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The History of Maritime Piracy

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

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Books for Adults - Fiction

Cover Art: The Guise of a Gentleman
The Guise of a Gentleman
By Donna Hatch
The Wild Rose Press, April 2010
ISBN 978-1-60154-701-3, e-Book $7.00, paperback $14.99


Elise Berkley is adamant. She will not remarry. Ever!
She’s content to raise her son and manage his estate until he’s old enough to assume those duties. Plus she relishes the freedom widowhood provides, especially since she tends to stray outside the bounds of societal propriety – reading newspapers, hunting, and rescuing men about to be hanged.
Her friends, like Lily Standwich and Charlotte Greymore, have other plans. After all, Elise is only twenty-eight – “Hardly in your dotage.” Aside from neighboring widowers and eligible bachelors, a newcomer has arrived – Jared Amesbury, a younger son of the fifth Earl of Tarrington. Imagine Elise’s surprise when she attends a dinner party and discovers that Jared and the man she rescued from the hangman’s noose are one and the same.
When Jared first looks at the woman who saves him, he thinks she’s an angel. To discover her at the party is an unexpected delight, but nurturing a relationship with Elise is the last thing he should do. He’s only present to discover the identity of the man behind a ring of pirates. Only then will he finally be free from the death sentence that awaits him should he fail. Becoming involved with Elise complicates those plans and endangers her life and that of her young son. They are his weak spot, and his avowed enemy – the man who attempted to hang him. His fellow pirates would simply kill Jared if they knew his secret.

Set primarily in England after the Napoleonic Wars, this Regency romance captivates the reader from the start. Hatch weaves her spellbinding tale in such a way that her characters, both major and minor, come alive and whisk the reader back to 1819. And they don’t release the unsuspecting until the story ends. Being a romance, the hero and heroine live happily ever after, but Elise and Jared ride a roller coaster of swashbuckling adventure that elicits smiles and tears, and almost doesn’t happen. The Guise of a Gentleman is a delight to read –I’m not a big fan of Regency romances – and Hatch’s research into the truth about pirates is immaculate. Although they step onto the page only near the end, they are realistically portrayed and so is the fate that awaits them.
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Read Donna Hatch's entries at Historical Hussies

Book Review Copyright ©2010 Cindy Vallar

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