I am searching desperately for a historical romance I read used in 1990, and it's stumping the experts! I'm not sure how old it is, but I suspect late 80's.

It was one of my favorite books, and I can no longer recall title or author. If it strikes a chord with you, please let me know. I am desperate, it is upsetting me that I can't recall.

Cover: hero had short black hair, heroine blond/light brown.

Female orphaned passenger on a ship, and a captured privateer/ pirate captain imprisoned below. She is extremely shy and can't communicate well (handicapped by it) . He is bound for trial and a noose.

 

She is standing in front of his tiny prison window, and takes off her shoes because her feet hurt. He swipes them, and forces her promise to bring him extra food and talk to him. They become friends, although they can't see each other. He has no idea she has a speech problem, because she's speaking clearly as she can't see him.

One of the first mates catches her talking to the prisoner, and tries to rape her because she's too shy to talk to anyone so he's jealous, and to antagonize the prisoner, an infamous enemy of England. The hero grabs his leg, pulls it through the bars, and breaks it.

A typhoon/ monsoon is coming. Heroes crew overtakes them beginning of the storm, and they free their imprisoned captain. The captain of the passenger/ transport ship refuses to listen to their advice, so the privateers/pirates offer the passengers a chance to escape with them, as its clear their all going to die where they are. The heroine won't go, so the privateer/pirate kidnaps her. Her four ship roommates trust their instincts and decide to go as well, but two die during the storm.

They make it as far as a deserted island, before the pirate/privateer ship sinks, stranding them all. Hero and heroine fall in love, but he is too dominant and runs over her all the time, as she's resorted back to her speech problem. First chance she gets off the island, she abandons him. Later she finds out she's pregnant, and marries a gay doctor who needs a wife to protect his reputation. They live in England.

Hero comes after her when he finds out about the baby, forces an annulment, takes her and the gay doctor (his practice was ruined in england i think) back with him. America, I guess? He doesn't forgive her though, for a long time.

Hero has a saint bernard named Beau, that was on the island with them.

I think heroines name may have been christine or christiana. At one point on the island she was attacked by a crocodile/ alligator.

Imagine the POLITICALLY UNCORRECT version of SURVIVOR! LOL. With all the details and struggles they don't show you on t.v.