Of Noble Birth

Brenda Novak, Author HarperTorch $5.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-109859-8
Novak's first novel, a finalist for the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award, is a fast-moving Regency tale of intrigue and deception. Born with a deformed arm, Nathaniel Kent is immediately rejected by his noble father, the Duke of Greystone. Once grown, he takes his revenge for the denial of his fortune and title by turning pirate and raiding his father's trading ships. When the duke abducts one of Nathaniel's crew, the pirate retaliates by kidnapping a young woman he believes to be the duke's daughter. But she is not his half-sister--she is Alexandra Cogsworth, a seamstress fleeing her own family woes. Aboard the pirate ship, Nathaniel stifles yearnings he believes to be incestuous, while Alexandra struggles to save her skin as well as her heart. Once her true identity is revealed, the two fight for their safety. Some readers may be troubled by Nathaniel's deformity, and the book's later chapters--too strained and hectic to permit much romantic interplay--don't live up to the promise of its well-paced start. For most historical romance lovers, however, Novak's energetic prose and appealing characters will more than compensate. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1999
Release date: 11/01/1999
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