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9780451415400_large_The_Rebel_PirateReviewed by A.D. Cole

“The gold was Spanish, the chest was French, the ship was American, and the captain was dead.” Thus begins the sequence of events that will forever change the lives of James Sparhawk and Sarah Ward.

Sparhawk, a captain in the British Navy, is only doing his job when he captures and boards the Sally and confiscates her cargo. And Sarah Ward is only doing her duty when she points a pistol at his head to prevent her younger brother from being pressed into service. As a result, Sparhawk becomes her prisoner until she can find a way to hide her ship and return him to Boston. Unfortunately, despite her Loyalist sympathies, her actions have now branded her not only a pirate, but a Rebel as well. Unless she can convince Sparhawk to hide her involvement with the French gold and his own abduction.

Unfortunately, Sparhawk’s own reputation is now tarnished. Having lost command of his ship, his competence, if not his loyalty, will be questioned in court. And as Britain and America are on the verge of war, Sparhawk stands to lose not only his position in the Navy, but his ability to complete his very personal quest for revenge. That is, if he doesn’t abandon both for the new-found love of the fiercely courageous Sarah Ward.

James and Sarah race to vindicate themselves while frantically attempting to reunite with one another. But can they achieve their ends without becoming embroiled in a war that neither of them wants? The Rebel Pirate: Renegades of the Revolution is a fast-paced adventure novel with a heavy dose of romance set around a little-known sea skirmish during the outset of the Revolutionary War. Chock full of political intrigue, high pirate adventure, complete with daring escapes and dangerous duels, this is another superb historical adventure by Donna Thorland.

The novel takes place the year before her first novel, The Turncoat, and you will meet some familiar characters. A good portion of the fun in this book was connecting little moments in The Rebel Pirate to what you already know of the Revolution or what is going to happen in The Turncoat. For instance, there is a brief bit of gossip, in one scene, about Mrs. Loring asking after General Howe, to whom she will later become mistress. Then there is the moment when the ship comes in that is carrying Generals Burgoyne, Clinton, and Howe…the three major British players in the Revolution. A scene with Israel Putnam standing fearlessly just out of range of the cannons as the balls go barreling between his feet. And of course the return of Angela Ferrers who plays a significant role in both of Ms. Thorland’s novels.

I am once again impressed from the standpoint of both a lover of romance novels and of historical fiction. This book fits neatly into either category and is definitely a stay-up-all-night read. Though it is part of her Renegades of the Revolution series, it is a stand-alone novel. I highly recommend this one whether you’re looking for an adventure novel, a well-researched historical, or simply a beautiful romance.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

A.D. Cole is a homeschooling mother and aspiring romance novelist. She lives in the Ozark foothills and spends her free time reading, writing, baking and pondering life’s little mysteries.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by NAL. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.