Tempting the Pirate by Tamara Hughes

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Charity Goswick thinks she is escaping an arranged marriage to a brute when she slips onto a ship unnoticed. Little does she realize that this is no honorable vessel of the King’s Navy—it is a pirate ship. It’s just a matter of time before she is discovered by a handsome rake of a pirate, who locks her in his cabin. And while she should be scared, her captor sparks the most unladylike feelings within her…

James Lamont is on the ship for one reason, and one reason only: to track down his brother. However, his spirited little stowaway certainly affords plenty of distraction with her many (failed) attempts to escape. And each time, the unspoken—and unbidden—passion between them grows stronger. But as violence and danger mount on the high seas, Charity will have to put all of her trust in the most untrustworthy of men…the arrogant pirate who just might steal her heart.

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Publisher and Release Date: Entangled: Scandalous, January 2015

RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: 1721, New York City; Atlantic Ocean; New Providence, Bahamas; London
Genre: Historical romantic adventure
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 5 stars

Review by Maria Almaguer

Captain James Lamont seeks his missing brother, David, a musician, and will stop at nothing to find him, including allowing himself to be coerced into work as a much-needed navigator on a pirate ship. When he discovers Charity Goswick, a beautiful and terrified stowaway in the hold, he spirits her away to his cabin because he realizes the danger she is in. As a lone female on a ship, she is terribly vulnerable, but the principled and seductive James vows to protect her with his life.

But he is a man and he is very attracted to her. Sparks fly but he is not one to impose himself on a woman. Instead, he shows her only consideration in the little details: bringing her water to wash, giving her his bed – he installs himself in a hammock – and bringing her food. As well these considerations, he keeps her locked safely in his cabin.

Charity is fleeing a forced marriage to Captain Richard Shevington of the Royal Navy, a match imposed upon her by her debauched uncle, a man who was supposed to protect her as her only living male relative. But she jumps from one frying pan into another when she finds herself aboard a pirate ship filled with merciless and brutal men. Except for James. Distrustful of him at first, he turns out to be a true gentleman and the first man to open Charity’s bruised heart.

“Perhaps somewhere deep down, he was a gentleman with a kind heart. Very deep down. In his boots.”

The love between James and Charity grows at an unhurried and sexy pace. Though they are immediately attracted to each other and he makes overtures, he never forces himself upon her, unlike the other men she has known. This alone prompts Charity to reconsider her scathing and unimpressive assumptions about all men. When she realizes what it is costing him to protect her, she falls hard and comes to care for him deeply. Their love story is poignant and passionate.

This is an exciting and adventurous romance, the first in Tamara Hughes’ Love on the High Seas series. I love a good pirate story and this one delivers on all counts: passion, derring do, drama, danger, and non-stop excitement.

Ms Hughes writes in a fast-paced style that is perfectly suited to this energetic story; it springs to life and keeps the reader turning the pages. Treachery abounds at every turn but James is a good, kind, and honorable gentleman – the very best kind – who protects Charity even though it threatens his own safety. He watches over her at any price, especially since he failed his own sister years before.

The villains in this story are painted with a very stark, realistic, and frightening brush. The Judge, the truly horrible and ruthless quartermaster, is a terror while Captain Shevington of the Royal Navy is a violent man who will stop at nothing to force Charity into marriage, and isn’t above beating her into submission. Though these scenes are not gratuitous or overly graphic, they are difficult to read and are extremely well written with a fearful authenticity that resonates on the page.

But there are good men as well, including two of James’ loyal companions, Thomas and Whip, who provide some touching and humorous moments in this dramatic story.

The next book in the series will feature James’ missing brother, David, which I very much look forward to reading, as well as more by this talented and most entertaining storyteller.

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