The Sea Witch
by Ruth Langan, historical (2000)
Harlequin Historical, $4.99, ISBN 0-373-29123-X

I think I just had a new author to add to my "To Buy" list. This is my first Ruth Langan full-length romance, and it's fun, full of adventure (seafaring adventure - yeah!), and enough bravado and headstrong, reckless "Kiss me darlin'!" romance to tide me over until the next Marsha Canham swashbuckeroo romance comes along.

Ambrosia and her sisters are distraught after their father and brother, both privateers of King Charles II, encountered fatal boo-booes at sea. When grief finally settles down, Ambrosia, who is well-trained at swordsmanship and sea navigation, decide to step in her father's footstep.

Not if Captain Riordan Spencer has his say. "Madness!" He is the unofficial adopted son of Ambrosia's father, and he intends to take care of the three ladies. Marry them off, that sort of thing. So what on earth is this eldest daughter doing, asking him to be the captain of her ship and partner in her privateering?

Political intrigues soon draw him into the fun, however, when the same enemies who sank Ambrosia's father and brother decide to get right of the whole family business once and for all.

Ambrosia can be reckless at times, but hey, it's all in the spirit of high adventure. Riordan is fun as the stuffy, bewildered hero who eventually has no choice but to wave a sword and go "Yee-haaa!". The Sea Witch has fun chases, dear-death escapes, and lots of kisses and heavy breathing in between to keep the pace going.

It's breathtaking fun. And it also manages to pack a punch in the substance department - Ambrosia and Riordan are pretty stock characters, yes, but at least they display some depths, as do many of the secondary characters (waving hi to Granpa Lambert). There's not many romances lately that seem to embody the romantic dash and reckless bravery of Errol Flynn movies, but The Sea Witch sure is one.

Now I'm in the mood for more romantic adventures. Where's my Ladyhawke video?

Rating: 89

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