5 out of 5 stars
All I can say is WOW!! MaryLu has done it again!! THE RANSOM is swashbuckling, romance and adventure personified.
Juliana Dutton’s life is becoming more complicated by the minute. As her father’s health continues to decline, she secretly runs the family shipping business, hopeful he will recover and life will go back to normal. But that is not to be. As she struggles to continue her charade, her drunken brother is destined to gamble away the family fortune. To keep up appearances, Juliana puts in time at social events but has her hands full deflecting the enamored attention of both Captain Nichols and the outlandish Lord Munthrope. But it is her clash with the notorious Pirate Earl that upends her world.
Grasping at straws to protect her secret, Juliana accepts a proposal from Lord Munthrope in order to keep Captain Nichols at bay. And while she sees her betrothal as nothing but a business proposition, she gets the feeling there is more to the foppish Lord Munthrope than meets the eye. When she has yet another encounter with The Pirate Earl, her senses once again betray her. She hates herself for the attraction she feels towards the rogue, but the protection, help, and care he has shown her, and those she feels responsible for, makes Juliana question if she has lost her ability to distinguish good from evil.
The Pirate Earl, may live by the sword, but his heart belongs to the fair Juliana Dutton. While he positions himself to see to her protection and care, Juliana sees only that he is a Pirate. Though he knows there is no way a lady of Juliana’s character will ever see him as anything more than a renegade, he still does what he can to prove to her he means her no harm and wants only the best for her.
I absolutely loved, loved, loved, THE RANSOM! The chemistry between the characters was so tension-filled and electrifying, I could feel every tenuous moment as if I was there. The wit and sharpness The Pirate Earl had with both tongue and sword made for a suave and captivating hero. And Juliana’s spunk and determination to save not only her family business, but those around her, made her a true heroine.
THE RANSOM is a must read, and easily one of my favorite books to date.