A Secret Identity
When pirates storm Viscount Steven Ashford's ship upon the high seas, it brings him closer than ever to the nefarious criminal he seeks to ruin. Only one seductive detail threatens his victory: the scandalous beauty imprisoned with him, Lady Valerie Monroe. Temptation has never been so intoxicating or so forbidden, for Steven is disguised as a French priest. If they make it off the ship alive, to protect her from his enemies he must never see her again . . .
An Undeniable Love
Back in England, and under the ton's scrutiny for a reckless past she hasn't escaped, Valerie dreams of the breathtaking "man of the cloth" with whom she shared her greatest adventure. Then he reappears in society under his true identity, Viscount Ashford, but, despite the danger, their consuming passion cannot be denied. Now standing in the way of their desire are Valerie's wounded heart, Steven's lone destiny, and a villain who will stop at nothing to crush them both.
What a cool story this was. So unique – that’s what I love about Katharine Ashe’s books is that they are really like no other. This book is almost two completely different books. The first part is about the pirate ship takeover and the tortuous situation that Steven and Valerie find themselves in and the second part is back in England where Valerie is still Valerie, but Steven is a completely different person.
The conflict they face on the ship in the first part is tortuous because the Captain, a crazy one of course, wants to break Steven, the priest, by putting him and Valerie in situations where he may be forced to take her virtue. The tension in these scenes is palpable. I did not see the resolution to this conflict coming. The ideal would have been that Valerie and Steven continue on with the tension from there, but the book picks up in England where they are reunited but Steven is a complete ass. Valerie’s so confused, as are the readers, but we understand that he is trying to protect Valerie until he can ensure the danger he is facing is gone. Hard core though this is, the reader must suffer through what Valerie feels and I tell you, I, as the reader, did! Rewards are always sweeter when earning them was tough and I, the reader, was well rewarded.
I highly recommend Katherine Ashe in general – she is an extremely talented writer – and I recommend this book. Did I mention this is her debut? Amazing talent! I’m onto the second one in the Rogues of the Sea series, Captured by a Rogue Lord, and I’m excited. While sad to see Steven and Valerie go, I am assured they appear in the next book, so I look forward to it.