Need to Know: Never Trust a Pirate is a highly sensual read featuring independent, passionate characters and compelling Napoleon-era backstories.
I've written before that I admire romance writers who can take the conventions of a romance novel—the meet-up, the physical chemistry, the emotional attraction, the break, and the reconciliation—and write about them in original ways. Enter Valerie Bowman, whose historical romance Never Trust a Pirate features two very independent people whose jobs and backgrounds might drive them apart…or bring them together.
Danielle LaCrosse is hired by General Mark Grimaldi to pose as a lady’s maid to Lady Daphne Cavendish. Her real purpose is to spy on Lady Daphne’s brother-in-law, Cade, who has returned from a long, mysterious absence and whose intentions cannot be trusted. Once Danielle completes this mission, she’ll be able to move her consumption-stricken mother to the seaside, where she can hopefully recover.
Cade Cavendish has more noble intentions in returning to London than many would give him credit for. He wants more than anything to “avenge his brother’s treatment at the hands of the French,” though “he’d die before admitting that purpose to [his brother] Rafe.” Cade believes that he owes his brother for decisions he made in their youth, but he’s also unwilling to drop his "ne’er-do-well" charade, a fact which both antagonizes and troubles his brother.
Danielle decides to accept Cade’s offer of a drink, because, after all, she has a mission to consider. But a drink leads to conversation and conversation leads them to…the knowledge that they have amazing physical chemistry. With both of them pretending to be not quite who they are, is there a chance that they can trust the other?
Valerie Bowman skillfully sets Danielle and Cade’s hot romance against the fascinating backdrop of 1817 England. The stakes are high for both Danielle and Cade, partially because England’s stakes on the world stage are high. Some French (and British) are hoping to bring Napoleon out of exile, and a pirate named the Black Fox is terrorizing some ships in the area. Bowman’s backdrop could have become unwieldy, but instead, it gives her primary and secondary characters depth.
And luckily for us, her characters are truly fun to watch operate in this world. Danielle, in particular, is very resourceful in how she thinks on her feet. She’s strong and determined, and she’s been caring for herself—and her mother—for a long time. There were a couple of times when I was surprised by her lack of confidence—largely relating to her physical appearance—but overall, she is a great example of a female character in a romance novel who is self-sufficient and chooses to make relationships with others.
Now I have exciting news for you: I’m hosting a giveaway for this book! Sign up above, and you could possibly win one mass market paperback edition of Never Trust a Pirate, courtesy of St. Martin’s Press. For the giveaway, I took inspiration from Bowman's handling of historical context. To enter the giveaway, answer this question: If you could live in any historical time period, which would it be? Are you a flapper at heart? Or do you have a hankering for ancient Egypt! I can't wait to hear!
U.S. entries only.
There will be 1 (one) U.S. only winner. The giveaway ends at 12:00 am EST on 04/28/2017. I'll announce the winner later that morning on my blog and notify the winner via email. St. Martin’s Press will send you a hard-copy of your book!
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to review this book and offer this giveaway. I received a complimentary copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley, but all opinions are my own.
4/27/2017 11:04:34 pm
I'd probably live during the Viking era.
4/28/2017 09:37:11 pm
How interesting! I've never heard that one before.
4/27/2017 11:05:18 pm
Love your giveaway question btw!
4/28/2017 09:36:37 pm
Thanks so much! I love this question too. It's fun to think about!
4/27/2017 11:08:22 pm
I would want to live during the 40/50s. I always said I was born in the era.
4/28/2017 09:37:53 pm
Love that time period--and the movies that were made then!
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