Sunday, February 7, 2010

Review of The Raven Saint

The Raven Saint is the third entry in MaryLu Tyndall's Charles Town Belles series, and the second that I've read. As in any good historical romance, opposites attract in this series. In The Blue Enchantress, the godly and good-hearted captain rescued Hope Westcott, whose poor judgment and dubious virtue had landed her in a pickle. Poor Captain Mason then struggled with his unsuitable attraction for Hope.

The situation is reversed in The Raven Saint. This time it's the pious Westcott sister, Grace, who is in a bad situation and struggling with her unwise attraction for the nefarious ship's captain. To further complicate matters, the captain is the one who's gotten her into trouble. Captain Dubois is definitely not a godly man, but he believes he's doing the right thing when he kidnaps Grace, planning to deliver her for a handsome sum of money to one of her father's enemies. After all, her father is his enemy, too. And the money he will be paid for the act will build a hospital for the poor. Remember the saying about the road to hell and good intentions?

But Captain Dubois soon finds himself drawn not only to Grace but to her God, as well, which complicates his life romantically and spiritually. It could also cost him his life if he decides to back out of his deal.

As with Tyndall's other books, there are twists and turns, romantic misunderstandings, and heart-pumping battles at sea. And of course, good spiritual lessons as the rogues are reformed. If you enjoyed Tyndall's other books, you'll enjoy this one. And if you haven't read any of her books yet, it's all right to start with this one. Although it's part of a series, it can easily stand alone.

As for me, my favorite parts of MaryLu Tyndall's books are turning out to be the secondary characters and subplots. There's the mysterious Mr. Thorn, who may be trying to help Grace, or may be manipulating her for his own purposes. And he has an attraction for a Caribbean servant named Annette, who dabbles in voodoo and causes all sorts of creepy happenings.

And then of course, there's the one-eyed ship's cat, Spyglass. My favorite line of the book comes as Spyglass trounces out of his cabin with Grace after she has quarreled with Captain Dubois: "The woman had not only stolen his heart but his cat as well."

The Raven Saint is great fun if you're looking for seafaring thrills and historical romance.

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