"I won't be used again."
"Maybe not. Maybe I can't make you adore me again, maybe I can't make you love me again---"
Oh, why did he have to use the word love?"
"But you're right about one thing." He leaned his arm against wall by her head. His lips barely moved as he spoke, but his eyes gleamed with a blatant assurance. "I want you in my bed all the time. I'm not going to force you. I don't have to. our flesh almost sizzles when we stand close, and one night soon you'll come to me and offer yourself."
This is number #11 in the Governess Brides series and as I haven't read any of the others, I felt like I was walking in on a play in its 11th act. The origins of why the hero and heroine are doing what they are are told but the how of the heroine being a spy was very glossed over. The mention of a governess school (hence the series title, I'm guessing) that seems to train women to be spies was mentioned along with a Mr. Throckmorton who is the mastermind behind it all.
There was a dearth of pirate action, the pirate-ness was left the secondary characters, hero's ship crew, and I missed any high seas adventure. Heroine felt more real than the hero, his backstory was doled out slowly to keep some mystery alive. They feel in love when they were teenagers, so my favorite part, building of relationship was pretty absent. There were flashbacks to their first meeting, a scene where they take notice of each other, and their one night together, which I appreciated but emotional depth between the two was lacking.
The writing style, tone, story, and characters' personalities reminded me a lot of books published in the '90s and early '00s; stubborn "I can ride and fight like a man" heroine and slightly annoying "I know you want me" hero. If you're looking for a throw back, here you go.