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Blackwell's Adventures #2

Blackwell's Paradise

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“Not for the faint hearted – Captain Blackwell pulls no punches! Prepare for a right roaring romp in the company of two of the most captivating characters in historical fiction.” - Alaric Bond, author of Turn A Blind Eye, and the Fighting Sail Series

Relive the pleasure of falling into the past with the author of Captain Blackwell’s Prize, in Volume II of Blackwell’s Adventures.

The repercussions of a court martial and the ill-will of powerful men at the Admiralty pursue Royal Navy captain James Blackwell into the Pacific, where danger lurks around every coral reef. Even if Captain Blackwell and Mercedes survive the venture into the world of early nineteenth century exploration, can they emerge unchanged with their love intact. The mission to the Great South Sea will test their loyalties and strength, and define the characters of Captain Blackwell and his lady in Blackwell’s Paradise.

300 pages, Paperback

First published January 8, 2014

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About the author

V.E. Ulett

5 books167 followers
V.E. Ulett is a long time resident of California, but spends most of her time in a romantic nineteenth century world of airships and adventure. When she isn't head down in a first hand account of capture by pirates, battle at sea, or experimental flight, V.E. is an ordinary Silicon Valley warrior. Rare leisure hours are spent with her own small Hell-Cats.

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews
Profile Image for Rick Spilman.
Author 4 books6 followers
January 22, 2014
Her previous novel,"Captain Blackwell’s Prize" falls equally well in the categories of nautical adventure and historical romance. It is the sort of novel that readers of C.S. Forester and Patrick O’Brian can enjoy along with fans of Jane Austen and Daphne du Maurier." Ulett continues this balance between adventure and romance in Blackwell's Paradise, with Captain James Blackwell and his wife, Mercedes, beginning on a Royal Navy frigate, sailing on a mission to the Pacific, and continuing, somewhat unexpectedly, on the Hawaiian islands. In parallel stories, Ulett captures the wild life among battling Hawaiian kingdoms, as well as the early settlement of Honolulu, where fur traders, whalers and the naval ships of several nations all compete for trade with the islands. Blackwell and Mercedes, individually and together, are well drawn and fascinating characters on both the familiar surroundings of a Royal Navy ship and the more exotic environs of the Sandwich Islands. Great fun. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Melissa.
254 reviews32 followers
December 18, 2016
Blackwell's Paradise is the second installment in V.E. Ulett's Captain Blackwell series. At the heart of this series, which is set primarily on the high seas in the early 19th century, is Royal Navy Captain James Blackwell and his wife Mercedes. In Blackwell's Paradise, Captain Blackwell, his crew, and Mercedes find themselves headed for the Pacific on a mission of exploration. But as Blackwell's ship approaches the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), an ill-fated mishap has disastrous consequences for both Blackwell and Mercedes, testing their love and resolve, and putting Blackwell's mission in jeopardy.

As was evident in the series' first novel, Captain Blackwell's Prize, V.E. Ulett is clearly at home writing about 19th century nautical life. While there is considerable attention paid to detailing the activities involved with running and serving on a ship of war, Ulett never overwhelms the reader with nautical jargon. As a result, this is a novel that can be enjoyed by readers already familiar with nautical historical fiction, as well as by those brand new to the genre. Ulett's characters and prose feel authentic, helping to convey a strong sense of both time and place. While Captain Blackwell and Mercedes form the core of this novel, Ulett has once again created a solid cast of supporting characters, some of whom carry over from Captain Blackwell's Prize.

While the characters and plot are engaging, one of my favourite things about Blackwell's Paradise is its setting. A good deal of this novel is set on the Sandwich Islands, and Ulett does a great job conveying the customs, beliefs and politics of the Islands and its peoples. While not featured prominently, King Kamehameha has an important role in the novel, and I was intrigued by his quest to control the whole of the Islands.

Overall, Blackwell's Paradise is an entertaining and educational novel, one that is sure to appeal to fans of nautical historical fiction. Although Blackwell's Prize can be read as a stand alone novel, I recommend reading Captain Blackwell's Prize first.

I'm looking forward to finding out what adventures Captain Blackwell and Mercedes embark upon next!

Source: I received a copy of Blackwell's Paradise from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. This review first appeared on my blog, Confessions of an Avid Reader.
Profile Image for Meg - A Bookish Affair.
2,444 reviews188 followers
March 30, 2014
"Blackwell's Paradise" is the second book in V.E. Ulett's Blackwell's Adventures series. This was another exciting addition to Captain Blackwell's tales and I am already looking forward to more (will there be more? please!). Although this is a second book in the series, this book works as a standalone but you should really read the first book in the series if you like historical fiction, romance, and adventure.

You have to love an adventure on the high seas. There is so much excitement and so much dangerous and I really enjoyed reading all about it. This book is full of great historical detail that I ate up. I especially liked reading about Captain Blackwell and Mercedes, his wife, in Hawaii. I haven't read a lot of fiction set in Hawaii, especially not set during this time period so I really enjoyed this (love, love, love something new). Ulett added a lot of good detail to this book that really brought it to life for me.

This book finds Captain Blackwell and Mercedes on another adventure. Their love has grown and they are seemingly even more enamored in this book. I loved the love story between them. I like both of their characters but Mercedes continued to be very interesting to me in this book. She is so strong and you really get to see that once they get to Hawaii and start interacting with the natives.

This is a fantastic series when you're looking to just get lost in an adventure!
Profile Image for Julie Rose.
Author 3 books157 followers
April 13, 2014
What a treat to spend time with Blackwell and Mercedes again. Not only was this an exciting story, it was filled with the fascinating culture and history of Hawai'i. Thoroughly entertaining, and I learned so much as well!
Profile Image for Billy Buttons.
Author 19 books98 followers
October 4, 2022
The Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2021
Category 8 (Audiobooks)
This audiobook was entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our listeners thought:
Title: Blackwell's Paradise: Blackwell's Adventures, Book 2
Author: V. E. Ulett
Narrator: V. E. Ulett

Star Rating: 4 Stars
Number of Listeners: 9
Narrator Performance: 7/10
Writing Style: 7/10
Content/Plot: 6/10
Cover: 5/5
Sound Quality / Music / Sound Effects: 2/5

Of the 9 listeners:
5 would listen to another book by this author.
5 would listen to another book narrated by this performer.
9 thought the cover was good or excellent.
6 felt it was easy to follow.
5 would recommend this audiobook to another listener to try.
Of all the listeners, 3 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘plotting a story’.
Of all the readers, 3 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘developing the characters’.
Of all the readers, 3 felt the author’s strongest skill was ‘writing style’.
7 felt the pacing was good or excellent.
5 thought the author understood the listeners and what they wanted.
5 thought the narrator understood the listeners and what they wanted.

Listeners’ Comments
“I liked the first book, but this was better. I think the narrator improved and there was better flow to the story. Also, the plot seemed less far-fetched.” Male reader, aged 53
“The hero, Blackwell, is considerably more relatable in this second book. The romance is well-handled, and there´s plenty happening to keep readers interested. This is a compelling mix of high-seas adventure and historical romance.” Female reader, aged 37
“In this book, the hero ships off to the Pacific and the undiscovered world. It´s a fun adventure, romantic in parts, but not overly so. The author works hard in terms of historical accuracy and naval terminology. I now need to hunt out the third book to see what happens next.” Male reader, aged 59
“The author seems to have vastly improved in terms of narrating the story and keeping the plot realistic. She´s still wooden, but not as much, and there´s better pacing. I think fans of Patrick O´Brian will enjoy this fact-paced novel.” Male reader, aged 61

To Sum It Up:
‘A captivating mix of historical adventure and romance.’ The Wishing Shelf Book Awards
Profile Image for Erin Al-Mehairi.
Author 12 books75 followers
July 28, 2015
I recently had the pleasure of reading Volume III of V.E. Ulett’s Blackwell’s Adventure series. In Blackwell’s Homecoming, she takes to the sea once again and highlights the drama of the Georgian Age.

In this adventure, Blackwell and his family, which now includes grown children, return to England, but quickly get caught up in the drama and society demands of the day. He’s called away and wounded, saved by his son, who is also now in the Royal Navy, and returns to take a position that leads them to Hawaii on Sandwich Islands. As with usual Ulett type of action and suspense, the adventure is not an easy one on the high seas. It’s a joy to read about this family again in its progression, as Ulett has made them such vibrant, multi-dimensional characters over the course of several books. I especially was happy to watch the life and love grow between and with Blackwell and his wife Mercedes.

Beyond the story of the characters, Ulett’s adventure books bring us action and suspense that keep the pages moving, and certainly, I feel this book is her best yet in terms of hooking me to the pages. I love action on the sea and this gives me a proper dose of that all wrapped within a story that is truly layered. I love the history she uses, and even some actual historical people she makes into characters so that they come alive for us as the reader.

It’s an emotional tale as well as you follow along their lives and adventure. It has a little bit of it all, from drama to romance to action. It’s like a fantasy adventure for adults that can sweep a reader into another time and place. Filled with description and detail, I felt the turmoils and the joys right along with the characters. I think that the pacing, plotting, and connectivity improved even from the first book and I can’t wait to see where she takes this series next.

Speaking of description, I also absorbed through her words the lush area of the exotic islands and the sights, sounds, and smells of the sea. I also learned about the conflicts on the island during this time period and found it all very fascinating and interesting. Beyond that, the story she creates is highly fun and entertaining in many ways as well, as well pull for the family and jeer at the villain.

If you like adventure that crosses the sea and takes you back in history, then I highly recommend Ulett’s writing in this dramatic adventure that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. Hoist up the mast head and get ready to be swept away by the sea wind across every page. The whole set would be a great gift for a history buff who favors historical sea adventure.

I was given a copy of the book in exchange for a review.
Profile Image for Margaret.
1,153 reviews50 followers
July 29, 2015
Blackwell's Paradise is the second book in V.E. Ulett's Blackwell's Adventure Series. Though I haven't read the first, Captain Blackwell's Prize, I had no problems following the storyline here.

Blackwell's Paradise takes place on the high seas in and around Hawaii. There is a nice balance here between adventure and historical romance, which meshed together nicely. This is my first time reading V.E. Ulett and I was impressed. She gave a vivd picture of life not just the sea but the Hawaiian Islands as well. It wasn't hard to visualize some of the history through the original inhabitants customs and way of life.

The plot was interesting and played out nicely, lots of action with a realistic story. I like both Mercedes and James and the way they interacted not just with each other but their circumstances.

I listened to the audio version for this one but as I continue on with this series I will opt for the book version. The pace of the audio was slow and I found myself upping the speed, otherwise I would have found it annoying - 13 hours for a 300 page book is too long (imho).

Audio version provided as part of book tour via author (thank you)

Highly recommend this book to those that like historical romance along with lots of action.
Profile Image for Cynthia.
71 reviews17 followers
December 29, 2014
A pirate adventure filled with likable characters, that spans from the stuffy courtrooms of 19th century Georgian London to the tropical islands of the Great South Sea, where bigger than life Captain James Blackwell, and his wife Mercedes, their little son Edward, and the captain’s island by-blow Aloka struggle for survival, and navigate the turns of this twisty plot. A fun, erotic, ofttimes humorous read. Recommended for readers who like seafaring adventures, light erotica/romance, English Naval history.
124 reviews
August 10, 2016
I won a free copy from the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway Program and think that it interesting. I would recommend it to everyone.
Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews

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