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Once a Scoundrel
Cover of Once a Scoundrel
Once a Scoundrel
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A sea captain rescues an aristocratic beauty from Barbary pirates in a Regency romance that "sizzles with passion" by the New York Times bestselling author (Publishers Weekly).

Dismissed from the Royal Navy for a rebellious act of heroism, Gabriel Hawkins is now the captain of his own ship. Having earned his living on the high seas as a blockade runner, he is now employed to rescue Lady Aurora Lawrence, who is being held captive on the Barbary coast. The pirate Malek Reis demands a small fortune in ransom, but he's dealt with Captain Hawkins before—and knows to expect the unexpected.

Lady Aurora is truly shocked when the handsome, steely captain refuses to pay the ransom, and instead agrees to take her and her captor on an even more dangerous mission. But soon Gabriel and Aurora face another kind of danger—an attraction that burns hot within the confines of his ship. Now, even as they endure the perils of the sea, they wonder if their love can survive a return to England, where the distance between a disgraced captain and an earl's daughter is wider than the ocean.

A sea captain rescues an aristocratic beauty from Barbary pirates in a Regency romance that "sizzles with passion" by the New York Times bestselling author (Publishers Weekly).

Dismissed from the Royal Navy for a rebellious act of heroism, Gabriel Hawkins is now the captain of his own ship. Having earned his living on the high seas as a blockade runner, he is now employed to rescue Lady Aurora Lawrence, who is being held captive on the Barbary coast. The pirate Malek Reis demands a small fortune in ransom, but he's dealt with Captain Hawkins before—and knows to expect the unexpected.

Lady Aurora is truly shocked when the handsome, steely captain refuses to pay the ransom, and instead agrees to take her and her captor on an even more dangerous mission. But soon Gabriel and Aurora face another kind of danger—an attraction that burns hot within the confines of his ship. Now, even as they endure the perils of the sea, they wonder if their love can survive a return to England, where the distance between a disgraced captain and an earl's daughter is wider than the ocean.

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About the Author-
  • Mary Jo Putney is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has written over sixty novels and novellas. A ten-time finalist for the Romance Writers of America RITA, she has won the honor twice and is on the RWA Honor Roll for bestselling authors. In 2013 she was awarded the RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. Though most of her books have been historical romance, she has also published contemporary romances, historical fantasy, and young adult paranormal historicals. She lives in Maryland with her nearest and dearest, both two and four footed. Visit her at maryjoputney.com.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 13, 2018
    Putney’s third Regency Rogues Redeemed historical (after Once a Rebel) sizzles with passion and adventure. Gabriel Hawkins Vance is dismissed from the Royal Navy after abandoning his post to rescue a midshipman, but he continues his seafaring career, eventually captaining his own ship and earning a living as a blockade runner. He sails to the Barbary Coast to rescue Lady Aurora “Rory” Lawrence and her companion and cousin, Constance. They are being held by pirate Malek Reis for a ransom of £50,000—money that Malek needs to ransom his own wife and children from his ruthless cousin, Gürkan. Though Malek is unwilling to release the women for less than £50,000, he agrees to let Gabriel take Malek, Rory, and Constance to Constantinople, where Gürkan awaits them. As Gabriel and Rory fall in love, they share the fear that Gabriel’s plan will fail. Despite the clichéd threat that Malek will sell Rory and Constance into harems, Putney takes care to respectfully portray her Turkis characters. Subtle yet sensuous romance keeps the pages turning.

  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2018
    It's a pirate's life for her--and that's not a good thing.In seeking a life of freedom away from British society, Lady Aurora Lawrence finds herself in a seemingly inescapable trap: She's been kidnapped by Barbary pirate Malek Reis and added to a harem as she waits to see whether her family will pay Malek's massive ransom demands. Rory's family has long given up on making a respectable woman of her, but her mother nevertheless seeks to hire a rescuer who might have a chance of saving her from a life in chains. Gabriel Hawkins is exactly whom she needs: He's of noble birth, but after having been kicked out of the Royal Navy, he's needed to make a living any way he can and is familiar with the not-so-legal side of the high seas. Gabriel quickly finds Rory on the Barbary Coast but soon learns that it won't be easy to negotiate her ransom, as Malek may actually need to sell her in order to rescue his own wife and children, who are being held hostage by his evil cousin. So, despite their chemistry and proximity, the pair must resist temptation, because preserving Rory's virginity could be the only way both will make it back to London safely. The story is lengthy and complex, with a few stumbles--because of the setting, Putney (Once a Rebel, 2017, etc.) walks a thin line between cultural sensitivity and the occasional stereotype, and some readers may be uncomfortable with the portrayal of life in harems even though the story takes pains to make its main characters three-dimensional. Like the first two books in Putney's Rogues Redeemed series, this one is full of suspense, including battles at sea and a daring underground rescue, and fans of the action in earlier entries are likely to enjoy this volume as well. However, Rory and Gabriel's immediate attraction combined with a charming subplot of a second love story ensure that romance carries the day.An action-packed romance at sea that many readers will enjoy.

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    October 15, 2018

    The last place Gabriel Hawkins, privateer, intrepid blockade runner, and captain of the trusty Zephyr, ever wanted to be was back on the Barbary Coast. Yet when lovely, quick-witted, alarmingly independent Lady Aurora Lawrence is kidnapped by pirates and held for ransom, he knows he can't leave her to the mercy of men like those who had once held him captive. What he didn't wish was to find Rory and her companion in the hands of Malek Reis, a corsair with whom he has a history, or to end up streaking across the Mediterranean with a boatload of exotic animals to rescue Malek's wife and children from a truly evil villain. Ripples of humor, high-seas adventure, and sigh-worthy romance are here in full measure in a nonstop escapade that puts a refreshing spin on a tale that is far more than the classic Barbary pirate/harem romance. VERDICT A vibrant heroine with a warrior maiden mind-set and a bold, undaunted hero who makes peace with his past find love amid mayhem in a story that redeems another rogue and sows the tantalizing seeds for the next in the series. Putney (Once a Rebel) lives in Baltimore.

    Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from September 15, 2018
    Lady Aurora Rory Lawrence needs a hero. After she and her cousin, Constance Hollings, are captured by Barbary pirates, the two Englishwomen face a bleak future as harem slaves unless Rory's family can come up with the outlandishly high ransom demanded by the corsair's leader. Gabriel Hawkins is no hero. Disowned by his grandfather and dismissed from the British Royal Navy, Gabriel has forged a new life for himself as a ship's captain who is willing to do almost any kind of freelance work. Hired by Rory's mother to bring her daughter safely back home, Gabriel knows his latest assignment will be challenging, but he has no idea exactly how difficult it will be until he arrives in Algiers, where Gabriel discovers that the man holding Rory captive remembers him well from a past encounter. The intelligently plotted and impeccably researched Once a Scoundrel, third in the Rogues Redeemed series, proves once again why RITA Award-winning Putney's books are the literary equivalent of catnip to historical romance fans. Not only does she perfectly calibrate the ratio of high-stakes action to high-octane sexual chemistry, but her willingness to eschew the familiar Regency landscape in favor of something new and different is commendable.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

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Once a Scoundrel
Once a Scoundrel
Mary Jo Putney
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