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Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX  76244-0425

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Books for Adults - Fiction

Cover Art: The Legend of the Gypsy Hawk
The Legend of the Gypsy Hawk
By Sally Malcolm
Choc Lit, 2016, e-book ISBN 978-1-78189-217-6, $3.99
print ISBN 978-1-78189-265-7, $11.50

A chest thumps against a ship in 1848. Its treasure is a book with the words “The Articles of Agreement” etched on its cover. Thus begins the legend of the Gypsy Hawk and her captain, a sly pirate who escaped death more than once.

Ill tidings bring Zachary Hazard back to Ile Sainte Anne, a place he vowed never to return to when he left six years ago. The English, French, and Dutch have joined forces to destroy the pirate haven where all are free. Neither Captain Dauphin, the self-proclaimed leader of the west African island, nor his daughter Amelia see the need to flee. In spite of her sheltered upbringing, she understands the principles of freedom and equality that the Articles espouse threaten those who rule. She is happy to see Zach, but her duty lies in protecting the men, women, and children who call Ile Sainte Anne home. Even if she must die doing so.

Amelia was but a child when he left the island, but the beautiful woman she’s become stirs something within Zach. He’s too much a gentleman to take advantage of her, and he knows she will never leave even though he cannot stay. Still they are drawn to each other, but neither understands the other’s definition of freedom. Nor will their stubbornness permit them to forge an alliance between love and duty. Not even when a French privateer sails into the harbor to offer a compromise, a way to keep the island safe from destruction.

Once she and her father accept that compromise, Zach leaves aboard the Gypsy Hawk. He prowls the seas for four months, but like a sailor drawn to the siren who lures him closer to the rocks, Zach finds himself on the island once again. Just in time to rescue Amelia during a storm. But she is no longer free. She’s engaged to the French privateer. The arrival of a British warship traps the Gypsy Hawk in the harbor. Zach knows the ship has come for him, but he’s powerless to refuse Amelia’s request to meet her on the cliffs. She betrays him with a kiss, just as Judas betrayed Jesus, but this sacrifice proves more devastating and deadly than either Zach or she expects. As time passes, she also realizes that no matter the price she pays, freedom and equality are ideas that influential men will do whatever they must to snuff out.

The Legend of the Gypsy Hawk is a hair-raising, spine-tingling, swashbuckling tale of love and treachery. Nothing is ever as it seems or as simple as some characters believe. From the utopia of Ile Sainte Anne to the fetid squalor of London, Malcolm weaves a complicated tale that whisks the reader back in time to the last vestiges of the Golden Age of Piracy. She subtly weaves history into this first adventure in the Pirates of Ile Sainte Anne series, and it is hoped that subsequent books prove equally compelling.

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Review Copyrighted ©2016 Cindy Vallar

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