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    ONCE A REBEL by Tammy Hilz (see her website)


    Zebra Books, February 2001

    Joanna (Jo) Fisk didn't want to give up pirating when her sister Morgan settled down with her nobleman husband (see our review of ONCE A PIRATE, the prequel to this ONCE A REBEL). When she discovers the terrible poverty in London, a poverty that reminds her of her own brother's death from disease and hunger, she resolves to do something. She'll return to pirating to help the poor--especially when she can steal the money from worthless aristocrats.

    The worthless aristocrat in Jo's sights is Nathan Alcott. He's got more money than he knows what to do with anyway and she overhears that he is taking 50,000 Pounds Sterling on a voyage. With this fortune, Jo can help dozens of the poor. She sails the ship her sister Morgan once sailed, attacks Nathan's ship (actually a ship owned by Jo's brother-in-law but chartered by Nathan), and steals the money. Jo injures Nathan during the battle and decides to help him rather than leave him to die. Both feel the attraction but know the relationship can go nowhere.

    By saving Nathan's life and then helping him rescue his sister, Jo gains Nathan's powerful enemies as well. Only by working together do they have a chance, yet can they ever trust one another?

    Tammy Hilz (see more reviews of novels by Hilz) does an excellent job portraying a sizzling attraction between Nathan and Jo--an attraction made more powerful by its impossible nature. She creates a poweful blend of romance and adventure as Nathan and Jo swashbuckle across France and England. Given the way Hilz characterized Jo as sympathetic for the poor, I was surprised that she only cared about the injured Nathan although she injured others during the pirate attack. Although Hilz did not fully explain this lapse, she has written a fine sequel to ONCE A PIRATE and set the stage for another sequel with younger sister Grace.

    Four Stars

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