on January 3rd 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Hide from the thief-taker, for if he finds you, he will take you away … Eighteenth-century Cornwall is crippled by debt and poverty, while the gibbet casts a shadow of fear over the land. Yet, when night falls, free traders swarm onto the beaches and smuggling prospers.
Terrified by a thief-taker’s warning as a child, Jenna has resolved to be good. When her brother, Silas, asks for her help to pay his creditors, Jenna feels unable to refuse and finds herself entering the dangerous world of the smuggling trade.
Jack Penhale hunts down the smuggling gangs in revenge for his father’s death. Drawn to Jenna at a hiring fayre, they discover their lives are entangled. But as Jenna struggles to decide where her allegiances lie, the worlds of justice and crime collide, leading to danger and heartache for all concerned …
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
The Thief’s Daughter is a stand-alone novel by Victoria Cornwall.
Jenna Cartwright comes from a long line of smugglers and thieves in her family and has seen all of them disappear or arrested for their crimes. She is determined to remain honest and prove that all Cartwrights are not the same. She’s suffered a marriage to an abusive man who ends up hung for being caught poaching. Her brother who has raised her since her parents disappeared is in debtors jail and has begged her to help him pay off his debts. He wants her to steal, but she refuses, but she needs a job with a place to stay, so attends a mop fair (an old-fashioned job fair if you like) where she hopes to be employed as a housekeeper. She intends to use her wages to pay off her brother’s debts. He, on the other hand, wants the money faster than that and asks her to give up her good girl ways just enough to get the money.
Jack Penhale is a thief-taker. A man who is employed to find and arrest people who have stolen from others. It was actually him who arrested Jenna’s brother (not that she knows that). He sees Jenna at the mop fair and against his better judgement he hires her for one day in order to rescue her from being hired by a lecherous man who obviously wants her for more than her housekeeping services. He doesn’t want her services and tells her so, but she insists on doing what she has been paid for, and she fully plans on convincing him to keep her on for at least a year.
Jack is in Cornwall to discover who is behind a nasty smuggling ring, he keeps what he is doing a secret from everyone including Jenna. She, on the other hand, has her own secrets, neither one of them trust each other, but despite that, there is an instant attraction between them that they both try to fight. His secrets and her secrets are intertwined little do they know, and it’s going to lead to a showdown one way or another.
What follows is a story full of twists and turns, betrayal, near betrayal, life and death situations, and a wonderful blossoming romance that by rights could end in tears.
I thoroughly enjoyed the suspense of Jack trying to uncover the smugglers’ boss, and then the shock of finding out who it was. The way the author describes the Cornish coast, and the way the smugglers use the coves to smuggle was fascinating, I could almost picture myself there. The romance between Jack and Jenna was so lovely to see develop and it was wonderful to read how passionate they became but without too much detail. It was very nicely done. From page one I was hooked on the storyline, and couldn’t read quickly enough to find out how everything would be resolved. I wasn’t disappointed. This book definitely had the wow factor for me, I really really loved it.
I voluntarily read an advanced readers’ copy of this book.