The story begins with an introduction to the herione, Celia Vallerand, as she is currently embarking on the voyage from France to New Orleans with her newlywed husband. She is a innocent and sheltered young woman, who has yet to even spend a wedding night with her husband, who is patiently waiting for her to be comfortable with him. But without warning, their ship is attacked by pirates and everyone is killed with the exception of Celia who is taken prisoner as a gift for a lecherous and foul pirate named Legare. En route to her fate with said pirate, the hero Justin, known as the "Griffin" on the open seas, learns that she is the wife of Phillippe Vallerand and rescues her with the intention to take her to her late husband's family. During the voyage to New Orleans, Justin finds himself overwhelming drawn to Celia and quickly develops a very protective attitude towards her, as Celia herself struggles to deny any feelings she seems to have found for Justin. On the last leg of their journey, Justin succumbs to weakness and seduces Celia, unknowningly (until it was too late) taking her virginity. They arrive at their destination, a large plantation in New Orleans, with Justin and Celia both feeling guilt over the events that had transpired on their journey. Upon arrival, Celia learns why Justin had been so eager to help her--he is the twin brother of her late husband!
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Justin, whose pirate adventures had branded him an outlaw, quickly departs before word spreads of his arrival and Celia finally is able to grieve over the loss of her husband, now that she is alongside his family. Due to Justin's impromtu rescue of Celia, he becomes an enemy amoungst pirates (specifically the Legare family) and the law, and it isn't long before Justin reappears at the Vallerand Plantation with near fatal wounds. As Justin balances on the edge of death, Celia feels compelled to nurse him back to health, exhausting herself in the process of making sure Justin is well taken care of. During this time, both of them begin to develop feelings for each other that move beyond lust, though neither are willing to admit it yet. Justin's stay at the plantation begins to spread through town gossip, and in order to prevent Justin from being arrested, they family decides that he will masquerade as Phillipe until he is well enough to return to his former life. Though Celia highly objects to the charade, she goes along with it and soon finds herself falling in love with Justin even more as she sees a different side of him.
Naturally, the act could not go on forever, and the pirates behind the attack on Celia and Phillipe's ship soon arrive in New Orleans with some news that perhaps they had not killed everyone aboard as they had claimed. Justin leaves New Orleans for a final confrontation with Legare, in hopes to learn the truth of their claims and to redeem himself in the eyes of the community. And of course, to fight for the woman he has fallen in love with.
The review of this Book prepared by Erin O'Donoghue
Celia Vallerand is a newlywed enjoying her honeymoon with her husband Philippe when their ship, which is bound to Philippe's hometown, is suddenly attacked by pirates. Her husband is thrown overboard while she is taken captive to the pirates' territory at Crow Island. In a pub, she becomes a spectacle as Dominic Legare, her ruthless captor, give her to his brother Andre, who is reputed to torture women with his sadistic pleasures. While trying to struggle against the pirates, she is thrust into the arms of a pirate captain named Griffin. She quickly tells her identity and is surprised that Captain Griffin will actually help her. The pirate captain makes a deal with Dominic - 150,000 silver coins and a duel in exchange for her. Griffin easily wins the duel but Dominic retracts the deal and tells him that he can have the girl the following day after Andre has taken his fill. That night, Griffin kills Andre to save the girl and they hurriedly escape from the island back to New Orleans. When they arrive at New Orleans, the Vallerand family welcomes them and Celia is shocked to find that Captain Griffin is actually Justin Vallerand, son of Maximillian her father-in-law and twin brother of Philippe. At that moment, she despises him for the things he has done to her. Justin vanishes after delivering Celia knowing that his presence can endanger his family with the government looking for him and Dominic Lagere wanting his head. 4 months later, Justin returns heavily wounded, barely escaping Dominic. With Celia's help Justin is nurtured back to good health. Celia suddenly feels differently and more tenderly towards Justin. Because Justin is declared an outlaw, it is not long when a government official turns up in the Vallerand's house to question him. Max comes up with a plan that Justin disguises himself as Philippe and Celia has to play the doting wife. The ruse fools everyone while Celia and Justin develop a more intense and deeper feeling for one another. In a ball, Dominic Legare suddenly appears and tells them that Philippe is still alive and if they want him back they would have to exchange him with Justin's life. Celia is stricken knowing that she and Justin love one another and she just can't go back being Philippe's wife. With Legare on their trail and a husband who has returned from the dead, Celia and Justin fights for the love that they have found and the life that they could have.
The review of this Book prepared by Katrina Lo