Pirates of Paradise
It is Dartmouth Cove, Nova Scotia, 1853 and Captain Estelle Stonebridge is consumed with revenge against the man that killed her father. Captain Gregory Marshall is lulled to sleep by the fiery-haired valkrie’s magical song when she kidnaps him. Upon waking he finds himself in chains staring at the beautiful Estelle. Estelle is taking him to her Island of Paradise to face trial for a murder he didn’t commit. Attacked by the notorious pirate, Jack Cutlass, and magically appearing in a land they know nothing about, Estelle soon realizes there is more at stake than fighting her arch enemy.
With the unsettling notion that there is something otherworldly manipulating them all, Estelle is torn between taking Gregory with her to Paradise, battling her powerful attraction to him, and fighting the magical curse —Amor Fati—that Cutlass has unleashed on the world. As Estelle and Gregory work together, albeit begrudgingly at first, and are drawn closer to the evil source, the battle intensifies as an evil power takes over minds of many men and eventually Estelle herself. Estelle must use her magical gift to defeat the terrible power that is close to being unleashed on the world, overcome her deep mistrust of men, and realize her powerful love for Gregory
She spat out a mouthful of his hair, gasping as his dead weight pressed down on her chest. Although he was heavy, he wasn’t oppressively so and Estelle wondered at how good the solid pressure of him felt against her own body, how well they fit together, like two halves of a whole. Neither too small nor too large. It was as if his body was made solely for her tall frame.
“Estelle, are you all right?” Claire’s voice was strained as she climbed down the ladder.
Estelle saw her through a blurry red veil. “He’s as bulky as a bullock.”
She managed to squeeze her arm between them and shuffled as best she could in the small craft that threatened to capsize with every movement. She slipped out from under Gregory and maneuvered him so that he was secure in the hull. She sat on the small, rough cut bench seat, breathing heavily and waiting for her heart to resume a normal pace.
Gregory filled the hull almost to capacity. Through the whole episode he hadn’t so much as uttered a sound. A slight frown creased her forehead. She hoped that she hadn’t given him too much of the drug. There was no time to worry about that now, though. With the threat of being found by his crew at any moment, she would need to get to the safety of the Wanderlust, her own ship. She had a fierce crew of fifty women, rescued from the mistreatment of men and all ferociously loyal. Between Claire, Dalia, herself and twenty other women, they’d wrested the Wanderlust from her enemy — the cruel Jack Cutlass.
Estelle slipped into the water and beckoned to Claire to move into the dingy. The freezing sea soaked into her clothes, weighting them down and quickly numbing her skin, but there was no time to waste. They needed to get away. Claire picked up the oars. The craft slid smoothly through the gently swelling water, and soon the pier and Gregory’s ship disappeared into the dark night.
She barely believed that they had actually done the impossible and kidnapped Captain Gregory Marshall. A slow smile spread over Estelle’s face. He was going to repay the debt he owed her family, and she was going to make sure he paid back every last penny with blood. It was going to be entertaining to watch the star of the Royal Navy pay for the heinous crime he had committed and for which he had thus far managed to avoid retribution. But first, she needed to find out exactly what had happened, because there was only one person who really knew what had gone on that night long ago. And that need was the only thing that stood between his life and his dispatch into the afterlife.
"As I have mentioned before, this year for me has been about reading outside my comfort zone. When I was approached with the opportunity to read Paradise Island, I thought this is perfectly outside my comfort zone - pirates, curses, otherworldly powers, you name it. So I grabbed a copy and started to read. I'm really glad that I did.Estelle was this wonderfully strong and proud woman, championing the forgotten and abused and rescuing those sold or stolen into slavery. After the loss of her father and subsequent homelessness, she has made herself a life as protector of a community of those she has saved.She blames this man, Gregory for her father's murder and is determined to bring him to justice. However, she realises soon after capturing him, that all is not as it may seem.Thank you, Ms Ross, for not employing the tried-&-somewhat-tired paranormal instalove. Although an attraction is fairly evident between Estelle and Gregory from early in the story, they don't profess undying love on page 4. Saying that, the romance between Estelle and Gregory develops quickly. In the context of this book, however, and for reasons that become clear later on, the pace with which it moved worked well for me. The sexytimes were never out of place in the story - hot and sensual without being freaky or over-the-top.I won't give a spoiler-ish review, because this book has not yet been released. However, trust me when I say Paradise Island is full of moments of high adventure, sweet romance, vengeance and bad guys getting their butts kicked. It was a lot of fun to read - I got a real Pirates of the Caribbean vibe at times....minus the sozzled cap'n of course!As I understand it, this is the first in a planned series of three books - I'm almost certain I know who will be the focus of the other two stories. I would happily revisit Paradise if this is the case.My rating: 4 out of 5"
"The author put quite a small twist on the usual sailors and pirates with the addition of magic a nice mysterious touch that kept me enthralled, in fact I found all sections of the novel in which such notions were discussed highly captivating because the author had successfully created a sense of curiosity within me, a skill that many fail to achieve through half-hearted or sloppy language. This author has also created quite interesting twists in the plot and main story-line which is -on the whole- quite linear and easy to follow something that I liked; the twists I don't even see coming and the evil character or nemesis of course now a days people like to call them "complex characters" has a beautiful integration and development into the storyline, I was immersed in his every appearance."
"For those who do love romance as a genre I have little doubt that this novel would be an enjoyable read."