This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance
Published by Entangled Select
Released on January 28, 2014
Highlanders delivering the body of a traitor straight to England’s royal court, pirates to rescue from the Tower, a magic wielding lady pirate to the rescue, a suspicious King, traitors at court, and ah yes, things are ripe for high adventure, intrigue and romance (and not necessarily in that order). I saw all these elements and I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a fun, swashbuckling adventure with a bit of the paranormal to make things interesting.
Pandora Wyatt is alone in England for the first time, but she pushes aside her fears because she is on a life or death mission to rescue the only family she knows. She has enough magic running through her to bring down lightning on an enemies head or heal some one who is near death, but she doesn’t dare use it unless she wants to avoid getting burned as a witch. She has to make her way to The Tower of London and counted on her real father to help her secure Captain Bart and Jim’s release, but her kind heart gets her into trouble before she can work out her plan.
Ewan Brody and Searc Munro agree to take the dead carcass of Boswell the traitor to London because King Henry VIII ordered it and the proof turned over to him. Along the way, Ewan rescues an unusual woman with magical powers, a conniving way about her that has him committed to a certain death venture, and yet he doesn’t say no.
On the road, the little party encounters Jane Seymour who is now to be courted by the King and the pretense of Dory and Ewan being married begins. Dory does sweet, fearful Jane a service that may turn out to reap a reward later. On arriving in London, Dory is declared to be a lost Wellington, a noble family or the court. The King and some in his court are suspicious of the new arrivals, but things really start to buzz when it comes out that Boswell wasn’t the only traitor seeking Henry’s life. Henry exacts a promise that Ewan and Dory will run down this third traitor or suffer a traitor’s fate for themselves. Meanwhile, crafty enemies close in around them and the men they came to rescue. Dory’s magic might get them in trouble first. Or there is the fact that the falsely married pair might have started to feel that it was all too real and love is the most dangerous adventure of all.
This story was a fun romp with there always being an element of danger or intrigue. There was so many things in play that it was an extensive story. It was almost too much and having all of it going on got distracting at times. This was just a minor niggle.
Just as Dory’s stubborn ‘I can protect myself’ attitude caused some eye rolls on occasion. She gets people into deadly danger due to her leap first attitude and heavy reliance on her magic, but then afterward feels the remorse. It didn’t ruin the story and in truth Dory’s danger-prone ways kept things mighty interesting and they certainly had big, brawny and brave Ewan looking the hero to the rescue many times. Dory is a woman of parts. She was raised at sea by a band of rowdy pirates so she has some street savvy, but Captain Bart also kept her isolated to a certain extent so that her savvy doesn’t run to the strategic planning sort who can blend in at a royal court or the sort who gets the subtleties of love and being a gentlewoman. She’s brash, has a sailor’s mouth, but is also a woman’s winsomeness that wants to be thought beautiful and attractive by the man she admires. She gets into trouble usually because she has a heart for others particularly exploited children of the streets. She was a very likeable heroine.
Ewan amused me and had me swooning in turn. His boasting confidence and demeanor about the ladies just had me snickering that he was so going down. Dory is the opposite of his ideal woman of course, but sure enough, it’s not long before he has the ‘mine’ attitude about her. She frustrates him, drives him wild and has him so turned around after just a few days- you go girl. He soon learns that he might have met his match with this female. I loved the way his honor and sense of duty along with his warrior skills and courage shown through. He wasn’t afraid of Dory’s magic nor turned away by her illegitimate bloodlines or her rougher qualities. In fact, he loved her for her differences.
And together? These two were scorching. They could passionately fight or love equally wholeheartedly. A definite match.
The historical backdrop was great. It was balanced well in the story so that it didn’t push aside the romance and adventure plots. Henry Tudor’s court and Tudor England need little help to be made fascinating. I loved that real historical figures like Henry, Jane Seymour and Thomas Cromwell were included.
I should also point out that this is really the second book in a series and their are glimpses of a continued plot threat from the first book. I had no trouble reading it without the benefit of having read the first book so I suppose it could be read as a standalone. Personally, I’ll be going back for Caden’s book and going on to Searc’s as well as the two novellas. I love the Highlanders and these braw lads all appeared in Ewan’s story leaving me eager for each of their own stories.
All in all, it was a grand adventure into this historical romance with so much to please for a historical romance fan who loves a fiery couple and doesn’t mind a paranormal element tossed in for fun.
My thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.