Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer
The most daring, dashing hero of all....
"Mad Nicholas" to his friends, "Scourge of Spain" to his enemies, Sir Nicholas Beauvallet is one of Queen Elizabeth's most dashing buccaneers and has never been known to resist a challenge.
A Spanish lady all fire and heart....
When Beauvallet captures the galleon carrying Dona Dominica de Rada y Sylvan and her father, he vows to return them safely to the shores of Spain. But he has no sooner done so than he proposes a venture more reckless than any of his exploits on the high seas -- he will return to Spain, where there's a price on his head, and claim Dominica as his bride.
(from the publisher)
Beauvallet was such a refreshing change of pace in my Georgette Heyer reading! I have become accustomed to the sweet love stories of debutantes and handsome bachelors in Regency ballrooms, but Beauvallet was a complete surprise from the opening scene:
The deck was a shambles. Men lay dead and dying; there was split
woodwork, a welter of broken mizzen and sagging sail, dust and grime,
and the reek of gunpowder. A ball screamed through the rigging overhead;
another tore the sea into wild foam beneath the galleon's stern....
Sir Nicholas Beauvallet is a larger-than-life figure -- he's a devilishly handsome pirate with a lust for danger and adventure. With his mighty sword and almost superhuman ability to escape harm unscathed, he is feared by many and reviled by those who wish to see this notorious enemy of Spain captured. When a Spanish galleon, the Santa Maria, begins firing upon Beauvallet's ship, he cannot refuse the challenge and within a very short time has boarded the Santa Maria and taken down most of the crew. To the Beauvallet's delight, on board he finds the breathtakingly beautiful Dona Dominica and her ailing father. She is a spitfire, and the Beauvallet gets a little more than he bargained for when he attempts to introduce himself. She boldly meets this pirate head on and brazenly steals his dagger in an attempt to fight him off. Her courage and beauty intrigues and delights him, and from the moment he lays eyes on her, he knew he wanted nothing more than for her to be his. As the days pass on the voyage, Dominca finds it hard to resist the devilish charm of this notorious pirate.
After returning Dominica and her father back to Spain in a daring and dangerous maneuver, Beauvallet, the enemy of Spain, makes a promise to Dominica..."I will come for you before the year is out." What are the odds that he will succeed in this foolish promise?
An action-packed love story, filled with intrigue and plotting at the the Spanish court of King Philip during the Inquisition, in Heyer's signature dramatic and witty style. A keeper!
This completes the first book for the Georgette Heyer Reading Challenge at All Things Historical Fiction.
Author: Georgette Heyer
Publisher: Sourcebooks 2010
(original copyright 1929)
genre: historical romance