She would marry no man . . .
Serena Carlyle dreams of a happily ever after. Firmly upon the shelf at twenty-five, instead she's determined to find the perfect match for her beautiful younger sister. What better prospect than their neighbor, the wealthy, rakishly handsome Earl of Savege? Now Serena can beg his help in halting a local band of smugglers. Then, one night, stealing away from yet another disappointing ball, Serena finds herself trapped alone with a stranger . . .
Until he captured her—body and soul
His kiss was irresistible, his caress unforgettable, and he hides a devastating secret. A Robin Hood upon the sea, Alex Savege is the brazen pirate Redstone, seizing the yachts of spoiled noblemen to settle an old debt. Serena needs a hero, but her heart is in the gravest danger—for it is soon to be captured by a man as skilled at seduction as he is at plunder.
Alex Savege doesn’t have a clue what he wants in life. He loves the sea and loves being a pirate, but he also loves his property in Devonshire – he’s just unsettled. He knows that it’s high time he takes a wife and produces an heir so when he comes home from the Spring cruise on his pirate ship and discovers that his neighbor has offered his daughter up as a bride he’s willing to take that into consideration. Finding that his neighbor has headed to London for the Season he does the same. At a ball where he will meet his possibly future wife he has a bit of fun with a woman in a darkened room. Little did he know that his bit of fun would haunt him constantly – and not necessarily in a bad way.
Serena Carlyle is 25 and is firmly on the shelf. She has decided she will never marry as she had an indiscretion years ago and she feels that she’s not “pure” enough for any man. But when she heads into a darkened room at a ball to catch her breath she’s scandalized and tantalized by a rake who kisses her. She lets her passions go and loves every minute of it. When she returns to her family and is then introduced to her step-sisters betrothed-to-be and discovers it is Alex Savege, and the rake who kissed her, she’s not quite sure what to do.
Serena’s family as well as Alex head back to Devonshire and that’s where the hijinx begin. Alex plans a party for everyone in the county just so he can be with Serena again but things don’t go as planned and next thing he knows he’s firmly engaged to Charity – Serena’s step-sister. Alex isn’t sure how to get out of the engagement without ruining Charity’s reputation but he doesn’t want to be married to Charity.
While this is going on Serena is kissing Alex in secret, investigating some smugglers that are wreaking havoc along the coast, fighting her feelings for Alex and trying to deal with her evil step-mother. Life as a country miss is getting more difficult by the day.
I really loved Serena and Alex together…when they were together. You could really feel the fireworks between them, especially during that first kiss. Wow, that was something. Their relationship really went through some hard times as Alex struggles to deal with his feelings for Serena as well as the stewpot he’s in with being engaged to Charity. And then of course there’s Charity’s mother who is seriously one huge bitch. That woman is just not a nice person and will do anything in her power to get what she wants. I wanted to punch her at times, but I guess that means she was written well since I disliked her so much. lol
As much as I liked Serena and Alex together the rest of the book really didn’t do all that much for me. The smugglers and Serena’s issues with them were noble but I thought it was quite ballsy of her to ask Alex to get involved for her and then get upset when he didn’t want to. I understood Serena’s reasons for wanting to bring the smugglers down but I thought it unfair of her to expect Alex to feel the same way and act upon it.
Though I liked the book quite a bit it had so much happening in it that I felt it lost a bit of the romantic intensity that I felt between Alex and Serena when they first met. I personally would have liked to have seen less of the smugglers, etc., and more of the romance. I will still absolutely read book 1, which I’ve already purchased because I do like Ms. Ashe’s writing.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5