Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX 76244-0425
Books for Adults - Fiction
Still sought for her role in the failed Jacobite uprising, Cate Mackenzie flees England aboard a merchant ship bound for Jamaica. She travels as a widow, although she doesnít know whether her husband is dead or alive. Captured after supporting Bonnie Prince Charlie, he was transported to the islands as slave labor. The seaman regale her with tales of the notorious and fearsome Captain Nathanael Blackthorne, a legendary pirate with a ship whose sails bleed, and his feud with Lord Creswicke and Commodore Harte, the two men who will stop at nothing to rid the Caribbean of their nemesis. All too soon, the sailorsí tales become reality. Blackthorneís men attack and plunder the merchant ship because they think Cate is the wife of the islandís new commissioner and will bring them a tidy ransom.
Rather than endure whatever the pirates have in store for her, she jumps overboard. Only to be rescued by Blackthorne, who isnít quite the wicked pirate sheís been led to believe. Oh heís villainous and nasty when needs be, but heís also gentlemanly and educated. He keeps his own counsel and doesnít mind dirt, which Cate canít abide. Even after Nathan learns her true identity, he refuses to release her and sets her up in his quarters to protect her from the more unsavory characters among his crew. As the days pass, the attraction between the two grows, but Nathan canít trust women, not after his first love betrayed him, left him for dead, and stole his ship. Cate, on the other hand, still loves her husband. Once she becomes acclimated to her new predicament, a sense of belonging overwhelms her Ė something she hasnít felt in a very long time.
Ever scheming to find new ways to thwart Creswicke, Nathan learns that Creswickeís intended is on her way to meet her future husband. Nathan and his crew decide to kidnap her first. With the help of his friend, another pirate who knew Nathan before they went on the account, a trap is laid. Once the prey is snared, she becomes Cateís responsibility, and Cate has numerous ideas as to how she and Nathan can save the spoiled, self-centered, sixteen-year-old girl from the lecherous fiend who is marrying her only for her fatherís money.
Set in 1753, more than two decades after the golden age of piracy, The Pirate Captain is a historical novel not for the faint of heart or for readers who dislike violence, for that is the world of pirates. The story itself begs for a good edit because there are numerous misspelled or missing words, too many rape attempts, and the characters draw a few conclusions or make suggestions that either donít make sense or seem out of character. The bookís length (610 pages) and size (10x7x1.5 inches) may deter some readers, as will pages that come loose from the spine. But those willing to overlook these flaws will find themselves on a stunning voyage that evokes the aura of pirate life. Lynne skillfully weaves history into the tale, and the characters are well-drawn and memorable. Her flair for description and her ability to recreate a world gone by evokes a feeling that The Pirate Captain unfolds in visual images rather than being just words on the page. While a thread of romance runs through this tale, The Pirate Captain is not a romance. Itís a gritty novel of piracy and the sea thatís realistically told in such a way that transports the reader back in time ensnared in a ruse de guerre that leaves no one unscathed.
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Review Copyrighted ©2014 Cindy Vallar
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