Innkeeper Oriana Thorpe is a smuggler’s daughter hardened by a legacy she cannot escape. She has risked everything in her attempts to do so, including her safety, going so far as to challenge her evil pirate brother, Charles, in order to save a lady and her maid from his wrath. Determined to atone for his villainy, Oriana decides to distribute the blood money he left behind to the widows and orphans living nearby. As threatening letters promising retribution begin to arrive from Charles, she suspects one or more of her customers may be her despicable brother’s spies. And when one haunted man promises to protect her, she finds herself taking the greatest risk of all—falling in love.
Captain Pierce Walsingham should have died when his ship was destroyed by the notorious smuggler Captain Carnage. Instead, Pierce was pulled from the water by the Robin Hood of Cornwall, a pirate known only as the Black Regent. In gratitude, Pierce accepts the Regent’s offer to take over the man’s role, allowing his name to be added to the list of the dead and vowing to protect the beautiful innkeeper who saved his sister Chloe’s life. Unfortunately, Oriana is also Carnage’s next of kin, and the smuggler has sworn vengeance against her and Chloe.
While there is no cause dearer to Pierce’s heart than stopping Carnage, the task won’t be easy. Strategic allegiances have replenished his enemy’s power at sea, and he’s moving ever closer to enacting his revenge. Now Pierce must find a way to defeat Carnage, all while fighting his desire for the resilient woman who fiercely defends her roost.