Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars
“Boo hags are creatures that feed off the breath of human beings.”
The West Indies 1680-it is a world of violence, greed, and anarchy. Swept into this whirlwind of treachery are two disparate characters: Mercedes Zamora, a former Spanish aristocrat, and Abraxas Kaphiri, a ruthless Egyptian pirate. She is clever and seductive. He is dangerous and powerful. Together they hatch a plan to terrorize the high seas seeking vengeance and plunder. Their enemies call them The Sea Bandits, and they reign supreme as the most hated and feared corsairs in the West Indies and the Barbary Coast. But everything changes when they clash with a malicious nobleman who knows too much. His relentless pursuit threatens to destroy not only their operation but everything they love.
Join Amanda Hughes as she sweeps you back to the days when buccaneers and adventurers ruled the waves, and larger-than-life legends were born.
There is a reason Amanda Hughes is one of my favorite authors, she consistently delivers a delicious tale laced with adventure, well-researched tidbits, and a touch of romance.
This novel begins in the year 1677 in Cusco, Peru and develops protagonist Mercedes Zamora as the spoiled offspring of landed aristocrats. She is expected to marry well and a wedding is arranged between she and Felipe Ortiz y Gasset. Felipe, however, is a spoiled monied son with few boundaries and quickly loses his ardour when she becomes pregnant.
The wedding dowry arrangement between families chill considerably when badly managed finances fail resulting in the loss of their home. Felipe (and his family) determines he will move the family to San Juan Bautista and Mercedes finds herself in a new land, new home, no husband, and no way to provide for herself and her twin boys.
Mercedes hasn’t been totally out of the business loop, however. She is smart and has gained sufficient insight to proceed into a shipping business. She has a small, efficient, and loyal team. Then she meets Abraxas Kaphiri, widely known as a Egyptian pirate. Abraxas, much like Jack Sparrow, isn’t all bad, however. In fact, hmm, he actually has some admirable qualities (and he’s easy on the eyes).
I loved the dance between Mercedes and Abraxas that eventually leads to banding together against a common enemy.
The storyline never falters or slows in this well-paced and plotted novel. It’s swash-buckling adventure coupled with Barbary Coast tales of treasures, cargo, rum, and the daily struggle of life in the late 1690’s.
This is Book 2 of the 17th Century series. I also read Book 1, The Firefly Witch. No problem where you come in to each series, whether 17th, 18th, 19th, or 20th Centuries, each is a standalone and can be read in any order. I’ve read at least two books in each century, including the most recent, Vagabond Wind, The House of Five Fortunes, Beneath a Blazing Sky, and The Image Seeker. If you like strong, trail-blazing womens stories, you’ll greatly enjoy these gripping novels, all different and unique. These are all highly recommended. The Sea Bandits just released and is available now. (Loved it.)
The cross-breeding between the Inca and Spanish resulted in beautiful copper skinned offspring. Mercedes Zamora y Huaman de Ortiz was just such a woman. Marriages were often arranged in the 1600’s and the participants often had very little choice in the matter. Class hierarchies were common and inter-marriages between the social stratus were uncommon.
At fourteen, Mercedes is married to Felipe, an eighteen-year-old. The early months were amorous until pregnancy occurred. Then Felipe left for greener pastures and Mercedes was to raise their twin boys. Her position as an aristocrat in Cusco, Peru left few opportunities for the young mother. Once pregnant her husband had no interest in staying around or visiting her bed. (It was against Catholic doctrine to have sex while pregnant.)
Senora Mercedes Ortiz had to avoid relations with Felipe after the birth of their children. He was also a very poor businessman and had lost a large portion of their lands. As a result, he was moving the family to San Juan Bautista. Mercedes was leaving her home and everything she knew and suddenly Felipe Ortiz was nowhere to be found.
Mercedes is tasked with managing the household and plantation and it becomes a full-time job. She begins running a shipping warehouse and import-export business but additional lands are taken away by a conniving relative.
Mercedes starts Zamora Enterprises and begins a new stage in her life. She sends her sons to Spain for a more formal education and meets Abraxas Kaphiri. This reputed pirate leads her life in a whole new direction.
Amanda Hughes has created a delightful tale of intrigue and danger in a love story between a pirate and a “she-merchant”. You will find it hard to put down. 5 stars – CE Williams
We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are our honest thoughts.
Genre: Historical Caribbean and Latin American Fiction, Sea Stories, US Historical Fiction
Publisher: Lillis and Jaymes
Print Length: 253 pages
Publication Date: Just Released! August 19, 2021
Source: Author contact
Title Link: The Sea Bandits
The Author: Bestselling and award-winning author, Amanda Hughes is a “Walter Mitty”, spending more time in heroic daydreams than the real world. At last, she found an outlet writing adventures about bold women through the centuries. Well known for her genre-busting books, she is the winner of the Gems National Medal for Writing, featured in USA Today and is nominated for the 2017 Minnesota Book Award. Amanda is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, and when she isn’t off tilting windmills, she lives and writes in Minnesota. Don’t miss these page-turning novels for readers who like historical fiction with a just bit of a love story. All of her books are stand-alone and can be read in any order.
The Bold Women of the 17th Century: The Firefly Witch Book 1
The Bold Women Series of the 18th Century: Beyond the Cliffs of Kerry Book 1 The Pride of the King Book 2 The Sword of the Banshee Book 3
The Bold Women Series of the 19th Century: The Grand Masquerade Book 1 Vagabond Wind Book 2 The House of Five Fortunes Book 3
The Bold Women Series of the 20th Century: The Looking Glass Goddess Book 1
Interested in her new books or a free novelette? Go to http://www.amandahughesauthor.com
©2021 CE Williams – V Williams