Monday, April 20, 2009

Across A Moonlit Sea by Marsha Canham *****

OMG! OMG! I'm squeeing like a little fangrrl with pleasure from reading this wonderful, fabuloso book!! I love it so much!!

OK - deep breath. First, like all of MC's books, it's chock full of adventure, spelled out in such a way that you feel the deck of the ship rocking under your feet and the spray of the sea in your face. It will make you want to grab your pirate costume and run out the door to board the ship for their next seafaring adventure, shouting ARRRRRRR the entire way.

Whew! The heroine is Beau - aka Isabeau, the daughter of Jonas Spence, who has kept her by his side as he sails the seas in search of treasure and booty on his ship, the Egret. Beau has become a daring helmsman as well as good with knives and pistols by her 20th year.

The hero is Simon Dante, a French count who prefers to spend his time at sea, stealing Caribbean treasure from right under the Spaniards' very noses. But on his last trip, he's betrayed by one of his comrades who steals away with the supplies and the booty, leaving him to the mercy of 6 enemy ships. He manages to limp the ship and some of the crew away - and is rescued by Jonas Spence and the Egret.

Of course, at first he is so filled with hate and rage that he cannot be civil to his rescuers, and is even less civil to the slip of a girl - a girl of all things! - that is piloting the ship. She is insolent, outspoken and insulting to him. And he does have a past life that makes him wary of women in general, with a wife who had 2 children by other men while they were married and he was at sea.

But a run-in with another Spanish galleon changes his mind about Beau and her talents as a helmsman, and with his appreciation of her skill, his appreciation of her as a woman also grows. Eventually the 2 succumb to their attraction, and have to deal with the aftermath.

When the Egret runs into a British armada led by Sir Francis Drake, Dante is confronted by the coward who left him. Dante and his sworn rival must join forces with Drake to fight the Spanish, and Dante sends Beau and the Egret back to Britain to wait for him.

But when does she ever take orders from him? (Answer: rarely!)

This was such an incredible romp! Beau is a wonderful heroine, full of spit and vinegar, able to hold her own against the men around her. She also wasn't a blushing virgin - she'd had more than one affair. And Simon - ahhh! he's a droolworthy hero. There's also a secondary romance with Simon's sidekick Pitt and their Spanish hostage, a young duchess. I'm definitely putting this in my top 10 favorites!! It's a title with the word Moon in it, for the Spring 09 challenge, and it's the first in a series for the Serial Readers Challenge.


Cindy W said...

GREAT Review! I am putting on my wishlist!

Kristie (J) said...

She's written some incredible books. And you get to revisit this intriguing family in The Iron Rose - Isabeau and Simon's daughter - who is very much like her mother