Books in the genre of Christian historical fiction (especially those of a romantic nature) have never been high on my reading list. However, The Red Siren (Barbour Publishing) by M. L. Tyndall had such a tantalizing title, I couldn’t help but take a peek at the first book in her Charles Towne Belles series. Plus, the book description mentioned pirates—how could I pass that up?
Set in the early 1700’s in colonial America, this pirate’s tale is also one of a belle named Faith Westcott, the second eldest daughter of Admiral Westcott of England’s Royal Navy. After her mother’s death and her older sister’s unfortunate married to a terrible man, Faith has undertaken the gargantuan task of caring for her younger sisters, the flirtatious Hope and the pious Grace. Instead of seeing her sisters married off to the highest bidder, Faith engages in a secret life of piracy on the high seas, with her trusty groomsman, Lucas, by her side serving as first mate. Using the stolen loot, Faith hopes to provide herself and her sisters with financial security apart from relying on untrustworthy husbands (and an absent father).
All seems to go [relatively well] until a captain from her past—Dajon Waite—shows up and is appointed guardian to Faith and her sisters while Admiral Westcott leaves his family again for another sea-faring adventure. Mr. Waite seeks to keep the ladies in line while serving as captain aboard the HMS Enforcer, whose main objective is to rid Charles Towne of nuisance pirates, especially a woman known as the Red Siren. Will Waite discover that strong-willed Faith, who seems to have stolen his heart is the same woman who had stolen his ship five years prior? And will Faith, who has little faith in God or men, find romance with Mr. Waite and know the love of God who she rejected years before? You will just have to read The Red Siren to find out!
Faith Westcott is an appealing character with her sharp wit, dedication to her sisters, and oh, her secret life as a pirate. Reminiscent of real-life pirate lady Anne Bonny (who some say also had flaming red hair), Faith is different than most pirates because she has a passion, purpose, which are overshadowed by compassion and kindness. While Faith clearly enjoys being in control and commanding a ship, she does not harm others when looting a merchant vessel. Still, the longer Faith raids ships, the more she realizes the risk associated with her lifestyle and it doesn’t help that the man who turns her knees to jelly is an intense pirate hunter. Plus, he’s a looker!
The Red Siren is well worth your time, especially if you like high seas adventure, plot twists, and interesting characters. Instead of saturating her story with Scripture, M. L. Tyndall uses just enough—her characters examine their faith in God, but this isn’t a a secret witnessing tool pieced together with a sloppy plot—it’s a good book. I can hardly wait to read the next two books in the Charles Towne Bell series—The Enchantress and The Raven Saint, which follow the adventures of Hope and Grace Westcott.
Amy’s Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
*I did no pillaging nor plundering to obtain The Red Siren. The book was furnished for me for review by Barbour Publishing. Aren’t they swell?*