Four and a half for this one.
I liked it a lot. It was very unique in that the location is pretty much the same throughout the book. It didn't bother me, though. Every once in a while I would think "Wow! We've been on a ship the entire time." But it was only a surprised observation and not a complaint.
There were some great side characters and the hero, Gray, is very lovable. The heroine is Sophia, a character featured in Goddess of the Hunt. She's the one who gave me some problems. I thought she was very good and intriguing throughout most of it. An "English rose" whose suiters and family all want to pamper her as if she's fragile china, she just wants some adventure and passion. I thought it was a really nice duality for a character to be completely feminine and innocent, but to harbor "depraved fantasies" and a longing for thrill. It was a fun twist.
However, she's kind of a selfish heroine, too. She's run away, leaving her family no real hint as to where she's gone in addition to the expenses of a canceled wedding, and her fiance with nothing but the humiliation of having been jilted. Wow. What a sweetie. Makes me really want to root for her. Hurrah. :^|
So I was torn between liking her quite a bit and wishing she weren't so self-centered. Then, toward the end, the author takes us through a stretch where the heroine seems extremely selfish and cowardly. It's pretty frustrating and would have cost the book at least one star had Sophia not pulled it out in a scene similar to Elizabeth's testimony before the House of Lords in Judith McNaught's "Almost Heaven".
I have to admit to the frustration with the heroine because it was strong, but at the same time I have to applaud Tessa Dare for pulling the whole thing off beautifully.