I never know to say in these things. I guess that says something about me. I read a lot, write stories, and like books. I like a good debate. Nothing else is to say. :-)
I must say that I will continue to read books by this author, she writes interesting characters. The characters aren't really new when it comes to archetypes: the high spirited, well bred lady; the dark and brooding rake, etc, etc. But somehow she manges to make the characters and the old cliches new and different....so you feel like it is a totally new story. Her females are not the typical prim and proper ladies, full of virginal ideas and virtue who faint at the mere mention of relations outside of marriage. No they can be just as wanton as the men...sometimes more. In other words...they are realistic.
It is the same for Sophia. In many ways she fits a romance role: the innocent lady fully of silly romantic ideas about adventure and love, who runs away in some half thought up plan of being free of societies constraints. Sophia, who we meet in the first book in this series "Goddess of the Hunt" is established as someone who feels trapped into playing the role of innocent angel and perfect lady for her family and betrothed, and uses her very vivid imagination to escape what she feels is a gilded prison. At the ended of Goddess of the Hunt we find out that she has run away the day she was to be wed. We met her in this book as she purchases passages on a ship to take a job as governess in the West Indies. But her plan is to wait until she hits 21 in a few week and comes into her inheritance. Then she would use that money to truly gain her freedom. Her first day of "freedom" does not go so well..and lucky for her she bumps into Gray and ends up on his ship. Not so lucky for him, as he finds himself in a place he has never been before: running away from a willing woman. Boy is she willing.
Gray is also an interesting person. He owns the ship Sophia is traveling with, but has put his brother as captain. His family is one that is different than the norm during that time, and his treatment of his brother, born under such circumstances, is intriguing and says a lot about his character. It is a dynamic you don't see explored a lot in romances or many book really. But all that he has done, he has done for his siblings. He is determined to become a respectable gentleman now, after years of profiteering and living the life of a rake and libertine. So he plays the martyr and vows not to touch Sophia no matter how willing she seems to be. But he find out she is a formidable opponent. He believes she is a woman from a good upbringing that has hit hard times, and vows to make sure her foolish act of traveling by herself on a ship full of men, looking like she does, does not get her killed or worse. But it ends up he is the one that should be worried, and that his perceptions can be wrong.
Their relationship was realistic and did not annoy me with contrived, frustrating reasons for conflict like many romances do. It had oversea adventures, pirates, danger, humor, romance, and lots of good sex scenes. No complaints there. I enjoyed this one a bit more that Goddess of the Hunt...mainly due to Sophia, who I found more likable. Hopefully the next and last in this series is just as good as this one. The sneak peek looks promising.