In the year 1778, Lieutenant Kenneth Hamilton, wrongfully court-martialed by the American Continental Navy, leaves the Navy to seek a berth in the merchant service. On the way to Boston, he encounters Lenora Torrence, a widowed ship owner with a formidable reputation that has caused some to call her “the Boston Ice Witch.” Angered by the execution of his father by the British, Hamilton accepts Mrs. Torrence’s offer of a partnership in a privateering venture, with Hamilton and Mrs. Torrence sharing the profits with a former Dutch naval officer, Hans Van Leyden. Commanding the privateer schooner Huntress based on the Dutch island of St. Eustatius, Hamilton sails the Caribbean capturing and destroying British merchant ships.
With these successes, Hamilton’s relationship with Mrs. Torrence warms first into respect and then into a growing affection. However, both this affection and their success is threatened by the arrival at St. Eustatius of another privateer vessel captained by the former Continental Navy officer Lionel Burcher, who was responsible for bringing Hamilton before the court-martial that ended his Navy career. The tensions created by this unwelcome meeting escalate into an explosive situation that eventually threatens to destroy everything that Captain Hamilton and Lenora Torrence have worked and fought for. In one final fiery confrontation on the high seas, they gamble everything on a dangerous mission that can make them fabulously wealthy or cost them everything, including their ship, their love, and their lives.
Author: Charles E. Friend
Title: The Privateers
First Published by: CreateSpace
Date: 30 April 2014