Synopsis: Zephyr Ponsley has travelled across Europe with her botanist father since she was fifteen. Now, years later, they are to tour Australia and other islands of the Pacific on a naval ship captained by Bradshaw Carroway. As unhappy as Shaw is about his latest assignment, he is further aggravated when he must also take a group of British peerage who’s previous ship ran into trouble and left them stranded. Between dealing with Sir Joseph Ponsley’s disregard of anything that isn’t scientific, the aristocrats’ disdain of all things not of the ton, and his own growing attraction for Zephyr, Shaw begins to realize that fighting pirates and shooting at things isn’t the only adventure a seafaring man can have.
Author: Suzanne Enoch, at one time, wanted to be a zoologist in Africa but decided against it when she learned how many poisonous snakes she might come across. She then decided to become a bestselling author, writing both historical and contemporary novels.
Publisher: This book is produced by Avon, which is an imprint of HarperCollins. I must say that I have a great many historicals bearing this brand because I find they provide among the best regencies available on the market.
Plot: As a favour to a neighbouring Duke, Shaw agrees to fulfil a promise by taking an item to Tahiti while embarking on his latest naval assignment. But before he can complete the task, he has to take a botanist to many islands to collect samples. Sir Joseph has a habit of wandering off and the British nobles have a tendency of angering the locals, added to that is weathering horrendous storms and dastardly Frenchmen all of which delay Shaw’s errand.
Pace: There is hardly a moment when something isn’t happening. There are sea battles and warring natives, cannibals and peerage, tramping through jungles and shipboard balls, kidnapping attempts and attempted assassinations, life-threatening storms and talking parrots. During all of this, Shaw and Zephyr are falling in love.
Romance: Take one seemingly blood-thirsty naval captain and add one scientific-minded botany assistant and throw them together on a ship for a couple of months. Sparks fly not only between disparaging temperaments, but also those of attraction. Captain Shaw doesn’t play by the rules and Zephyr doesn’t know them, which makes for a rather interesting courtship.
Quote: “Did I shoot your dog or something? You’re quite unpleasant,” Bradshaw commented, finding himself rather amused. “I’m attempting to determine whether you speak to everyone you’ve just met in the same manner, or if I’ve been singled out for special treatment.”
The Verdict: I loved this book and didn’t want to put it down, reading well into the night in attempt to finish it.