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Skye O'Malley

(O'Malley Saga #1)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  4,921 ratings  ·  291 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 October 1980)
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Jenn I don't think you have to read them all in order to appreciate the stories, although I would suggest reading Skye O'Malley & All the Sweet Tomorrows i…moreI don't think you have to read them all in order to appreciate the stories, although I would suggest reading Skye O'Malley & All the Sweet Tomorrows in succession, and the same with Wild Jasmine & Darling Jasmine. The other lead heroines in the series only have single novels, but Skye's specific story crosses two books, as does the story of her granddaughter, Jasmine.

Technically, spoilers may happen since the O'Malley extended clan make cameos through out the series (as long as they're still alive), but if you don't mind knowing who married whom ahead of time, you shouldn't have any other issues.(less)

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Average rating 4.27  · 
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 ·  4,921 ratings  ·  291 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
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ 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 wh
mark monday
You are Skye O'Malley, practically perfect in every way. You are bold and beautiful. You are brave and independent. You are headstrong and tempestuous. Your sapphire eyes flash, your lustrous hair cascades, your heaving bosom heaves. You are a good daughter and a loving mother; you are a kind mistress to your servants. You are as brilliant as you are beautiful, with a facility for numbers and accounting, and a tongue skilled in many languages. You don't ride horses side-saddle and you can captai ...more
Meredith Holley
Apr 02, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: run for the hills, humankind
Recommended to Meredith 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)
Oct 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bodice-ripper, ebook
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
Wendy,  Lady Evelyn Quince
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Aug 13, 2012 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
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. ...more
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
Apr 03, 2010 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. ...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
Sep 23, 2011 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
Nov 14, 2011 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 10, 2010 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
Sonia N.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical-r
I read this book many years ago. I instantly fell in love with Bertrice Small. To this day I have not ever read a sensual Historical Romance like hers.
Skye O'Malley, is a beautiful Irish heroine!! She is cossetted by her father and he takes her as a child on his ship. She is bethrothed young to a man she does not love. Her father and step-mother invite Niall to dinner and it's love at first sight, her step-mother noticed it. Niall claims Skye's droit de seignor/her virginity. Their special night
Sep 12, 2009 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
4 stars. March is Irish month on Regan Walker’s Historical Romance Review blog. So I felt Skye O. was a good choice to read. This was a good book, although I’m not sure i’ll be continuing the series as it seems like it’s going to just be more of the same of what went on in book one? This one was enough. I own many more books by B. Small, Adora, Hellion, Enchantress Mine, Love Slave and some of The Boarder series etc. and I hope some of them are a little better or different than Skye’s story. I s ...more
Well that didn’t go well. I was in the mood for a bodice ripper and decided to try my first Bertrice Small. 2hr (out of 20h) in and I don’t think I can do this, it’s just too stressful.
Must take a break, maybe forever.
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.
Regan Walker
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is classic Bertrice Small. Set in Ireland, Algiers and London in the mid 16th century, it is the first in the O’Malley series, and tells of the Irish noble families and the loves of an amazing heroine. Though her wealthy Irish sea captain father, famous for his merchant piracy, had 6 daughters, the O’Malley had only one like himself: strong and intelligent in business—and in her case, also beautiful. When she is 15, though betrothed to another man (a man she hates), Skye O’Malley fall ...more
Dec 21, 2009 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
Feb 18, 2010 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
Cindy Mcnally
Oct 07, 2012 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 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
Tina Roberts
Jan 26, 2010 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!
One of the most enjoyable aspects about Bertrice Small's Skye O’Malley is how the heroine, Skye, has more than one romantic partner and falls in love with more than one romantic partner, without hand-wringing. Also, the detail in dress and fashion. That was utterly fascinating.

On the flip side to free love, does anyone else wish Geoffrey Southwood didn't die? Or that Niall was a tad more interesting? I was really rooting for Niall. He makes a great first impression but .. hello Geoffrey.


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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 4 Feb 04, 2015 02:22PM  

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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 liv ...more

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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