Monday 23 January 2017

Nautical Week: AMBER WAKE and JADED TIDES by P. S. Bartlett and Ronovan Hester

AMAZON UK £9.02 / £2.12
AMAZON US $12.99 / $2.99
AMAZON CA $ n.a /$16.79

Nautical / Adventure
18th century 1705

In a London tavern in 1705, Captain Gabriel Wallace and Lieutenant Miles Jacobs intervene when an admiral attempts to kill his wife’s paramour. Gabriel prevents this, but someone stabs the admiral and Gabriel must face an Admiralty court of inquiry. The verdict, while acknowledging both his good intentions and his loyal service to the Crown, cashiers him from the Royal Navy. But the admiral’s friends aren’t satisfied and hatch a plot to destroy Gabriel. Not only do they connive to bring about his execution, but they also kidnap his younger brother and set his house aflame with him in it.

Miles and another lieutenant rescue Gabriel and his brother and, having nowhere else to turn, they head for the Majesty’s Venture, Gabriel’s former vessel. While others see the crew as hard-headed and undisciplined, Gabriel realizes just how loyal his men are when they decide to “retire” from the navy and abscond with their ship. First, though, they have to escape the harbor and the naval vessel pursuing them.

Like undulating waves, Amber’s Wake is a tale of non-stop action and heart-thudding thrills: storms at sea, pirates, and narrow escapes from their hunters (former friends and colleagues). The characters are well-drawn and, although the reasons behind Miles’s hesitancy and Gabriel’s reluctance to share could be stronger, they quickly snare readers into caring about what happens to them. 

Readers familiar with the other books in the Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales series will enjoy this one, which explores Rasmus Bergman’s past, and look forward to future exploits with Gabriel and his men.

Review © Cindy Vallar
* * * * * * * * * * 

Amazon UK £1.99 /£10.50
Amazon US $2.99 / $15.99
Amazon CA $ n.a / $20.66 

Nautical / Adventure / Adult Content
18th Century

After a bloody battle at sea against unsavory pirates, Ivory Shepard and Captain Rasmus Bergman return to Port Royal. While they and the crew repair the ship, Ivory and Razz also explore their blossoming love. Before long, he asks her to be his wife, and reluctantly agrees that she can go to sea with him and the other pirates as long as she learns some doctoring skills. He also has her help the cook, all to keep her from harm. But best laid plans rarely unfold as expected, especially where Ivory – and her pirate persona Ivan Razor – are concerned.

Ivory is determined to pursue the pirates who stole young girls from their homes and sold them to others to use as they wish. The log of Captain Barclay – one of the leaders of this smuggling ring and the man who brought Ivory and her cousins to Jamaica – contains information about the ships and the girls. Ivory and Razz’s first target is the Virginia Belle, but capturing her, subduing her crew, and rescuing the girls requires stealth, sly thinking, and a bit of luck.

Jaded Tides, the sequel to Demons & Pearls, is an intricately woven tale of romance, jealousy, and betrayal. Bartlett never whitewashes the brutal reality of living in an age when pirates prey on the innocent. She deftly shows Ivory’s growing maturity and her struggle to come to terms with the hardest lesson of all: she can’t save everyone. Both the subject matter and one blatant scene make this a story for mature readers.

©2016 Cindy Vallar
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