Set in in the Caribbean in 1656 (Prologue) and five years later in 1661, this is the story of Samantha Fine--whose family was slaughtered by pirates. The hero is the notorious one-eyed pirate, Captain Luke Bradley. Years after the attack that robbed her of her family, Sam has become the infamous pirate Sam Steele and needs Luke to find the pirate who killed her family, the same pirate who took Luke's eye. She frees Luke from gaol and they combine their talents to find the pirate that hurt them both...all the while Sam is being stalked by an evil predator.
Beattie writes well and has put a lot of action as well as angst into this story of two people trying to overcome the skeletons in the closets of their past. Luke lusts after Sam from the beginning and his intentions for most of the book were not honorable. Despite knowing this, Sam feels having sex with Luke is "inevitable" because of what is between them. She acts the pirate but really has no heart for the life.
I enjoyed the story and very much liked Luke as a character, but I couldn't call it a page turner or say it kept me up late at night (love those, but I acknowledge they are rare). When Sam went ballistic at one point, her histrionics left me rolling my eyes, but other than that she was quite likeable. At times the story seemed very contemporary in tone. Still, it's an entertaining read and I can recommend it.
Though the setting the Caribbean of the early 18th century seemed well presented, there wasn't much history or any historical figures in this story (which to some readers might mean little but to me is important for a high rating). A few things detracted from the authenticity, too: For example, in a pirate attack, the first mate would not have been dragging his young female charge up to the main deck in her nightgown into the middle of the fighting. She would have been below deck unless the ship was sinking. And with grappling hooks holding the ships together they would not be firing their guns. (At that point it's down to pistols and rapiers.)
In some cases the correct terms were not used: Not "walls" but bulkheads (or partitions if not permanent dividers); not "floor," but deck; and typically the captain would not stand watch all night nor would he tend the tiller; and the hatch leading below decks on the stern end (where the captain resides) does not lead directly into the captain's cabin unless it was a custom design but as there would have been other officer cabins there it is an unlikely design.