This is a reissue of a book first published in 1998 and it was a good, swashbuckling story. Miss Sara Willis is a reforming young woman who causes endless headaches for her stepbrother, the Earl of Blackmore. Her latest scheme is to travel on a convict ship full of women to make note of the conditions, give them some education and to try to ensure their safety when landing in the antipodes. She manages to persuade her stepbrother to allow her on the ship but he makes sure one of the crew is going to look after her.
However no-one expects the ship to be boarded by pirates and the women to be kidnapped. Captain Gideon Horne, known as the Pirate Lord, has a hatred of the English aristocracy and has plundered many ships belonging to nobles. However he and his pirate crew want to settle down on the island paradise they have found - but not without women. When they discover the convict ship full of women it is too good an opportunity to miss!
But Gideon hasn't reckoned with Sara Willis and her care for the women. Sara and Gideon are locked into a battle of wills as she tries to protect the women and he tries to encourage them to live the utopian life on his island, Atlantis. But Gideon and Sara might be getting more than they bargained for when they spend so much time together - can Gideon's distrust of the aristocracy and the wounds of childhood be overcome? Can Sara find happiness so far from her life in England?
This was an enjoyable story if rather far-fetched (I can't imagine any brother would have allowed his sister to be a passenger on a convict ship, for example). The characters were interesting although many seemed rather stereotypical, but the central love story worked quite well and the verbal sparring between Sara and Gideon was well written. The revelations about Gideon's past were perhaps rather too convenient for this story but overall it was a good read and I enjoyed it.
Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2008