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Mar 12, 2014

The Ransom by MaryLu Tyndall

The Ransom (The Legacy of the King's Pirates #4) by MaryLu Tyndall
Christian Historical Romance
Published February 27, 2014
Kindle edition $5.99
Review copy provided by the author
Burton Book Review Rating: 4.5 stars

(Read my previous reviews of some of MaryLu Tyndall's books here)

Port Royal, Jamaica 1692
Living in a city deemed the wickedest in the world is no easy task for Miss Juliana Dutton. To make matters worse, with an ailing father and a drunken fool for a brother, she is forced to take over the running of the family business in order to survive. When a meddlesome suitor threatens to discover her secret and cast them all onto the streets, she agrees to a spurious engagement with the town buffoon, Lord Munthrope. She only hopes the man is trustworthy.

Alexander Hyde, son of the infamous Captain Edmund Merrick Hyde, is the most feared pirate in Port Royal. Disillusioned with the religion of his parents and the pleasures of the world, Alex staves off his emptiness by leading a dual life as both the pretentious dandy, Lord Munthrope, and the feared Pirate Earl.

A long-time enemy is out to destroy Alex and take Juliana for his own. Yet could their problems be a Divine hand leading them down a path of escape? Or when an earthquake strikes, will they be doomed with the rest of Port Royal to be swallowed up by the sea?
Even though I have not had the pleasure of reading the previous pirate-themed novels in this series, I was more than eager to review this fourth installment as I had already thoroughly enjoyed some of MaryLu Tyndall's other works. And I was so pleased that I could jump right into the story line and not be confused as this is book number four. Definitely easily read as a stand alone, I am looking forward to reading the previous novels, too! There are some mentions here and there that would refer to those previous events which helped intrigue me about their own stories.

For now, we focus on Alexander Hyde and his disguise as a silly leapin' lord, and on his better days, as a Robin Hood-style Pirate Earl. Yes, that's two identities to our Alexander, but which one is the real Alexander? And are sexy pirates to be trusted? He certainly seems more attractive than the over-the-top eccentric patch-wearing Lord Munthrope! Our leading lady Juliana comes across Munny and then comes across Pirate Earl and then betroths herself to one of them in order to fend off another suitor, but will Juliana fall in love with the wrong persona? She has no choice but to see what lays ahead as circumstances fly far beyond her control as she realizes her good-for-nothing brother is gambling away all the family cash as their father lay dying. She could try and run her father's shipping company, but she has to do it without anyone knowing, since a woman doing anything other than looking pretty is a huge no-no in their fancy Port Royal society.

Alexander wants nothing more but to shed either one of his alter-egos, but he has taken his wicked schemes too far and there is no turning back. He hasn't made a lot of enemies as Lord Munthrope, but he is certainly making no friends as a Pirate. And if Juliana finds out he is behind the looting of her own father's ships, all hope will be lost for both of them.

The novel is action packed and full of adventures both on and off the sea and features well-developed characters. Alexander and Juliana remain true to form throughout and the supporting characters helped create the tension and atmosphere of both frollicking and fear as things start to get serious when Juliana's previous suitor is determined to have her at any cost. I loved the intertwining themes of piracy and redemption, love and grief, and always with Tyndall's works is the undercurrent of spirituality. I recommend this to historical romance lovers who would enjoy a hunky pirate in their midst!