Title: The Raven Saint
Author: M.L. Tyndall
From the back cover:
Grace Westcott has spent her entire life serving God and helping the poor-- not to mention trying to save the souls of her two wayward sisters. But while on an errand of mercy, she is kidnapped by a French mercenary and told she will be sold to a Spanish Don in Columbia.
Determined to hold on to her faith and see God in every situation, she believes she must have been sent to help someone find God's love. But no one will listen to her pleas, warnings, and prayers.
When Grace's situation grows far worse than she could imagine, she is forced to face her own human weaknesses. But she isn't prepared to face her biggest weakness of all--falling in love with the nefarious captain, Rafe Dubois.
Will Grace discover God's purpose for this harrowing journey? And what will she do when she realizes His purpose for her is not to redeem the captain and his crew, but herself?
I'm so glad I got this book and it was my first book of 2010. What a way to start the year! I love MaryLu Tyndall and this series so much, but the saying "saved the best for last" really fit this book well for many reasons. Not the least of which is the dashing mercenary captain, Rafe Dubois. I loved his character. In full disclosure, it didn't hurt that the author let it slip she pictured Rafe looking like Orlando Bloom in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
I ask you, what's not to love? lol
Seriously, this book tackled an issue a lot of Christian fiction doesn't. Sometimes we're the problem. Sometimes we're the ones needing fixing~ for a whole lot of things. Grace isn't a bad person, but she has become more than a little judgmental and it's hurting her relationships with friends and family, and ultimately, it doesn't please God.
How she comes to that revelations and deals with it is both realistic, tender and at times somewhat funny. Add to that a serious and passionate attraction to a man she is certain has to be evil incarnate ~ and poor Grace has quite the journey.
Rafe is a complex character in his own right. He doesn't want to be attracted to Grace any more than she wants him and yet... he can't seem to keep his thoughts from her. She is nothing like he expected her to be. Will he be able to hand her over to the Don knowing she isn't who he thought she was? Plus, just like the rest of the books in the series, there are plenty of other surprises and danger in store for the whole crew.
The romance in this book sizzled like yummy bacon on a Saturday morning. Every character reached out and grabbed your heart in their own way. MaryLu Tyndall captured not only Rafe and Grace, but colorful characters like Father Alers ~ a crewman who had once been a Jesuit but had given up his faith, Thorn ~ Rafe's first mate and a man who seems as out of place on the ship as Grace, but is determined to remain, and who can leave out Spyglass? That's Rafe's cat who becomes more enamored with Grace than Rafe and saves her from trouble.
I hope you'll consider adding this one to your reading wish list; I know you won't be disappointed.