Never Trust a Pirate by Valerie Bowman
Series: The Playful Brides, #7
Released: May 2, 2017
St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Reviewed by Sheena
A rumored pirate and the scurrilous black sheep of his well-to- do family, Cade Cavendish relishes his world of rebellion, deception, and seduction. Nothing and no one can hold him to be the duty-bound, honorable man he is expected to be. But when an unexpected run-in at his twin brother’s estate with a ravishing, raven-haired maid leads her to believe he’s actually a viscount, Cade’s renegade life is thrown wildly off-kilter. And even though a case of mistaken identity can be quickly set to rights, matters of the heart are quite different…
Favorite Quote: “How about a proposition?”“
A proposition? I love the sound of that. Cade seemed intent upon trying to get her foxed. He deserved it, really. Danielle nodded and gave Cade a catlike grin. “If you can out drink me, I’ll go to bed with you tonight.”
Never Trust a Pirate is the much anticipated return to the Playful Brides series by Valerie Bowman. These sexy, and fun historical romances feature clever, ambitious heroines and unlikely heroes. The novels share a common Girl Power! thread that is makes it more than exciting to cheer for these amazing women as they find themselves and fall in love with men who cross all walks of life. The humor is the main attraction, but there is no lack of sexual tension that makes each novel its own little power keg!
There is a mystery afoot and everyone is a spy or beholden to a spy network of some sort! Right away we are thrust into a shadowy world of crime and suspicion surrounding the illusive Black Fox thief! (Who IS Black Fox! – the mystery and stealth propels the plot forward at 110 mph and Cade Cavendish is just the man to uncover the dark plot! Twin to his titled brother, he makes his own way, shirking any necessary responsibility yet his own secrets have come home to roost and he must solve the mystery as well to save not only his face but his head!
He can’t do it alone and has met his match in Danielle LaCrosse. Crossing paths in a hysterical twist of events, they are thrown together (neither truly minding) and almost immediately fall into the push-pull game of battling wits and one-upmanship while each guarding their hearts- and secrets! Cade is a womanizing rake of a man, rolling from pillar to post, having his high time with the nearest light skirt he can get his hands on. He lacks traditional ambition and if you aren’t careful, you believe his rakish characterization- at times he was written a little too well and I wanted to throttle his pompous little neck only seeing him through Danielle’s eyes provided a sharp and valuable filter, easily revealing his true self. Yes, he is still a free-spirited man who enjoys his vices, but much of his reputation is a front to keep people at a distance.
But Danielle will be having none of that! She is independent and witty and can drink a man under the table. Whats not to love! Her back story is best experienced first hand, but it isn’t too spoilery to share she ha been cheated out of much in life. Her father has past and her mother is ill. She is working as a lady’s maid, and didn’t even get to have her own proper coming out season (cue the gasps by the ton!). Life has not been filled with many comforts and she seizes every opportunity to support herself and make something of her life. Danielle is purely a shining character. She reminds me a lot of Kiera Knightly in Pirates of the Caribbean! I laughed at her, like nearly blackening my eye from rampant giggling- losing my grip on my book as I read in the bed (ouch). She levels men twice her size with an arch of her brow and trick up her sleeve.
Never Trust a Pirate is full of intrigue, but it does not take itself too seriously nor does it get bogged down in unnecessary details. There is no slow build up that is a hallmark of historicals. Things take off from the first page and many little intricacies are uncovered secret, by secret until you are invested on several levels- one of the most interesting being the mating dance like sensual tension Danielle and Cade feed into. I was wound tighter than a coiled spring waiting for them to fall into one another’s…arms.
He wanted her so badly he couldn’t see straight. His entire body shook with pent-up longing. He’d never experienced anything like it. His intense desire to make her happy. His overwhelming need to ensure she took her pleasure first. His body thrummed with unreleased passion. He forced himself to count to ten, hovering above her, his arms braced against the mattress on either side of her body. His lowered his mouth to hers and kissed her with all the pent-up desire he felt for her.
Never Trust a Pirate is light, fun and can be read in enjoyable morsels or devoured all at once. One event leads to another on their journey- a plot that goes from a very narrow scope and pulls back into a large picture, by George, I think she’s got it! sort off revelation. The one area that tripped me up is the use- or overuse of french terms. Sometimes it grew distracting in a way I wish it hadn’t. However, if you skip over the areas where is feels like “c’mon, alright already” it won’t take away from the overall appeal. I settled for just making up my own ideas base don context clues what the french stuff was getting at. Smooth sailing since then.
I can’t say enough good things about this series. Each novel is a different kind of woman with her own spark and humor. I love that the women from the previous novels make cameos and pull together to help their newest series sister. The novels each stand alone brilliantly, however, are all immensely enjoyable, never mundane, never recycling the same theme. So easy to read and fall in love with. Most certainly a series I am committed to until the end!