Published by Katherine Bone Ink on September 13th 2016
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Lady Chloe Walsingham is an enthusiastic gothic romance reader and hopeless romantic focused solely on finding her perfect hero. She also happens to have a penchant for getting into trouble. So when the man she loves disappears after a scandalous duel, she decides to follow him to the ends of the Earth. To do so, however, Chloe must evade her brother, an infamous revenue man, and board a ship bound for Penzance. And nothing in her beloved books can prepare her for the harsh realities of wreckers who ply the coast.
After his father destroyed the lives of countless innocent people, Basil Halford, Earl of Markwick is willing to do anything to earn back his honor. Betrayed by his blood and his reputation ruined, Markwick answers the request of a well-heeled duke and dons the Black Regent’s mask to repay the debt. His task? Rescuing a young woman who is chasing down a ghost of a man.
But a pirate has plenty of enemies, and Markwick isn’t any different. No matter how diligent a captain he may be, sailing to Lady Chloe’s rescue involves risking not only the Regent’s legacy but the last thing he can afford to lose…his heart.
Reviewed by Monique~~
Basil Halford, the Earl of Markwick, has been a pirate for barely three months, and although he’s a great strategist, he has not been very successful in his privateering endeavours. Truth to tell, he became a smuggler to avenge his father’s victims, not really by choice; Basil is fundamentally an honest man, and this new occupation does not sit to well with him. The dastardly Marquess of Underwood died in shame, which splattered Markwick, who now has inherited the tainted title, which he does not want. Markwick has friends he doesn’t wish to disappoint, and he treads a fine line: he being a pirate and his friend Walsingham, a revenue man. Just as he was pondering his future, Markwick’s friend, the Duke of Blackmoor, arrives precipitously to inform him that Pierce Walsingham’s sister Chloe is on her way to Penzance to meet with her love: Basil! To say that Markwick is flummoxed is an understatement: he knew that Chloe was infatuated with him, but in love! But what is worse, is that Basil feels partly responsible for Chloe’s latest folly. So, Markwick, the new Black Regent, sets sail for Penzance and to rescue Chloe Walshingham, come hell or high water…
Katherine Bone is a very eloquent writer, whose stories are painted in vivid colours, and what struck me at the beginning of THE PIRATE’S DEBT is that the scenes where Markwick is ruminating, seemed to be taking place behind a translucent pale grey veil, which superbly suited the mood, while not taking away any of the finer details of the picture. Ms. Bone’s prose is more refined than ever: she adds more nuances and depth to the narrative and the dialogues, while retaining the flavours of various accents and local colour. There is no better proof of this when reading about the raging storm at sea or the fierce battles. I became completely immersed in the fictional world of Regency pirates, and no one even comes close to Ms. Bone’s impressive knowledge of her subject: pirates. She knows it all, but better yet, she is able to put it all into splendid sentences and bring a bygone world to life before our very eyes.
The characters are all equally impressively drawn, down to the most minor ones and despicable ones; the evil Captain Carnage deserves a mention here. The story is compelling and extremely fast-paced, full of action and adventures, and redefines the word unputdownable. The romance progresses as it should, with the era’s proprieties taken into consideration, for once. And his first name is Basil, what’s not to love! Katherine Bone’s THE PIRATE’S DEBT should be a dictionary entry when looking up “swashbuckling”. And just wait for the next one, mateys, because we get a tiny taste of what’s to come!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
You can read an excerpt here.