An Ali Review: Contraband Hearts (Porthkennack #10) by Alex Beecroft

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

His future depends on bringing the smuggler to justice. His heart demands to join him.

Customs officer Peregrine Dean is sent by his patron to investigate rumors of corruption in the Porthkennack customs house. There he is tasked by the local magistrate to bring down the villainous Tomas Quick, a smuggler with fingers in every pie in town. Fired with zeal and ambition, and struck to the core by his first glimpse of Tomas, Perry determines to stop at nothing until he has succeeded.

Tomas Quick is an honest thief—a criminal regarded by the town as their local Robin Hood. He’s also an arrogant man who relishes the challenge posed by someone as determined and intelligent as Perry. Both of them come to enjoy their cat-and-mouse rivalry a little too much.

But the eighteenth century is a perilous time for someone like Perry: a black man in England. Two have already disappeared from the wrecks of ships. Tomas and Perry must forsake their competition and learn to trust each other if they are to rescue them, or Perry may become the third victim.

The story begins when Peregrine “Perry” Dean arrives in Porthkennak to take up a position as a customs officer. He’s been sent to clean up corruption in the customs house, and the town magistrate orders Perry to target a local sailor, Tomas Quick. Unfortunately for Perry, Tomas is a respected member of the community and the townspeople have no desire to aide in his capture.  While he struggles to build a case against Tomas, the two men begin to fall for each other.
I thought the author did a great job with world building and setting the stage for this story.  It was so well done I felt I was in historic Cornwall.  She also did a great job with the character development.  She spent a lot of time building up Perry and Tomas and I enjoy how she put not only them but their relationship together.
The story is pretty action packed and a lot of stuff happens.  It was as much suspense and action plot as it was romance.  Actually it was more suspense than romance.  That may be an issue for some readers.  The love story is a very slow build and fits well with the time period it takes place in.  It felt pretty realistic which was a nice change of pace from many current love stories.
I think if you are a fan of this author’s you will really enjoy this.  If you have not read her before this is a lovely story and you should give it a try.  While this is an ongoing series, each book is written as a standalone and you will have no problem enjoying this even if you have not read any of the other books.
This cover was done by L.C, Chase and I think it’s a lovely cover.  It fits the description of Perry well and it captures the mood over the story well.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

ebook, 270 pages
Published April 30th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN 1626498040 (ISBN13: 9781626498044)
Edition Language English

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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