Its not a crime to steal a heart
The book begins with Isabelle walking into the sea – fed up with life and ready to give up. However, when faced with the reality of her decision, she changes her mind and regrets her choice. She believes it to be too late to be saved, but fortunately for her, she is chanced upon by a band of smugglers and they drag her from the water.
A great argument then ensues regarding Isabelle’s future – they must decide whether to return her to shore, throw her overboard or keep her on-board their ship. Isabelle refuses to tell the crew her story and this encourages some of the men to distrust her, this leads to a very heated argument with Isabelle genuinely fearing for her life.
Fortunately, the eventual decisions swings in Isabelle’s favour.
Isabelle is grateful for the reprieve however she is accustomed to a life of luxury and getting her own way; She struggles to adapt to her new way of life, without extravagance.
Isabelle eventually settles into her new life and begins to interact more with the crew and make real friends. Isabelle is shocked to learn more about ‘how the other half live’ and begins to disregard the stereotypes she has grown up with. She also aids the crew in their illegal exploits when she helps to smuggle lace into the country, which she is surprised to find she rather enjoys.
Throughout the plot, Isabelle grows closer to one smuggler, Will. I thought Will was a great character, he was very mysterious and constantly kept me guessing as to his “identity”.
However, I found Isabelle annoying at points; At the beginning of the book, she was very selfish and spoilt. Thankfully though, she dramatically matured throughout the plot and she really grew as a character.
The mysterious nature of the book kept me engaged the whole way through, I couldn’t bear to put it down. The book combines so many different aspects wonderfully; Romance, mystery, adventure, intrigue and the historical detail.
I would definitely recommend this book to everyone, and now I am going to try Marie Louise-Jensen’s other books – I hope they live up to my expectations!