on September 25, 2018
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An outcast on the high seas...
The son of a proud naval dynasty, Gabriel Hawkins was born to command the sea, until he leaves the Royal Navy in disgrace and is disowned by his family. As captain of his own ship, he's earned his living in ways both legal and illegal, and his experience makes him the best choice to ransom an aristocratic beauty captured by Barbary pirates.
Having avoided the traps of convention and marriage, Lady Aurora Lawrence is horrified by the prospect of spending her life as a harem slave. Her only hope of escape is a quiet, steely captain who has a history with her captor—and who will do anything to free Rory. Together they undertake a dangerous mission through troubled waters—and encounter another kind of danger as attraction burns hot within the close confines of his ship. But even if they endure the perils of the sea and enemy lands, can their love survive a return to England, where the distance between a disgraced captain and an earl's daughter is wider than the ocean?
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Once a Scoundrel is the third book in the Rogues Redeemed series by Mary Jo Putney.
Lady Aurora Lawrence isn’t your usual rich lady with her mind on marriage. She loves to travel and to experience adventures. She gets a little more than she bargains for when she and her cousin and companion, Constance, are kidnapped by Corsairs and taken to live in a harem! A ransom demand is sent to Aurora’s parents for an impossible amount to raise making her father resolved to leave her where she is and her mother deciding that that was just not going to happen. She manages to raise enough for half the ransom, plus engages the help of a man who is known as a great negotiator.
That man is Gabriel Hawkins. Formally of the Royal Navy he now is captain of his own ship. He’s earned his living doing both legal and illegal jobs, he’s a strong capable man and he is perfect for the job of trying to rescue Aurora and her cousin.
The rescue, of course, isn’t straightforward, in fact, it involves a whole other sea voyage and taking on an even more dastardly enemy one that Gabriel has dealt with before and one that one normally wouldn’t want to cross. He also lives in a veritable fortress, so not so easy for rescuing damsels in distress.
This book has it all, the swashbuckling adventure at sea, the drama of the women being taken hostage not once but twice, and all the suspense of trying to get them free and back home safely. The battles at sea were fabulous and the author described them so well that I could easily picture the scenes. Of course, there was romance too with some fabulously passionate moments between Gabriel and Aurora. The lust between them was palpable at times especially when they were trying not to give in to temptation fully. There wasn’t a dull moment in this story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I couldn’t read it quickly enough to find out how it would end.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.