Plymouth 1570; Ellyn Cooksley fears for her elderly father's health when he declares his intention to sail with Drake on an expedition he has been backing. Already yearning for escape from the loveless marriage planned for her, Ellyn boards the expedition ship as a stowaway.
Also aboard the Swan is Will Doonan, Ellyn's charming but socially inferior neighbour. Will has courted Ellyn playfully without any real hope of winning her, but when she is discovered aboard ship, dressed in the garb of a cabin boy, he is furious.
To Will's mind, Drake's secret plot to attack the Spanish bullion supply in the New World is a means to the kind of wealth with which he might win a girl like Ellyn, but first and foremost it is an opportunity to avenge his brother Kit, taken hostage and likely tortured to death by the Spanish. For the sake of the mission he supports Drake's plan to abandon Ellyn and her father on an island in the Caribbean until their mission is completed. But will love prove more important than revenge or gold?
Mistress of the Sea is an epic romantic adventure set against the backdrop of Francis Drake's first great enterprise - the attack on the Spanish 'Silver Train' on the isthmus of Panama
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A fascinating look at a 'lost' adventure of English sea-faring--exotic, savage, and altogether engrossing. - author of the bestselling Outlander series (Cross Stitch, UK)
Fantastic, really fantastic. Very exciting, and moving, vivid characters, great ending - Richard Lee, founder of the Historical Novel Society
Beautifully written and researched, this tale of desire, revenge, piracy, war and valour is so evocative we can taste salt on our skin and hear the swoop of sails overhead as we're swept up into a high-stakes adventure unlike any we've read before - C.W. Gortner, author of The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
A captivating and well researched tale of love, duty, and the consequences of actions, set against a vividly described New World. - Historical Novels Review
Brings together all the best elements of historical writing and breathes new life into the craft of epic storytelling. Sharply-drawn, credible characters, perilous adventure, exotic locations and the skilful blending of fact with fiction, make Mistress of the Sea a real page turner. - Post-ChickLit Book Group
A fabulous story, and a wonderfully different (but important) perspective on Elizabethan times... Whether you sign up for this journey in search of romance, high-stakes adventure, or just engaging entertainment, there’s something for most everyone here. - Reading the Past
Jenny Barden has had a love of history and adventure ever since an encounter in infancy with a suit of armour at Tamworth Castle. Training as an artist, followed by a career as a city solicitor, did little to help displace her early dream of becoming a knight. Impelled by a fascination with the Age of Discovery, she has travelled widely in South and Central America, and much of the inspiration for Mistress of the Sea came from retracing the footsteps of Francis Drake in Panama.
Jenny has four children and lives in Hertfordshire with her long suffering husband, a loving Labrador and a deadly Bengal cat. More about Jenny can be found at www.jennybarden.com