She never picks up a sword or a pistol and finds herself in distress more than once, but she's strong.
In a nutshell, you have a former circus performer now orphaned and jilted by her fiancee (in a way) and she runs away dressed as a boy and works for her passage as a crew member from England to Portugal (she's aiming for New Zealand), gets shot, have to change disguises a time or two, picks up a few beaus, wins a couple hands of cards, and just overall is the funnest lass I've ran into in a book in a while.
And she falls in love...but she fears the man she is in love with is going to kill her brother, whose side she is trying to reach in time...so in a way, there's a race. Who will reach him first? Can she trust Harry the handsome captain? How will he react when he discovers she's a woman and what will he do with her?
From ship to ship, country to country, villain to villain, this novel is just a ton of fun. I appreciated the theme that came in the end as well...true love is worth denying riches and status, right? And it's important for a woman to be true to herself, be herself, and not live a life she hates--not even for a man.
So you not only get a solid, entertaining story, but a strong woman and a moral.
I plan to read more historicals by Zana Bell.