This was a great read. It redeemed the series for me, after not really enjoying the predecessor, Paying the Virgin's Price.
Things I liked about this one:
- The hero - dark hair, piercing blue eyes, Irish brogue, kind, amusing, sexy as hell and with a strong sense of honor. Talk about the perfect, delicious, Celtic package. He's not angsty, dark or unpleasant. Just a complete sexy, sweetie.
- The heroine - feisty, passionate and totally misunderstood. She appears prone to doing daft things, but really just can't help herself, loves adventure and hates injustice. She was far more interesting and likeable than she appeared in the previous books, when she came across as a complete irritant.
- The Cornish coast - it's as much a character as the hero and heroine, although the author could have emphasized Cornwall's geographic and cultural separation from the rest of England. Cornwall actually has it's own language (alas, not so well-known now), strong Celtic links and a fierce streak of nationalism and independence. It's possible that the Cornish would have been persecuted at this time. They may have welcomed an Irishman with open arms, but felt nothing but hatred for an Anglo-Irishman (I'm guessing here). It would have made the story darker, but more interesting
- The writing style - the plot is not particularly original, and some bits are actually pretty standard HR tripe, but there is something about the writing which makes you forget you've read this before, and makes you sigh with appreciation.
- The way the series plot is worked in - unlike the previous book in the series, and although on paper this one appears to have nothing in common with the rest, it's worked in fabulously. It shows the underlying theme from a different angle, with an outsider's quick perception, but doesn't dominate or overwhelm.
- The romance - it just works. The magnetic attraction between the hero and heroine is believable, as are their reactions to it.
Things I didn't like as much:
- The plot - let's face it, it's not the first time the naughty-but-loveable-smuggler-meets-feisty-but-ruined-lady story has been written, but don't let that put you off.
4 stars, I really enjoyed this is a fair rating. I struggled to put it down.