Thursday 19 October 2017

The Pirate's Debt by Katherine Bone

Amazon UK £3.04 £10.63
Amazon US $12.99 $3.99
Amazon CA $16.90

Romance / Nautical adventure

Book 2 The Regent’s Revenge

The guise of the Black Regent offers Basil Halford, Earl of Markwick, a chance to right his father’s wrongs and restore the reputations and incomes of the dead marquess’s victims. But prowling the seas around the coast of South West England as the masked smuggler and pirate necessitates that he separate himself from his few remaining friends. One of those men is Pierce Walsingham, a revenue agent who has vowed to hunt down and destroy this so-called “Robin Hood.”

Reality weighs on Markwick like an anchor around his neck. The hangman’s noose awaits him if he’s caught, and even a lifetime spent redressing the destructive deeds of his father may never pay for that man’s sins. Nor is he as adept in this role as his predecessor, the Duke of Blackmoor. But in July 1809, news arrives that Lady Chloe Walsingham has gone missing. He must rescue his friend’s sister before her curiosity ruins her reputation or puts her in harm’s way. Doing so, though, puts him in danger. She could well see through his disguise and, inevitably, he will cross paths with her brother who also searches for her.

Constant reading of her favourite novel convinces Chloe Walsingham that she must find the man she loves, but locating Markwick proves challenging. Only her love can redeem him from the depths of his despair over his father’s scandalous greed. When whispers of Markwick’s whereabouts surface, she and her maid board the Mohegan bound for Penzance. Besides, her brother has taught her how to defend herself, so what trouble can she get into?

The Pirate’s Debt is the second book in The Regent’s Revenge series. Sufficient background information from the first book, a novella, is included within The Pirate’s Debt, that readers new to this series will readily understand the events leading up to Markwick’s assumption of his alter ego. The only flaw in this otherwise gripping historical romance is a tendency to repeat character motivations and feelings, which at times dissolves the tension. The scenes involving the wreckers, Chloe’s rescue, the sea battle, and the confrontation with the black ship’s captain are nail-biting, riveting pages.

Bone is adept at snaring the reader’s attention and not releasing it until the story concludes. Her well-drawn characters easily come to life. Even the villain – Captain Carnage, a man whose mantra is “Dead men tell no tales” – is depraved yet stirs the reader’s sympathy.

Those who dare to venture within the covers of this book won’t be disappointed.

© 2017 Cindy Vallar

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