Juliet Dante, daughter of the notorious Simon Dante, comes to the rescue of an English envoy ship about to be blown to smithereens by the Spanish. On board is the twelfth duke of Harrow, Varian St. Clare, who saves Juliet's life and then gets knocked unconscious by a blast...Only to wake up on board of Juliet's ship, the Iron Rose and bound for the secret island where the pirate wolf reigns...
I liked this one. The story flew nicely, the tempo was spot-on, increasing with each and every chapter, the action sequences were gripping, the sea battles intense (especially the heart-wrenching last one), and it was nice seeing old friends again and learning of their life beyond their story.
The only major problem this book had were the two leads. There was a glaring imbalance of power between the two from the beginning. He was injured and then spent chapter upon chapter coming across as a weak, spoiled English aristocrat, while she, unlike her mother, spent the majority of the book in full bitch mode.
I like my heroines strong and spunky, yet Juliet's bravado and obstinacy truly grated on my nerves. There's a difference between a strong, self-assured and resilient woman and a pig-headed, obstinate, unbending bitch.
I didn't like her, and I especially didn't like the imbalance of power between the two in their "romance", as the hero was forced to do all the work, while she kicked and spat almost the entire way.
I wished there was an apology scene or some grovelling thrown into the mix in the end.
Granted, I didn't care much about the two protagonists or the romance aspect of the story, but the rest more than made up for it. I'm also looking forward to Juliet's brother's stories.
P.S. Something else pricked me in this story—the glaring continuity error of Lucifer, the hulking black, scimitar and loincloth loving behemoth Simon Dante rescued all those years ago. In Across a Moonlit Sea Lucifer communicated through sign language and grunts, since, according to Simon, the Spanish had cut out his tongue. In this book, the man spoke without problems. Which one is it? Was the tongue thing a lie? Or is the speaking part in this book a mistake?