Pirate-hunter James Ardmore's frosty sister, Southern belle Honoria, turns out to have a steamy past with ... gasp ... a Pirate. Christopher Raine, in fact: an ex-pirate who was apparently hanged by the neck until dead, years ago -- at the behest, indeed, of one Mr J Ardmore -- but has reappeared to haunt Honoria. Or is he only after that scrap of paper she's cherished for so long?
More swashbuckling fun: Raine's long-lost half-sister turns up clad only in a leopard-skin and looking pretty pissed off about it; Honoria's new sister-in-law Diana, and her friend Alexandra who's notorious for wild parties and for having married a pirate (see The Pirate Next Door) are full of good advice, and Honoria wastes no time in following it. (You may interpret that sentence however you wish.) There are shopping expeditions in Greenwich, sea-chases in search of buried treasure, importunate suitors, opium-laced drinks and dastardly villains. There is a more prominent role for Henderson, English gentleman turned Ardmore's henchman. (I like Henderson.) In the end justice is done, reputations redeemed, swashes buckled and plenty of furniture put to unintended uses. Hurrah!