I named my email address for because I like to identify with her strength, her courage, her indomitable spirit, her independence, her imagination, and intelligence. There is no woman living or dead who can ...more
Sep 12, 2009 Chelle rated it really liked it
I make no apologies for loving this book. As far as girlie romances go-- (which I only read if they are very, very good) this one is a great read and doesn't leave you feeling like you left your intellect on page two. It's also a great adventure story--the heroine is strong willed, spirited and actually intelligent with a sauciness that may seem contrived until you remember that this book was written decades ago and has probably been copied ad infinitum. It's equally as good as Outlander, if not ...more
Feb 18, 2010 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a great read with a wonderful, memorable,steadfast,yet beautiful heroine. She is Scarlett O'Hara multiplied by 100. And Bertrice Small is meticulous in her historical depictions and accuracy,down to the last sewn on gemstone. Though the ride down O'Malley Saga lane, was well written and fun, by the third installment you think you are reading about Wonder Woman, or some other female superhero. Let's face it, with the filth,body stench,lice,and disease at the times these stories took ...more
Jane Stewart
Long book. I couldn’t get excited about it. Stories about a series of men in a beautiful woman’s life.

At times I wanted it to be over which is my definition for 2 stars. Skye is so beautiful that almost any man near her will fall in love or be so in lust that he will kidnap, rape, or whatever it takes to have her. She has guts and intelligence, but most of the things that happen are due to her beauty rather than skills. I would have liked more interesting actions on her part.
Dec 23, 2009 Tori rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't like sappy romances. But this one is down right scandalous to the 14 year old that read this. Bertrice Small WAS my sex education when I was a young teenager. Considering that I had a mother who told me only "make sure he uses a condom" this was an eye opening book, and I had all of the naughty parts dog-eared on my mothers copy that she hid in a bathroom cabinet. The only downside was that I thought my vagina was called a "sweet tender yoni" until I was 15. Go figure. In short I loved i ...more
Cindy Mcnally
Oct 10, 2012 Cindy Mcnally rated it it was amazing
I first read this book when I was in high impressionable age, for sure. It instantly became a favorite. Skye is a STRONG female character who adapts and dominates, no matter the situation that arises. I consider it important to remember when writing or reading reviews to remember that a review is a personal opinion. This is definitely a bodice-ripper, but no bodice-ripper is going to win any literary awards. Keeping that in mind, I thoroughly enjoyed this one!
If erotica is what you'r
Feb 14, 2013 Mizuki rated it it was ok
Long ago I read this book because I was in charge with mailing romance novels to my aunt, who lived in Thailand. I read it before sending the book away.

I cannot say I like this book though it's not the worst romance I've ever read, it is not. Though Skye clearly is a vividly written character, still I failed to relate myself to her or any of the other character, I don't care about them, and the sex scenes grows tiresome soon enough. I once hoped that Skye O'Malley would offer something original
Nenia Campbell

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Bertrice Small has a very distinctive style. So distinct, in fact, that you could probably make a drinking game of it, although I would advise against this, as the end result would inevitably be alcohol poisoning. When you pick up a Bertrice Small book, you know that the hero and heroine are going to play a game of musical beds, until the end of the book where they're magically reunited with their 5+ children from various marriages in which
Tina Roberts
Jan 26, 2010 Tina Roberts rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone that likes intrigue, romance and mystery
Recommended to Tina by: a librarian
Fast paced....character driven. So well written that I became an instant life long fan of Ms Small. I own every book she has written and I often reread them, making notes and learning how she puts her story together, why she ends chapters the way she does...I study her prose and style. I am writing my own book and I am also a columinst for an online magazine...her writing has helped me become a better writer. She has great talent!
May 02, 2009 madam0wl rated it really liked it
Brenda peddles the best smut books ever. Actual quote, "I want you to do to me what your stallion does to my mare." Oh the aching hardness in my groin!
Jun 21, 2015 SmartBitches rated it really liked it
Full review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

When Bertrice Small died a few weeks ago, Courtney Milan said on twitter that she’d never read any of Small’s books, and asked for which one to start with. In about 30 seconds, there were 8 people who suggested Skye O’Malley. I have read some Small before, and I did not like them very much. Adora was not good. But in honor of the giants we stand on, and because no one does crazy sauce like Small did, I read Skye.

There was a point where I sent Sarah an IM
Oct 24, 2009 Cynthia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Originally written nearly 30 years ago, this story featuring a feisty, headstrong, and independent woman who rivals Queen Elizabeth I, is going to be a let down to some modern readers. Every encounter with a man tends to be yet another step in Skye's sexual awakening, which some may find erotic but I find extremely tiresome after awhile. The men in this book tend to be grouped into categories--sexually immoral and evil or sexually charged and good. Every man practically falls in love with the he ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 3 Feb 04, 2015 02:22PM  
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  • Love's Tender Fury (Marietta Danver Trilogy, #1)
  • The Hawk and the Dove
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Bertrice Williams was born on December 9, 1937 in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA, the daughter of Doris S. and David R. Williams, both broadcasters. She studied at Attended Western College for Women and Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School. On October 5, 1963, she married George Sumner Small, a photographer and designer with a History Major at Princeton. They had a son Thomas David. She has ...more
More about Bertrice Small...

Other Books in the Series

O'Malley Saga (6 books)
  • All the Sweet Tomorrows (O'Malley Saga #2)
  • A Love for All Time (O'Malley Saga, #3)
  • This Heart of Mine (O'Malley Saga, #4)
  • Lost Love Found (O'Malley Saga, #5)
  • Wild Jasmine (O'Malley Saga #6)

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“The Queen, in love with love, returned her royal consent. [allowing newlyweds to honeymoon in private instead of appearing at Court to Queen Elizabeth I]” 5 likes
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