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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Review and GIVEAWAY: Of Noble Birth

Title: Of Noble Birth
Author: Brenda Novak
Publisher: self-published (originally by HarperTorch)
Genre: historical romance
Copy for review provided by the author in anticipation of an honest review


To escape her cruel stepfather, seamstress Alexandra Cogsworth envisioned sailing far from England . . . though not as a captive aboard a pirate's ship.

Pirate Captain Nathaniel Kent's strategy for exacting revenge on his cold-hearted father involved taking a valuable hostage . . . not a seamstress he mistakenly thinks is his half sister.

Yet fate has designs of its own, landing them both on board the Royal Vengeance. At sea, Nathaniel intercepts and plunders his father's ships, all the while tormented by his illicit hunger for the tempting prisoner he thinks is his blood relation. And although Alexandra wants no part in this terrifying voyage, to reveal her true identity to the handsome, blue-eyed Nathaniel would invite danger. Not only would she become worthless cargo, but the revelation would surely unleash what she and Nathaniel have been fiercely battling—a rising undercurrent of impossible desire that could sweep them away for good.

When I think of Brenda Novak's books, her romantic suspense titles are usually the first ones that come to mind.  Her debut novel, though, is an historical romance, which certainly is not what I'd expected.  Of Noble Birth is a fun book and a quick read, and has a lot of good things going for it- pirates, adventure, suspense, and sweet, sweet revenge.

Alexandra and Nathaniel have had to take a lot of licks in their lives prior to their paths crossing. Alexandra spends her days trying to avoid being assaulted by her viciously alcoholic stepfather (who wasn't always that way, which makes the experience even more heartbreaking for her) and Nathaniel is earning his living as a pirate ripping off his father's ships- the same father who cast him out for having a birth defect that left one of his hands deformed.  Nathaniel hates his father more than anyone else on the planet; when a case of mistaken identity leaves him thinking that Alexandra is actually his half sister, the abduction plot that he'd been undertaking gets a whole lot more involved.

Alexandra and Nathaniel's lives would have been a whole lot simpler if they'd gone on hating each other and barely tolerating one another's presence, but they end up falling in love, even though circumstances make pursuing a relationship kind of ridiculous.  They unite against a common enemy in the form of Nathaniel's douchey half brother; the ending and resolution of that storyline was satisfying even if there was a little bit of "I wasn't hugged enough as a child and that's why I'm a terrible person as an adult" going on.

I think my favorite part of the story was that Alexandra and Nathaniel aren't rescued by deus ex machina and live happily ever after on the ducal estate because Nathaniel's father has had a grand change of heart.  No, instead, they go off to pursue happiness on their own terms.  Maybe they'll best dear old dad at his own game, and maybe they won't; by making their own rules and then living by those rules, they've nullified this man in their lives.  He has no power over them anymore, and I found that to be the best possible ending.  Sometimes all you can do is amputate toxic people out of your life.

Can I also talk about the really awesome price point?  $2.99 is seriously a steal for this book. One of the awesome things about authors digitizing their backlists is that you can pick up some really excellent stories at really great prices.  Why not treat yourself to an early present?

Overall Rating:


I have not one, not two, but THREE books up for grabs! Brenda Novak has generously offered up PRINT COPIES of her new romantic suspense trilogy to one lucky What Book is That? reader! The books are INSIDE, IN SECONDS, AND IN CLOSE:

This is an awesome prize if I may say so myself! Read the fine print:
-U.S. only please- thanks!
-Giveaway will run until Sunday, November 13th, at 11:59 pm EST.
-To enter, leave a comment with a way to contact you. Easy!

I try to keep giveaways simple for everyone's convenience so comment away for a chance to win some great books!
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