Tuesday, July 1, 2008


At a young age, Mercy Penhall witnessed her mother’s hanging and has not spoken in thirteen years. While sailing from Virginia to Massachusetts, her ship is destroyed by pirates and she is taken captive. Edmund Gramercy, forced by the pirates to be a captain, remains alive only because he knows how to navigate the seas. A compassionate man, Edmund protects Mercy from the other pirates, and is intrigued by her courage. Although attracted to Mercy, he realizes he can never have any sort of life with her due to his criminal background. Mercy has never experienced the feelings she holds for Edmund and would like nothing more than to remain by his side but fears she is not worthy of his love. Edmund helps Mercy escape and, from that point, both endure numerous hardships while longing for one another. Yet fate steps in more than once to bring the two together, only to be torn apart again.

Mary Clayton’s historical romance wraps the reader in an enthralling love story that moves from the high seas to colonial America. Clayton provides vivid detail of the time period with keen insight into the differences between the religious communities, the ongoing political strife, the way women were perceived, and the brutality of a pirate’s life. Characterization is excellent, from Mercy, a brave, mute Puritan who questions her religion and fears she is tainted, to Edmund, a compassionate man forced to live a cruel existence, to John Hanson, the evil Puritan minister intent on exorcising the witch within Mercy. Packed with action and suspense, readers will fall in love with the characters and this excellent love story. Highly recommended.

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