by Paula Reed

March 2005
ISBN: 0-8217-7725-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

For those that have read Paula Reedís previous historicals, you will remember the character Diego Montoya. The man who saved Faithís lover from his perilous fate, the man who purchased Grace back from a prostitution ring. And last, but certainly not least, the man who had unorthodox conversations and visitations from his patron saint Mary Magdalena. For fans that have long awaited, the time has come. Mary has sent him his woman. Or has she?

Mary Kate is on her way to her betrothed, whom she loathes the idea of without having met the man. Suddenly her ship is attacked by pirates, and she is being kept in one piece only for the promised ransom her betrothed will pay for her untouched. When Diegoís ship overtakes that of the pirates, his honor demands he treat her as a lady and put her under his own protection.

As these two struggle to come to terms with their destiny together, the reader is thoroughly entertained. This story held so many delightful and hilarious moments. The characters become real and the reader enjoys following them, Mary Kate is going to be my own personal heroine favorite for a long, long time. Very strong, she portrays the image of a woman unafraid of her charms yet she also has brains and wit.

Itís a fine line when a woman uses her looks to get her places in life. However, Mary Kate was a delight! She not only knew when to play upon her womanly gifts but when to use her brains and detract suitors or potential harm from coming her way. Her only downfall and this reader must admit it was certainly an entertaining downfall was her mouth. Every time it opened trouble seemed to appear.

I see this story winding up on many keeper shelves. And while youíre making room for one more addition, stock up on the first two books involving these characters because they belong there too. Speaking of the earlier works, the scenes involving the previous characters do not disappoint. I do believe it is a good thing Geoff had already found his mate because he would have had his hands full with a heroine such as Mary Kate.

Reviewed in February 2005 by Katy.

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