Lord of the Privateers

Written by Stephanie Laurens
Review by Val Adolph

The year is 1824, and Royd Frobisher, the Lord of the Privateers, has been summoned from Aberdeen by the English spymaster to undertake a rescue mission in Africa. Insisting on going along with him on the long voyage is Isobel Carmichael, whose cousin is among the hostages to be rescued. Royd and Isobel had been handfasted eight years ago and expected to marry, but Royd had left on a mission without word to her, and she had borne his son alone.

Despite the tension between them, Isobel contrives to accompany Royd not only on the voyage, but also on the rescue mission to a diamond mine in the African jungle. Successful after dangerous fighting, they return to London still needing to discover the instigators of the hostage-taking. Together they devise a strategy to entrap them.

This is not a typical swashbuckling romance. The meticulous detail about life aboard a sailing ship, strategies when attacking a strongly defended encampment, and social life in late Georgian London all lift it out of the usual. The care taken to explore the deeper aspects of developing a loving relationship also contributes to make this an unusually interesting novel of romance and adventure.