by Laura Renken, historical (2001)
Jove (A Seduction Romance), $5.99, ISBN 0-515-12984-4
The author has openly expressed her views of me. "As for Mrs. Giggles. At one time I really absolutely disliked her site and dreaded any review I'd ever receive from her or him--I don't really know who the anonymous Giggles is--but I figure if someone pays bucks to read my book then that reader has a right to be pissed if she doesn't like the book. I would be. I'm a new author. Reviewers come and go. I intend to be in this biz ten years from now, writing books that improve with age," she says. Then she dares me to have at it at her book.
Well, here I am. I initially don't want to put up this review, because the way I see it, it's a Catch-22 thing. If I say I love My Lord Pirate, I'll be called by some as an apologetic panderer. If I say the book is mediocre, I'll be taken to task for deliberately hitting back at the author.
Here's what I'll say before I get down to the review: I subscribe to a certain word-of-the-wise: "Say what you want, I don't give a f***." Got that? I bought this book at my own free will, and I definitely don't throw $5.99 away on stupid agendas. Here's my opinion, and if you think I'm just having fun ripping this book to get back at the author, well, that's just you.
Now, back to business.
Someone said there's only one way to write a pirate romance: a wrongly-maligned nobleman-turned-pirate kidnaps the daughter/wife-to-be of his enemy and they fall in love. It's a formula that harks back to the dark ages of romance, and My Lord Pirate is no different.
Nobleman-turned-pirate? Check. Say hi to Talon Drake (yeah, that's his name, I'm not joking). His family was executed under the orders of Regan Welles' father, and now he is systematically destroying the Welles. The final revenge would be kidnapping the son's wife-to-be and marry her himself. Which leads us to...
The kidnapped heroine. Actually, Regan Welles is kidnapped by accident. The pirates think her the wife-to-be of her half-brother. I do applaud at her firing a bullet into Talon at the end of Chapter 1, but alas, being pawed by Talon changes her life. She couldn't bear to see him executed. Oh, the pain! (Never mind that she thinks that he killed her parents, he is such a tragic figure... could there be a reason for his nastiness? Let her try to think of some excuses for him.)
While she is witnessing Talon's execution party, the pirates stage a rescue. Naturally, the law enforcers are inept, so Regan really gets kidnapped for good.
What happens next is like reading a recipe list of the formula. Let's see, the accessories - we can't do without the protective old man who looks after our hero and tries to matchmake our hero to our heroine, can we? Then there's the intrepid cabin boy. Although the crew of Talon aren't exactly Miss Manners when it comes to being nice and orderly, they don't behave like pirates either.
Along the way, Talon is impressed by Regan's feitsiness, which amounts to lots of bluster before puckering her lips for his manly kisses. She makes a lot of excuses for him after hearing his Sad Family Story, until finally she brainwashes herself into falling in love with him. Or is it with his past? Either way, I don't know.
And naturally, the heroine's family has to be sacrificed and made into corrupt villains, so that our heroine can run off with the now-cleared-of-his-sins hero with a clear conscience. (Besides, our heroine never likes her auntie anyway, so good riddance, old bag!)
Do I like this story? It's pretty swashbuckly at places. But the romance is so direly predictable that it feels like a routine to finish My Lord Pirate. It is everything a middling pirate romance is, it doesn't try to be anything new or unusual, and hence, it's not memorable either.
Hey, but Ms Renken promised to improve with age, so that's something to look forward to. Cheap dig, I know, but hey, I've been a nice and polite lady so far, so let have me this one indulgence, okay?
This book at Amazon.com
This book at Amazon UK
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