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on December 10, 2007
Dawn MacTavish captured me with The Marsh Hawk, and I have to say her books are as close as you can come to a guaranteed great read. The Privateer had me from page one.

The one-eyed man who prefers to be called "King" is Basil Alistaire Kingston, Earl of Grayshire. He's haunted with a somewhat shady past, but his burden (other than his termagant mother, a wonderful character!) is his father's legacy of piracy and womanizing. King worries that he'll end up just like good ol' dad, and it's likely, too, considering the orders he receives from the Admiralty.

But he can handle all that. When his mother demands he find a companion for her in a debtor's prison, he meets Lady Lark Eddington. The introduction wasn't formal--she was fighting with three other women who'd robbed her of what little she had left. Her father had gambled away all the family's assets and her inheritance; hence, debtor's prison. She definitely didn't belong there.

What a journey! An alpha male with a very strong heroine and a determined mother, an unscrupulous bad guy, and a nasty woman out for vengeance. It's all here, a compelling story that will keep you reading. If you're late for work, just remember, you have been warned. :)
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on December 11, 2007
*****Lady Lark is an inspiring character, a woman whose strength and determination keep her from folding under the duress of debtors prison and the myriad of misfortunes that follow. Lord Grayshire, though her rescuer, is not the letch she at first believes. The twists and turns of the plot will intrigue you and keep you turning the pages long past the hour of sleep.

Let Dawn MacTavish take you into another time and place, give you the gift of her story-telling ability and wonderful word usage. Having read most of her books, I have to say this one is the best so far!

Diane Davis White
Author of Moon of The Falling Leaves
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on December 12, 2007
There is no finer gentleman in current historical fiction than Basil Kingston, Earl of Grayshire, nor a woman as fortunate as Lady Lark Eddington. Both are the main protaganists of Dawn MacTavish's, The Privateer. When "King" rescues her from her confined quarters at Marshalsea, Lark is initially puzzled as to his intent. When it is explained that she has been chosen to take on the task of companion to his uncompromising mother, she gratefully accepts. Lark and "King" soon find themselves harboring seemingly unsuitable and untimely attractions to each other, a difficulty that is challenged by the formidable matron of Grayshire and conquered by a couple very much in love.

Ms. MacTavish has a remarkable talent for weaving scene and setting details into her plot and giving her characters strong, individual voices. Her turns of phrase and use of the vernacular are exceptional. I recommend The Privateer to anyone looking to curl up with a beautifully written tale of romance. To quote her character, Agnes, "oh, la!"
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on December 24, 2007
Dawn Thompson's writing continues to fascinate me, with each book being special in its own way. She is a beautiful writer, who always keeps turning up 'the game'. She writes Regency Historical Romances under Dawn MacTavish penname (The Marsh Hawk), dark and sinister vampire sagas (Blood Moon; The Brotherhood) which drew the praise of Chicago Sunday Tribune's John Charles calling them, "An inventive hybrid of Regency historical and dark, sexy paranormal romance...wildly imaginative and wonderfully entertaining." The third in the cycle, The Ravening (due out next month) earned a TOP PICK from Romantic Times. She also does time-travel and shapeshifter romances, and recently branched out in a new area of Literary Erotic Historical Fantsy with The Elemental series (Lord of the Deep, with Lord of the Dark coming this summer). Whatever she writes only shows another facet of her extreme talent. A consumate storyteller, she grabs me from page one and never lets me go until that final page. I close the backcover regretting the wonderful tale is over.

But there is something special about her MacTavish books, straight Regency Romances, written by someone who really has a feel for the period and England, to the point people often believe Thompson is British. In this delightful tale, you have Basil "King" Kingston, Earl Greyshire. Basil has a shady past, and an eyepatch to show for it, and detests being called Basil. Which is precisely why his crusty mother refuses to call him anything but that. (The mother is one hoot of a character!!). King worries about the legacy of daddy dearest - a pirate - and tries not to follow in his father footsteps. Only the Admiralty comes a knocking and insists that he take to the high seas as a privateer (a pirate with a license from the crown). Only before he can do that, he has to find mum-from-hell a companion to keep her company. Hitting on the idea of getting something who cannot tell dear old mum to stuff it and leave, he goes to debtor's prison and buys a companion, and he gets a bargain in that!

Lady Lark Eddington was tossed into debtor's prison because her father gambled away all the family money, including her inheritence, so the offer to have her way bought out of prison comes as a godsend for a woman who would have no other option. She assumes King will want something in return, but it's not what she thinks! Toss in a wicked villain, a woman out for vengeance, highjinks on sea and land, and one sexy Basil Kingston, Lark's life is about to take a turn...for the better!

The whole book is wonderful Regency, but dear old mum steals the show!! Simply a wonderful read.
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on February 1, 2008
London, 1812
At twenty-two years old Lark Eddington is in dire straits. Her father's gambling and subsequent suicide have left her destitute with a mountain of debts. She did what she could to raise the funds to pay off the debtors but she's still a few hundred pounds short - for that she's thrown into debtor's prison.

Basil, 'King', Kingston, Earl of Grayshire, needs to acquire a companion for his eccentric mother and she insists that the young woman be selected come from a debtor's. He plans to marry and beget heirs as soon as he has his mother settled. It seems simple enough but few things in life ever are and Basil's about to discover just how complicated things can get.

King's visiting Marshalsea where he hopes to find a suitable young woman to serve as a companion to his mother. He witnesses Lark's humiliation at having her possessions stolen by fellow debtors. He'd heard of her father's unfortunate problem and death but hadn't been aware that she was in such dire straits. She's a well brought up young lady and would be a perfect companion for his mother.

Being plucked from the dismal existence at Marshalsea by King is a godsend to Lark. That she's completely oblivious to his intentions poses a bit of a problem but then he's paid off her debt and she owes him. The only regret she has about leaving the debtor's prison is leaving behind her newfound friend Agnes. It isn't until she's well away from the horrible conditions and abuse of the prison that she learns King's intentions but not before suffering abuse at the hands of his own servants. King's enraged by the audacity his servants exhibit and Biddy is turned out without reference over the incident.
Lark's agreeable to being a companion to King's mother despite her unconventional attitude. The only trouble is she's falling in love with King and trying so hard to keep from doing so - especially since he intends to marry Lady Anne.

King's just trying to keep everything in his life from falling apart. He's been awarded a Letter of Marque by the Crown. His ship, Cormorant, has been licensed for profiteering. He's supposed to aid in ending the smuggling ring - of which his own father was very much a part. His intentions to marry may have to fall along the wayside while he finds a way out of this mess. Life's become exceedingly complicated in a short period of time but even his preoccupation with his own problems doesn't stop him from being drawn to Lark.

Dawn MacTavish (a.k.a. Dawn Thompson) transports readers back in time with this enchanting tale. THE PRIVATEER is full of characters you'll either love or love to hate but I can guarantee you won't be bored as you immerse yourself in this regency storyline. Lark is a surprisingly strong young woman. She suffered the loss of not just her father but everything she's ever had and yet she still has a determined spirit and refuses to allow anyone to use her. King is the kind of man women fantasize about - strong, trustworthy, loyal and sexy. King's mother is an unexpected treat. She does her best to come off as frail but she's tough as nails and isn't afraid to break out the cane as a weapon if she deems it necessary.

Beautifully written Ms. MacTavish! This is regency story-telling at its best! Now I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for a story for King's brother, Will. He's so wild and free that I just think it'd take a heck of a girl to settle him down.

Chrissy Dionne (courtesy of Romance Junkies)
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