Monday, July 2, 2012

Review: Honor Bound by Brenda Novak

Title: Honor Bound (galley title The Bastard)
Author: Brenda Novak
Rating: 5/5

Summary:  Set in 1794, Jeanette the daughter of a family dispossessed French aristocracy has been married off to regain a bit of wealth for her family, however, her husband is impotent and has made plans to compromise her in the most heinous way in his quest for an heir.  Intent on escaping this fate she flees and disguises herself as a boy to stow away on a ship in Her Magesty’s navy. In the same time, Lieutenant Crawford Treynor, the bastard son of a wayward marquise had been raised by a famer and maltreated until he ran away to join the navy.  Now, he seeks to captain his own ship, however the presence of Jeanette has him in a quandary.  What shall he do? Turn her over or risk everything to save her?

Review: Brenda Novak has spun a stirring tale of intrigue, romance and absolute wonder.  The relationship between Jeanette and Treynor is almost entirely typical of all romance novels. However, this story is action packed and absolutely stunning in its imagery. 

Jeanette has been married off out of obligation to her family, and having survived France’s Revolution, her family, a member of the dispossessed aristocracy, she is now in England.  Still bearing their title, but they are impoverished, Jeanette is determined to relieve the hardships plaguing her family in her marriage to Lord St. Ives.  However, there is a hitch in the plan that is over heard by her brother, and causes Jeanette to flee the home of her husband and attempting to get into London where her influential cousin resides. 

Lieutenant Crawford Treynor is the bastard son of Lady Bedford, and was raised by a famer who mistreated him and such mistreatment caused him to run away at the age of fourteen and join the Royal Navy.  He moved quickly through the ranks from cabin boy to lieutenant, his life had not been easy, but he is a man of honor and has earned the respect of his men.  It is while The Tempest is moored in Plymoth that Jeanette learns that it will be sailing for London, she disguises herself as a thirteen-year-old boy and signs on as one of the crew. 

Two days on a ship to London is easier and a quicker way to travel than any other right?

Extensive background of naval sailing ships of the late 18th century and lots of historical detail woven into the story made this a very entertaining historical romance, though not entirely certain as to the accuracy of the events but it reads quite realisitically, and the love story is wonderful.

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