Saturday, 25 February 2012

A Kiss in the Wind by Jennifer Bray-Weber

I received this book courtesy of the publishers from NetGalley.

Every so often, I like a bit of pirate action. I mean, I love Cap’n Jack Sparrow! Pirates give the author a lot of room to write a hero with both good and bad tendencies as well as a heroine caught up in what is essentially a man’s world (There’s a woman on board – it’s a curse!).I’m also on a bit of a romance kick. It must be because it’s February! So, pirates? Check. Romance? Check. Sounds good!

Title: A Kiss in the Wind
Author: Jennifer Bray-Weber
Publisher: Carina Press
Target Audience: Adult
Pages: ebook – approx. 80k words
PoV: 3rd person
Tense: past tense

Story: Marisol Castellan is in trouble-again. Against her pirate father's orders, she snuck off their ship to intercept a message meant for a rival captain, one that offers a clue to the whereabouts of her estranged brother Monte.

Pirate captain Blade Tyburn is not pleased to find the letter he's been waiting for is missing. He's even less pleased when he discovers the thief is a raven-haired beauty who bewitches his senses and muddles his thinking. The note gives the location of a silver-laden ship that'll make his fortune; Blade must find it, and if that means bringing Marisol along on the voyage, so be it.

Marisol believes Monte sails on the very ship Blade is to meet and strikes a deal with the handsome rogue. If he will give her passage to her brother, she will give him the exact location he needs. And both will get more than they expected…

(from NetGalley)

Thoughts and impressions: Ever since their father, a pirate captain, left her younger brother, Monte, behind to die in one of their failed excursions, Marisol has been on a mission to find him again. She’s convinced that he’s still out there somewhere and she’s determined to get to him no matter what obstacles are put in her way. So when she overhears whispers that her brother is a crew member on a merchant vessel, she tries to convince her father to go after him. He doesn’t seem all that interested, though, so she is forced to find another way of getting to the Gloria. That other way presents itself in the form of Captain Blade Tyburn.

During their first encounter she pickpockets something of his. Something of great importance to him. He’s determined to get it back at whatever cost and that cost would appear to be taking Marisol with him to intercept the Gloria. What she doesn’t know is that he’s been commissioned to protect the Gloria and her shipment of silver. Not that that would matter, all that matters to her is getting Monte back.

I admire Marisol’s determination to reunite her family. Despite her years on the sea, family is still everything to her. I wish Luc, her older brother, had had more of a role in the story or that more time had been spent on the implications of the reveal for his death. I suppose that it could be argued that at that point Marisol is drifting on a wave of dawning horror that numbs everything inside her, but it is rather glossed over due to the other reveal taking place at the same time. I liked Marisol’s spunk and how she’d stand up for herself as a woman caught up in a man’s world. She was a fun character to read about.

I’d kind of pegged what was going to go down as of fairly early on. The story did take twists and turns that I’d not expected but it did end up where I’d known it would. I have to admit that I feel it would have been more poignant on the whole if Marisol had been the one to finally take action, but no matter.

Other than Marisol’s quest to find her brother, the novel also focuses on Blade’s unconscious quest for redemption. I say unconscious because he wasn’t really on a quest for redemption but he was blaming himself for actions in his past. I was more on the fence with Blade than with Marisol. I liked him but at the same time he was just a bit too sex-minded. In fact, in the first few chapters, the novel on the whole is a bit too lusty for my tastes. I don’t mind a bit of “cor blimey, I’d do that!” but when it’s repeated over and over it gets a bit much. I understand that there’s mutual attraction there, I don’t really need it to be repeated that he’d like her squirming naked beneath him and she wants him despite her knowledge of his character.

Also, Blade’s jealousy when he sees Marisol interacting with her father, believing him to be her lover rather than her parent, was cute even though at that point he wasn’t ready to admit to feelings for her beyond his normal lusty feelings for females. Actually, their whole relationship is pretty unhealthy for almost the entire story. Of course, this also ensures that it makes for good reading.

The descriptions of life on the sea were some of the highlights of this novel. The author caught the atmosphere well, though I’m surprised that there weren’t more people suffering from seasickness at one point or another.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story. It was a light easy read that insisted that I read it rather than doing the various other things I meant to do that evening.

Style: Been to the school of Yoda-speak this author has. There are genuinely sentences with that sort of structure in this story. I don’t know what possessed the author to write like that. The English language does not really allow for the object to be placed at the start of the clause. These sentences weren’t all over the place but there were enough of them for it to start to bug me.

Final verdict: I enjoyed my evening spent with this book. I look forward to returning to the author’s pirate world in the future! 4 stars

Extra notes: Some bad language. Sex is present.


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