Three Star Island, by Kat Caulberg

“You’re a good soul, Penelope. You forgave me my sins, though God knows why. You’ve no affection for pretenses, you’ve brooked none of my nonsense, you’ve a filthy mouth and a sharp mind. I don’t have to pretend when I’m with you. Do you understand what that’s worth?”

Ordinarily, a time traveling romance begins in the present, with the heroine stumbling back into time as either the Inciting or the Act I turning point, and one of the things I absolutely love, love, love about Kat Caulberg’s Three Star Island, is that it starts after the time travel. A long time after, in fact: Penelope is stuck on an island, in the early 18th century, among strangers who dislike her, and part of the story is filling in how she got there and what’s happened in the intervening years. So when the notorious pirate Captain William Payne washes up on the beach, his ship having sunk, his crew having mutinied against him, they’re both in a similar position of being stranded.

Having lived on her own without hope for so long, Penny finds it hard to open her heart, but she’s has intelligence, a fiery spirit, and—matched against Will—she rediscovers laughter, passion, and purpose. She needs every ounce of her indomitable will to face the dangers ahead of them