by Holly Cook

ISBN: 0-8439-5207-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Leisure Books
Mass Market Paperback

On her sea journey back to England Sabina Gray is being rescued by Myles Dampier. Not only that, he also nurses her back to health. Sabina has got nothing left. She’s lost her father back in Brazil, and the end of her journey will see her seeking work as a governess or living with a distant relative. Myles instead has plenty and he’s willing to provide her with material and social security should she agree to marry him.

A proposal based not only on convenience – he needs a beautiful wife and a mother to his future heir to return to England with - but also on his desire for her. Initially Sabina refuses, not because of his former convict status, but because of his lack of tender feelings. Though, when she realizes her own strong feelings for Myles, she accepts. Sabina is not a victim but a survivor, and as such she is strong and alive, ready to pay him back in kind. Nothing less than rescuing his soul will do.

Myles is a bad boy hero, and what a yummy one, too. He’s dangerous, mysterious and dark, with arrogance to spare. Seductive, especially when showing his tender side and his desire for Sabina. Myles is a man with purpose, a man going after what he wants and what he deems his. A man strong enough to allow an equal by his side. To allow his wife, his lover, to be outspoken, honest and without pretense. Always obvious in a dialogue, which is to the point, no matter if delivered in a sharp, desperate or tender manner.

Reading The Sea Wife, you learn a lot about Sabina and less about Myles, something that goes with a single point of view, the heroine’s. I think I’d have preferred his, in addition to hers. I’m sure it would have lent extra depth to the story. It definitely would have distracted from Sabina’s insecurities, which let her to reading too much into Myles’ “revealed” actions and reasons.

I refused to see Myles in an unfavorable light. I understood his need to return to England as the conquering hero with all the needed trappings. It left me impatient with Sabina, who knew what she was getting into when she agreed to marry Myles. I do like her though, as she refuses to let him succumb to his miserable quest for revenge. Still, I’m glad for the well-placed glimpses of humor, they were very often, very much needed.

The Sea Wife is an intriguing story, darker than my usual reads, but fascinating. For sure a book, that had me emotionally involved. And I’d say alone, for that it’s worth reading. Not bored for a single page I read through this debut release wondering how the characters and their mysteries would be found out and saved in the end. I wasn't disappointed and I will be looking for Holly Cook’s next release.

Reviewed in May 2003 by Kris Alice.

Read more reviews of Holly Cook books.Click Here