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Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite
Captain Graeme MacNeil made an unusual decision – for repayment of a gambling debt incurred by her father, he decided to take Elspeth MacDougall on his ship for a few months. She would be the ship’s surgeon, as his pirate crew might need some mending after ferocious battles. Elspeth had to leave her grieving and often inebriated father and her two younger brothers in Oban, Scotland. In the year 1547, pirates were commonplace, and the treasures they seized were bountiful. It was dangerous work, and Elspeth’s skills were soon needed. What the captain did not expect, however, was to be strongly attracted to this beautiful young woman. Author Jennifer Siddoway’s historical romantic novel, Taken by Graeme (Pirates of Barra: Highland Raiders), has many adventurous, thrilling moments balanced with the growing romance between Graeme and Elspeth.
The story has many interesting aspects to it, with battle scenes, daily aspects of living on the high seas, and village life. The pirates’ favorite tavern, The Salty Wench, is described well, including the food, the drink and the affable owner, Bess. The book is mostly an easy read, although the Scottish dialect can be challenging at times. The cast of characters is intriguing – from Elspeth’s father to Duncan, who intends to even the score with Graeme to the crew of pirates, and the Laird Thomas MacNeil and his daughter Claire. Each one is well described with physical and emotional characteristics. Taken by Graeme (Pirates of Barra: Highland Raiders) by Jennifer Siddoway is a thrilling story set in an era almost five hundred years ago. A fun read for fans of historical romance!