“Let Donna Thorland sweep you back to the American Revolution, into a world of spies, suspense, skullduggery, and sex.”—New York Times Bestselling Author William Martin
1775, Boston Harbor. James Sparhawk, Master and Commander in the British Navy, knows trouble when he sees it. The ship he’s boarded is carrying ammunition and gold…into a country on the knife’s edge of war. Sparhawk’s duty is clear: confiscate the cargo, impound the vessel and seize the crew. But when one of the ship’s boys turns out to be a lovely girl, with a loaded pistol and dead-shot aim, Sparhawk finds himself held hostage aboard a Rebel privateer.
Sarah Ward never set out to break the law. Before Boston became a powder keg, she was poised to escape the stigma of being a notorious pirate’s daughter by wedding Micah Wild, one of Salem’s most successful merchants. Then a Patriot mob destroyed her fortune and Wild played her false by marrying her best friend and smuggling a chest of Rebel gold aboard her family’s ship.
Now branded a pirate herself, Sarah will do what she must to secure her family’s safety and her own future. Even if that means taking part in the cat and mouse game unfolding in Boston Harbor, the desperate naval fight between British and Rebel forces for the materiel of war—and pitting herself against James Sparhawk, the one man she cannot resist.
READERS GUIDE INCLUDED
About the Author
Graduating from Yale with a degree in Classics and Art History, Donna Thorland managed architecture and interpretation at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA, for several years. She then earned an MFA in film production from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. She has been a Disney/ABC Television Writing Fellow and a WGA Writer’s Access Project Honoree, has written for the TV shows Cupid and Tron: Uprising, and is a writer on the WGN drama Salem. The director of several award-winning short films, her most recent project aired on WNET Channel 13. Her fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. She is the author of the Renegades of the American Revolution series, including The Turncoat, The Rebel Pirate, Mistress Firebrand, and The Dutch Girl.
What People are Saying About This
Praise for The Rebel Pirate
“Authentic detail, amazing characters, and a dazzlingly broad sweep of action make this a richly romantic adventure that’s hard to put down. Truly brilliant. Prepare to be blown away.”—Susanna Kearsley, New York Times bestselling author of The Splendour Falls
“Donna Thorland has done it again, and it's even more of a scorching read this time. A pirate heroine falls for a stiff-lipped British captain in this sexy, dangerous gallop through the American Revolution. Swashbuckling high seas adventure crossed with desire-driven romance, all dished up with perfect historical detail from head to heel.”—Bee Ridgeway, author of The River of No Return
“A fast paced, soundly researched historical intrigue, with vivid characters and sharp writing, The Rebel Pirate is a compelling read.”—Madeline Hunter, New York Times bestselling author of The Counterfeit Mistress
Praise for Donna Thorland and The Turncoat
“A combination of historical espionage and smoldering romance, Thorland’s first novel is a surprising and engrossing tale. Immersing the reader in 1777 Philadelphia, sweeping from decadent high-society balls to the filth of battlefield infirmaries, Thorland exhibits real passion for the time period. Fans of Philippa Gregory and Loretta Chase will find The Turncoat a thrilling read.”—Booklist
“One of the great joys of historical fiction is that it can carry you into another world, submerge you in its trappings, capture you in its conflicts, and let you experience history as it is lived. One of the great joys of reading is to find a new author who creates strong characters, builds vivid scenes, and writes with the assured confidence of an old pro. So allow me the great joy of introducing you to Donna Thorland and her fabulous first novel, The Turncoat. Let Donna sweep you back to the American Revolution, into a world of spies, suspense, skullduggery, and sex. You won’t want to stop reading. You won’t want to come back to the present.”—William Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Back Bay
“A stay-up-all-night, swashbuckling, breath-holding adventure of a novel…an extraordinary book about an extraordinary heroine.”—Lauren Willig, national bestselling author of the Pink Carnation series
“Very entertaining.”—Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author of Elizabeth I
“Set in a fascinating and turbulent time in America’s history and featuring an extraordinary heroine, The Turncoat is a wonderful debut. It’s a trip into the dangerous past from the comfort of your reading chair, filled with romance, authenticity, and great storytelling—the very best of what historical fiction can be.”—Simone St. James, author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare and An Inquiry into Love and Death
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
THE REBEL PIRATE by Donna Thorland is another exciting Historical Fiction set in 1775 Boston Harbor, Massachusetts . #2 in the "Renegades of the Revolution", but can be read as a stand alone. See, "The Turncoat". This is the story of British Navy Commander, James Sparhawk and Sarah Ward, a pirate's daughter. Set against the backdrop of the American Revolution. Filled with Red Coats, Rebels, intrigue, pirates, smuggling, conflict, romance, and a wonderful romantic adventure. Fast paced and action filled from the first page to the last page, you will not be able to put this intriguing adventure down. From seafaring to historical intrigue, the conflict between country,family and love makes THE REBEL PIRATE a most enjoyable read! With engaging characters, and an intriguing and interesting storyline, THE REBEL PIRATE is a delight to read for any historical reader, whether they enjoy fiction,romance, high sea adventure or a breath-holding adventure you will not be disappointed with THE REBEL PIRATE!! Well done!! Received for an honest review from the publisher. RATING: 4.5 HEAT RATING: REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
I loved this. Sort of a swashbuckler, with a strong romance plot but lots of drama, action and even historical interest. It's the second in a series, but a stand-alone title, so I think the three are just thematically connected.
Sarah Ward is a desperate woman. The strong and beautiful daughter of an infirm (and infamous) pirate, she is no stranger to sea life and smuggling means survival as she lives in genteel poverty in Salem, Massachusetts. Her older brother, Benji, is an elusive man with dangerous secrets of his own. During a routine smuggling run, Sarah uncovers a chest of gold stored aboard ship when she’s captured by handsome British Captain, James Sparhawk. In a wonderfully surprising and unexpected opening scene, she trades the gold and takes Sparhawk hostage to keep her younger brother, Ned, safe from naval impressment. Sarah was once betrothed to Micah Wild, an influential and wealthy Salem merchant with fair weather loyalties but, when he releases her from their engagement after her family loses their fortune, he marries her best friend instead and vows to make Sarah his mistress. Captain James Sparhawk—not his real name—is master and commander of the British Navy, a man with a questionable past who seeks the truth of his parentage. His unfailing kindness and great honor toward Sarah as well as her family—and his dashing good looks—attract and endear him to Sarah (and to this reader). Her family holds her ultimate loyalty but James Sparhawk tempts her beyond reason. With the descriptions of James’ origins—a gentleman’s education, a Caribbean birthplace of Nevis—his character is loosely based on doomed patriot Alexander Hamilton and also James Annesley who inspired the fictional David Balfour from Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson; a quick tweet to Donna Thorland confirms this. There are no elegant rides in the park or balls or glittering romance in this riveting love story. Instead, there are stolen moments of brief and intense passion, punctuated by deceit and betrayal, imminent peril, and abject fear. There is great risk at every turn. It is often heartbreaking, and Sarah and James are often separated for a good portion of the book, but each is always in the other’s thoughts. The searing sexual tension between hero and heroine throughout is vivid and exciting to read. Sarah and James both endure harrowing situations for these are difficult and precarious times. Everyone is suspicious of everyone as revolution hovers in the air while Boston is a powder keg of divided loyalties. Without money and a sick father to care for, Sarah’s dire situation is especially frightening. But she is saved by the kindness of yet another gentleman, Anthony Trent—a baron—who is also attracted to Sarah, but sincerely wishes to help her and her family. He also carries dangerous secrets. Needless to say, this is a very complex novel which sometimes had me re-reading sections to completely understand and grasp what was going on. The exciting twists and turns involving both Sarah and James intertwine at different points in the novel and I cannot disclose too much without spoiling the story. Each chapter moves between Sarah and James’ points of view in real-time so that we see what both are experiencing at the same moment, adding to the nail-biting anxiety. American history is as much a leading character as the romance. Authentic descriptions of fashion, grand houses and common inns, groaning wagons loaded with worldly and elegant possessions as people leave Boston and Salem, the briny smells of the sea, the landscape of early New England, and comprehensive detail of ships’ specifications fill the pages. As in Thorland’s debut, The Turncoat, historical people make appearances here, including Dr. Joseph Warren, Admiral Samuel Graves, and General Gage and his American wife, Margaret Kemble Gage. Thorland includes a helpful reading guide, recommended reading list, and an author interview with insights on her research into revolutionary America. Many people are not aware that not all Americans supported revolution and many Loyalist families suffered at the hands of Rebels, Sarah’s family included. This is the second installment in Thorland’s Renegades of the Revolution series. You do not have to read The Turncoat to appreciate The Rebel Pirate as it stands on its own, though its events take place in 1775, before the first book. There is one mysterious character that appears in both novels—an intriguing female spy known as the Merry Widow. Memorable moments: "…Sarah sat down to make a list for the boatman’s wife, but she could think of nothing that was necessary to life except James Sparhawk.” (p332) “…and what is dueling but private murder cloaked in ritual?” (p269) “…the pale blue silk of his coat and breeches shimmering the candlelight. He wore knee bands embroidered with pink and yellow floors, a waistcoat embellished likewise, and a diamond pin in the folds of his neck cloth.” (p184) An entertaining, suspenseful, and romantic love story on the brink of revolution. Note: A modified version of this review first appeared on The Romantic Historical Reviews blog.