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  • Hannah Fielding - Romance Novelist

From the blurb:

Constance Danbury is fleeing an arranged marriage to lecherous Lord Burton, a man who has blackmailed her father and is nearly twice her age. Her escape takes her aboard a merchantman bound for Spain, where she hopes an aunt will help her procure funds to save her father’s dwindling reputation. But fate intervenes. Constance is captured by a pirate with a wit and stubbornness to match her own, and a secret he’ll do anything to keep.

Nobleman Percival Avery is a member of Nelson’s Tea, an elite group whose members are first sons from every tier in society. Undercover, he disguises himself as a pirate to infiltrate the gang of cutthroats responsible for his sister’s death. But when his vessel attacks a merchantman with valuable cargo, Percy is forced to choose between vengeance and saving the life of his commander’s niece, Constance Danbury. Mutiny is sure to obliterate his well-laid plans. It also aligns him with the one woman sure to see through his disguise. Forced to play the fop by day to outwit his enemies, he masquerades as a rogue by night in order to avenge his sister’s death – and to win his true love’s heart.

In her debut novel Katherine Bone drops you right into the action aboard a merchant ship bound for Spain that is being attacked by pirates, setting the pace for the rest of the book, which is filled with adventure, mystery, passion and romance. Set during the Napoleonic wars of the early nineteenth century, this book uses some of the amazing seafaring characters of this classic British historical era – pirates, merchants, naval officers and Nelson’s own double agents. But not all of the action takes place on the high seas of the English Channel, because the main characters return to London – to the grimy, violent patrons of the docks and its local public houses and to the aristocratic finesse and extravagance of the London Ton, dancing in balls and driving in the park.

The pace of this book is fast pretty much throughout; it is a page turner that keeps you asking what is going to happen next, will they work it out, will they survive, will they kiss…? The mystery of who killed Percival’s sister and the double agents in the book mean that there are many twists and turns that keep you guessing. Added to that an apparent love triangle between a lady, a pirate and a nobleman and you can’t put the book down. Is she going to work out their connection, or is he going to tell her?

Yet how was it her body ignited beneath her enemy’s caress when Burton’s touch filled her with horrible misgivings? Surely the opposite should be true. Burton was a member of the ton, the pirate wasn’t. Was she doomed to end up on the streets, cast out of society? She couldn’t allow it to happen. She needed a plan.

Katherine Bones paints a world rich in intrigue. Told from a range of perspectives, the book enables the reader to really feel for the main characters. You cannot help but cheer on the fiery lead female character, Constance, who wants to marry for love, not duty or money, and is prepared to risk her own life to do so. Who would want to marry the ghastly Lord Burton, who believes women are there to be used and discarded? You can’t help but fall in love with the two alter egos of Percival Avery either – pirate and gentleman. You hope that the frightful Lord Burton and the horrendous pirates get their comeuppance, and you are left intrigued by Henry Gruffald – ideal because he is the lead of Katherine’s next book, which I very much look forward to reading.

Duke by Day, Rogue by Night is available now from Amazon; click on the book cover below to visit the store.

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