Dear Mrs Marshall,
I’ve been looking forward to your third novel and for the most part, it doesn’t disappoint. You have a knack for portraying early 19th century Florida, giving us lots of description of the flora and fauna and politics of the age without forcing in every fact you ever learned during your research and history classes. I know this is hard to do and you get points for this. The information about the early American navy and its fight against piracy along the Florida coast is especially well done.
I also like the slight tie in with your other novels through Robin and Cooper of The Ganymede Cup. It’s always nice to see the boys again. Which reminds me, did Morgan ever explain to Amanda exactly what kind of relationship those two have?
And speaking of Morgan and Amanda…I really enjoyed the fact that Amanda isn’t some shrinking English violet who can’t stand up to the pirate, er excuse me, privateer Morgan who rescues her off the sinking ship that’s brought her to her new life in America. She’s intelligent, an astute business woman in a career that makes sense for the time and a good match for her often rough-around-the-edges husband. And Morgan is believable as a tough sailor who’s slightly clumsy at wooing the woman he knows is The One for him.
Which brings me to one of the few complaints I have. Amanda initially refuses Morgan’s offer of marriage precisely because of the slightly underhanded tactics he uses to gain time to win her affections yet later when she accepts him, there’s no indication of why she’s suddenly decided he’s trustworthy after all. You just have her acknowledge that she loves him and that’s it. Perhaps a smoother understanding of just what changed her mind would help here.
I did, however, like the fact that you show them gradually working into their new marriage and that despite the fact that they love each other, not everything goes easily.
But this is a nice addition to your previous novels and it’s not an English set Regency. Huzzah!