I read this book about 14-Oct-2003. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 1981. This note was last modified Wednesday, 22-Oct-2003 23:09:08 PDT.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
Book 12 of the Lord Ramage novels.
Pease is signed (nobody smart seems to think it makes any sense for England to give Napolean a break now, but the stupid politicians do it anyway). Ramage gets lucky and is given a command and a mission; he's to chart an island and set it up as an emergency station for ships to use. It was omitted from the peace, so whoever takes it probably gets to keep it.
When he gets there he finds privateers, in fact pirates, using it, with many prizes, with passengers (hostages). And expecting a companion ship with more prizes any day. So the real action is rescuing the hostages (especially the high-ranking ones on the Indiaman).
He also has to resolve his relationship with Gianna. She insists on returning to Volterra, still occupied in Italy. Ramage and his parents expect she'll be arrested or assassinated, but can't disuade her. This mirrors his own commitment to the navy. And they've been sweeping the religious difference under the rug all this time.
In fact, Gianna has made a decision to split, and sends a letter with her nephew (who serves on Ramage's ship) to be given to him after 6 months. And by then he's reached pretty much the same conclusion.
This is convenient, since he meets a spirited, smart, single, upper-class woman on the Indiaman he rescues.