Monday, March 24, 2014

My Review of The Ransom + Winner Announcement

Here's a description of the book from the author's website:

"Port Royal, Jamaica 1692

Living in a city deemed the wickedest in the world is no easy task for Miss Juliana Dutton. To make matters worse, with an ailing father and a drunken fool for a brother, she is forced to take over the running of the family business in order to survive. When a meddlesome suitor threatens to discover her secret and cast them all onto the streets, she agrees to a spurious engagement with the town buffoon, Lord Munthrope. She only hopes the man is trustworthy.

Alexander Hyde, son of the infamous Captain Edmund Merrick Hyde, is the most feared pirate in Port Royal. Disillusioned with the religion of his parents and the pleasures of the world, Alex staves off his emptiness by leading a dual life as both the pretentious dandy, Lord Munthrope, and the feared Pirate Earl.

A long-time enemy is out to destroy Alex and take Juliana for his own. Yet could their problems be a Divine hand leading them down a path of escape? Or when an earthquake strikes, will they be doomed with the rest of Port Royal to be swallowed up by the sea?"

My Rating


My Review

I was so thrilled to learn that MaryLu Tyndall was writing a sequel for the "Legacy of the King's Pirates" series - the trilogy that introduced me to her work and made me fall in love with her writing. The Ransom is a great sequel to the series, as Tyndall never fails to pen engaging stories full of adventure and heart.

At the beginning, I confess I was a little put off by the dialogue. I'm not sure it's all that different from her first books, but for some reason it hit me the wrong way this time, like it was trying too hard to define itself as historical. But as the story moved along, I got caught up in the happenings, and the dialogue was no longer a big issue.

And what interesting happenings! Captain Merrick's son leads a very strange life as half-lord and half-pirate. I loved how he used both roles to woo Juliana, though - really rather cute, if buffoons and pirates can be called such! And his fascination with the sea - his longings to revive his father's ways and times - resonated with me. History is so romanticized for us historical-romance lovers, and there is a certain desire to bring back or visit "better," more exciting times.

As for Juliana, I really did like her character overall. She's sweet. She has a big heart. She takes care of her family and isn't afraid to stand up to others. I confess she did come across as rather foolish (in some of her actions) and rather naive (she seriously didn't get Alex's secret for that long?), but it all contributed to an intriguing plot, nonetheless.

The connections to the book of Ecclesiastes were thoughtful and well-suited for the characters. Love how Tyndall weaves Scripture into her stories. And the dramatic conclusion was fitting for the series. I do hope the way it all ended means there are more books about this family to come?? The Ransom is a must-read for Tyndall fans, although it can be enjoyed without having read the first three books in the series, as they're only loosely connected. Bring on more seafaring stories, MaryLu!

*With thanks to the author for providing me with an e-copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Winner Announcement!

In honor of the official release of Bellflower and Fairy Slippers as a combo ebook, I gave away a bookmark. And the winner is...

Jan H!

Jan has been e-mailed and has responded. Congratulations, Jan!

If you really liked the looks of the bookmark, I hope you'll check out Belle on a Budget on Etsy. She has so many lovely pieces - from bookmarks to necklaces to earrings! I always enjoy shopping at her site. And don't forget that you can pick up an e-copy of Bellflower (+ Fairy Slippers) for only $.99 on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords!

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