Mmmm not a good book for me I struggled to get into the story and started skim reading from 30%. One of my favourite tropes in romance is the forbidden trope, where the H/h is expected to keep away from the other for whatever reason but they still end up together. The blurb was quite appealing as it had an adventure on the high seas as well as, touched on a few sensitive topics of drug addiction, abduction, slavery and rape so this book may not be suitable for those who are sensitive to these issues. Major kudos to Bronwen for venturing into these sensitive issues, as I do appreciate this isn’t an easy feat.
Alexander Sylvester Bracken, Duke of Bedford, was captured when he was twenty-one and held captive as a slave by Murad – a Turkish pirate. Alex suffered many atrocities at Murad’s hands and also picked up an addiction to opium. Alex manages to escape and forge a life for himself but is filled with many demons which he tries to exorcise by losing himself in numerous, countless, faceless women. Lady Hestia Cary was kidnapped by this same pirate when she was sixteen and if it wasn’t for Alex coming to her rescue she would have suffered a fate worse than death at the hands of Murad.
Fast forward six years and ever since Alex saved her life, she has never stopped loving or yearning for Alex but Alex keeps his distance even though he loves her too. Unknown to Hestia, Alex has promised Hestia’s father than he would never court her or seek her hand in marriage. Now Hestia’s father is missing and Lady Hestia has sought out Alex to help her find him and bring him back home. It would have been an easy mission to accomplish if he didn’t have to take Hestia along with him for her own safety. Away from home and stuck on a ship together, awareness of each other runs high and inhibitions and promises are not heeded and Alex and Hestia cannot deny each other any longer.
What a great adventure it sounded like! And really the storyline and plot had great potential, but Bronwen’s writing style was difficult to get into and didn’t flow well in my opinion. There were lots of anachronistic phrases and words and also many repetitions of inner thoughts of the H/h which I found really jarring. Hestia was too whiny and lovestruck in a childish way and I wasn’t enamoured by her at all. She came across as rather silly to me. Alex is definitely a very very tortured hero who is battling an addiction, but I just couldn’t muster a kinship with him no matter how hard I tried. The addiction was mentioned numerous times which was repeated too much and I felt like it took away from the intensity of Alex’s suffering rather than enhance it. Both Hestia and Alex fighting their feelings for each other was annoying and haphazard, rather than heat filled yearning. I really liked the fact that, Bronwen was brave enough to touch on sensitive topics and it definitely is highly commendable, but sadly it just didn’t do enough for me to not be bored.
*Thank-you Bronwen Evans, Netgalley & Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept for the ARC.