To any well-bred lady, Benedict “Gray” Grayson is trouble in snug-fitting boots. A conscienceless scoundrel who sails the seas for pleasure and profit, Gray lives for conquest–until Sophia’s perception and artistry stir his heart. Suddenly he’ll brave sharks, fire, storm, and sea just to keep her at his side. She’s beautiful, refined, and ripe for seduction. Could this counterfeit governess be a rogue’s redemption? Or will the runaway heiress’s secrets destroy their only chance at love?
Sophia is all that is prim and proper – at least on the outside. Her parents want a good match and aren’t interested in Sophia marrying for love. She gets engaged to Sir Toby Aldridge and while he’s handsome and nice he really doesn’t float her boat. Sure he’s handsome but he doesn’t excite the passion that lays dormant inside Sophia. She decides that she just can’t marry Toby and in a burst of brilliance boards a ship to Tortola (West Indies). She makes the captain, as well as the ships owner, Mr. Grayson, believe that she is on her way to Tortola to take a governess position.
From the moment that Gray meets Sophia (who in her incognito state goes by Jane) he is somewhat smitten with her. As the voyage drags on he finds he wants her more and more – only he’s promised his brother Joss, the Captain, that he will keep his hands to himself and not even kiss her. This is the worst torture ever! He’s not only attracted to Sophia’s beauty, but by her personality, the sketches she makes of the crew members and the paintings she creates – and the feelings they incite in him.
Gray – ah, Gray. Could I have him delivered to my door, please? He was one hot hero. But it wasn’t just his looks – which were fine – but also who he was deep down. He had been a rogue and a scoundrel his whole life but was bent on becoming legit. He just didn’t plan on Sophia making things so difficult for him. He wanted so badly to do the right thing but he wanted her so badly he kind of lost himself a time or two. One of those times was an incredibly sensual and erotic scene where he tells Sophia what he wants to do to her and since he can’t touch her he has her touch herself. It was heady stuff. Very nicely done. Gray was just a great all around man and a family man at heart. On top of that I found him quite humorous. At one point after an incident when Gray and Sophia almost get pulled overboard by a shark Gray is in his berth thinking about Sophia:
Ah, but it wasn’t just her lovely face that haunted him. Nor the soft, lush body he was increasingly desperate to see liberated from that woolen cocoon. It was the way she’d so willingly owned up to the truth. The way her spirit had sparked when he’d told her to put aside her art. The way she’d practically made sweet, innocent love to him with her eyes when he’d said he cared if she lived or died.For all Gray’s resistance events come to a head and Sophia and Gray find a common ground with each other – but what will happen with their relationship once they get to Tortola? Sophia has lied to Gray about who she is and why she’s traveling, while Gray has opened up with her like no one before.
Good Lord. The laughable irony of it. He’d wasted weeks of his adolescence memorizing sonnets, spent years perfecting little murmured innuendos. Only to learn that the most seductive phrase in the English language was something akin to: All things being equal, I’d rather not see you mauled by a shark.
This was a wonderful book. I picked it up in the morning and even with having to work all day I managed to get it read in a day. I just couldn’t put it down. Gray and Sophia were so good together but even the times when they were with others I was completely involved in them. It’s definitely a testament to Ms. Dare’s writing that she can create such incredibly personable and likable characters – and let me tell you, I really wasn’t prepared to like Sophia. In book 1, Goddess of the Hunt, Sophia showed herself as a somewhat different person and I wasn’t sold on the idea that she could carry her own book as the heroine. But that was one of the main issues in the story. Sophia felt that she was never seen as she truly was – people only saw what they wanted to see. In truth, they were seeing exactly what Sophia was willing to show them. Coming to terms with who she really was added a depth to Sophia that really made me like her all the more. Sure, she had fantasies about adventure and passion but what was she willing to do in her life to achieve her goals?
If you haven’t read this book – or series I’d recommend it. I still haven’t read book 3 but I’m thinking it will be just as good as the first two.
Rating 4.5 out of 5