Gilly is on the run from the man who murdered her lover. To get away, she hides aboard a ship. Her escape plan might have worked if the vessel hadn't crashed into a reef. Thankfully, the dashing pirate Thayer Drake saves her before she can drown.
Drake is hard man... a true pirate. He thinks nothing of grounding other ships to rob them of their cargo. He looks out for Number One and he's good at it. So when Gilly comes aboard, he tells her she must earn her keep by entertaining him. Fortunately, she is an accomplished singer and he quickly becomes enamored of her talents.
Gilly is attracted to Drake, but she is a woman with many secrets. She lies about why she is running and who she's running from. And she tells no one of her of her serious addiction to laudanum. Gilly is still mourning the death of her lost love, so she fights her growing feelings for the sexy sea captain. It's a losing battle, though. The more time she spends in his company, the harder she falls. Likewise, he falls for her too. But for their own reasons, each pushes the other away.
Their feelings become impossible to deny once the danger really kicks in. Between the man hunting Gilly and a villain from Drake's past, their lives are in real jeopardy. It's with the action and danger in the second half that the book picks up steam. While this is definitely a romance, it's a little bit of a slow build and not very heavy in bedroom action.
The characters are interesting. I like that we've got a heroine who is not a bright and shiny virgin. She has made bad choices in her past and she still struggles with addiction. Drake has an addiction of his own, drowning himself in rum every night. The events in his past that shaped him are slowly revealed --which really helps flesh out who he is as a man and makes him much more sympathetic.
The story is the third in the Romancing the Pirate series. It has some overlapping characters, but works easily as a standalone book. I liked it well enough, but it didn't invoke any strong feelings.
Rating: C*ARC Provided by NetGalley