My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: The Daring Marriages #2
Publication Date: 1/2/18
This is a daring, fast-paced adventure with well-developed characters and a tight plot line. It sucked me in from the first word and held me captive through the last! While this is part of a series (two books I believe) you can read them in any order – even the author says so. If you are looking for steam, it isn’t in this book – but the story is wonderful, the characters relatable and the situations are exciting. There is never a dull or boring moment in this book!
Emma St. James is a beautiful, smart, and level-headed young woman and she’s in a boatload of trouble. She was the apple of her father’s eye and when he died he left the entire estate to her – except for a settlement for her step-mother. When she is just a couple of weeks away from obtaining her majority and thus her inheritance, her step-mother, and step-brother try to force her into marrying the step-brother – otherwise, they will have her declared insane and sent to Bedlam. She’s never been afraid of a challenge and decides to betroth herself to someone she has never met – in America. (Yeah, that part didn’t make sense to me either given that she is a smart girl). She takes off for Plymouth where she will be taking a ship across the waters to her betrothed, but along the way, her coach overturns and the drunken driver takes off with their horses. If it isn’t bad enough to be left stranded in the cold on the side of the road with a ruined carriage, another coach stops, but instead of offering assistance, they intend to rob (and worse) Emma and her maid.
Captain Lord Robert Ashton, second Earl of Darington, the ‘Pirate Earl’, Dare is absolutely tongue-tied around females. He sister has convinced him that he needs to find a wife and he’s tried but had no luck. Then, when he and his sister are returning from the wedding of his friend’s sister – Dare’s sister is kidnapped. Dare speeds out after the kidnappers and manages to rescue his sister. He does rescue her, but he gets shot and taken prisoner himself. He’s lying on the floor of the coach, bleeding out, when the coach suddenly stops and he hears the kidnappers raising their voices. They have stopped for a wrecked coach on the side of the road. Barely conscious, Dare realizes that the kidnappers are threatening a young woman.
Emma is trying to plot her escape and sees no way out – when – out of the blue comes a rescuer from inside the coach. As she realizes that her rescuer is wounded and evidently a prisoner as well, they manage to escape on foot. Thus begins a long journey with trouble dogging them at every step. They are pursued by the kidnappers as well as the wicked step-brother – and Emma even ends up on a ship full of smugglers who think she is a light-skirt. Wall-to-wall action and adventure await our intrepid hero and heroine around every corner.
Our heroine has a bright sunny disposition and a strong faith – and our hero has no faith. Emma and Dare each realize that they care for the other, but they doubt that the other cares for them. Each feels that they are lacking in some way, but they see and appreciate the strengths of the other.
I loved this read and was sad to see it end. Now, I think I’ll go back and read the first book in the series.
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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”