Title : High Seas Stowaway
Author : Amanda McCabe
Line : Harlequin Historicals
Release date : January 2009
S-Factor : Simmering
Balthazar Grattiano, captain of the infamous ship Calypso and renowned seducer of women, has just walked into the one tavern in all of Hispanialo he should have avoided. For Bianca Simonetti, his sworn enemy, is the owner—and she has vengeance on her mind.
But before she can take her revenge she is captured by this rogue's kiss. Her only chance for retribution is to stow away on his ship for a passionate adventure that will either kill them—or bring them together once and for all!
Once upon a time, a young girl of fifteen, Bianca Simonetti, lived in Venice with her fortune-teller and tarot-card reader mother.
Balthazar Grattiano, the son of the powerful and fearsome Ermano Grattino, often waited for his father while Bianca’s mother would tell him who will be his fourth wife.
After a few visits from Ermano and in a single moment, Bianca’s life is changed forever when her mother is murdered and she blames Balthazar for it.
Seven years later in Santo Domingo, Bianca is now older and wiser and she has a new life on the island as a tavern owner. Her life without surprises is under control and she has no plans to change it.
Until the Captain of the Calypso, a man said to be able to navigate his way out of hell itself, appears in her tavern. She recognized him as Balthazar, the man who made her heart beat faster when she was a young girl and she remembers how she had vowed to take revenge her mother.
The more I was drawn in the story, the more I fell in love with Ms. McCabe’s writing. I was with Bianca when she decided to go on with her plans for revenge against Balthazar and I was still with her when she realized that her hate in him might be something else.
Because of her extensive researches on the time period, Ms McCabe was able to grab not only all of my attention, but also all of my senses. She was able to make me see the colors of the sea and of the islands and make me smell the scents of the tavern and of the flowers.
She also beautifully incorpored the sex scenes and the passion in the story, making it a seamsless one.
A tale of revenge, love and passion, High Seas Stowaway is the ultimate love story for pirates lovers.
Hero Hotness Factor: ♥♥♥♥♥
Heroine Lovability Factor: ♥♥♥♥♥
Awww Factor: ♥♥♥♥♥
Stickability Factor: ♥♥♥♥♥
Humor Factor: ♥
Weepy Factor: ♥♥
NOTE : Although HSS is the conclusion of Ms. McCabe Renaissance trilogy (see A Notorious Woman and A Sinful Alliance), HSS can be read as a standalone.