After the death of her father, Lydia Bromley is hauled off to Africa to look after her officious brother, Alex, as he roots around in the jungle for exotic medicinal plants. When a pirate ship, damaged in a storm and full of sick seamen, takes refuge in the cove near Lydia’s hut, she has no idea of the adventure awaiting her. Captain Jack Stirling wants nothing more than to repair his ship and get back out to sea. When the ship’s presence turns the native tribe against Lydia and Alex, Jack’s conscience won’t allow him to leave them behind. On board, Lydia helps heal the crew and becomes a favorite of even the most hardened pirates. And Jack can’t help lusting after the strong-minded, frustrating beauty who is quickly winning over his heart. The question is whether he’ll live long enough to claim her heart.
Ms. Andersen has crafted a wonderful tale of passion and action on the high seas. This short novel packs a punch, with a lively prose style, a swiftly moving plot and characters both believable and intriguing. Headstrong Lydia is the perfect blend of intelligence and good-heartedness. No pushover, she goes toe to toe with intimidating, dashing and mysterious Jack Stirling, who finds her bewildering, frustrating and irresistible. Even the minor characters are well rounded, with personalities of their own, and Ms. Andersen only rarely dips into pirate-story clichés. The setting, first Africa then the Azores Islands, is unique for pirate tales, more often set in the Caribbean. Jack and Lydia’s relationship is particularly well crafted, and the ending, with a satisfying twist, will be applauded by any lover of romance.