Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.
While bored out of his mind in the middle of a London ballroom, Jonas Dante sees her. Intrigued by her seeming indifference, he follows her, only to discover the lady is named Bellana Harper (formerly known as Bella Baker) and is a jewel thief.
Bella has no choice but to employ her nimble fingers once more. Her old husband dies without an heir, leaving her without any solid means of survival. To top it all off, her no-good half-brother knows where she is, and her former protector (in her more nefarious days) is gunning for her for a crime she didn't commit. She doesn't have the patience to deal with the arrogant pirate, but she quickly finds out she doesn't have any choice in the matter, as the infuriating man saves her life...And offers her temporary protection on board his ship, promising to disembark her in Cornwall as they sail past.
But there's no time to stop in Cornwall (or anywhere else, for that matter), for his brother-in-law carries on board a peculiar rumor. A rumor about a wolf hunter and a possible raid on Simon Dante's supposedly secret lair.
If you ask me to pick a favorite out of this series, you'll find me at a loss (I only know which is my least favorite). But if you ask me which of the four is the most suspenseful/dramatic/intense, it would have to be this one.
It's the last in the series, true, and so it packs an added emotional punch when the destruction is revealed and when the story of what happens is told (not in its entirety, mind you).
The first part of the story established the character of Jonas Dante, the eldest of the Pirate Wolf's children, who so far has only played a very marginal (sometimes for comic relief) role in the books. I couldn't say I was overly impressed with the guy, having come to know his father and brother before him, yet there was something larger than life in him. Tall, broad, scowling, with his thick mane of red hair...The depictions and descriptions sure were vivid. But he was also a little too rough around the edges, even after his softer side (he takes after his mother in artistic talents) was revealed. He was rather dissonantly brusque and rude.
Yet the heroine worked well in that context. She wasn't a fainting virgin or a wilting flower. She was sarcastic, ungrateful, calculating and manipulating...Yet the two worked perfectly together.
The romance wasn't worth its name, since in the end they more or less came to a mutually beneficial agreement than anything else, and there wasn't anything overly "romantic" about their interactions in and out of his cabin...But once again, it worked rather well in context of both their personalities.
But what made this story shine, was the second part so aptly and chillingly promised in the prologue. The treachery and betrayal, the horrifying scenes of destruction, the cold vow of vengeance and the execution of the plan. It was a bit too easy at times, but it sure got the goose bumps erupting and the blood flowing.
The suspense and the action were perfectly executed with the pacing spot-on to keep the reader on the edge of the seat and turning pages to see what would happen next, hoping all would be well in the end.
There were casualties, even among the beloved characters, so the story ended on a rather bittersweet, yet hopeful note of endless possibilities for more happy endings.
If you like your pirates/privateers, intrigue, mystery, suspense, wonderful characters, vivid imaginery, and fiery romance, this is the series for you.