Excellent book! As a longtime fan of this author in her alter-ego, Sherrilyn Kenyon, I couldn't wait to read her "other" books if for no reason but to see if they were as good. You wouldn't even know that Sherrilyn Kenyon and Kinley MacGregor are one and the same, but yes, Kinley's books are just as good as Sherrilyn's...they're just written with a very different voice and without the graphic sexual content contained in the Dark Hunter or BAD series.
Lively heroine, good hero, set in colonial South Caroline and the high seas. Southern lady helps her beau, son of a naval commander, to trap a pirate. Pirate has a grudge against the naval dude and takes the lady as hostage to bait a trap. Lots of funny highjinx despite a rather dark history of pirating and childhood trama.
Fun story about two equally stubborn people. Jack is a pirate, bent on revenge against the man responsible for a good friend's death. He has the reputation of a ruthless pirate and an expert seducer of women. Lorelei is the belle of Charleston and recently engaged to her childhood friend and crush, Justin Wallingford.
The story opens with Lorelei bragging to her friends about her ability to charm any man and to get her way in anything she wants. At the same time, Jack has arrived in disguise, looking for information to further his plans for revenge. Lorelei catches his eye, and he asks her to dance. For a few moments, the sparks fly between them, leaving Lorelei attracted and confused before Jack disappears.
The next night Justin has succeeded in getting Lorelei to help him with his plans to set a trap for Jack, with Lorelei playing the part of a barmaid in a waterfront tavern. I was disgusted with Justin at this point. What man willingly puts the woman he supposedly loves in that kind of danger? Worse, he doesn't believe her at first when she identifies the man. I rather enjoyed Jack's spur-of-the-moment decision to take Lorelei hostage and carry her back to the ship. He told himself it was to ensure that the senior Wallingford followed, but there was definitely a personal interest there too. Lorelei is furious and more than a little scared - she's heard the stories about what Jack is capable of.
I really enjoyed the development of Jack and Lori's relationship. The sparks between them were strong from the beginning, as was the connection. I loved seeing Lori stand up to him, even when she was scared. It was pretty funny to see him get all offended when she accused him of planning to rape her. That was just the first of the things that soon had Lori realizing that there was more to Jack than his reputation.
Jack is also known for his reputation with women, and he is determined to get Lori into his bed. He makes it clear that that is all he wants - he makes no promises and doesn't believe in love. Lori is determined to resist and makes a bet with Jack that she can have him on his knees declaring his love before he can get her into bed. What neither realizes at the time is that they are both in danger of losing their hearts. There are some very terrific scenes of the two of them together, getting to know each other. Jack finds himself wanting to do little things to make her happy and comfortable, though the idea of a pirate ship stocked with fancy linens and furniture was a bit hard to believe. I also loved the scene where Lori stumbled onto Jack when he was asleep, with only the essentials covered up. Her fascination led her to try to recreate what she saw in a sketch, and a hilarious attempt to complete the picture. I enjoyed seeing them grow closer, neither one wanting to admit that their feelings were involved. The question became, what would happen when the Wallingfords and the English navy caught up with them. The ending was quite satisfying, with a couple of unexpected twists.
I also enjoyed the secondary characters. Jack's son Kit was pretty adorable in his mix of boy and young man. I loved the way that he worshipped Jack, which was a good indication of Jack's true character. I also loved the other members of the crew, from the truly salty pirates to the men like Henri and Tarik. It was also unusual to see so many women on a pirate ship, and I liked the way they made Lori a part of their group so easily.
The whole revenge theme was interesting. I could see Jack's determination because of what was done to his foster father/mentor. But it was also clear that there was more to it than that. It didn't take too long to suspect the other cause, and I wondered how that was going to play out. I must admit that I found Admiral Wallingford to be less admirable than I had hoped, but he did redeem himself somewhat at the end.
This is my first book by this author and I'll definitely be reading more by her! It was a very entertaining story with a predictable ending but the ending had a nice little twist to it. However, I did feel that one of the character's "misdeeds" was not addressed but overlooked in order to tie up the story hence making the ending somewhat hard to swallow. But all in all I enjoyed the book!
All lovely Lorelei Dupree had in mind was helping her fiance and the city of Charleston by setting a trap for the infamouse pirate Black Jack Rhys. She certainly never intended to let him kidnpa her. And she most definitely had no intention of losing her heart to a man so skilled in the arts of love that they called him the master of seduction.
Black Jack Rhys had a score to settle with an old enemy. Kidnapping his adversary's fiancee seemed like the perfect answer. But the man who'd won the hearts of a thousand woman hadn't counted on falling in love himself...