What pursuit is worse? Gambling to excess or smuggling? Gambling to excess is not criminal. However, smuggling is. Are there circumstances where smuggling could be morally acceptable – where the gains justifies the means? Come ponder this dilemma in book 5 of The Rakes and Rebels Series by Cynthia Wright.
Title: Smuggler’s Moon The Rakes and Rebels Series, book 1
Author: Cynthia Wright
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: England, 1798
Published by: Boxwood Manor books Published Date: January 23, 2014
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc. ASIN: B00HHH7F84
Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
Length: 10 hours, 51 minutes
Release Date: April 23, 2014
Published by: Cynthia Wright
The Rakes and Rebels Series:
0 – HEART OF FRAGILE STARS: A Beauvisage Family novella (Jean-Philippe & Antonia)
1 – SILVER STORM (Andre & Devon)
2 – CAROLINE (Alec & Caro)
3 – TOUCH THE SUN (Lion & Meagan)
4 – SPRING FIRES (Nicholai & Lisette)
5 – SMUGGLER’S MOON (Sebastian & Julia)
6 – SURRENDER THE STARS (Ryan & Lindsay)
7 – HER DANGEROUS VISCOUNT (Grey & Natalya)
8 – HIS RECKLESS BARGAIN (Nathan & Adrienne)
9 – TEMPEST (Adam & Cathy)
A marriage begun in deception…
Feisty Julia Faircloth is used to managing the lives of her eccentric relatives, so when darkly dangerous Lord Sebastian Trevarre arrives in Bath and proposes to her shy sister Sarah, she switches places with the bride to save her from a shockingly carnal wedding night.
Against his better judgment, Sebastian consummates a marriage to the most provoking, appealing woman he’s ever known, and then is forced to live with her in his neglected yet enchanting estate on the coast of Cornwall. Life there is turbulent, not least because Sebastian keeps many secrets. Will his reckless pursuits succeed in restoring his fortune…or cost him the lady who holds his heart?
Step back in time to magical 1798 Cornwall, England, with Julia and Sebastian – and reunite with Andre and Devon Raveneau, as Andre discovers that his life and Sebastian’s are inextricably linked.
©2014 Cynthia Challed (P)2014 Cynthia Challed
My Thoughts: If George Faircloth had not inherited Turbans and considerable funds from his cousin, he most likely would not have started gambling and would remain in London working in a library. But, as with many addictions, one finds the allure irresitable. George very happily took this course, knowing he shouldn’t, but felt his luck would change when it did not. His demise was another’s luck.
Lord Sebastian Trevarre won much from George Faircloth. He needed money desperately, for all his family’s money and property had been gamed away by his brother and he was determined to win it back. He won Turban, George’s home, but this home was the only home that Julia, Sarah, and Freddy had.
The three siblings cooked up a plan (this is where it gets ridiculously funny) to make Lord Sebastian feel so bad about winning the home that he would gift it back to them. But Lord Sebastian had come up with another idea. He had to marry at any rate, so he would marry the lovely Sarah, the quiet beauty of the Faircloth family, who would easily fit into his life – not demanding anything from him, that is, a marriage of convenience. The rub is she is in love with Charles Wimple, a simple man who writes her poetry.
When the first cooked up plan didn’t work, Julia came up with another, a young woman of great imagination and creative solutions! This one had me chortling through the telling. The situation only gets funnier and funnier. Lord Sebastian, aka, Lord Satan, is ready to blow a fuse about the demureness of his new bride who can’t show her face. The excuse was a pimple on the tip of her nose. Sarah is such a beauty, quiet, and a woman he could easily live with and not love. Oh, destiny and the machinations of Julia create lots of silly situations, but eventually all comes to passion and love.
Narrator Rosalyn Landor is absolutely fantastic in the telling. Her portrayals of all the fully-fleshed and lovable characters were spot on. From Lord Sebastian’s gruff and explosive personality to his man-servant’s bored demeanor and dealings with Sebastian, to Polly, widow of George, to Julia with her high-spirited plans and daring ideas. The diversity and timbre of the voices were remarkable.
Conscience ridden and married to Miss Faircloth, Lord Sebasitan’s first attempt of gaming and winning Turban (to resell) didn’t succeed. A new option came to him while in Cornwall. Some would think it worse than gambling. He decided to smuggle. His reasons were two-fold–to gain enough money to buy back property which was once his families and the second was to help the folk in Cornwall who needed salt to preserve fish feeding them through the winter.
Funny, passionate, and terrifically great story telling. Ms. Wright has written ten books in the Rakes and Rebels, this being book 5. I enjoyed how she wove the Raveneau family into the story with an extra twist of fate.
About the Author: Cynthia Wright is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Rakes & Rebels series, 10 intertwining historical romances starring the irresistible Raveneau & Beauvisage families. She has also written beloved series set during the Renaissance and in the American West. Romantic Times Magazine hails Cynthia’s novels as “Romance the way it was meant to be.” Her newest release is HEART OF FRAGILE STARS, a prequel to her classic historical romance, CAROLINE. In response to countless reader requests for the romance of Alec Beauvisage’s parents, the pirate Jean-Philippe and his Russian beauty Antonia, Cynthia crafted the gem-like novella HEART OF FRAGILE STARS. She is currently at work on THE SECRET OF LOVE, set in 1808 Cornwall and France. Lady Isabella Trevarre and Gabriel St. Briac join forces (and stir passions) while searching for a priceless painting stolen by Napoleon’s army. THE SECRET OF LOVE is due to be published in early 2016. Cynthia invites you to visit her website (where you can sign up for her newsletter): http://cynthiawrightauthor.com/
Be part of the fun on her Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/cynthiawrightauthor
2010 Best Voice in Fiction: THE CHILDREN’S BOOK
2009 Best Voice in FICTION & CLASSICS: TWENTIES GIRL
Sometimes, art really does imitate life, and vice versa. Rosalyn Landor was in the midst of narrating British author Santa Montefiore’s romance novel THE MERMAID GARDEN for Dreamscape when, suddenly, there Montefiore was on her television screen. “It was wonderful to see her at Westminster Abbey, on one of the most romantic occasions possible, as a guest at Prince William’s wedding to Catherine Middleton. It just goes to show that there is a place in the heart for romance in today’s world.” (Landor also elegantly narrated Tina Brown’s insider look at Princess Diana’s life, THE DIANA CHRONICLES, so perhaps things have come full circle.)
Romantic fiction is a genre Landor has spent a lot of time with lately, narrating works by Lisa Kleypas, Johanna Lindsey, Julie Garwood, Mary Balogh, and Eloisa James. She’s come to feel passionate about it and has realized that romance offers its own particular challenges for a narrator. “It requires a very specific discipline in giving voice to the male and female characters,” Landor says, “especially to switch in and out of the male and female roles and play both sides of an intensely passionate scene. It’s made me appreciate how well these authors understand the male/female perspective.”
Named one of AudioFile’s Best Voices of 2010 for her narration of A.S. Byatt’s THE CHILDREN’S BOOK (“A better pairing of narrator and novel can’t be imagined,” raved the review), Landor says, “Recording it was an extraordinary experience, and one I shall always cherish. The vast sweep of characters and locations made it a gift in terms of narration, and a challenge, but more than that, it was an opportunity to work for a fellow countrywoman who is held in such high regard. And who, I may add, was wonderfully supportive throughout the recording process!”
Landor can appreciate an author who makes her job smoother sailing. In preparing to narrate Michelle Moran’s MADAME TUSSAUD, she says, “Michelle’s research made it extremely easy to portray each character, since it was evident through her writing, which was superb, where every person belonged in the social strata. Her skill as a novelist is such that essentially all I had to do was follow her direction.”
But the author’s careful research and attention to detail don’t make her work dry. Landor also connected emotionally with the material. “I didn’t know Madame Tussaud’s story, and I found it incredibly moving,” she says. “There were definitely moments when I had to stop recording and reach for the box of Kleenex!”–Jennifer M. Dowell (AudfioFile Magazine, June/July 2011)
For Rosalyn Landor, the audio industry is a family affair. The London-born actress grew up with her actor-broadcaster father who later became a theatrical agent and introduced Roz to many of the great British “voices” from an early age. She also started her own career at the age of 7—her acting skills evolving through both theater and dance. The “read aloud” tradition is ingrained: She grew up with it, she practices it with her own daughters, and now her professional career centers on audiobooks. Roz notes that a “circle of life” completes itself with her current audiobook work—reconnecting with actors like Sean Barrett and Stephen Thorne and working with Martin Jarvis and Rosalind Ayres in an L.A. Theatre Works production, PACK OF LIES. Roz loves the opportunity to read all genres of work. “I can be anyone,” she says, “from the 95-year-old dowager to a 21-year-old frivolous spirit.” In titles like the mystery GHOSTWALK; a thriller, SECRET ASSET; and Tina Brown’s high-profile biography, THE DIANA CHRONICLES, Roz’s passion for storytelling is evident and appreciated.
Photo © Arielle Rudman