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    Adventure on the High Seas

    Lady Chloe Walsingham has a hopeless infatuation on the infamous pirate The Black Regent; however, there is only one man who has held her heart for as long as she can remember. When her dearest friend’s husband returns from the dead Chloe is given a second chance at claiming the man she had forsaken in the hopes it would bring her dear friend back to the land of the living. As the husband’s return freed Chloe to pursue the man she loved until he disappeared. After months of waiting Chloe decides to pursue this man and declare her love. A pursuit that she may not live to see concluded. Basil Halfor’s, Earl of Markwick, life has been turned upside down. Starting with the return from the dead of the husband he is standing at the altar with to the awful truth he soon learns about his father. Given the opportunity to try and make amends he answers his friend’s call to become the infamous Black Regent. Soon realizing a pirate’s life is not for him, he refuses to relinquish the role feeling he has so much to do to counter the damage his late father wrecked. Soon the thought of giving up is not an option when he realizes the sister of a close friend has disappeared in the attempt to locate “the Earl of Markwick”. It is now his duty to locate this woman while evading her brother, a revenue man bent on the capture of The Black Regent. Markwick is a man full of remorse for something that was beyond his control and his desire to make things right. Despite his feelings of being an inadequate pirate he doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to finding the sister of a good friend (a friend he is running from); a woman he soon realizes means more to him than anything. Chloe is a woman full of determination. Having given up her chance for happiness in favor trying to bring her best friend a new lease on life she is not about to sit on her laurels when she’s given a second chance. Even if that means evading her brother, boarding ships to faraway places and what she soon learns may be a folly of doing both. Katherine Bone’s delightful writing is full of action, romance, and danger starting with the first sentence and doesn’t stop until the last word is written. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Chloe for her determination in going after what she wants but at times I did want to smack her for her foolishness. The same can be said about Markwick with the exception it was his inability to see that he’s not responsible for his father’s deeds. Ms. Bone’s tantalizing hints as to the future of The Black Regent has me (im)patiently waiting for her next story.
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    If you like pirates, this is it!

    Basil Halford, the Earl of Markwick, has been a pirate for barely three months, and although he’s a great strategist, he has not been very successful in his privateering endeavours. Truth to tell, he became a smuggler to avenge his father’s victims, not really by choice; Basil is fundamentally an honest man, and this new occupation does not sit to well with him. The dastardly Marquess of Underwood died in shame, which splattered Markwick, who now has inherited the tainted title, which he does not want. Markwick has friends he doesn’t wish to disappoint, and he treads a fine line: he being a pirate and his friend Walsingham, a revenue man. Just as he was pondering his future, Markwick’s friend, the Duke of Blackmoor, arrives precipitously to inform him that Pierce Walsingham’s sister Chloe is on her way to Penzance to meet with her love: Basil! To say that Markwick is flummoxed is an understatement: he knew that Chloe was infatuated with him, but in love! But what is worse, is that Basil feels partly responsible for Chloe’s latest folly. So, Markwick, the new Black Regent, sets sail for Penzance and to rescue Chloe Walshingham, come hell or high water… Katherine Bone is a very eloquent writer, whose stories are painted in vivid colours, and what struck me at the beginning of THE PIRATE’S DEBT is that the scenes where Markwick is ruminating, seemed to be taking place behind a translucent pale grey veil, which superbly suited the mood, while not taking away any of the finer details of the picture. Ms. Bone’s prose is more refined than ever: she adds more nuances and depth to the narrative and the dialogues, while retaining the flavours of various accents and local colour. There is no better proof of this when reading about the raging storm at sea or the fierce battles. I became completely immersed in the fictional world of Regency pirates, and no one even comes close to Ms. Bone’s impressive knowledge of her subject: pirates. She knows it all, but better yet, she is able to put it all into splendid sentences and bring a bygone world to life before our very eyes. The characters are all equally impressively drawn, down to the most minor ones and despicable ones; the evil Captain Carnage deserves a mention here. The story is compelling and extremely fast-paced, full of action and adventures, and redefines the word unputdownable. The romance progresses as it should, with the era’s proprieties taken into consideration, for once. And his first name is Basil, what’s not to love! Katherine Bone’s THE PIRATE’S DEBT should be a dictionary entry when looking up “swashbuckling”. And just wait for the next one, mateys, because we get a tiny taste of what’s to come! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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