GENRE: Historical Fiction / Romance
Sarah Campbell is a rarity among women in her time. Raised by her Scottish father and the natives of a remote island in the South Pacific, Sarah and her father embark on a perilous journey to Scotland. Their crew betrays them and murders her father for the purpose of selling Sarah into slavery. She is rescued by an unlikely hero, Hassan Aziz, the most feared pirate on the Barbary Coast. She quickly discovers that she is unprepared for the complex world that is suddenly thrust upon her. Sarah must find a way to survive in a world that intrigues and terrifies her.
Sarah picked up the first picture in the stack and handed it to Hassan. “My friend, Temoe. She … beautiful, aye?”
Hassan frowned as he studied her drawing. If he had to guess, her friend looked as if she were Sarah’s age, perhaps a little older. She wore her hair cut to her shoulders with flowers tucked behind her ears, just as Sarah described, but she was not the Aphrodite goddess from his fantasies. Her flat nose and angular jaw gave her a slightly masculine quality. Dressed only in a cloth tied around her waist, her full breasts provided the only proof that she was a woman.
“She beautiful, aye?”
“Well, um.” Hassan didn’t know how to answer her. “Do all the women on your island look like this?”
“Aye. You not like?”
“I am certain that your friend is lovely. Honestly, it's hard to ascertain her beauty from this portrait.”
”Temoe have … um … many sweetheart.”
“I see.” Hassan grinned as he studied the expression on her face. “I imagine you had many sweethearts of your own.”
Sarah looked down at her lap as her trembling hand fidgeted with a lock of her hair. “No. I not beautiful.”
Hassan lifted his brow. “You must be joking.”
Sarah pointed to her friend’s nose. “Beautiful women have nose like Temoe.”
“Do you mean that men esteem women who have flat noses?”
“Um.” Hassan thought for a moment. “In other words, your people consider flat noses as a sign of beauty.”
Hassan wished he had a mirror to show Sarah just how exquisite she truly was. Then again, he wondered if it would make a difference considering that she measured beauty by the Polynesians’ standards. In this part of the world, Sarah would be regarded as the rarest of all beauties, for he had never seen her equal. Hassan caressed her cheek with the back of his finger and said, “I cannot speak for your countrymen, but I can speak for mine. They will esteem you as a lovely young woman.”
“Aye?” She looked at Hassan as if this was the first time someone had told her that she was beautiful.
Josanna Thompson is the author of A Maiden's Honor and The Woman from Eden series. She has lived in many different places in the United States, including the Southeast, the Midwest, California, and the Northeast. When she is not writing; she enjoys traveling, exploring, and scuba diving.
Josanna Thompson will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.