Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 978-1-61923-012-5
Historical Romance, 2015
For a story with what seems like no shortage of drama waiting to happen, Cynthia Breeding’s Rogue of the High Seas is so slow that I feel like someone has dunked me into a barrel full of tranquilizer fluids. Don’t be fooled by the cover and all – this one is not a swashbuckler romance.
Meet Captain Robert Henderson. He has a laundry list of drama. First, he is in some kind of weird betrothal thing, one he was apparently tricked into and the woman involved is now MIA. He may be a wanted man in New Orleans. Maybe it’s time to locate his Scottish relatives. He’s also attracted to Shauna MacLeod, who comes with a guy who believes that she is marrying him when she clearly doesn’t want to. She’s too nice to give that man the heave-ho, however. Despite the fact that her family is so overprotective of her, Shauna manages to get involved in so many near-captures, captures, and near-rapes that she could very well come from a romance novel in the 1970’s and 1980’s, back in those days when the heroine’s very existence marks her a magnet for lechs and freaks everywhere.
Are you halfway asleep from reading that previous paragraph? Well, you have had a taste of this story. It is a slow-moving bore of a tale, so much so that I actually fell asleep a few times while reading it on my phone. A big reason for this is that our two main characters spend a lot of time not doing anything other than moping and sighing inside – she can’t say it, neither can he, and they both just go around in circles. It is up to the demented villain to keep things interesting, and bless Wesley Alton. Normally I would prefer to see fewer cartoon villains around the place, but he’s the only thing that makes me believe in a higher power while reading this. It’s probably a good thing that all attempts on Shauna’s life and virtue fail – I would pity any Sultan that buys her into his harem, because he’d be paying a fortune for a walking case of rigor mortis.
In the end, I’m so glad that the hero and the heroine get to marry and make cute babies and all, but with this story being so slow and dull, I can’t muster any enthusiasm for their happy ending. Reading this book is like watching grey paint dry on a wall. All those potentially campy and lurid twists and turns in the plot, all never allowed to show a pulse. What a waste, and what a shame.