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Monday, May 11, 2009

The Privateer by Danielle Thorn

The Privateer by Danielle Thorn
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (178 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Orange Blossom

The reign of piracy is over in the Caribbean, or so it’s believed until diamonds are discovered in Brazil. Despite the cover-up, Captain Julius Bertrand begins to hear whispers. The Spanish guardacostas are dumping log books, and a new French pirate is on the prowl. Distracted by an avaricious woman he could never love, and the beautiful Kate O’Connell who doesn’t need him, he tries to untangle the web of mysterious cargo someone in the New World wants kept secret. When Bertrand’s pirating past returns with the explosive force of a sweeping broadside, he finds he must sacrifice everything his respectable life has brought him, in order to save what matters most.

I love stories of men of the sea—Horatio Hornblower and Captain Wentworth from Jane Austen’s Persuasion to name a couple. There is just something heroic, strong and alluring about a sea captain or naval man, isn’t there? Captain Julius Bertrand falls exactly into their ilk in this novel by Danielle Thorn. A wonderful, heroic man of the sea.

I applaud the author of the book for filling her story with impeccable historical details. The sense of place in the West Indies was outstanding. I truly felt like I was there from the sticky rains to the salty breezes. The diction of dialogue was spot on and the writing itself was very well-done. This may be Danielle Thorn’s debut novel, but I suspect we will see more wonderful works from her in the future.

While reading this book I came to understand that I had a certain expectation in the story that I did not see fulfilled in the reading. I would not exactly label this story as a historical romance novel but more so a historical novel with romantic elements. There are events in the story that just did not settle with my romantic sensibilities. If I had come in with the knowledge that this was more a straight historical novel, I may have accepted those events more readily.

While the technicality of the writing itself was terrific, the plotting was at times sluggish and hard to follow. I had a difficult time connecting to the story and getting into it. I wasn’t sure what was going on or where we were going the first ½ of the book. At times, it was hard to determine whose POV we were supposed to be in—again this is part of assuming this was a romance where a definite POV is expected in each scene. Because of this, I never felt very connected to the characters. The author was trying to lead us through the behind the scenes plot which was hinted at in the blurb but the clues were so sparse that it was just bewildering. Perhaps if the author had explained more of what the political climate was at this time as the story opened then I might have been able to follow the plot a bit easier.

The Privateer by Danielle Thorne is a sensual story from the evocative setting to the daring Captain Bertrand and the lovely yet determined Kate O’Connell. A spellbinding tale in many ways—it had me thinking on it long after I closed the cover.