cover image Lord of the Privateers

Lord of the Privateers

Stephanie Laurens. Mira, $7.99 mass market (512p) ISBN 978-0-7783-1973-3

In this enthralling Regency romance (the satisfying finale to the Adventurers’ Quartet, after The Daredevil Snared), Capt. Royd Frobisher balances intrigue and adventure on the high seas with his newly rediscovered feelings for his former love, Isobel Carmody Carmichael, who divulges a secret she has kept from him for eight years. Royd, the fourth of the seafaring Frobisher brothers, must leave Aberdeen, Scotland, to play his part in the quest to free the captured slaves—including Isobel’s cousin—in West Africa’s Freetown. Laurens’s deft interweaving of backstory through characters’ thoughts and dialogue makes this series installment work as a standalone novel. (New readers will also appreciate the maps and dramatis personae at the front of the book.) Royd and Isobel’s early relationship is immediately introduced in a prologue that gets the story off to a fast start. The alluring characters are fully actualized through actions that convey nuances of their personalities, such as the bonds among the four brothers. Isobel and Royd both love and respect the sea, and their headstrong natures are contrasted well with their growing affection. The fast-moving narrative, emotionally weighty plot, and appealing cast make for a dynamic and heartwarming read. (Jan.)