After reading Barbarous, I feel as though I need a cup of tea and a lie down. It’s an absolutely rollicking adventure of a historical romance, complete with dastardly relatives, pirates, old blood feuds, desperate secrets and more excitement than any gently bred English lady would have been able to cope with in the early 19th century without taking to her bed in a fit of the vapours.
Our heroine Daphne is a widow with a secret - her twin sons didn’t belong to her husband, but were sired by said dastardly relative. When her husband’s legitimate heir turned up after being thought dead for twenty years, the guilt of stealing his rightful inheritance for her son almost eats her alive.
Hugh, the said heir, hasn’t been idle in his absence. After an appalling period as a slave to corsairs, he turned the tables and escaped, becoming a pirate and then privateer - THE privateer, in fact, the most notorious in England. He’s only returned because of mysterious notes warning his uncle’s widow and children are in serious danger.
He didn’t expect Daphne to be so young, so beautiful and so incredibly enticing. Before he knows it, he’s seriously considering giving up his privateering ways.
But both of them have enemies, and that’s where Barbarous really shines; all the seeds are planted into the first two-thirds of the book for an absolutely explosive confrontation which conclusion left me feeling almost drained.
If you like your historicals with a hearty dose of adventure, you’re going to adore this. You’ll definitely fall in love with Martín, the Creole second mate with the face of a rogue angel, and be as delighted as I was to find out that Martín is getting his own book in Scandalous, next in the series.
Even though this isn’t first in the series, I wouldn’t have known it. Hugh and Daphne are an arresting pair who will hold your whole attention (whenever Martín isn’t around, of course!). Five stars for a thrilling read which made a dull afternoon pass very fast indeed!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.