Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New Review: Danelle Harmon’s CAPTAIN of MY HEART – An Unusual Tale of American Privateers in the Revolutionary War

This is part of Harmon’s Heroes of the Sea series and chronologically follows MASTER of MY DREAMS. It begins in 1775 on the eve of the War of Independence. Brendan Merrick, just promoted to Flag Captain in the Royal Navy, is shot, the victim of a fellow officer’s jealousy. Three years later, in 1778, the half Irish naval architect and rising young officer has defected to the American side to become a privateer, taking his former crew with him.

Brendan is on his way to Ashton Shipyard in Newburyport, Massachusetts to have a schooner built for him when an encounter with his former nemesis leaves him thrust overboard again, but this time he is rescued by the shipbuilder’s son, Matthew Ashton. Exhausted after a night spent in open water, Brendan meets Matt’s sister, Mira Ashton, dressed in mud-soaked boy’s clothes and carrying one of her many rescued cats.

Brendan is a bit like the absent minded professor when it comes to being a ship’s captain, brilliant but distracted by plans for his ship going through his head. Still, his crew loves him and he is a worthy strategist in battle. Mira is instantly taken with him as he is with her. To observe his prowess as a captain, Mira disguises herself as a boy and steals onto his ship as a gunner. His crew, loving the jest, aids her deceit.

Harmon has certainly done her homework when it comes to ships of the era, though you might have to look up a few nautical terms as there are dozens you will not be familiar with sprinkled throughout. Her characters are richly drawn. She is wonderfully gifted with words and describes the action scenes beautifully. As with MASTER OF MY DREAMS, there is humor and whimsy here making it a less serious, though nevertheless enjoyable, historical romance. I did find Mira’s hatred of Brendan when he returned home without her brother a bit over the top and somewhat inconsistent with the heroine’s character but those things happen, I suppose, as an author searches for a “black moment.”

If you love an unusual privateer romance, I recommend it.

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)


  1. Thank you so much, Regan, for your review of Captain Of My Heart; as authors, we all have our "favorites," and this one, with its quirky cast of characters and it setting near my hometown, has always been one of mine. I'm pleased that you enjoyed it, and grateful for the review! Thank you!

    1. I love knowing an author's favorite of her romance novels!

  2. Nice review Regan! I discovered Danelle Harmon's books several years ago and she has become one of my favorite authors, as her writing has the depth of emotion I love in a romance novel. Wicked at Heart Remains my favorite, although Master of My Dreams and her DeMontforte Bros. books are wonderful. Tweeted

    1. Thanks, Nancy, for letting me know your favorite! I'll add it to my "to read" list!

  3. <> ... thank you Nancy!