Kidnapped by a ruthless early 19th-century woman pirate and ordered to serve exquisite Sunday dinners or forfeit his life, renowned chef Owen Wedgwood transforms meager shipboard supplies into sumptuous meals while the pirate queen pushes her exhausted crew to track down a deadly privateer. (historical fiction).
Amazon Rating: 4.7 our 5 Stars!!
One thing I have missed since I moved back to my hometown is that I had to leave my book club and all my awesome book club friends. So a few months back I reached out in my new neighborhood hoping that there would be others like me who wanted to meet, drink wine and discuss books and guess what … I found myself a new book club filled with awesome ladies who share my love of reading. Score! Well this month our book was Cinnamon and Gunpowder, a book that a lady had heard about on NPR. From the description you’ll see that it is a pirate book and even more odd … a male captive and a female pirate …. definitely a different spin on an old formula. I was a intrigued to say the least.
When I started this book I had the print version and just couldn’t get into it. Even though it is written not that long ago, the story takes place a couple hundred years ago (which I normally love) but the words are older, more proper and so adjective heavy that my mind just wandered as I struggled to focus on the pages. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad or anything and it has an interesting story line but still with all of that I couldn’t get into it and I was frustrated. Well to be fair I was also super busy and had a deadline on a blanket I had promised to make for a friend so my mind was all over the place and time was limited. All of this equals me going to Audible and buying the audio version and I am so happy I did because the audio book was way better and much more engaging. I credit a lot of that to the narrator who was able to inject life and excitement into the words that had bogged me down in the print version and brought the whole story to life!
So while I was going about my busy day to day I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the adventures of Mad Mabbot and Wedge on the high seas. It was an adventure book filled with odd bits of humor and daring. The twists and turns of the plots were ones that were never really obvious and the prose was eloquent in its own way. I found myself drawn to the characters that I initially had zero interest in and the character development was so strong that they seemed to live. All those annoying adjectives in print all of a sudden were like gems! By the time that I reached the end I was so invested and emotionally tied up that I was bereft to say goodbye.
The story is ultimately about Owen a well known and celebrated chef employed by a wealthy, powerful man in England and his journey. Owen comes off as accomplished and confident but he locked into a prison of his circumstances and a terrifying encounter with the most feared and hunted pirate in the world, who imprisons him …. ironically frees him in ways readers will never expect.
Mad Mabbot was a fantastic female lead. Unapologetically ruthless, witty and kind … in her warped way will leave readers wondering what her motives are and if the stories of her escapades could be true? She breaks the mold of her station in a time when females were second class and largely silent. She is a refreshing read. Not to leave out Mr. Apples who tugged at my heart in his big, tough, knitting way… he was sweet.
After I finished this story I remembered why I love book clubs so much and no its not just the wine, although that is a hell of a perk! I love that we rotate picking books and it forces me to experience something new. I can 100% guarantee I would have never picked this book on my own and if they hadn’t been counting on me, I may never have finished but I am so thankful I did and it makes me excited to see what new book adventures these ladies will find.