By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general.
This series was recommended to me by a friend, and I picked up this book because the description was pure catnip for me--a historical romance set in Salem and Boston during the American Revolution, involving pirates (I'm a sucker for tall ships) and conflicted political loyalties, written by a Yale-educated New Englander--even though it was significantly spendier ($9.99 at Amazon today) than I usually tolerate for e-books. I did very much enjoy the story, and I'll definitely check out the rest of the series, but I think the price needs to come down considerably before I can feel good about recommending it to friends and followers who need to watch their budget.
Set in Colonial Massachusetts in 1775, on the eve of the Revolutionary War, The Rebel Pirate is an well-written, plot-driven adventure with rich historical detail and riveting suspense, and I found it a refreshing change of pace from everything else I've been reading lately. Sarah Ward's family is on the brink of penury, their fortunes riding on a dangerous mission to smuggle contraband and Spanish gold to a band of rebel patriots led by Sarah's ex-fiance, who jilted her when he discovered the Wards' financial straits. When Sarah's father's ship is caught and boarded by Captain Sparhawk of the British Navy, and her little brother on the verge of being pressed into service on Sparhawk's ship, desperation drives Sarah to takes Sparhawk hostage, but not before the cargo and the gold are lost. Having lost command of his ship, Sparhawk now faces court-marshall and worse if he returns to his commanding officer, Admiral Graves, in Boston; having lost the smuggled cargo, Sarah faces familial ruin and personal humiliation if she returns to Salem without the gold. Layers and layers of political intrigue, betrayal, and mounting suspense kept the story rocketing along, and I'd have gladly devoured the whole book in one sitting if the demands of work and kids and spouse and sleep had not intervened.
My only complaint is that the romance, being action rather than character driven, fell a little flat for me. Sarah and Sparhawk were brought together by lust and circumstance, not emotion, and the subplot involving Sparhawk's father--(show spoiler)
--I found kind of squicky. This is more an adventure story than a romance, though, and there's much to enjoy.