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Heart of the Storm*

Feisty Heroine Refuses to Be Victim

Emma, daughter of a wealthy man who runs a merchant ship trade, is not pleased with her father’s choice for her betrothed. She is sailing to Nova Scotia with the ultimate goal being Williamsburg in the colonies, where her betrothed will be taking on a new post. All of her plans are upended when she discovers her affianced dead.

Soon, Emma finds out that she is part of a much greater scheme against both her late betrothed and her father. Lord Jack Winston is set on revenge because something of value was taken by the dead man. He has commandeered one of Emma’s father ships and plans to seek treasure if only he can find the map that was taken from him.

Will Jack find the treasure map, and ultimately the treasure? What will he do with Emma? How will Emma react to now being held hostage? What will her future without her betrothed hold?

The book is written in a style that is different from most 18th- and 19th-century historical romance novels. There are parts that are a little tongue-in-cheek or with wry humor or even a little slapstick. Some of the writing had phrasing that felt a little awkward, hampering complete enjoyment of this sometimes zany and steamy story. Emma is a fierce heroine; she will not willingly play the role of victim that the men would like her to. Yet, this intrigues Lord Winston, and he soon finds himself in an internal battle between what he has planned and his growing feelings for the lady. At times, I found Lord Winston to be the gentleman he was brought up to be, but other times he succumbed to his baser instincts, both in word and action.

I like it that the author made the secondary characters three dimensional. Dottie is portrayed as a lady’s maid who is still rough around the edges as she struggles to speak and act properly and whom Emma is still trying to train properly. The captain tries to keep Lord Winston on track with the original mission in a very colorful and fun-to-watch way.