Jove, Sep 2001, 5.99, 343 pp.
In 1691 Captain Marcus Ryan Drake follows in the footsteps of his father and brother by looting Spanish ships sailing the Caribbean. Surprisingly, though the sea is in his blood, Marcus hates the water and dreams of becoming a planter. However, before he can fulfill his desires, Marcus must discharge an obligation by destroying El Condor, the man who killed his brother.
Though captured by the Spaniards, a storm enables Marcus to take control of their vessel. On board is Maria Liandra Ramirez and after initial squabbles, the pair begins to fall in love. Unbeknownst to her, his mortal enemy is her brother and unbeknownst to him his cherished Maria is the sister of El Condor.
NIGHT SHADOW is an exciting pirate romance that centers on the dilemma confronting the hero between family loyalty and honor vs. love. Though the use of the storm to wipe out the Spanish leadership on board seems stretched (Spanish Armada or not), the story line is crisp, fast-paced, and loaded with action and battle between the genders. The lead characters make the tale and add to the growing reputation of Laura Renken amidst the pirate romance sub-genre crew (see MY LORD PIRATE).
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner