Avon True Romance, $4.99, ISBN 0-06-447346-5
Historical Romance, 2002
Bostonian gal Catherine Markham is seventeen and she is a hellion. (Translation: stupid crazy girl dead ahead.) When her brother is kidnapped and her uncle refuses to pay the 50 gold coins ransom, our heroine decides to do the ransom-delivery herself. She wanders around the port, gets attacked by louts, and her big but dumb dog George just sits at the side and stares at the spectacle. Hmm, maybe George isn’t that dumb after all.
Enters 21-year old Derrick St John who is – are you ready, girls? – so HOT – squeal! – so CUTE! – aah! – so JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE – aaaaahhhh! – and best of all, he’s like her brother’s BESTEST FRIEND FOREVA and she is like his LITTLE SISTER AND ALL but she will make him see how BEAUTIFUL and PRETTY and STUPID INTELLIGENT she is and they will, like, sail on his pirate ship and live happily ever after. Altogether, gals: OHMIGOSH!
I don’t know how a twenty-one year old boy can command a, what’s that, privateer ship? Smuggler’s ship? You know, those ships that smuggle things to spite the British colonials? He’s twenty one, and he commands the crew’s respect. Gals? OHMIGOSH.
And how does a respectable guy like Crazy Cathy’s brother end up the best friend of a notorious guy who’s been at sea and away from home since he was a kid? I mean, unless Crazy Cathy’s brother is Derrick’s buddy when he and Derrick became the bottom bitches , er, cabin boys in those horrible ships, I don’t see how they can become good buddies. And shame on Derrick for ogling at Cathy when she was in her mid teens. I’m sure a prepubescent gal will love the idea of her brother’s best friend having the hots for her, but still, creepy nonetheless.
Cathy, naturally, is the stupidest gal ever. She’s the kind of gal that wrecks havoc and requires rescuing again and again, only to get offended because the hero doesn’t praise her for being useful. Never mind that the world is falling around her ears, she is most upset that Derrick doesn’t say he loves her! Oh, oh, oh! And of course, Derrick’s School of Etiquette that is his crew are all helpful, adorable goons who believe that Cathy is like the Best Gal Ever.
Oh, and the Bad Adult that tries to restrain and impose order on Cathy? He is so bad, he gets punished very badly. In this aspect, at least, Karen Hawkins has scored a bullseye when it comes to zoning in on a teenage gal’s favorite fantasy.
One more thing – Derrick wants to clear his father’s name, and yes, the villain is also Catherine’s villain and… oh, what the heck. Catherine and the Pirate gets a perfect 10 for the best impersonation of the crazy loon that destroyed sanity.