by Laine Morgan, historical/vampire (2007)
New Concepts Publishing, $3.50, ISBN N/A
This is a short story previously published under Runestone Publishing back in 2005 under the pseudonym Summer West.
In this story, our heroine Shannon MacCready is a refreshing heroine of sorts in that she is a nobody and certainly not some long-lost orphaned granddaughter of some Duke and also because when she sees our hero Patrick Flannigan, she decides that she wants him. So she gets him. He's a pirate and they have plenty of fun hot romps together until it's time that he heads back to sea and he doesn't want to take her with him. Yes, yes, because he's a vampire, it's for her own good, yadda yadda yadda. Shannon decides to sneak and hide in his ship however. She will probably regret her impulsive action when she and Patrick end up shipwrecked on an island where a siren intends to get rid of Shannon so that she can get her fishy hands on Patrick.
For once, it is the hero who is the prize here, as opposed to the heroine's reproductive abilities being contested in a more typical paranormal romance. However, some readers may not be amused by how weak the hero is when confronted with the siren's enchantment. No, there's no skanky sex with the other woman here, but it's not from the siren's lack of trying, I must say. Still, I'd expect a vampire to be less wimpy than Patrick. Shannon is a decent heroine after her stupid act of stowing away in Patrick's ship.
Since this is a short story, the romance between Patrick and Shannon isn't credible (they tell me that they are in love and that's it). Instead, the story is pretty enjoyable in a campy manner since it offers plenty of sandy romps and external conflicts perpetuated by a villainess who is too cartoonish to be taken seriously. It's like a silly B-grade movie with plenty of campy sexual elements. Then again, it's hard to take seriously a story where being shipwrecked is like being thrown into some naughty island-themed resort. As a quick read of the playful and irreverent kind, The Pirate's Secret may just be the fix for those boring afternoons when some wake-me-up-please kick is needed.
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