Mission of Mercy

Kathryn Belmont, Author Harlequin Books $3.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-373-28674-4
This historical romance about two mid-19th-century women who go a-whaling delivers some low melodrama and a few scenes that strain credibility (notably, a woman bareback-riding an angry whale), but Belmont's unconcealed delight in the adventures of her intrepid heroines lends the book a certain charm. Mercy Wright is shaken by news that the Abishai , one of her family's whaling ships, has been attacked by natives in the South Seas, but believes her husband, Nathaniel, is among the reported survivors. She persuades Captain Samuel Starbuck to take her along on his whaling voyage so she can search for word of him. Meanwhile, Jane Harding, the only sister in a family of seafaring brothers, adopts male attire and signs on Starbuck's ship as a green hand. While ``John'' Harding struggles to learn the ropes, Mercy experiences a growing attraction to Samuel, who considers her an eligible widow. But even the rigors of sea life can hardly prepare Mercy for the gruesome truth about the Abishai 's disappearance and Nathaniel's role in this. Under her real name, Mary Jo Territo, Belmont is the author of Before and After . (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
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