LOST TREASURES OF THE HEART - Charlie Most and Charlene Keel
Treasures of the Tides , Book 1
Red Sky Presents
ISBN:  978-1-53-97257-3-2
November 2016
Combination Contemporary and Historical Romance

Baltimore, Maryland and North Carolina - Present Day

Architect Jonathan West is unhappy in his marriage to Patrice after her affair two years ago.  He gave Patrice everything she could want, but somehow, she found it necessary to turn to another man when Jonathan wasn't looking.  Now, she wants to buy a new summer place on the outer banks in North Carolina. She says the house they already have there is too small.  So, mostly to escape her constant harping, Jonathan finds himself on a fishing trip with friends to North Carolina where he can scout out a new summer house and get away from Patrice.

Once there, Jonathan finds a bit of solace while fishing until a severe storm allows him a view of what he can only describe as a ghost ship, a ship that appears to be from centuries ago, and aboard at the helm is a beguiling red headed woman.  Jonathan's fishing buddies see the ghost ship, but no one wants to admit the phenomenon, they all attribute it to their imaginations, to the stress of the storm, and the fight for their lives.  But Jonathan is obsessed with the woman and the ship.  He's determined to learn more about both of them, and when he finds a chest that might have come from the ancient ship it proves that he might have discovered a piece of lost history.

Queen Anne's Creek, North America - 1717

Kate Russell is forced to flee her home when she accidentally kills her lover, one of Blackbeard's finest captains. Kate strips to her chemise and dives into the harbor, swimming away from the pirates chasing her. They will surely kill her if they catch her.  Her father, a privateer (this is another term for pirate), deeds her one of his finest ships, the Royal Thomas, and Kate sets sail for England, where she'll be safe.  But obstacles and circumstances befall her and her new crew, and thus, Kate becomes a pirate herself, always on the run from both the government and Blackbeard.  Will she ever make it safely home?

LOST TREASURES OF THE HEART is really two stories that alternate chapters in this book of romance and adventure.  Jonathan is looking for an answer to his failing marriage and finds solace in his research of Kate Russell, a lady pirate in the 1700's.  While in the Outer Banks, he finds the perfect summer home, which suddenly becomes his obsession as he seeks to escape his wife and his current life while he romances a younger woman.  Meanwhile, the story of Kate Russell, a young woman forced into piracy to save herself, is intriguing as we follow her adventures aboard the Royal Thomas , in swarthy bars, and on the high seas.

LOST TREASURES OF THE HEART is a compelling story; however, the beginning chapters do not entice the reader forward, rather, it was a struggle for this reviewer to continue.  Each chapter alternates between the authors and their individual tales and time periods, but their voices do not mesh and the story falls flat.  I did not identify with Jonathan's character or his story.  Kate's story is much finer and brings spark to the novel.

Diana Risso