From the back cover:
Beautiful, brave, and wildly impetuous, Istabelle O'Bannon is the daring captain of her own ship. A "Robin Hood" who protects costal villages from pirates and marauders, she answers to no authority but her own. But now Istabelle is desperate to reclaim one of her most precious treasures from a vicious outlaw--and she trusts only one man to help her.
That man isn't the arrior Ruark Haagan, even though she's under the mistaken impression that he is. And now it's too late to Ruark to explain his deception and reveal his true identity. All he can do is help the untamed beauty triumph in this brutal clash--even as he resists succumbing to the fiery passion Istabelle has ignited in him...
And my review:
I really thought I'd found a winner when I started this novel. It had so much going for it: a easy-to-read writing style that flows well, a good balance between prose and dialogue (no rambling speeches or descriptions that take up a dozen pages), well-drawn characters, a well-drawn historical backdrop (that doesn't ever get "textbook") and a fairly interesting plot. I say "fairly" because this book does rely on the "big misunderstanding" as a plot device, and it is definitely not one of my favorite plots. However, if written well, with compelling enough characters, I can still enjoy it.
However, it was the hero who ruined this story for me. I didn't find anything redeeming about him. He himself boasts that he has no honor, and that is shown to be true through his actions. And his behavior towards the heroine is just short of abusive. She says that wrong thing and he attacks her with his sword. Believe me, what she said was not inflamatory enough to justifiably provoke such a reaction. Only her quick reflexes and fighting skills keep him from killing or maiming her. He comes close to raping her, justifying it that she got him all "hot and bothered" and "had it coming". Please! This happens after she interupts him from having sex with a whore in the middle of a public room in a brothel. Ugh. A healthy sexual drive in a romance hero is good. Having him do all his thinking with the wrong head (the guy never seemed to think about anything but getting laid) is not. And having him practically commit rape, and then blame the woman is unforgiveable, (at least it is in my opinion).
I am so disappointed! What I'd read of this book was so well written, which is why I gave it two stars instead of one. Why did the author waste her talent on such an unworthy hero? Not recommended by this reader.