1775, Boston Harbor. James Sparhawk, Master and Commander in the British Navy, knows trouble when he sees it. The ship he’s boarded is carrying ammunition and gold…into a country on the knife’s edge of war. Sparhawk’s duty is clear: confiscate the cargo, impound the vessel and seize the crew. But when one of the ship’s boys turns out to be a lovely girl, with a loaded pistol and dead-shot aim, Sparhawk finds himself held hostage aboard a Rebel privateer.
Sarah Ward never set out to break the law. Before Boston became a powder keg, she was poised to escape the stigma of being a notorious pirate’s daughter by wedding Micah Wild, one of Salem’s most successful merchants. Then a Patriot mob destroyed her fortune and Wild played her false by marrying her best friend and smuggling a chest of Rebel gold aboard her family’s ship.
Now branded a pirate herself, Sarah will do what she must to secure her family’s safety and her own future. Even if that means taking part in the cat and mouse game unfolding in Boston Harbor, the desperate naval fight between British and Rebel forces for the materiel of war—and pitting herself against James Sparhawk, the one man she cannot resist.
Review: Since I haven’t read the first book in the series, The Turncoat, I thought I might be at a disadvantage to mesh with the story but I wasn’t. The story takes place during the Revolutionary War, mainly involving the sea skirmishes, and is centered in Massachusetts – areas and sites that I’ve been to – Boston including the harbor, Harvard (The College) and Faneuil Hall, Salem, Marblehead and others. There were a lot of characters fighting on both sides and they seemed to change allegiances at the drop of a hat so that they would remain free and not be arrested and all that entailed. There were pirates, soldiers, spies, lots of intrigue, action and suspense as well as a steamy side to the story. Interspersed throughout were historical facts and locations.
I couldn’t help but root for Sarah Ward and her pirate family as well as James Sparhawk who is in the British Navy. Not so much for Micah Wild (appropriate name for him). There were so many twists and turns to the story and the ability of the characters to survive even when it seemed they would perish. In addition to the many characters, which could get confusing at times, there were a lot of relationships interwoven as well. There was a happily ever after amongst all the turmoil along with some closure.
At the back of the book there was a recommended reading list of non fiction books to shed more light on the war as well as the author’s bio. There also was a readers guide that included a conversation with the author that enlightening. I also enjoyed the thought provoking questions for discussion and found it interesting that it was stated that “this book takes place before the events of The Turncoat, the first book in the series.”
Thorland is a new to me author and I look forward to reading more books in this series – including the first book and the last in this trilogy. I hope her caliber of writing continues to reel me in.
Favorite Quote: “…This fight is not about abstract ideals or tea or tax. It is about the most basic kind of liberty – the kind you fought to preserve for your brother.”