The Pearl Stallion
Although I cried four times while reading The Pearl Stallion, this book isn’t your typical tearjerker. It’s a very special love story about a darkly brooding hero and a beautiful, intelligent heroine that will touch even the most cynical heart.
The story begins in 19th century Calcutta, India and centers around the conflict between Captain Savage, a bitter man intent on revenge, and the heroine, Lady Dina.
They meet when Dina throws convention to the wind and stows aboard the ship to save herself from being married off to thieving, cruel man. Realizing that she will never be able to return to her previous life of privilege and leisure, she learns in the course of this story to become self-sufficient, giving and loving.
As you might imagine, it takes her awhile to adjust to her new circumstances, but she eventually adapts, ultimately stealing the hearts of all the men aboard by teaching them to read In the end, she also steals the heart of her captain, who, intent on exacting a terrible revenge against his enemies, never realized he had one.
Together, these lovers learn to throw off the bleak and bitter darkness that threatens to overwhelm them, bringing in light and color to banish all their fears. The author utilizes a rich tapestry of imagery and color to create rich and lovely love scenes that will enchant and fascinate the reader.
Adding intrigue and excitement to the story, the author sends her heroine and hero to many dangerous and exciting ports of call around the world, from the Russian Americas, to California to Hawaii and Macao.
Ordinarily, I don’t enjoy romances where the hero and heroine don’t get together until quite late in the story, but in this instance it did not detract from the story. While this book is definitely a romance, it feels quite epic in its scope.
Forced to rise above her circumstance, the author infuses the heroine with great courage and strength, as her convictions force her to make a series of painful and difficult decisions. Her strength of character, as well as that of the captain, keeps them apart but later brings them together, with a little help of the crew of the Pearl Stallion.
I was struck by the irony of the imposed “morality” of society’s dictates and the true morality of the hero and heroine. Both would be punished for living their lives honestly and decently because they dared to flaunt the conventions of the day. Neither Savage nor Dina believed in love until they confronted each other. When they do finally recognize their love, it is nearly ruined by his need for revenge against the society that has been so cruel to him.
Because this is a romance, this story has a happy ending, but the journey to happiness is not an easy one. It is dark and intense and savage, and utterly engrossing. And Rae Muir is to be commended for writing a story that you won’t want to put down.