- File Size: 1135 KB
- Print Length: 406 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Marsha canham (June 1, 2011)
- Publication Date: June 1, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0053Y1M5A
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,904 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Across A Moonlit Sea (Pirate Wolf series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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The only reason I gave this 3 stars instead of 5, was how the story ended. Dante' is in a battle, which also ends up a battle for his life and Beau is there to help save him. No mention of how it was handled with one of his own attacking him to kill him, I get taken to London and Beau and Dante' are already married and they are suppose to meet with the queen! I felt cheated that I didn't have the privy to how the wedding came about,after reading about their turbulent relationship and get more info about others. Big whoop! Dante' gives Beau her own big ship and the story ends! Some happily ever after; Dante' has a new ship and Beau as another. They're married, but apart, sailing the sea? The beginning of the story was slow. The main part hot, intriguing, and adventurous! The ending a was did IMO,and will think twice before trying this author's book again.
The main historical event is real,as the story takes us to the attack by Francis Drake on the Spanish fleet in Cadiz in 1587, an attack that delayed the eventual attempted invasion of England by the Spanish Armada by a year, giving Queen Elizabeth time to build up her own fleet to counter that attack. The story itself is about another, fictional privateer, Simon Dante, a half-French, half-English count who through a series of adventures manages to learn of the location of King Phillip of Spain's naval buildup and direct Drake to the right location, ensuring his success in that action. Dante only manages to get to Drake because he's rescued from his sinking ship by the Egret, captained by Jonas Spence and steered by his helmswoman daughter, our heroine, Isabeau (Beau). It is Beau who figures out the key to decoding the documents Dante has captured that show the importance of Cadiz, neatly tying the story into that event, which we then see through Dante's eyes as he joins Drake's force.
The romance between Dante and Beau develops beautifully, with both of them depicted as complex, interesting characters. Dante's reluctance to accept that Beau, as a woman, is actually a competent, valuable member of the crew and her fierce determination to do better than all the men around her to prove her worth, even before Dante shows up, ring true to that (and any) time and place. So do both of their issues with relationships in general and with the difference in their social status. The sexual tension and eventual sex are explicit, if that's not your thing maybe this isn't the book for you. That would be a shame, though, as it's a really well-written, interesting story, richly embellished with enough well-researched details of life and society and ships to give a real taste of the period without bogging down the story.
I particularly liked that it was a much more realistic look at life at sea, and particularly on pirate ships, than in most historicals. The heroine is not threatened with rape on a regular basis by her own crew mates, there is respect between the captains and their crews, and pirates are well-disciplined and hardworking, not a bunch of barely-constrained criminals. Seriously, how could pirates have been so successful otherwise?
It's not perfect by any means. There are a few moments that defy logic, like when the heroine, who has been part of the ship's crew for 8 years, suddenly falls out of the crow's nest while on watch for no particular reason other than to let the hero rescue her or when clothing that is sturdy enough to stand up to the wear and tear of working on a sailing ship suddenly rips like tissue paper when it's convenient for an erotic encounter. There's is also an annoying plot element that goes nowhere, when Beau has information about the defenses of Cadiz that should be critical to the success of the attack and the Egret rushes off to join Drake's forces, but the information is never passed along nor does it turn out to have had any meaning, as the defenses in question don't seem to exist during the battle. But these are minor, little flaws in an otherwise excellent story.
The book follows the story of Isabeau Spence, daughter of the captain of a merchant ship. After coming across the wreckage of another ship, Isabeau, her father, and a number of crew members board the sinking vessel to search for survivors.Who they find is none other than the notorious "Pirate Wolf," Simon Dante and a handful of remaining crew. Seeking revenge for his beloved Virago, slowly sinking beneath the waves, Dante threatens Beau's life if her father, Capitan Spence, does not agree to load Dante's cannons onto his ship.
Capitan Spence grudgingly obliges to his request and loads the cannons. A short time later, Spence's ship, with a now larger crew, crosses paths with a Spanish Galleon and, upon the insistence of Simon Dante, they attack. Miraculously they win the battle and collect their spoils.
Now returning home, the small merchant ship runs into an entire fleet of ships, headed by the Elizabeth Bonadventure and her captain, Sir Francis Drake. Learning that Drake and his fleet have been unleashed to wreck havoc along the Spanish Main, and that the target of Dante's rage is among them, Dante and his crew leave the Egret to join Drake.
You'll have to read it to find out what happens afterward and for the details of Beau and Simon's romance. Suffice to say it's worth reading.
Beau and Simon are the quintessential romance couple-- the perfect ideal of most women's fantasy relationship. There is really nothing I could find wrong with either character. And Canham did a fine job of handling the romance between them. There were certainly some small phrases that made me chuckle more than arouse me, for the most part the sex scenes--and even the just kissing scenes-- were well written.
So what's left? Why did I only give it 3 stars when I clearly enjoyed it? For one, the prologue and the epilogue. Both of them almost ruin the story. Sure, the prologue tells you why Dante's ship sank, but it seems more like the purpose of the prologue was simply to amaze the reader at Canham's knowledge of sailing terminology. As for the epilogue, the first half of it reminded me of my 7th grade history textbook. Not joking. Canham uses half of the epilogue to talk about Sir Francis Drake's attack on Cadiz--information available in any history book or google search on the subject. The latter half of the epilogue isn't terrible, it describes Beau and Simon's relationship after leaving the Egret.
Another issue I had with the story was the pacing. I realize that the novel is a romance, first and foremost, but it is also about pirates. Writing about pirates all but requires action, adventure, and a fairly quick paced storyline. A book of this length is usually about a half day's read for me, but this took a full day, mostly because of some sections where I felt like I was trudging through four foot deep snow to read it.
There were numerous editorial issues... though they could have been due to the fact that I was reading the ebook version. Ebooks often have quirks about them that do not exist in a tangible copy of the book. There were a few, however, that I think were not ebook issues; such as one instance where Canham wrote the same phrase three times before continuing the sentence. Instead of emphasizing the situation, as I think Canham intended to do, the repetition just seemed awkward. I'm surprised that her editor did not catch it and remove it.
As a whole, the book is great and I will probably revisit it again, after all, this was my second time reading it anyway.