Lady Charlisse Bristol hits the open seas unescorted—on a quest to find her merchant father. The storms begin with her being shipwrecked and they don’t “let up” until the end of the story. She suffers hunger, hardship, abuse, rejection, near-ravishing on numerous occasions, and at times even battles her desire to fight due to her lack of faith. When buccaneer-turned-pirate Captain Edmund Merrick finds the shipwrecked Lady Charlisse nearly starved to death, he feels the need to protect her, but she is a reluctant and uncooperative captive. However, that doesn’t stop him from opening his heart to her and being willing to risk his life—if needed—to save her own, and to help her find her father.
The Redemption takes the reader on a journey through the Caribbean—but not on a cruise ship. The mode of transport is a vile and unsafe pirate ship. The culture, the hardships, the scream of muskets and scent of gunpowder from swivel guns, and the fierce battles on the open seas all combine to give the reader a realistic sense of the culture of the times. In fact, the blood and guts was so well done I would’ve thought a man had written the story!
On the softer side, I felt the salt and sand stiffening Charlisse’s dress as she stripped it off to aid her own survival. The hunger pangs, the anxiety, and the pain she experienced while nearly going mad on the island seemed real. I got a lump in my throat when the mean pirates fatally hurt her squawking friend. I wanted to wring their necks!!! I identified with her so much that I felt her pain!
The disgusting scents in the ship’s hold, the jail cells, and the Dead Reckoning “bar” were so vivid I felt like I was there. I had to smile at how many times poor Charlisse suffered at the hands of leering pirates, because even though she didn’t have faith in God at the time, He still helped her in her time of desperate need, especially when she called on Him to protect her from being ravished--which was often!
The Redemption is a fabulous love story in a rich setting wrought with the realities of living in the 1600s on the open seas. Life wasn’t fair, people died or were murdered for no good reason, and people weren’t valued unless they were white men. There were so many cliff-hangers in this novel I’m surprised I didn’t fall off my seat at least once. Just when I thought they were safe and all would be well, more trauma took place in Charlisse’s life. That woman went through a lot, but she learned a lot through her suffering. I enjoyed the faith piece as well, and the ending was fulfilling. I enjoyed this story so much I plan to read every book in the series. Highly recommended!