The exotic island of Madeira is the perfect escape for an Englishwoman fleeing an arranged marriage—until she’s taken captive by a vengeful pirate
One of the wealthiest heiresses in England, Eliza Thoroughgood is the ideal catch for the right man. But the husband her parents have chosen for her is a paragon of masculinity and urbane wit, while Eliza is shy and bookish and detests the public eye. So she comes up with the perfect escape from the perfect bridegroom: She will accompany her young cousin, Aubrey, to the sultry island of Madeira, where he can recuperate from a riding injury. Eliza has never been to sea, and she’s in for the adventure of her life when she and Aubrey are taken hostage by a vengeful buccaneer.
Cyprian Dare has waited his whole life to destroy the nobleman who abandoned his mother and made him a bastard. He doesn’t believe in fate or luck—until the Lady Haberton sails out of port, setting in motion his abduction of his half-brother Lord Haberton’s heir. But he hadn’t planned on the boy’s beautiful, fiercely protective cousin. Desire is the wild card as Eliza awakens emotions Cyprian has never allowed himself to feel before. Can a woman’s loving touch heal the heart of a man who lives only for revenge?
Set in England and Madeira in 1844, Becnel's (When Lightning Strikes) latest romance is a beautifully constructed, entertaining story marred only by the occasional wimpiness of its otherwise appealing heroine. Eliza Thoroughgood is a shy, sheltered young Englishwoman who convinces her family to let her take her 10-year-old cousin, Aubrey, to Madeira to recuperate from a riding injury. What Eliza and her family don't know is that Aubrey is being hunted by his bastard half-brother, Cyprian Dare, captain of the rogue ship Chameleon. Cyprian intends to kidnap Aubrey to get revenge on their father, who ruined his mother and abandoned him. On Madeira, Cyprian's men capture both Aubrey and Eliza. Although Cyprian tries to release Eliza, she refuses to leave her crippled cousin. When Cyprian decides to seduce her, Eliza doesn't provide much of a challenge. Not only is her resistance to Cyprian feeble, but she accepts his statement that his mother-who lost everything and was forced into prostitution because of her seduction by an irresponsible aristocrat-had no regrets. Eliza eventually concludes, ``When you loved a man there could never be regrets''-at which point many readers will conclude that Eliza needs to get a grip. Still, these unfortunate characterizations aside, Heart of the Storm is a well-written and enjoyable read.
Just wish there was an epilogue or sequel!