Book 2.5 in the Devil’s Duke Series
Years ago, Miss Esme Astell fell hopelessly in love with Charles Brittle, an unassuming and highly respectable London bookmaker.
Then he disappeared without a word.
The last thing Esme ever dreamed was to meet Charlie again —
In a dark alleyway —
In a drenching rain —
In a chase with the police —
Can she resist falling again, this time for the dangerous scoundrel he’s become?
"Good evening, Esme.”Imagine looking towards your bedroom window and finding a handsome man from your past staring at you?
Lips framed in whiskers barely moved as the words came from them like a husky growl. His beautiful eyes were two hard, cool pieces of flint.
‘I need your nose.”
A man whom you were secretly in love with?
And he’s asking for your nose?
Katharine Ashe’s The Pirate and I is a fast-pace, suspenseful novella. Set in Scotland, the story is a continuation of the author’s The Devil’s Duke Series.
Esme Astell has worked at a perfume shop on Gracechurch Street in London for five years. Her efforts had increased the sales of the shop but, her employer would not increase her wages. One of her London clients appreciates Esme’s sensory abilities and arranges for her to attend a meeting of the Society of Perfumers, in Scotland. Esme spent a good portion of her savings to travel to Scotland in hopes that she would be offered an apprenticeship at an elite Paris perfume shop.
Esme encounters a criminal on her way home from the meeting. She is stunned to discover that the criminal is Charlie Brittle, who worked at the printing shop across from the perfume shop in London. Esme had been secretly in love with him for years and was devastated when Charlie disappeared from London and was presumed dead.
Charlie needs Esme to help him find a dog. He needs the dog in exchange for his freedom. Charlie has a plan to leave Scotland for America and he is determined to have his freedom. Ms. Ashe always sets the mood with her descriptive writing, and The Pirate & I is enhanced by the way she adds the sense of smell throughout the novel. I could imagine drinking black tea and eating oven fresh bread at the Hart and Rose pub with Charlie and Esme and smelling the perfume, candlewax and fabrics at the ball.
Katharine Ashe does a superb job balancing the romance and intrigue in this story. The romance between the couple is enchanting and the author’s lush, descriptive, sensual voice shines when the couple makes love. Charlie cherishes Esme and his feelings are conveyed in both his actions and words. Esme recognizes that Charlie has changed. She asks about his scars and burns and accepts Charlie as the man he has become, not the man she knew two years ago. The secondary characters of Pate and Rory added to the underlying feeling of suspense the author created throughout the novel. The conclusion had several surprising plot twists which surprised and delighted me!
Katharine Ashe’s novellas read as full length novels—the characters are well developed and there are several intricate plotlines. This is the perfect weekend read –especially for those of us who are looking forward to reading The Duke!
★★★★★Reviewed by Susan Gorman
ARC provided by the publisher
❤ MEET KATHARINE ❤
Katharine lives in the wonderfully warm Southeast with her husband, son, dog, and a garden she likes to call romantic rather than unkempt. A professor of European history and pop culture, she writes fiction because she thinks modern readers deserve grand adventures and breathtaking sensuality too. Her favorite thing is to meet readers in person, but she loves connecting with readers by mail and email and on social media too!
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