Captain Blackheart leads a simple life of roving the seas, wenching and treasure-hunting. He steers clear of romantic entanglements that could tie him to land. He shouldn’t have any trouble keeping his hands off the gently-bred lady he’s commissioned to abduct—except his cargo turns out to be feisty and passionate! She’d be a prize worth treasuring if having her aboard didn’t jeopardize everything…
Clara Halton thought the worst loss she could suffer was to be stripped of her family, stricken with consumption and left to die alone. Then she meets Blackheart. Their attraction is ruinous…and irresistible. When he delivers her like so much plunder, his mission is over — but hers has just begun. She’ll force him to acknowledge their connection, even if she must storm his ship to do it!
Received from the publishers via Netgalley as someone who has read Erica Ridley books before. This is number 6 in the “Dukes of War” series – previous ones reviewed being The Major’s Faux Fiancee and The Captain’s Bluestocking Mistress and The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation. Gregory Steele has appeared in various books before, most noticeably The Earl’s Defiant Wallflower and The Brigadier’s Runaway Bride .
This book – the penultimate in the series – tells things from Gregory’s point of view. No longer required by the British Navy, he uses his skills to straddle the line between legal and illegal on the high sea and chases down enemy ships for plunder. He dislikes being confined to land and accepts the challenge to sail to the US, capture Clara Halton and bring her back to the UK and the family that has deserted her.
Little does he realise that not only has she been left to die, but she is certainly NOT dead, and is in fact rather spirited and as listless as he is. Reunited with her daughter; safe in the knowledge that her daughter is safely married and apparently happy and newly wealthy, Clara decides that a life with Steele on the sea is far more interesting and exciting than a dull life on land. If only he could see it the same way she did…
As with the other books, this is a standalone story but is well worth reading in conjunction with the other books in the series, as this fills in some gaps rather nicely. The main female character is a woman well over 17, who already has had one relationship (that bore children) and has a second attempt at a satisfying adult relationship. The family relationships issues that Gregory and Clara have had previously were sorted in other books, so it’s now just about the two of them. I must admit I didn’t like Gregory in previous books (he was a bit too rakish), but I warmed to him here.
About this author
Erica Ridley is a USA Today best-selling author of historical romance novels. Her latest series, The Dukes of War, features roguish peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England.
When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.
Erica can be found via the internet as follows:
Street Team: http://www.ericaridley.com/street-team