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Ransome's Quest

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The Advocate

Ransome's Quest by Kaye Dacus

Reviewed by Lori Fox

"...if you love books that are set in the 1800's in England, especially if you're bored with the same old, same old, I highly recommend Ransome's Quest..."

Within moments of accepting Ned Cochrane's proposal, Charlotte Ransome is kidnapped. Though not the intended victim, the nefarious pirate is unwilling to risk capture by returning her to the Tierra Dulce sugar plantation in Jamaica. Particularly as it's unlikely that he'd get a second chance at Charlotte's sister in law, the newly wed Julia Ransome, who was his intended target.

El Salvador Los Esclavos may be a dastardly pirate, but he's really not such a bad guy. After all, he's freed thousands of slaves, and lightened the pockets of the slavers that he was unable to reach in time. Sure, he attacked innocent ships too, but he's quite reluctant to actually kill anyone. But why does the pirate seem so concerned about preserving Charlotte Ransome's reputation? And why do ships from the Tierra Dulce plantation appear so regularly in his account keeping?

Ransome's Quest is the third and final book in Kaye Dacus' The Ransome Trilogy. In book one, we find Julia Witherington set on marrying William Ransome in order to save her inheritance from unscrupulous family members. In book two, Charlotte Ransome steals away in her brother's fleet in order to marry a man that her family doesn't approve of. Complicating matters is the handsome Ned Cochrane, her brother's right hand man and the acting captain of the ship on which she is pretending to be a mid-shipman.

I am a huge fan of Dacus' books. Whether she's writing in the here and now, or in the 1800's, her characters and environments are well researched and rarely heavy handed. While most romance and historical novels (and historical romance novels) often follow the same, worn path, Dacus' novels always seem fresh. Unexpected characters, or expected characters with unexpected backgrounds. Unusual settings for often used time periods. And, God bless her, not every female character has a tiny waist that the character, or her love interest, dwells on for the entirety of the book.

Ransome's Quest can certainly be read on its own, but you won't enjoy all of the fun character reveals as much as you will if you read books one and two first. There are a few predictable elements---if at some point you find yourself wondering "what happened to so-and-so?", you can be sure that so-and-so is going to pop up as soon as there's a lull in the action. This is not a bad thing, but does take away a bit of the surprise.

But if you love books that are set in the 1800's in England, especially if you're bored with the same old, same old, I highly recommend Ransome's Quest and the rest of The Ransome Trilogy. If you enjoy books about sailors, pirates, or revenge, all the better.

Lori Fox is a freelance writer who is working on her first novel as well as writing reviews for TitleTrakk.com. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, making jewelry, and taking as many trips to Walt Disney World as possible with her wonderful husband Kyle. Visit her online at her website.