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Friday, February 1, 2008

5 Blue Ribbons for The Privateer

Title: The Privateer
Category: Historical
Reviewer: Chrissy Dionne
Author: Dawn MacTavish
Publisher: Leisure
Release Date: January 2008
ISBN Number: 0843959819
Format: PRINT
Rating: 5 blue ribbons
London, 1812

At twenty-two years old Lark Eddington is in dire straits. Her father's gambling and subsequent suicide have left her destitute with a mountain of debts. She did what she could to raise the funds to pay off the debtors but she’s still a few hundred pounds short - for that she’s thrown into debtor’s prison.

Basil, 'King', Kingston, Earl of Grayshire, needs to acquire a companion for his eccentric mother and she insists that the young woman be selected come from a debtor’s. He plans to marry and beget heirs as soon as he has his mother settled. It seems simple enough but few things in life ever are and Basil’s about to discover just how complicated things can get.

King’s visiting Marshalsea where he hopes to find a suitable young woman to serve as a companion to his mother. He witnesses Lark’s humiliation at having her possessions stolen by fellow debtors. He’d heard of her father’s unfortunate problem and death but hadn’t been aware that she was in such dire straits. She’s a well brought up young lady and would be a perfect companion for his mother.

Being plucked from the dismal existence at Marshalsea by King is a godsend to Lark. That she’s completely oblivious to his intentions poses a bit of a problem but then he’s paid off her debt and she owes him. The only regret she has about leaving the debtor’s prison is leaving behind her newfound friend Agnes. It isn’t until she’s well away from the horrible conditions and abuse of the prison that she learns King’s intentions but not before suffering abuse at the hands of his own servants. King’s enraged by the audacity his servants exhibit and Biddy is turned out without reference over the incident.

Lark’s agreeable to being a companion to King’s mother despite her unconventional attitude. The only trouble is she’s falling in love with King and trying so hard to keep from doing so - especially since he intends to marry Lady Anne.

King’s just trying to keep everything in his life from falling apart. He’s been awarded a Letter of Marque by the Crown. His ship, Cormorant, has been licensed for profiteering. He’s supposed to aid in ending the smuggling ring - of which his own father was very much a part. His intentions to marry may have to fall along the wayside while he finds a way out of this mess. Life’s become exceedingly complicated in a short period of time but even his preoccupation with his own problems doesn’t stop him from being drawn to Lark.

Dawn MacTavish (a.k.a. Dawn Thompson) transports readers back in time with this enchanting tale. THE PRIVATEER is full of characters you’ll either love or love to hate but I can guarantee you won’t be bored as you immerse yourself in this regency storyline. Lark is a surprisingly strong young woman. She suffered the loss of not just her father but everything she’s ever had and yet she still has a determined spirit and refuses to allow anyone to use her. King is the kind of man women fantasize about - strong, trustworthy, loyal and sexy. King’s mother is an unexpected treat. She does her best to come off as frail but she’s tough as nails and isn’t afraid to break out the cane as a weapon if she deems it necessary.

Beautifully written Ms. MacTavish! This is regency story-telling at its best! Now I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for a story for King’s brother, Will. He’s so wild and free that I just think it’d take a heck of a girl to settle him down.

An old woman’s eccentric demand that her companion be ‘rescued’ from a debtor’s prison proves to be a blessing for Lark. Her father’s gambling and suicide left her with nothing but debt and heartache. King’s just looking for someone to keep his mother occupied so he can marry and begin begetting heirs. Falling in love wasn’t in the plans but neither can resist.


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