I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Never Trust a Pirate (Playful Brides, #7) by Valerie Bowman
Series: Playful Brides #7
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on May 2nd 2017
“The Black Fox Strikes Again”
FINAL DECISION: Twisty with lots of secrets and strong independent characters but not too dark, I loved this one! The story didn’t go where I expected it to from the title. The characters were slowly revealed both to the reader and to one another. The story was so fun but with some depth and purpose.
THE STORY: Danielle LaCross seeking work as a lady’s maid for a viscountess. She mistakes Cade Cavendish for his twin brother the viscount. Cade is a known rogue and the black sheep of the family. Rumored to be a rake and perhaps a pirate, Cade has a lot of secrets that he is keeping. Danielle has secrets as well. Once she realizes that Cade is not who she thought he was, she still cannot seem to resist the intriguing man. Soon they realize that they have a common purpose and join forces to resolve the shadows that still haunt them.
OPINION: This one hit all the right notes with me. The book jumps immediately into the action and a lot is happening here. The characters have secrets and these was plenty to keep me intellectually interested in the plot even as I emotionally fell for these characters.
A great part of this story is the twists along the way, so I recommend staying away from spoilers to maintain the suspense in the story.
Cade’s role as the black sheep of the family is important to him. A twin, he has made a role for himself as the irresponsible rake…but there is much more going on with him. I loved his personality which keeps a lightness even as the drama is ratcheted up in the story. Because although readers might not know what Cade is doing, there is never any question that he is on the right side.
Danielle is strong and independent (and perhaps a little too assertive for a true lady’s maid). Normally the lack of class distinctions between them would seem false in the story, but Cade did not grow up part of the aristocracy and (along with some secrets to be revealed) thus the ultimate reason for how these two interact with one another works.
Fans of witty banter between the characters will like this one. Cade and Danielle circle around one another as each is trying to figure out the other without giving away their own secrets.
One of my favorite parts of this book is that I actually was surprised by the resolution of the mystery and yet it made perfect sense. The mystery has a real purpose here and is well integrated into the romance. The suspense and mystery of the story worked really well here and felt totally natural for the times. Yet the story never veers into angst and darkness. There is a brightness to the story that I really enjoyed (even though I’m generally a bigger fan of the dark romances).
WORTH MENTIONING: Fans of the series will get some glimpses of favorite characters.
CONNECTED BOOKS: NEVER TRUST A PIRATE is the seventh book in the Playful Brides series. While it is certainly possible to read this book as a standalone, it is so much better having the backstory of the characters.
STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.