Treasured Chest

ISBN Number: 

There are plenty of dangers to avoid in the Mediterranean Sea:  slavery, other pirates, and execution. Carmen Ventura, newest captain of the pirate ship Strega, successfully attacks an adversary’s ship, leading to the release of its captives, including handsome Captain Marko Lucin.  Coincidentally, Marko possesses a map which may be tied to the treasure Carmen is seeking.  She made a promise to her predecessor and was given a year to find the treasure.  Together, she and Marko, embark on an adventure, uncover secrets, and possibly discover something more precious than gold.   
Treasured Chest has an intriguing premise.  Set in the late 1700’s, the use of Italian history, nobility and pirates make a refreshing change from the common historical romance settings.   Ms. Jelic displays a talent in giving the reader a feel for her story’s setting.   While the story has one anticipating a swashbuckling adventure, unfortunately, the characters and plot don’t deliver.  The tension is lost with the characters’ simplistic conflict resolution and their struggles appear mostly for show.  The romance between Marko and Carmen seems based on appearance, as very little convincing dialogue occurs between the two.  Their love is instantaneous, simplified, and out-of-character, especially for a hardened pirate of eight years and Italian noble.  The characters’ token struggles do not satisfy despite the interesting setting and premise.  Overall, Treasured Chest reflects an authentic effort to create a swashbuckling romance, the story is smooth and descriptive but flounders amidst unimpressive conflict resolution and weak characterizations.   

Anna Fitzgerald