Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Book Review - The Jezebel's Daughter

Juliet MacLeod
Historical Fiction/Historical Romance
1700's Golden Age of Piracy

Loreley Jones and her family are sailing from England to start a new life in the Caribbean when their ship runs into a massive storm. Being the only one small enough to fit through a porthole, Loreley saved from the sinking ship, but is swept away as she clings to flotsam while the rest of her family are lost at sea. Loreley's life goes from bad to worse when, upon being washed up on shore, she is taken by brigands to be sold to the local brothel.

As Loreley from an aristocratic family and both young and beautiful, her virginity is auctioned off at a high price to a cruel captain who bids not only for her first night, but to have her as his possession that no other patrons may touch. Loreley's time in the brothel is not all bad, she makes a beautiful connection to a slave woman who looks after her like a daughter. Still mourning the death of her family and old life, Tansy's love and affection toward Loreley is both needed and returned.

Life once again changes for Loreley, she is able to leave her prison after some time there, but instead of going back to her beloved England, she becomes (transforming herself into a boy) part of the crew of a pirate ship and falls deeply in love.

The book is a beautiful depiction of life on the high seas in the Golden Age of piracy, but is well researched and more than a little myth-destroying. I'll not touch on the rest of the book as it will give too much away, but I enjoyed reading every page. It is a romance – there are detailed sex scenes and some rape scenes at the beginning that may make some readers uncomfortable, but I feel the author wrote as both her genre and the story needed to make the narration real and lead the book forward. The vivid description of island Voodoo was excellent, as was the detailed and believable characters that I immediately identified with. My favourite was Tansy by far, though Ben takes a close second. This book will sweep you away into another time and place and leave you both satisfied and more than a little tear stained.

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