From the halls of an elegant Mayfair townhouse to the high seas, Never Trust a Pirate is a delightful Regency romp. Valerie Bowman has a fun, breezy writing style that never fails to entertain me and her characters are always jam-packed with wit and charm, so it was easy for me to fall into this seventh Playful Brides novel.
Cade Cavendish is the black sheep of his family. Having grown up poor with an abusive father, he’s much more at home on his ship or in a tavern than he is at a ball. Cade is fun, a shameless flirt with Danielle, and though he plays the rogue he’s got a good heart and a strong sense of loyalty. Cade would run circles around your average society girl, which is why it’s a good thing Ms. Bowman pairs him with an unconventional heroine. Danielle has been on her own since she was thirteen. She’s been a smuggler and a spy, and she’s more at home on a ship than in her latest role as lady’s maid to Cade’s sister-in-law. I loved that both Cade and Danielle were spies, had secrets, and were able to throw one another off their strides. These two don’t fit in in the stuffy world of the ton and I loved that they never really tried to conform. Whether they’re trading secrets or hunting a common enemy, they make a good team and it was fun to watch Danielle shock Cade with her spy skills. Danielle is Cade’s equal in every way and that made their love story all the more interesting. I was well and truly hooked into their romance, which was sensual, energetic, and just plain fun to read.
Never Trust a Pirate is the seventh book in the Playful Brides series, but if you don’t mind spoilers for The Irresistible Rogue (Rafe Cavendish’s story) then it can be read as a standalone. I’ve been reading this series out of order, and though all of the books I’ve read so far have had a lighthearted feel, Never Trust a Pirate is definitely the most casual. The relationships and interactions between the characters in this book was a bit more informal than I’m used to in a historical romance (even taking into account Cade and Danielle’s upbringings), which did draw me out of the story a couple of times. As far as complaints go, it’s a fairly minor one as far as I’m concerned when there are such delightful characters to keep me entertained. I know I’ve used the word “fun” multiple times to describe Never Trust a Pirate, but that’s honestly the best word for Cade and Danielle’s story. It’s sexy, engaging, sparkling good fun and I cannot wait to read the next Playful Brides tale!
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.