Setting: The East Indies and London, 1834
Lovely widow Alexandra Warren and her young daughter are sailing from Australia to the haven of her family in London when pirates attack their ship and they are captured, separated, and Alex is sold into slavery. Six months later, Captain Gavin Elliott drops anchor at the island of Maduri and is shocked to find a European woman being auctioned in the slave market. Alex clings to hope when the handsome sea captain offers to buy her, but the ruling Sultan of Maduri has plans for Gavin and shrewdly views Alex's plight as a means to control him. Through strength, courage, and wisdom, Gavin thwarts the Sultan's plans, but after surviving the dangers of the South Seas, Alex and Gavin are faced with a more lethal threat when they arrive in London. This time, whether either of them will survive the evil that threatens their lives is anyone's guess.
The exotic locale of the East Indies contrasts vividly with polite London society in this third tale in Ms. Putney's trilogy (The Wild Child and The China Bride). The plot has enough twists and turns to satisfy the most devoted of mystery fans while the relationship between hero and heroine is complicated and the secondary characters well drawn. The author's exploration of British politics, slavery in the 1830s, and London society adds depth and texture to the novel. --Lois Faye Dyer
From Publishers Weekly
This final volume in a popular trilogy (The Wild Child; The China Bride) is a rich and realistic 19th-century historical romance. Gavin Elliott, captain of his trading company's flagship, has been traveling the East Indies since the death of his young wife and infant daughter. Alexandra Warren, too, is widowed; soon after she and her daughter leave Australia for England, their ship is taken by Malaysian pirates and she is abducted. When Gavin visits Malaysia as the guest of a local sultan, he sees Alexandra on the block at a slave auction. As soon as he sets eyes on the indomitable Englishwoman, their fates are united. After a series of trials (including wrestling a giant lizard), Gavin is allowed to bring Alexandra back to England, but their worst problems are not yet behind them. Putney knows how to create characters attractive enough to enchant readers without being too good to be true. Gavin is gallant and romantic¢he risks his life for a woman he doesn't know, marries her to protect her reputation and understands her physical reticence after her traumatic experience¢but he is not without doubts and desires. Alexandra, for her part, believes that Gavin helps her out of chivalry, but she is too gracious and too aware of her position to reject his aid. Both characters have vivid inner lives and thoroughly imagined personalities. Their union is inevitable¢this is a romance novel¢but their journey from strangers to spouses to true lovers is utterly authentic.
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