Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The Raven Saint by MaryLu Tyndall
This is the third book of Mary Lu’s Charles Town Belles series. It features a whole different sort of heroine. Grace Westcott is as uptight and prudish as Hope was flighty and sin-ridden and Faith was proud and driven. What a study in contrasts. And as you may imagine, Grace has much to learn in order to overcome her judgmental and legalistic attitude if she is ever going to come to grips with her feelings for the roguish pirate with a heart of gold, Rafe Dubois.
The story opens as Rafe kidnaps Grace in order to sell her to a Spanish don in the Caribbean. Although we quickly come to suspect that Rafe may have some worthy motives hidden behind his abominable actions, Hope has no way of knowing this. The hero and heroine prove an entertaining and often comical contrast. As for Grace, she does her best to find God’s plan in this terrifying situation, and strives to evangelize the pirates around her, but her methods leave much to be desired. All this occurs in the first few chapters and sets the stage for a rollicking adventure.
As usual, MaryLu provides great characters, stunning backdrops, comedy, heart-stopping romance, and plenty of excitement along with strong spiritual messages. For this book she also offers a fun cast of minor characters including Nicole, the charitable prostitute, Father Alers, the backslidden pirate priest, and Annette, a mixed-race slave girl. Annette especially caught my attention. She is bitter from being rejected by both the whites and blacks. For this reason, she delves into ancient ritualistic religion, bringing an interesting dark spiritual contrast to this otherwise light and uplifting book and supplying unexpected scope and depth. I applaud MaryLu for tackling some tough subjects, as Grace is challenged at every turn to examine her motives, her heart, and the nature of true Christianity.
This book concludes the Charleston Belles series with a rousing happily-ever-after and the reunion of the seafaring sisters. If you love romance, history, and pirates, you simply must read it!
To see my review of Blue Enchantress go to: http://awesomeinspirationals.blogspot.com/2009/08/blue-enchantress-review.html