Once an Angel
If the heroine, Grace Fisk, had not been working so hard to achieve Too Stupid to Live status, this story could have been a must-read, if not quite a keeper.
Grace Fisk is the youngest of three sisters who became pirates in an attempt to save their homes from being destroyed in the Seven Years’ War. Grace hated a life of pirating, and after her sisters’ respectable marriages has tried to pretend she’s a lady. When a viscount offers for her in spite her past, with the added benefit of living in the American Colonies where no one knows of her, she jumps at the chance to be a real lady.
During the Atlantic crossing her ship is boarded by pirates, led by the love of Grace’s life, Jackson Brodie. Jackson has appropriated her sisters’ ship and renamed it the Sea Angel after his nickname for Grace. Even though Grace is grateful to see that Jackson is still alive, she refuses to swayed from going to her fiancé. Grace is upset to learn that Jackson has taken up the rebel cause in the Colonies and refuses to wait around to watch him die.
Upon arriving in the Colonies, Grace learns her fiancé is not what he appears to be and quickly she and Jackson find themselves in a fight for their lives, caught between loyalists to the crown and the rebel cause.
Jackson is the typical hero. Handsome beyond belief, charming, protective, and of course on the winning side of the political situation. What he sees in Grace is hard to determine, but he’s loyal to the bitter end.
As for Grace, well let’s just say it practically takes rocks falling on her head to get the hint that her fiancé might just be one of the bad guys. A few other examples of her less-than-stellar reasoning abilities are: she allows a vindictive harpy, who she knows has it in for her, to accompany her to Colonies on the woman’s word alone; when told to stay hidden for safety reasons, she of course jumps out into the middle of the road at the first sound of horses; and in spite of being in a country at war she admits what side she’s on before finding out which side those holding her are on. It’s a wonder Grace has made it to the age of twenty-four, let alone was ever a successful pirate.
Fortunately an action-packed tale and Jackson more than make up for Grace’s idiocy. Finally, in a stroke of marketing genius, the epilogue details the fate of a group of intrepid explorers in Africa on the run from the natives out to kill them. These men are rescued by the Sea Queen (the Sea Angel’s true name) that Grace has set adrift. Imagine watching the first five minutes of any Indiana Jones movie as the epilogue of another film, and having the film shut off at the most perilous point of the action. Now of course you’ll run back to the movie theater to see the sequel. With such an ending, and in spite of Grace, I will most definitely being picking up the next story to find out the fate of Sea Queen and her crew.