Series: Sutherland Brothers #1
Published by Pocket Books on March 27, 2007
FINAL DECISION: This is clearly an early Kresley Cole book. There is so much promise, but not as well constructed as later Cole books. At the same time, I really loved what feels like an homage to classic romance books. Pirates! Racing around the world! A hero with secrets! A heroine who is wilful and independent! So much of the tone and feel of this book I loved, but it doesn’t feel as polished as later books.
THE STORY: Nicole Lassiter has two separate lives. She lives freely helping her American sea captain father sail around the world, but her grandmother wants her to be a lady and make a good marriage. Her father’s nemesis is Captain Derek Sutherland. Someone is sabotaging boats in a race from England to Australia. When Derek ends up rescuing Nicole, he doesn’t know who the mysterious woman is, but there is a great attraction between the two. Across the world, the two compete and fall in love. But both have secrets that threaten any possible happy ending.
OPINION: This book is uneven and was good but not fantastic for me, but the book was interesting, and for fans of Kresley Cole, you can see the bones of what she will perfect in later books. I loved that she takes the bones of old historical romance and breaks them, and makes it more modern and complicated. This is a book I would read again, not because it was amazing, but because it has such a great underpinning of life.
Kresley Cole is taking stories from romances that I read in the 80s and 90s and refashioning them into something new but at the same time not losing those classic moments that were great. This is a romance on the high seas with lots of action and drama. There are plenty of secrets and twists.
The weakness of this book is that the final secret that each main character holds felt like the revelation came too late in the story, and thus the end was a bit rushed. But I really liked both of these characters. Nicole is strong and independent, and determined. Derek is a jerk and is completely broken when he falls for Nicole.
There are scenes from the past, but also previews of books in Kresley’s future. The book feels a little clumsy in its execution, but there is no doubt that it was written by a master in the making and was worth my day.
WORTH MENTIONING: The end of this book suggests at the next book in the series, but it is not a cliffhanger.
CONNECTED BOOKS: THE CAPTAIN OF ALL PLEASURES is the first book in the Sutherland Brothers series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.