In 1789, Evangeline Clemens is on board the sailing ship, the Aurora, heading for a new life in Boston. But it's no pleasure voyage, as she is immediately jumped by another passenger, Anne Adams, bent on rebellion. Evangeline wants nothing to do with the plot, but has little choice as Anne says Evangeline's brother's life is in the balance. Anne insists Evangeline must seduce the Captain of the Aurora, Austin Blackwell. Anne is determined to stir up enough trouble to arrange a mutiny and take over the Aurora to use it to rescue her lover in Havana.
Austin immediately mistrusts Evangeline. A shy woman suddenly turning siren causes bells to ring in his head. He is convinced she is an English Spy sent to fetch secret documents he is carrying to the Americas. But he cannot resist seeing how far Evangeline will go. She reaches the Captain, more than he knew, and he finds himself falling in love with her, though still believing she is a spy. Thus begins a breakneck pace of Austin trying to get his ship back and deliver the documents.
This report prepared by DeborahAnne MacGillivray
Leisure, Nov 2002, 5.99
In 1789 on a cross-oceanic voyage of the merchant ship Aurora, Anne a fellow passenger, forces Evangeline Clemens to cause a distraction so she can commandeer the ship. The blackmailer uses Evangeline's brother as a hostage to insure cooperation. Evangeline tries everything including innocent seduction to occupy Captain Austin Blackwell's mind though she gets the body too.
Anne succeeds even as Austin thinks Evangeline must be a spy. In spite of mistrusting her and regaining control of his ship, Austin begins to fall in love with Evangeline who knows he has had her heart from the moment she first saw her captain. However, the adventures are just beginning for this duo sailing in perilous waters.
PERILS OF THE HEART is a fun diversion as the Georgian romance reads like the serials as the Pauline heroine lands in one predicament after another. The story line is so jammed with action mindful of Groucho's room on the ship in Night at the Opera that the audience never fully meets any of the cast including the lead couple and the villains, though her motives are explained. Still Jennifer Ashley shows such a flare for high adventure that those Georgian romance readers who prefer 200 proof activity need to use a seat belt as they feast on this ultra non-stopper.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner