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Publisher's Summary

To escape her cruel stepfather, seamstress Alexandra Cogsworth envisioned sailing far from England…though not as a captive aboard a pirate’s ship.

Pirate captain Nathaniel Kent’s strategy for exacting revenge on his coldhearted father involved taking a valuable hostage…not a seamstress he mistakenly thinks is his half sister. Yet fate has designs of its own, landing them both on board the Royal Vengeance. At sea, Nathaniel intercepts and plunders his father’s ships, all the while tormented by his illicit hunger for the tempting prisoner he thinks is his blood relation. And although Alexandra wants no part in this terrifying voyage, to reveal her true identity to the handsome, blue-eyed Nathaniel would invite danger. Not only would she become worthless cargo, but the revelation would surely unleash what she and Nathaniel have been fiercely battling - a rising undercurrent of impossible desire that could sweep them away for good.

©1999 Brenda Novak (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"An absorbing, fast-paced romance…don’t miss this wonderful debut." (Jo Beverly)
"A passionate romance…exciting…unforgettable." (Amanda Scott)
"Impressive…this novel has all the elements a reader craves: delicious family secrets, high seas adventure, and a passionate love story. Read and enjoy!" (Susan Wiggs)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    78
  • 4 Stars
    62
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    43
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    6
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    12

Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    80
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    56
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    27
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    7
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    9

Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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    66
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    55
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    38
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    8
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    12
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent Subplot! Ho-Hum Love Story! No sex!

What did you like best about Of Noble Birth? What did you like least?

The subplot teasing out Nathaniel's relationship with his birth family and their motivations was well done. There were unexpected twists and characters introduced in that story line, and I could never be certain if the villains were going to remain villains or if they would perform some act of redemption. That kept me listening. Plus, most of the action (battles at sea, knife fights, etc.) was tied to these characters and their relationships.But the love story between Nathaniel the Pirate and Alexandra the Seamstress....it was just so-so and ho-hum for me. I did not feel the Great Burning Passion that one expects from a romance novel. There seemed to be a lot of S/He-Is-So-Sexy-But-How-Can-I-Be-Attracted-To-This-Person-When-Nothing-Can-Ever-Come-Of-It! Angst which was made all the more aggravating by dialogue and plot devices (Alexandra gets to be a damsel in distress in a rather needless plot detour.) that were just awkward and contrived. Also, it is difficult to find that Great Burning Passion in a story that never has the characters getting carried away by their Great Burning Passion. In other words, these two never have sex. There is a bit of fooling around, but ultimately heads must rule over hearts (and other body parts) according to Brenda Novak. That's not what I'm really looking for in a romance novel. I want escapism, not moralism. More on that below!

Would you be willing to try another book from Brenda Novak? Why or why not?

Actually, this is the second book I tried by Brenda Novak. The first one was The Bastard. I don't think I will be buying anything else by this author. It appears to be very important to Ms. Novak that her heroine remains a virgin until her wedding night. The main characters in both Of Noble Birth and The Bastard did not have a sexual relationship. This is odd, considering they are romance novels about the attraction, lust, and passion (and eventually love) between grown men and women. When I'm reading a romance novel, I want the characters to get carried away by their passion for each other, not capitulate to a patriarchal society's demands for an intact hymen on the wedding night. There is enough shaming of women for being sexual IRL as it is; I don't want it as the subtext of the romance novels I read.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes. Alison Larkin gave a fine performance.

Any additional comments?

I bought this book on sale, sacrificing a fancy latte in the budget. It would not have been worth it if I had used a credit or paid full price.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Romance on land and sea!

An enjoyable but non-taxing romance between a seamstress running away from her abusive step-father, and a pirate captain who is seeking revenge against his rather evil father. In a case of mistaken identity, Alexandra is kidnapped by Nathaniel and whisked away to the high seas. While the story was entertaining, I did feel that it went on a bit long (which is odd for me as generally the longer the story is, the better value for money I feel I'm getting). Both main characters seemed to stumble from one disaster to the next in rapid succession before their happily ever after; I was left wondering where on earth they got the energy to continue! Alison Larkin is a brilliant narrator, and has gone on my list of narrators to look out for.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Of Noble Birth

This was an excellent,very well written book with excellent narration. I highly recommend it to be read by all serious readers.

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  • Story

Fine romance.

A romance with a lot of intrigue. Two people that needed each other. Nice ending.

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  • Story

Great

I listened while at work and I must say it was a fast moving, and very entertaining. I loved it.

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Truly Enjoyable!

I recently read Through the Smoke by Brenda Novak and liked it so much that I've been reading several of her books on Kindle or listening to them on Audible. I have truly enjoyed them all. It seems that each one is even better than the last! I highly recommend this one and another I just finished that I guess has 2 titles because it was called Honor Bound on Kindle and The Bastard on Audible. Whatever the title, if you like this book, you'll also love that one!!

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  • LR
  • High Bridge, NJ, United States
  • 08-28-13

Enjoyable read

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this book. There were a few too many trials and tribulations. I would have liked more character development.

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  • Story

Story could have been better written

The story is good but it goes on and on in some places. A good editor would have helped it.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Most annoying and irritating story!!!!!

Would you try another book from Brenda Novak and/or Alison Larkin?

No, with a plot like that NOPE. Every time I listen I get angry and irritated. First time in all my readings and listenings I wanted to kill the heroine. Alexandra is the most annoying, aggravating, stupid and irritating female heroine I've ever read about. Impossible this book was reviewed before publishing. How could someone write a book with a 23-chapter of beating, fighting, bad luck for the main characters, etc... Every read you think it will get better, it got worse. I had to stop listening because every time I listen I got upset. It was chapter and chapter of irritation. I can't finish this book so therefore will avoid this author. Grrrrr......

What could Brenda Novak have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Take out some of the agony, pain and stop making the characters look stupid and foolish.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Alison Larkin?

She could have done a better job. Don't think so!

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No did not love this book and did not see any redeeming qualities.

Any additional comments?

This book has me super UPSET!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful