With Proud Humility

Jess Mountifield
With Proud Humility
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Red Feather Writing
Release Date
December 2010
Action/Adventure Romance, Historical Romance

Marie's mother died protecting something, but what? Determined to find answers, Marie pursues the man responsible for her death. No price is too dear to Marie, who gambles everything on a marriage of convenience to a ship's captain she knows she can't trust. This is a historic story of romance and adventure, a tale of betrayal and sacrifice in pursuit of an unknown goal.

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Jul 25, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
250 people found the following review helpful
Pirates and cardsharps and high-seas adventureŚcould you ask for anything more? This fast-moving adventure is a great summer read full of danger, mystery and secret love that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Lady Marie Woodell may be the daughter of the Governor of the Caribbean island of Montserrat, but she hardly acts the part. An expert with a sword and more adept at running away from her social obligations than she is at attending them, Marie has spent most of her life searching for the secret legacy that her mother died defending. Her impulsiveness may have got the best of her this time, however, as she is now the prisoner of Black Vane, the pirate captain of The Cruel Edge, and the man responsible for her mother's murder.

Though malicious and violent, Marie greatest fear is not Vane's temper, but that he might never relinquish the map she so desperately needs. Before she can uncover any of Vane's secrets, however, she is taken aboard the ship of Captain Alexander Hayes, privateer, adventurer and quite possibly the most fascinating man that Marie has ever encountered.

Hayes is an expert sailor, deeply respected by his crew and conscious of his duty, but he is also a man of many secrets. Despite his promise to return Marie safely to her home, he is also just as firmly resolved to track down the map that Marie wants, regardless of the cost to anyone around him. When he realizes that the only way to find the treasure that is hidden somewhere in the Caribbean seas is to go through Marie, Hayes snatches her back, telling her that she will remain onboard until she gives up what she knows.

But Marie is an expert cardsharp, and knows how to wager and bluff to get what she needs. And so she and Hayes engage in a battle of wills and wits that could mean untold wealth, or devastating heartbreak. For though Marie is convinced that Hayes is the only man she could ever love, he is adamant that his only thought is for the moneyŚor is it?

The plot of this story was wonderfully intricate. Both Marie and Hayes are very well-rounded characters, with relationships and histories and activities outside of their experiences together. I enjoyed watching Marie learn swordplay as much as I did watching her and Hayes bicker over their nightly poker games. I was genuinely doubtful about Hayes' intentions for Marie and the treasure, and enjoyed watching his plots develop and unravel throughout the story. There was no doubt he was honorable, but there was always the hint that there was much more going on beneath the surface, which made reading about him a treat. Marie was a strong, proud character who I enjoyed following, though I wish she could have had a little more chance to show off her swash-buckling skills.

I found some of the sentence structure and the dialogue awkward, which distracted sometimes from my involvement in the story. We hear about the many tiffs and squabbles in which Marie and Hayes engage, but the conversations that apparently make them grow closer were largely glossed over, which was a shame, as I would have liked the chance to watch them grow closer, as opposed to simply being told that they had spoken for hours. The two main characters were complex and emotional people, and it would have made the book even more interesting, in my opinion, to have some more insight into their thoughts, rather than just their actions.

That being said, the twists and turns of this plot were quite interesting, and there were plenty of schemes and secrets to keep readers guessing. I'll be interested to see Jess Mountfield's future works, as this story was extremely well-crafted and I was delighted with the final resolution of Hayes' and Marie's adventures together. This was a great adventure story with heart and suspense and a terrific literary escape!
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