High Seas Stowaway
High Seas Stowaway has a unique time period and setting that might lend to something truly exciting. Regrettably, even the Renaissance, Venice, Hispaniola, pirates, codpieces, blood vengeance, and the Spanish couldn’t make this one completely interesting.
For Bianca Simonetti, Venice holds memories of young love, murder, betrayal and something to which she can never return. After her mother’s murder at the hands of Ermano Grattiano, the most powerful man in Venice, Bianca flees the Old World, swearing revenge on all things Grattiano, including the young Balthazar, for whom she has a fascination. Yet when Balthazar shows up years later in her tavern in Santo Domingo and is stabbed by another, she can’t extract the revenge she’s held on to for so long. However, she wants answers and gets far more.
Balthazar wants to escape his heritage and all connections to his evil father. He makes a new name for himself and his crew on the seas surrounding the New World. Despite his escape, he still feels empty and restless. When he finds himself in the care of a tavern keeper in Santo Domingo recovering from a knife wound, he can’t determine why she seems so familiar until she gives him her first name.
As memories rush back, so does the connection that existed between the two. For him, she was the one person who listened to him, not dazzled by the persona of the beautiful, cultured, rich boy he was. For her, he was the idolized young love who spoke of new and exciting things. As he prepares to depart, Bianca takes a chance, giving up the life she established by stowing away on Balthazar’s ship to see where the future will take them.
Despite the setup for the story and the history between the two, the reestablished connection sparked, but never burst into life for me. Their experience in the tavern, the ship, and eventual destination were dull, with very little action to give the plot momentum. There was no heat between the couple and I enjoyed their young memories far more than their actual time together. The characters lacked depth and the plot wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit. Plus, I seriously wondered who would give up their security for a relationship that might or might not work, especially since there was little indication from him that he wanted her to go. The affair between the two seemed incredibly one-sided.
While High Seas Stowaway was a book I looked forward to reading, it didn’t live up to it’s exotic setting and invigorating time period. Because of its potential, I found it all the more disappointing – not bad, just disappointing.