Helen Hollick lives in London with her husband and adult daughter. In between researching the background information for her historical novels, and her pirate series about Jesamiah Acorne, she spends most of her time helping with her daughter's horses, as chief groom and general run-around. She has a university diploma in early medieval history - and a passion for pirates.
This story takes place shortly after the conclusion of Pirate Code and sees Captain Jesemiah Acorne off on another ocean adventure without his dearest love. Well, he's got his `ship luvver' but not his human (`white witch') one. I enjoyed Tiola more in this book than in Pirate Code, because she seemed more gainfully occupied and stronger in character. It is less about her and more about the people she is trying to help. Finding themselves on different ships, headed in the same direction, Tiola doesn't realize that Jesemiah has to confront Captain Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard) in order to save the ship on which she is travelling. Helen successfully takes this story out of the jurisdiction of the two previous voyages, back to Jesemiah's home in Virginia. There, haunted by the voice of his long dead father, Jesemiah has to come to terms with himself and his roots.
Blackbeard is a very enthralling character to weave into this tale or perhaps I should say Jesemiah has been woven into Blackbeard's (no, not his beard, his tale). Ms Hollick definitely has a way with conversational phraseology. Blackbeard's accent is heavy and cumbersome, but for me that added to the overall effect, because I was forced to slow down as I read his words, thus creating a spinechilling overtone to the manner in which he converses. Evil and deadly, I just couldn't wait for his next appearance. Shame he's dead! (whoops......spoiler)
Helen doesn't shy away from courageous descriptions of squalid prison life, gruesome floggings and blood-curdling swordfights and that is one of the things I enjoy most about her writing; its honesty and integrity. She is able to bring it all to life with a very shrewd, fluent and skilful style which makes for a true page turner. Pick this book up today. I promise you won't regret. And did you know that a 'bring it close' is another name for a telescope? I learn something everyday, I hope...
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Strong Female CharactersAug. 9 2011
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Arggg! Captain Acorne starts off quite the pirate rogue in his regards to his relationship with Tiola.
In addition, his life gets rocky as the past is revealed to us and catches up with him.
I love how there are strong female characters in this story and how they fend for themselves.
Again, loved the details of ships, sailing and the beauty of the sea.
Fantastic ReadingJuly 25 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
The troubled, guilt-ridden spirit of Charles Mereno (Jesimiah's father) prowls the pages of Bring It Close striving to set right his many wrong doings during his earthly life. The spirit's story reveals how Jesimiah suffered because of his father's faulty judgment and how Evil personified in the person Black Beard came to be.
Jesimiah Acorne and Tiola Oldstagh maneuver to survive as they deal with Evil's ambassador Edward Teach (Black Beard), a pirate protected by the Devil and controlled by malevolent Dark Powers. How Jesimiah is connected to Black Beard is a dark thread woven into this intriguing tapestry of this tale.
The bright, shining thread in the design is Tiola, the eternal soul of a White Craft witch-woman in a beautiful, young woman's body. She uses her abilities as a midwife and healer for good. She has to tread cautiously since the people in the early eighteenth century did not deal kindly with witches. Neither would the Dark Malevolencies if they could locate her as the source of light and good that stands against them.
Jesimiah is a variegated thread in the tapestry, somewhat of a chameleon, who fits in with whichever segment of the population he needs to in order to stay alive and prosper. Now a "retired" pirate with amnesty, he still sails into life-threatening situations used by self-serving people who are not concerned about whether he lives or dies just so long as they get what they want.
Jesimiah, a complex character, lives by the pirate code for the most part, but an underlying morality tempers his judgment much of the time. At times he slips and finds himself isolated from his soul mate Tiola, who is his only true comfort. His inability to mentally reach her leaves him desolate as he gets into situations that bring him to the brink of death.
The supernatural elements in Bring It Close play major roles. Jesimiah's father's spirit, with the help of the old witch woman, crosses the eternal river to return to earth and set right his wrongdoings. His character fills in the back story that led up to the horrific childhood Jesimiah suffered that led to his pirate life. Many things alluded to in the first two books of this trilogy, Sea Witch and Pirate Code, are explained in Bring It Close. Some of the graphic descriptions make one shudder.
Helen Hollick weaves in a multitude of characters, like the durable Alicia, the determined Sam Grant, the tried and true Rue, and many others, as she creates a tale of people struggling to build lives in the New World along the eastern coast of America and the Caribbean. Evil stalks the area and flourishes on the greed and fears of the people. How Good copes, with Evil running rampant, makes captivating reading with adrenaline-pumping actions, dreadful situations, and a love as solid as a rock and as soft and gentle as a sigh. That love is the foundation for Jesimiah and Tiola's relationship.
The organization and POV changes in Bring It Close were a little distracting for me. At times I felt pulled too far away from the hero and heroine. However, having read the first two books of the trilogy, I loved traveling with Jesimiah and Tiola as they get ever closer to their happy-ever-after.
Ms. Hollick's incredible ability to weave in history, superstitions, moralistic judgments of the time, unique terms and sayings, levels of society, women's place in the hierarchy, supernatural elements, and fantasy makes the story rich. Her wonderful descriptions and her spectacular character development make the story throb with life.
Bring It Close is an amazing armchair adventure into the world of pirates and settlers along the eastern coast of America in the eighteenth century.
Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
Pirate adventureJuly 26 2011
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Oh Jesamiah you really should learn to keep it in your pants. Though I still do not hate him, despise him a bit yes, but not hate since Hollick is just too good making her point.
Lots happened on the last book. Jesamiah came back alive from his spying trip, he learnt new truths about his family, his brother was not his brother at all. And now he is happy but bored since he is not a pirate any more. Of course then things goes to hell when Alicia, his brother's wife and former whore shows up and Jesamiah, oh you know. Tiola leaves and he goes after her. This book also deals with pirates again and the darker sides as the attention moves to Virginia and North Carolina where Blackbeard can be found. Jesamiah is going to deal with him once and for all.
Here we finally meet real pirates. Bloodthirsty men who rape, kill and torture without a second thought. They are real pirates and they should be feared. I am not saying Jesamiah is a choir boy, no he has done bad things but there is still good in him. Blackbeard on the other hand is a crazy psychopath and Hollick has made Jesamiah a part of his story.
This book is also a bit darker as many will suffer direct and indirect at the hands of pirates.
But there is still adventure to be had and we learn more about Tiola's craft, as she is a witch sent to guard against the dark. Poor Tethys is not around much, but instead we have the ghost of Jesamiah's father telling his story.
The book will promise you adventure, evil pirates, tragic love stories and witchcraft. So be prepared for a wild pirate adventure.
CloserDec 30 2010
Rosey Thomas Palmer
- Published on Amazon.com
Readers of Helen Hollick are familiar with Jesemiah Acorne, the deeply imbibing, womanising intrepid entrepreneur of the high seas. On this voyage he is accompanied by the wraith of his father who, in a no-man's land between life and death, is especially empowered to right some wrongs he left behind him in the world of humanity.
The plot allows the character of Tiola to grow in immensity and credibility. Hollick achieves the difficult task of bringing supernatural powers to rational acceptance and, I think, her carefully researched episodes about horse health and midwifery have a lot to do with this, coming as they do, before the vision of Tiola's intervention in a naval battle, they help to build our belief in her commanding presence.
I, feminist as I am, would like to see Tiola seriously at odds with Jesemiah's womanising ways, in a forthcoming novel, of course, not to detract from the very winsome love story presented in the series. I would be fascinated to see how she challenges the behaviour that wrecks many a relationship without losing her grip on Jesemaih and his Sea Witch.
Bring it Close is an excellent read. Much to be recommended, based soundly on US Southern History and featuring Blackbeard in a new and amusing way.
A Thrill A Page!Sept. 1 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
I hated to see it end! And what an ending!! Wow! What a surprise that was!(I will not be giving any of it away!) The entire book was fascinating and Jesamiah is just such a bad boy, smart,lucky, fun and sexy! I just love him and Tiola together! This 3rd installment to the series is just great and I don't know what more to say other than it keeps you on the edge of your seat, laughing, crying, horrified (Blackbeard was so awful), and so very interested! I can see each chapter playing out as if I were actually there thanks to the brilliant writing style! Thank you Helen so much for such wonderful reading enjoyment! I am planning on re-reading Bring it Close again very soon as I am sure I will find something that I may have missed in the first go round. If you read the other books in this series this is a MUST! If you haven't then get them all!! I am so looking forward to the next Sea Witch Series book from Helen! Bravo!!