Adventurous and intoxicatingly sweet, Alison DeLaine’s debut novel will strike a chord for any and every historical romance fan lucky enough to board passage on her story’s voyage.
Read an Excerpt: here
Pre-Order Today! (Available Dec. 31st)
Abducted and held captive at the age of 17, Katherine Kinloch has known great terror and helplessness at the hands of powerful men. The late Scottish Earl’s daughter turned concubine turned pirate makes her own way in the world now while also serving as karma to corsairs with ill gotten goods. Katherine has been cutting a swath and earning her moniker of “Corsair Kate” handily for several years now, but when her inheritance is threatened back at home, the misunderstood piratess trades in the sunny blue Mediterranean seas for smoggy London air.
On her way back to Britain, some cargo of interest bumps up along side her ship. Despite her better judgement and ever mindful of the potential threat of disease or enemy alliance, she directs her crew to hoist the unfortunate soul from the water. The newcomer turns out to be very much alive and very connected to someone she isn't too fond of. She'll later find out that the word "connected" is a huge understatement
Captain James Warre is ready to resign his commission and live the quiet life his years at sea have yet to afford him. Before he can settle down with his brandy by the fireplace he has a debt to repay to the woman he couldn't rescue all those years ago but who ironically saved him from a watery grave. When they finally land in London he finds out that his brother is in cahoots with the Parliament powers who want to see Katherine disinherited. James' debt will take a little more time and finesse to work out than he originally believed; All the while his admiration and attraction to the strong Captain/Countess grows stronger with each new day and obstacle.
James and Kate have won countless battles at sea, but it's the one on land and for the heart that proves most challenging and worthwhile.
My Favorite Part of the Book: I am torn! I really enjoyed seeing Katherine battle propriety and her pirate instincts when it came to handling a ne'er-do-well of the ton whom was after her, but I am a sucker for more tender emotions, so the interaction between James and Katherine's daughter, Anne stole the show for me. I mentally swooned so many times! There's nothing like a man bonding with a child to make me turn into a silly weepy emotional mess! Anne could have easily been just a prop in this story, but her ailment combined with James' compassion gave an extra level of dimension to this book that had me hooked!
Looks like Ms DeLaine has made an instant fan out of me. For starters, one things I love (and need) in my romances, almost as much as a compelling central love story itself, is a strong cast of secondary characters. It's a hard balance to write characters that support just enough rather than overwhelm the story or fall short/come off unnecessary and tedious. This book had a lot that worked for me and it beings with the intriguing supporting characters (And might I just say, I am positively painting for Lord Winston's book! He was a blackguard for 90% of the book and I fell irrevocably in love!).
I will say that I was expecting a bit more drama on the voyage back to England in the first few chapters. A bad storm and hidden identity were nice, but coming off of reading great "at-sea" romances like the Black Cobra series by Stephanie Laurens and many of Johanna Lindsey's classics, I wanted even more angst (I thought for sure they would be engaged by rival corsairs). Also, I wanted the romance to pick up faster and more intensely. I'd already invested in the couple after a certain point, so I wanted less waltzing around propriety and more stolen moments that grew their bond as a couple. I favored James a bit more than Kathrine and liked how his character fleshed out. Kathrine took some time for me to warm up to but eventually won my heart along with her sweet daughter and peculiar motley crew.
Finish this year off right by being one of the first to read this year-end treat from an author you'll be sure to hear more of very soon!
If you can't wait for December 31st when this book is released, check out DeLaine's anthology with Stephanie Laurens here (Available Now)
And be on the look out in Spring 2014 for the follow up to this novel, James' brother Nicholas' story, A Wedding by Dawn