Publisher: OUP Oxford (7 Mar 2013)
“That ain’t what we call ourselves.” His voice rumbled deep in his chest. “We’re Gentlemen o’ the Night.”
In the autumn of 1720, Isabelle does something which changes her life for ever.
But though Isabelle has fled, she is still trapped. If the secret of her previous life is revealed then the smugglers who have found her will not let her stay on board The Invisible – and she has nowhere else to go.
To survive, Isabelle must help her captors – even though she detests what they do. But soon her principles are thrown into confusion, as she discovers that outwitting the King’s Men fills her with excitement. Soon she finds herself becoming fiercely loyal to the crew – and to one mysterious smuggler in particular . . .
I don’t usually comment on covers in my reviews but the cover of Smuggler’s Kiss is sumptuous!
We begin with a very dramatic scene – Isabelle walking into the sea! Rescued by the crew of The Invisible, she gives nothing away about herself, not telling the truth about her background or what she’s running away from.
Having been used to being waited on, life onboard is rough and harsh. Barely scraping through on votes from the crew to keep her alive, she’s involved in a scene at Studland to scare official’s away, which means she won’t be able to tell anyone about the cargo The Invisible carries.
Once the toast of London society and the reigning beauty of Bath, Isabelle is reduced in status and cleanliness! At first acting like a spoilt brat with tantrums and her high principles, having experienced things like the Quarry workers plight for herself, she re-examines what she believes about the world.
Throughout the time on the ship, we see Isabelle become stronger – both in health and character. The banter she has going with Will and the parental bond with Jacob draws her emotionally into the life they lead. She takes on a chore on ship and starts to belong to the community.
Exciting and heart-pounding smuggling runs (loved the scene smuggling lace into Weymouth!), the historical time the story is set (the politics and economy), the innocence of the romance, the conflict and intrigue with both Will and Isabelle’s backgrounds make this an exciting and engaging read for the YA reader. I would also recommend for the any age if you have an interest in history and of course, smuggling!
I would like to thank the author for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.