Review: Bound by Decency by Claire Ashgrove

Wednesday, August 8

Title: Bound by Decency*
Author: Claire Ashgrove
Series:  The Flying Gang Legacy
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Format: Trade paperback & E-book
Date/Year:  August 1, 2012
Reviewed by:  Andrea

*This book was provided to the reviewer by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Summary from the publisher:

Once, Cain sailed with the cutthroats of The Flying Gang, fearless Captain of The Kraken, bound to no one save the sea. After inheriting a portion of Spain’s Royal Inheritance, he resigned the life of brigands for a chance at honest wealth. With the secrets of his piracy tucked away, he achieved his lofty aspirations. But when his partner and best friend betrays him to the Royal Navy, Cain’s dreams are ripped to shreds. He’s left with his ship, the tattered remnants of a stolen future, and a piece of Spanish mystery. Wanted by three nations and destined for the gallows, he returns to the legendary band of buccaneers for one purpose---vengeance.

Kidnapped by the formidable Cain, India Prescott discovers he intends to kill the man she’s to marry, Richard Grey. Cain’s story reveals betrayal. Treachery that extends to her as well. Although she holds the key to retribution, India refuses to become another man’s pawn. Freedom lies before her, the liberty to shrug off propriety, make her own decisions, and claim her destiny. But when she uncovers goodness in Cain’s soul and he awakens passion in her heart, she must combat the chains of convention once more.

Only this time India's not fighting society. She’s battling a pirate bent on keeping her decency intact.


My Musings:

Cain was once a member of an infamous group of pirates known as The Flying Gang.  During that time, he met up with another pirate named Richard.  With the help of Richard, Cain had the chance to leave piracy behind and lead a decent, honest life.  He renamed himself Teddy and became a respected businessman.  Just when Teddy was getting comfortable in his new life, Richard decided to double-cross Teddy and set him up for a crime he didn’t commit.  Teddy manages to escape and return to the sea but he has to give up his respectable life and go back to being the pirate Cain.

Cain spends his days at sea plotting his revenge on the man that ruined his life.  He decides the best way to get his hands on Richard is by abducting Richard’s fiancée, India.  Cain quickly realizes that Richard has also betrayed India.  Cain could justify using India when he thought she was in on the deception but now that he realizes she had no part in it, he is at war with himself.  As a pirate, he cannot allow his conscience to interfere in what must be done, but the decent part of himself says ruining India is unacceptable. Cain now has to decide if he can be ruthless enough to destroy an innocent woman in order to get his revenge.  

There was so much I loved about this book.  Cain was torn between the two different versions of himself.  He loved living as the good, decent man everyone knew as Teddy, but that life is no longer a possibility.  He believes his only choice is to go back to being the ruthless Cain.  The time spent living as Teddy changed him, he doesn’t have the stomach for the violence and cruelty being a pirate requires. 

India impressed me right away.  She is smart, independent and feisty.  She is ripped from her charmed life only to be thrown onto a ship with Cain, one of the most infamous and fearsome pirates.  I love that she quickly sizes up her new surroundings, forms a plan and then tries to make the best of the situation. 

I found the descriptions of day to day life at sea a bit monotonous.  I’m sure there would be a lot of downtime sailing from point A to point B but as a reader I found it boring to read about.  One good thing I can say is that the boredom never lasted that long.  Even during the boring parts, I could always feel the tension building and knew if I waited patiently I would be rewarded with something exciting.  When it happened, I was quickly pulled back into the story.

The chemistry between India and Cain was apparent from their first meeting.  I loved watching them battle their attraction to each other.  That gave their relationship just the right amount of angst as they progressed from adversaries to lovers.  I liked them both right from the start and was pulling for them to find a way to stay together.  While the romance was great, there were equally interesting things happening in the background.  India was plotting her path to freedom while Cain was re-examining his plans for revenge and India’s role in it.  I loved the excitement brought to the book by the interactions and skirmishes with other pirates.  Getting to meet the other members of The Flying Gang was great and I can’t wait to read their stories.

Overall I would say this is an interesting and engaging book, I enjoyed it and will keep reading the Flying Gang series by Ms. Ashgrove.  Bound by Decency is a smart, action packed adventure topped off by a captivating romance.  

Ratings:

Overall: 3.75 stars
Sensuality level: 3.25

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