Review: Contraband Hearts by Alex Beecroft

Posted May 3, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 8 Comments

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Review: Contraband Hearts by Alex Beecroft
Contraband Hearts

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Porthkennack #10
Genres: Historical Romance, M/M Romance
Published by Riptide
Released on April 30, 2018
Pages: 270
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

A custom’s officer and a smugger find themselves in a reluctant attraction and a need to trust in this lush, authentic feeling age of sail intrigue.  The enemies to lovers set against such a backdrop by a longtime favorite author was just too good to be missed.


Contraband Hearts is book ten in the loosely connected Porthkennack series of books told in multiple eras and by multiple authors.  Each book can be read standalone as their only connection is generally the location.  They each cleverly tell m/m romances of all shape and color with the added wealth of getting each of their writing styles, as well.

Contraband Hearts is a Napoleonic era tale that brings newly-made custom’s officer, Perry, to this small suspicious and hostile village to root out trouble in the customs office.  His race is already a mark against him, but his strident purpose has him at odds with the whole town.  He further takes on the commission to arrest the local well-loved ‘Robin Hood’ figure, Tomas Quick.

Tomas has his own colorful history and determined mission to end the reign of the Quicks up in the estate house lording it over and choking the village with their their monopoly and threats.  He is set on revenge, but is distracted when he learns there is a deeper danger lurking in Porthkennack then the annoyingly straight-laced and attractive custom’s officer.

I loved the complexities of this story from the authentic descriptions of setting, activities, customs and smuggling/wreckers’ history, social mores of the day to the diversity of characters and races, social strata, and morals.  The author draws engaging characters full of strengths and flaws and I loved seeing the pair take turns narrating and work through private and relationship issues.  And oh boy, do they have a serious conflict of interest.

The mystery element was a nice twist and I loved how it wove through the story to give the pair reason for hostility, but an opening for trust, too.

All in all, Contraband Hearts reminded me why I have been so enamored with this author’s fantastic Age of Sail Historical Romance more sweet than spicy.  I highly recommend this one.

My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.


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New Release #65


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About Alex Beecroft

Spaceships and galaxy spanning empires, conversations with angels, viking villages, haunted mansions and forbidden love in the Age of Sail… I love a good strong plot in an exotic setting, with characters you can admire, and a happy ending.

If you make a venn diagram of genres, including historical, fant

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Kimberly Caffeinated Reviewer

I love the historical aspects and a mystery thread is always welcome!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

For sure! The mystery was a good one and was the element that drew the pair of enemies together in a common cause. 🙂

Barks Book Nonsense
3 years ago

I read Blessed Isle by this author and admit I was missing the spicy bits but the writing was beautiful.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Yeah, LOL, not as spicy as others, but so strong on historical setting and character development. 🙂

Lily B
3 years ago

love when a diverse book is well done with a great plot to follow. great review

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Lily B

I agree. All elements felt organic in the book instead of contrived. Thanks, Lily!

Carole's Random Life
3 years ago

This sounds like it was really well done. I like that the mystery, setting, and relationship issues all are handled well.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

She does a great job of historical setting and characters. The mystery was an added plus.