Title: Captive Bride
Author: Danielle Devon
Published in 2005 by Liquid Silver Books
Adianna, Princess of Anista has long known of her promised betrothal to the Prince of Easton. She accepts her duty, to be bartered in marriage in exchange for posterity for her impoverished country, but yearns to be tied to a man who would love her. She knows she will miss her home and her country when she leaves.
She sets sail on a small ship with few amenities to make the journey to Easton and the Prince with a heavy heart. She is not a good sailor and as much as she longs to reach the shores of Easton, she dreads meeting her future husband. They are several weeks from reaching their goal when they come upon an eerie ship of the dead, only to discover a crew of pirates posing as victims, tricking them into drawing too close.
Strong, bold and handsome, Rydon loves the sea and sailing. Even as a child he knew his life was fated for adventure and visiting far off places, places he often dreamed of. But lately he was finding the long voyages lonely and his adventuring life unfulfilling. Perhaps that is how he had been so easily swayed into his latest dilemma.
Rydon, captain of the pirate ship, captures the one piece of cargo from the small sailing vessel as he had promised. Now Rydon not only has to keep the beauty tied in his quarters from reaching Easton and marrying the Prince, he has to fight the sudden and intense powerful attraction to his prisoner.
Danielle Devon has created an interesting new world in Captive Bride along with two obviously meant for each other characters. Both Rydon and Adianna have sworn duties to fulfill, strong senses of honor and obligation, and an equally strong reaction to each other. Their souls recognize their other halves, but each is unable to break their word. This leaves them both with nothing but following the dictates of their consciences. A path that almost leads them to disaster as Adianna escapes Rydon and falls into the clutches of someone who has neither honor nor decency.
I found as I finished reading Captive Bride wishing that Danielle Devon had written a longer, more detailed novel. While good read, this novella could have been richer had she explored both the depths of the relationships between Adianna, her sister, her father, and Rydon’s family dynamics. We have a deeper understanding of Rydon’s relationship with his closest friend Dobbs than what his motivation was for capturing Adianna. I also felt the passage in the middle of this book with the Unbas could have either been more deeply explored or left out entirely. It smacked of plot contrivance and filler instead of truly moving the plot where it needed to go. Captive Bride by Danielle Devon is now available from Liquid Silver Books.