A Buccaneer at Heart
by Stephanie Laurens
Unexpected love—plus passion, intrigue, and danger—challenge our hero to embrace his true nature.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens continues THE ADVENTURERS QUARTET, a riveting blend of Regency-era high seas adventure, a mystery shrouded in the heat of tropical jungles, and the passionate romances of four couples and their unexpected journeys into love.
After a decade of captaining diplomatic voyages for Frobisher Shipping, alongside covert missions for the Crown, Captain Robert Frobisher decides that establishing a home—with hearth and wife—should be his next challenge. But an unexpected mission intervenes. Although Robert sees himself as a conservative businessman-cum-diplomat and this mission is far from his usual sphere, it nevertheless falls within the scope of his abilities. As matters are urgent, he agrees to depart for West Africa forthwith.
To Robert, his way forward is clear: Get to Freetown, determine the location of a slavers’ camp, return to London with the information, and then proceed to find himself a wife.
Already in Freetown, Miss Aileen Hopkins is set on finding her younger brother Will, a naval lieutenant who has mysteriously disappeared. Find Will and rescue him; determined and resolute, Aileen is not about to allow anyone to turn her from her path.
But all too quickly, that path grows dark and dangerous. And then Robert Frobisher appears and attempts to divert her in more ways than one.
Accustomed to managing diplomats and bureaucrats, Robert discovers that manipulating a twenty-seven-year-old spinster lies outside his area of expertise. Prodded by an insistent need to protect Aileen, he realizes that joining forces with her is the surest path to meeting all the challenges before him—completing his mission, keeping her safe, and securing the woman he wants as his wife.
But the villains strike and disrupt their careful plans—leaving Robert and Aileen no choice but to attempt a last throw of the dice to complete his mission and further her brother’s rescue.
Compelled to protect those weaker than themselves and bring retribution to a heartless enemy, they plunge into the jungle with only their talents and inner strengths to aid them—and with the courage of their hearts as their guide.
The first voyage is one of exploration, the second one of discovery. The third journey brings maturity, while the fourth is a voyage of second chances. Continue the journey and follow the adventure, the mystery, and the romances to the cataclysmic end.
Okay, now I’m really anxious for Royd’s book (Lord of the Privateers)!
Not until December? Sigh…
A Buccaneer at Heart gives us Robert and Aileen’s story–along with phase 2 of the “figure out what’s going on in Freetown” mission. The danger is bumped up–they (and we) learn a bit more about who’s involved in the plot, meet some of the truly scary dudes who are responsible for kidnapping dozens of English men, women, and children from the settlement and its environs, and actually witness a group of older children being taken by the “pied piper” of slavers. (That part was hard to read. When those poor kids realized they’d been had, and that they weren’t going to be sending money back to their families after all…Aileen and I were together in our heartbreak.)
Robert and Aileen were fantastic–great together, and just as great when they were driving each other slightly crazy before they got smart and joined forces. If ever there were two people more made for each other, I don’t know who they would be…it was easy to forget that they really hadn’t known each other all that long. Their compatibility and the adrenaline rush of their quest made their connection feel totally natural.
I was practically bouncing in my seat by the end, when we finally see Caleb–I read his book (The Daredevil Snared—reviewed here) first, so it’s been great seeing all the pieces fitting together at last. I didn’t realize exactly how he ended up getting involved in the quest, though–I’m sure it must have been in his book, but maybe I was too occupied getting caught up on the background of the mission at the time?–and all I can say is, good for you, youngest Frobisher! I am beyond excited to see that all of the brothers (and, I’m sure, their significant others) are going to take part in the big rescue.
Is it December yet?
A Buccaneer at Heart is the second book in the series, and really works best not read as a standalone. I’m not one to say you have to start at the beginning (I’m actually glad I started with #3) but this is definitely one series for which one book is not enough.
Side note: not crazy about the cover on this one. The couple’s expressions does not at all match their dynamic…oh well.
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.