The Valkyrie Series by Karen Perkins
Gabriella Berryngton is an unhappy and oppressed fourteen-year-old girl living in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1683. She dreams of escaping her bitter, ambitious stepfather and sailing off into the unknown. Her dreams come true when her stepfather sells her into marriage. Aboard the Freyja, she is hopeful that her new life in the Dutch West Indies will be an improvement – a hope that dies when she is given a slave, Klara, and a whip. She discovers that her soon-to-be father-in-law is a ruthless slave trader in league with pirates, and her fiancé is cold, unfriendly and disinterested in Gabriella. She is little more than a vessel to provide the next generation of van Eckens. Largely ignored and desperately unhappy, she and Klara develop a friendship which makes life bearable – at first. Once married, Gabriella’s life takes a turn for the worse and she descends into a world of horror and abuse until tensions finally explode. Life will never be the same and she has no choice but to take fate into her own hands.
Dead Reckoning is a historical adventure of piracy, love and revenge in the Caribbean in the seventeenth century. Leo is born in Spanish Panama in 1659. When he is twelve years old he witnesses the violent rape and murder of his mother by three of the Caribbean’s most feared pirates: Tarr, Blake and Hornigold, and swears revenge at all costs. Gabriella is trapped in an abusive marriage to a ruthless Dutch slave trader, who is in business with the same English cut-throats. She risks all to escape with her life. Leo and Gabriella meet aboard one of the most horrific ships in the Caribbean – a slaver – and join forces against their common enemy. They face a number of challenges as they battle not only the dangers of a life at sea, including storm, drowning, and being cast adrift in a crippled ship, but also repeated attacks by Blake and Hornigold. But their biggest threat proves to be each other. Can they reconcile their hearts in time for the fiercest battle in their quest of revenge, and survive the gallows? Dead Reckoning was long-listed in the 2011 Mslexia Novel Competition.
Henry Sharpe is a recently bereaved and bankrupt English earl who travels to the Caribbean to help his uncle run his sugar plantation. When he arrives, he finds his uncle has given up on that idea to lead a more exciting life as a privateer. With no money and no prospects, Sharpe has little choice but to join him, although he is uncomfortable with the life he is living, especially when he meets the indomitable and infamous Henry Morgan and is forced to sail under his orders. He is more likely to rescue the doomed souls he meets than terrorise them, which leads to repeated conflict with his fellow privateers, especially when he takes the kidnapped Magdalena under his protection. Battling ships and the Spanish fortifications protecting Porto Belo, Sharpe finds his deadliest feuds are those aboard his own ship. Trapped in the middle of the rivalry between his uncle, Captain Richard Tarr, and Captain Edward Hornigold, Sharpe makes more enemies on deck, in particular the formidable yet sly Cheval. He is pushed to his limits as he fights for his own survival and that of the woman he loves, knowing the odds are stacked high against him.
I was given this series in exchange for an honest review
The Valkyrie Series comes highly recommended for those who enjoy historical reading. It is a romance but not erotica. I would rate this series as 5 star.
I really enjoyed these stories. One big plus was the period dialogue. The language used is one you can imagine pirates of olden days in the Caribbean might have used. From start to finish, these are stories the reader will find difficult to put down as the story telling is fast paced and leaves the reader wondering what happens next. The love story between Gabriella and Leo is slow to begin with but is as it should be. After all, we all know that mad, passionate love is something that takes time to build. They are a typical couple with all the ups and downs that come with a relationship.
They are very well written with no grammar or spelling issues. An excellent series!