Allison Temple Books. Feb. 2021. 348p. ISBN 9781777245139. pap. $20.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Georgina “George” Wright is shocked when her snobby stepbrother arranges her engagement to Prince Beverly, the cruel new monarch of Redmere. George has never wanted to marry a man, but Redmerian women have no choice in marriage, and same-sex relationships are punishable by death. If Beverly learns of George’s small role in the local resistance, however, her life will also be at risk. Before George can pull off her own escape, she and her maid are abducted by the fierce pirate Captain Cinder, known for slaughtering men and stealing women. When Cinder and George come face to face, George instantly recognizes the pirate as her long-lost childhood friend Lou. Could Lou really be the heartless Cinder of legend? While Cinder now follows her own strict moral code, members of her crew are flogged and dismissed after attempting to sexually assault George, and she and George both kill people on-page.
VERDICT Those who prefer a close focus on the central couple may find the romantic plot slow to develop; Cinder is not present for the first third of the book. However, readers who seek out swashbuckling adventures in fictional lands will be buoyed along.
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