Mistress of the Sea paperback cover


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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?…

The Caribbean, and Sir Francis Drake’s adventures there, have a central place in English history. It was in the Caribbean that England first began her rise to become the most powerful maritime nation of her day, challenging the might of Spain and ushering in the Elizabethan Golden Age…


A tempestuous, vividly wrought tale of a girl who flees the confines of her world, at a time when Drake roamed the seas in the name of the Virgin Queen. 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 fascinating look at a ‘lost’ adventure of English sea-faring – exotic, savage, and altogether engrossing.’

Diana Gabaldon, author of the bestselling Outlander series (Cross Stitch, UK)