Saturday, February 16, 2013

New Review: Danelle Harmon’s MASTER OF MY DREAMS – Unusual 18th Century Romance with an Irish Heroine

This is part of Harmon’s Heroes of the Sea series (and the first if you’re reading them in chronological order). It begins in Ireland in 1762, but then moves to the British colonies in America (Boston) on the eve of the Revolutionary War in 1775.

It’s the story of Deirdre O’Devir, who as a young girl in Ireland, witnessed an English lieutenant (our hero, Christian Lord) press her brother into service in the British Navy. She vowed she would kill the lieutenant and bring her brother back to Ireland as she swore to her dying mother. Thirteen years later, on her way to Boston to enlist the aid of her cousin who is in the British Navy, she ends up on a ship captained by the same Christian Lord she has vowed to kill.

All that seemed a pretty straight historical setting until I encountered Lord’s crew on the “Hell-Ship.” Captain Lord has been sent out to straighten out a crew right out of McHale’s Navy, who are committed to driving all their captains mad. Among others, there’s a Scot who wears a kilt and plays the bagpipes, and a young woman from Boston, who is hidden away by his men and aspires to be a French whore. She calls herself Delight Foley (as in delight-fully) and her one goal in life is to become the woman of the “Irish Pirate.” In the meantime, she is servicing all the crew. There’s also a marine guard who habitually sleeps at his post, and a spaniel who is having puppies in the captain’s cabin. Not your average British Naval warship and not your classic historical romance.

With all that, there is some great action with a battle at sea. Eventually the story settles into a very well written historical romance that gives us a glimpse of the early days of the Revolutionary War in America with the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the Minutemen. Throughout the story we experience the heroine’s love for her native Ireland. A multifaceted, worthy tale with a bit of fancy.

Heroes of the Sea series:

Captain of My Heart (1992)
Master of My Dreams (1993)
My Lady Pirate (1994)
Taken By Storm (1995)
Wicked at Heart (1996)

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