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4.0 out of 5 stars What a ride! Rebels picks up about four months after the end of Marianne and the Privateer, and finds our intrepid heroine in Florence attending the court of Napoleon’s sister. Marianne plans to skip the reckoning she’s due with her husband, the Prince Sant’Anna, and rendezvous instead with her American lover Jason Beaufort in Venice – but Napoleon has other plans for her and they don’t include Jason. Or do they? Despite the heavy guard the Emperor sets for her, they’re not good enough to save her from the demonic plot hatched by a madman, and our heroine is set for a harrowing experience. Mysteriously rescued (just who was that who ‘done in’ her captors anyway?), she finds her friends and prepares to head to Constantinople per Napoleon’s orders, but Jason is none too thrilled about this news. Now you know it’s not going to be smooth sailing on the way with complications aplenty, don’t you? And you think I’m going to tell you?

Not on your life, but I will say our heroine sees plenty of action, from mutiny at sea, near drowning on the high seas, Greek rebels fighting the hated Turkish rulers, capture by slave-traders, and just when the end of the road and freedom (and perhaps Jason?) are in sight….

To find oneself suddenly, halfway across the world, on board the same vessel as an old family friend who, besides being one’s accidental rescuer, has all unwittingly become a wartime enemy is an experience of singular awkwardness.

All I can say is that was one nasty cliff-hanger to stick a reader with and I now have a wait of several days for the next installment to land on my hold shelf. I am thoroughly enjoying this series, the action is non-stop from the get go and the author does a marvelous job blending her fictional characters with those in real life. I also loved the settings in this one as we got to travel to some very remote islands on the way to Constantinople.

Next up is Marianne and the Lords of the East and it appears we’re going to get an appearance from the French Sultana, relative of Josephine Bonaparte and our own Marianne. There’s a fascinating post about her here at Scandalous Women. The series in order,

  1. Marianne (also found in two volumes as Bride of Selton Hall and The Eagle and the Nightingale)
  2. The Masked Prince
  3. The Privateer
  4. The Rebels
  5. The Lords of the East
  6. The Crown of Fire