Monday, April 26, 2010
The Guise of a Gentleman
Last week, Donna Hatch, the author of THE GUISE OF A GENTLEMAN, was my guest blogger. So of course, I had to read her new release and see what it was all about.
NYT Best Seller, Jennifer Ashley, summed up Donna’s book beautifully in her cover quote. Jennifer said “Combining Jane Austin with swashbuckling adventure, THE GUISE OF A GENTLEMAN is a fine specimen of pirate romance!” How true!
The heroine, Elise Berkley, is a widow of five years, though only in her late twenties, and she runs her estate outside the country town of Benniswick, England. She enjoys the freedom of making her own decisions for her people and her five year-old son, Colin. She is the proper lady of Jane Austin’s era with an adventurous side she keeps well under control.
Jared Amesbury, aka Black Jack, is the hero with a dark and dangerous hidden life. An expert pirate, swordsman, and spy, he is endearingly filled with self-doubt about who he really is and his value as a person. When he meets Elise, he is literally being hanged by a rival pirate and it is only her interference and her excellent marksmanship that saves his life and that of the boy he tried to protect. Unfortunately, or fortunately, Jared makes a strong impression on his savior by being bold enough to kiss her.
Of course, Elise thinks she has saved a commoner and is quite shocked to meet the very man she rescued at a local gathering of the gentry. As she fights her attraction to this man, she observes him closely and realizes there is much more to him than he reveals.
Jared is like a moth to the flame when it comes to Elise and cannot stay away from her despite his feelings of unworthiness. But he soon finds himself enjoying the company of Colin, Elise's son, falling for the pretty widow, and anxiously searching for the ring leader of the pirate coalition. After his fellow spy and friend is shot and Elise is taken hostage, Jared turns to piracy again to save her. But he is rewarded with being taken prisoner by the English Navy and condemned to die.
Despite the best efforts of Jared’s friends and his large influential family, Elise witnesses his hanging. Believe it or not, this story has a very happy ending and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that a few times I did get a bit teary eyed. The on-board ship battle scenes were described perfectly without being too confusing and had my pulse racing. This is a sweet adventurous romance that had me whipping through the final chapters at a speed only reserved for my favorite reads.
If you like dashing pirates, vulnerable masculine men, and women with guts, you won’t want to miss this one!
Happy reading, Alexis