Wednesday, May 20, 2009

And back to our regular scheduled programming


Book:  A Man to Call My Own

Author:  Johanna Lindsey

Genre:  Romance

Pass of Fail:  Pass

Stars:  *** ½ (3 ½)

This is the story of two sisters, twins, although ones goes to great lengths to disguise her beauty to hide from her sisters viperous tongue and actions. There father passes away, and they are told in order to gain their inheritance they must marry. However, they have been left in the charge of their Aunt (Red)  until they find suitable husbands.  Red lives out in Texas, far from New England and the society the girls are accustomed to. 

Marian is open to adventure and new experiences.  She is also the twin who disguises herself. Amanda is a completely opposed to the trip.  Chad is sent by their aunt to meet them and bring them back to the ranch.  Chad has his own family issues with the biggest cattle ranch father around.

Marian finds herself attracted to Chad.  And Chad likewise eventually seas through her disguise and falls for Marian.  Amanda is bored and stirs the pot.  Enter a slue of events that have them all mixed up chasing their tales then a band of bandits, and some more love and you have yourself a story.

This book was a good distraction.  The sex happened near the beginning of the book, so the rest of it was read more for story than anything.  Yes I can admit that I will read a romance novel for the sex only.  If it were for the story, I can tell you that there are much better stories out their for sure.  But I like the distraction, so I always end up reading a slew of romances throughout the year. 

This isn’t the best I have read, but I have yet to broaden my horizon on that stream of romances.   Anyhow if you like cowboy romance stories this once is pretty good.  

just to stir the pot

I haven’t read much Science Fiction, generally I flock to fantasy.  The reason is this; I loathed science class in high school.  And thus the idea of a genre of books being named after a class I couldn’t get didn’t appeal to me.   A year ago I got a subscription to Asimov and Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine.  I was looking for magazines that would accept fantasy short stories. I needed to get a feel for the market.  I read the stories, magazines front to back, and since they were geared towards Science Fiction as well, inevitably I read those stories too.  I loved them. And so with a little hesitation I will occasionally now pick up a Science Fiction book.  I still turn to fantasy first, lest I burned by the unknown and new, but I do hesitantly grasp a science fiction novel every now and again.  The following is one of those books.  I’m glad I took the change of being burned. 

 

Book:  The Accidental Time Machine

Author:  Joe Haldeman

Genre: Science Fiction

Pass or Fail:  Pass

Stars: **** (4)

Matt Fuller, MIT graduate, research assistant, builds a machine that is supposed to calibrate photons.  Instead, his little black box jumps into the future and waits at an exponential of 12 times the previous trip taken.  What starts as a split second ends billions of years in the future. 

With his girlfriend gone, stolen to another younger grad student, and his job lost to the same guy, Matt has nothing to lose.  So after successfully sending a turtle into the future, he decides that he will be part of the next voyage in the experiment.   But one leap requires another, as the future dictates that he doesn’t belong.  And all that he is left with is the hope brought on by bail money that he somehow finds a way to travel back. 

This book was really really good.  It was really really well written.  It was tightly woven with no loose fluff, every element that was included helped to shape the story.  But it was about the story more so than the characters I found.  The characters go for the adventure and see the changes in our world, but they themselves, I found, act exactly how they are constructed to act. 

I highly recommend this book, weather you like science fiction or not, this explores the possibilities of what the future may hold given various paths the world is steering towards.  A very fascinating read.  

No Prelude


Book:  Marriage Most Scandalous

Author: Johanna Lindsey

Genre: Romance

Pass or Fail: Pass

Stars:  *** ¾ (3 ¾)

Having been disowned for a duel forbidden by his father, Sebastian Townshed fleas England and heads for the continent picking up a new identity as The Raven, and infamous mercenary.  When strange accidents start plaguing his estranged father, Lady Margaret Landor (his beloved charge) sets out to find the one man who she thinks can get to the bottom of these circumstances, Sebastian Townshed.  Instead she finds The Raven. 

At first he refuses, having sworn never to step foot on English soil again, but she tricks him into accepting.  The catch.  They must pretend to be married so he can gain admittance to his family estate.  Underneath one shadow lurks another, and as the layers peal back the mystery gets more and more intriguing.  And amidst all that love is found.

The final conclusion of the novel leaves something to be desired.  We are dragged along on this tantalizing mystery, to have it hastily packaged up at the end and dumped on our laps.  The suspense was well drawn out, but the discovery of the facts could have been better discovered by the audience. 

An engaging read, especially if one likes a little mystery with their romance.  

Our Of Order

I read the following books out of order.  And am glad that I did so. Had I read them in order that they were written I would probably never have been able to identify with Ophelia, in The Devil Who Tamed Her, after her representation in The Heir.  Therefore, if reading these books I suggest you start with The Devil who Tamed Her, and then read The Heir (which does come first in the series and timeline, but will ruin your ability to understand Ophelia at a later date with prejudices set against her).

 

Book: The Devil Who Tamed Her

Author: Johanna Lindsey

Genre:  Romance

Pass or Fail:  Pass

Stars:  *** ½ (3 ½)

Ophelia finally manages to wiggle her way out of an engagement too Duncan McTavish, if not gracefully.  She is the most beautiful woman to grace that season, and perhaps the most beautiful woman in all of London. 

But beauty comes with a price.  She is unable to trust anyone around her and doubts any sincerity of friendship as she has been used before.  She proceeds to use and manipulate those around her.  But she is gravely unhappy and it takes Raphael Locke, Viscount Lynnfield, to see through her veil of shrewishness to see the woman beneath. 

He only intends on bringing out the woman beneath and banishing the shrew, all on a bet with Duncan, except he never intended on falling in love.  And she promised not to. 

This book steels from a theme portrayed many a times throughout literature, the taming of the shrew (most commonly known from Shakespear). 

It is a solid theme to write a novel from, but I think it has a thin veil to it, easily shattered, in that it is very unrealistic the solution and the solutions plausibility.  However, putting that aside and grasping the idea that romance is indeed like a fairy tale it was quite enjoyable. 

 

Book:  The Heir

Author:  Johanna Lindsey

Genre: Romance

Pass or Fail:  Pass

Stars:  *** ½ (3 ½)

Duncan McTavish finds out that not only is he heir to his Scottish grandfathers legacy but to his estranged English grandfather’s legacy as well.  He is also betrothed to the most beautiful girl in all of England, Ophelia Reid, the shrew. 

Sabrina Lambert, a country mouse, with an old title passed onto some distant cousin is brought to the London marriage mart for the season and is a guest of Ophelia Reid.  At a soirée Ophelia’s jealous ire is picked by the attention reigning on Sabrina.  Ophelia lashes out and spreads malicious rumors about Sabrina’s families past discrepancies, thus ruining Sabrina’s chance at a decent match. 

Ophelia has never met her betrothed and quite despised the idea of marrying someone she has never met, despite his title.  She wants her choice of a husband.  Therefore, she spreads rumors about Duncan being a barbarian from the highlands, in hopes that her parents would here the rumors and be horrified enough to call off the engagement.  No such luck.

Upon meeting each other, Ophelia unleashes her vicious tongue to sting at Duncan and his kilt in an already trying day.  He immediately calls off the engagement despite her beauty.  Ophelia is shamed in London society and thus endeavors to win Duncan back only so that she is able to cancel the engagement on her own terms so that her reputation remains untarnished. 

After his first encounter with Ophelia, he literally (on horse) runs into Sabrina.  With her witty sense of humor and ability to make those around her laugh in the direst of circumstances they easily befriend one another. 

But friendship easily turns into the desire for more, but neither party seams properly able to communicate this.  Thus jumps in Raphael Locke, Viscount Lynnfield, that sees past both their protestation of friendship to the desire that lies underneath and gives them a solid pushing in the right direction.

There is some miscommunication along the way.  A chase throughout the country side.  But all it well that ends well.  Thus another Shakespearean theme explored (A Midsummer Nights Dream). 

A good escapism book and for those who have followed Johanna Lindsey, a book one could not miss.  I am person who follows authors.  Therefore now that I am more well aware of this author and her style, I will most definitely continue to look for her in the future as a small escape from practical romance into fairy tale romance.  

Rehearsals and Books

Currently I am in the rehearsal process for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, being put on by the local community theatre group.  It is very time consuming.  I also work full time – steady days, weekends off.  Two evening a week and both Saturday and Sunday, I have rehearsal. 

Now I am a person that always has a book within reach.  I am always reading.  However, with the sheer amount of time and energy that the play is consuming, my reading material has required a change.  I find given different circumstances, time restraints and moods, I will choose a book to suit the conditions.  Therefore, right now a heavy high fantasy book would be near impossible to get through.  Consequently a light read, like a romance novel is perfect for the given conditions.

I will probably be doing quite a few book reviews on romance novels.  Once I tire of those I will switch to something a little more complex but fascinating enough to drag me through to the end and get my brain churning again (too much romance turns it into a sloggy mush pile with unrealistic expectations of my significant other).  And then flit back to romance, when the substance becomes too much. 

Romance novels have a mindless quality, are a fast read, are entertaining and have a good sex scene.  While the following book has all those elements it is also a heartier meal. 


Book:  The Marriage Spell

Author: Mary Jo Putney

Genre: Romance/Fantasy

Pass or Fail:  Pass

Stars: **** ½ (4 ½ )

A romantic fantasy genre if you will, mostly reviewed in the category of Romance, the fantasy an added bonus. 

Magic is common and uncontrollable therefore despised by the titled.  Only the lesser dabble in magic, as they can not achieve greatness through their own prowess. 

Jack Langdon, Lord Frayne, has been raised to reject his magical heritage and to spite magic publicly, however when he falls off his horse in a hunting accident and breaks his neck his only choice is to accept magical aid or die.  The choice of life comes with one price, marriage to Abby, the wizard who heals him.  A price he is almost unwilling to pay. 

The book takes you along as their love blooms and Jack overcomes his reluctance of magic.  It takes us back to his estate were he must reclaim his rights and free his land from the oppression of a dark wizard. 

The love story is believable in that it is filled with humanity.  It is not some sappy unrealistic love story.  It is about overcoming obstacles and learning to love each other.  The passion is slow and building.  It is about inner beauty.  Take away the magic and plop in another obstacle (like race perhaps) and you would still have a very real story with the same obstacles to overcome. 

The novel is beautiful and moving and I would recommend it highly to those who love a romance with a bit more meat to its bones. 

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pirate Romance

*****NO BOOKS WERE SERIOUSLY HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS BLOG*****

The long awaited post on Pirate Romances or Romances that contain Pirates. I know it has been a month but I have read other material in-between that I will also be posting about in the near future.

When I was a kid and asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I wanted to be a Pirate. That is when the love affair started. You see there are several reasons why pirates are cool and would make an awesome career. Don’t go pointing out reality to me; just let me live in my fantasy world while I go off on a tangent.

My essay on why Pirates are cool and would make the ultimate career in point form.

  1. I am a Pisces. I like water. Wait that is an understatement; I LOVE water. With that said, the typical place for a Pirate to be is out at see on a ship surrounded by water. In my world Pirates hand out in the Caribbean. The Caribbean is nice and warm. One could go swimming whenever one wanted too off of their own boat.
  2. Pirates get to climb the rigging. When I was a kid climbing trees was strictly forbidden. One could fall off and seriously hurt themselves. Like breaking a bone and wearing a cast (which is kind of cool as a kid but what held me back from the badge of coolness was the no getting the arm wet. I like water. Cast = no swimming. Badge of cool not so cool any longer). Continuing on… So if I can’t climb trees but Pirates HAD to climb the rigging as it was part of their jobs. Then climbing rigging was awesome. It was legit to do what I wanted. To be as high as possible and feel the wind in my hair and see everywhere.
  3. Pirates get to yell land ho. Yes I am sure that if you ware working on a ship that is not a pirate vessel you too may be able to yell land ho. But land ho on a pirate ship is cooler. It means getting to spend the loot, or maybe finding the loot. It is just way more awesomer.
  4. Pirates don’t answer to no one but their ship. Seriously. No country telling them what to do. They are free spirited. As a kid it’s like saying “I don’t have to listen to you mom and dad, I am a pirate and l listen to no one.” Nuff said.
  5. I may have mentioned the loot. What is seriously cool about it is that there are maps with these giant X’s on it that mark the spot. If you are even luckier their may be a giant X on the ground too. They tell you were the freaking treasure is.
  6. And if there is no map you belong to no one, so you don’t have allegiance and aren’t morally obliged to not rob another ship. Heck the damned flag totally gives you a right. And if there is another ship with a pirate flag, consider it a proceed with caution. Either way their be loot. And then you can make your own map with a giant X.
  7. The concept of maps it freaking awesome. I don’t know how to properly explain how awesome treasure maps are. Its like a giant puzzle. I love puzzles. It’s a puzzle and a guarantee for adventure. Adventure rocks.
  8. Adventure. Life will never be boring as a pirate. What to do today… I don’t know. We could go treasure hunting… Rob a ship… get us some fine booty. I prefer not to think of it are raping, pillaging and plundering… Cause seriously, in my mind Pirates are sexy and daring, and not some unwashed miscreant. So as long as my pirates live up to my sex appeal expectations, it not be rape. Also since pirates morale’s be a bit sketchy and they have no allegiances (except to ship) then pillaging and plundering just goes with the job title and is seen as a as long as you don’t get caught and sent to the gallows and you have your own secret private paradise island, you too may live like a king. Yah… that covers a lot of reasons as to why pirates rock. We will call it the justification behind adventure. Adventure doesn’t live by the rules.
  9. Did I mention the secret island and the living like kings. The island will be beautiful and tropical and a paradise and on mine their would be a waterfall.
  10. You get to say “Yar harg”. Talking like a pirate is awesomeness reincarnate.
  11. I may have covered it in my point about adventure, but feels it needs it’s own place. BOOTY!!!!!
  12. Ships. Tall ships. They are beautiful majestic magical creatures. They are freedom. They have a spirit all their own. I want one. Maybe two….

And that is why in my world a career as a pirate would be freaking awesome. I may be missing a few points of the coolness. Someone may feel the need to point out the illogic in my logic and try and give me a taste of reality. DON’T. Really. Resist the urge. I live in reality every day and see how it sucks. In my mind I have a happy place. Don’t bust that, or I will take up the killing and mayhem part of the Pirate notion that I did not mention in the cool part, but may take part in the boarding of a ship (Ya, I didn’t go into details about that as I kind of do not prefer the whole bloodshed, but you know… Swords are cool).

So thus the reasons as to why I want to be a pirate. Which when I first statred reading romance, pirate romance was the first book I read. It only makes sense to me, and why I would continue to hunt it down like they loot that it is.

We will be covering several books on Pirate romance and then a general yay or nay to the pirate romance genre itself.

Now I should add a forewarning. The romance genre is not a highly stimulating earth shattering literary read. It is entertaining and often times mindless reading. It has improbable situations, and even more improbable dialogue to boot. But one does not read romance for a literary experience. One reads it for escapism. For pleasure and for its unrealistic nature. If you can accept that about a romance, and really roll with it and sink into it… it has a flavor all it’s own that a woman can’t live without. A Guilty pleasure one might say.

Book: A Pirates Love

Author: Johanna Lindsey

Genre: Romance

Pass of Fail: Pass

Stars: *** ½ (3 ½)

This was my first Pirate Romance I ever read. First romance I ever read, aside from teen romances that don’t have sex in it so they don’t count. It has everything a girl can hope for in that genre.

There is a pirate. He is tall and sexy and mysterious. His past is what motivates him to hunt down and evil vile Pirate that killed his family. He has his back-story that makes him the wronged character and morally justifies his pirating.

There is a girl who is going to get married. Is indeed being shipped off to see her husband to be, when pirates overrun her vessel. She is kidnapped and tricked into surrendering her virtue. (And for 8 St. G points she could get it back. St. G points not a part of the story). She hates her body for responding to his passion, but inevitable fall in love.

There is a tropical island, there is revenge, there is long lost love re-found and rekindled. All in all it is a wonderful pirate romance. It was a good starting ground for me and a book that I often revisit.

Book: Till Dawn Tames the Night

Author: Megan Mckinney

Genre: Romance

Pass or Fail: Pass

Stars: **** ½ (4 ½)

It is many down the list in sequential order of romance novels I have read, but it is the second Pirate Romance novel I ever read.

This if my favorite. I had not yet read a pirate romance novel to top this one. It may also be my ultimate favorite romance novel (it having pirates makes it awesome… and she is a really good writer for a romance novelist). The only other novels that may come out all together on top of my favorite romance novels are the other romance novels she has written.

Wow. Say that above paragraph five times fast.

What hooked me about this book as that you don’t start out with the POV of the heroine. You start out in a dark bar at the waterfront and are introduced to a very dangerous man.

There is a dowdy orphaned girl, Aurora Daine, raised in a kind of orphanage who now helps to run said orphanage. Previous kind owner dies. Son takes over. Son wants her but is extremely pious and an ass, and thus not appealing to her. If she wishes to stay on at the orphanage she must accept his pursuit.

She is then delivered this mysterious letter asking for a lady’s companion down in the Caribbean. Given the current situation she accepts as a little adventure is far more appealing than the man who currently wants her.

Then there is the ship. There are other passengers on ship, but there is one in particular that stands out. She is a widower who is full of zest for life and is quite amusing. The widower takes to Aurora immediately. The catch. The ship is owned by the dark mysterious man at the waterfront.

That is the set up. There is a Caribbean island remote. A treasure. Enemies and passion. There is a past explained and a future to be won and almost lost.

I have read this books several times over and even insisted that my mom read it. You may have a hard time finding it as I believe it is out of print. I read it first from my library, and then hunted it down in a used bookstore. It is well worth the effort if you are searching for the perfect pirate romance.

Book: The Charm School

Author: Susan Wiggs

Genre: Romance

Pass or Fail: Pass

Stars: **** (4)

Our heroine Isadore Peaboty is brilliant yet socially awkward. Against her runs the confines of Boston society, a constant heyfever and the un-idealistic physical qualities desired by the elite. She is lost and run down in the society she must perform in.

However, when Ryan Calhourn requires an interpreter she is quick to join up with the crew. A chance to get away seams like the perfect solution. But Ryan doesn’t want her onboard. With a quick wit and a little blackmail she gets her wish.

Upon the ship away from land, she seizes to suffer from her constant heyfever. And without the snooty Boston society judging her every move, she is able to find herself and gain confidence amidst the ragtag crew she befriends.

Consequently Ryan and Isadora find themselves magnetically drawn together. However, he has committed himself to an ulterior agenda, a noble agenda. One that she cannot be a part of. Besides, she has given her heart to Chad, the land lubber from Boston who had played upon her desire, with no real intentions upon returning it.

This is an ugly duckling turns into beautiful swan book. This is the first book in the Calhourn series. Afterwards I found myself reading them all as I didn’t want the adventure to end.

I picked this book up on the way home from a road trip to Canada’s Wonderland in a small corner store in an even smaller town. It had a ship on the front of it, so I assumed it would relate to Pirates. Before this book I had hit a wall with my reading. I couldn’t focus on anything. I was restless and couldn’t be engaged. This was my cure. A light read to help focus my desire to fall prey to a good book.

Book: What a Pirate Desires

Author: Michelle Beattie

Genre: Romance

Pass of Fail: Borderline Pass

Stars: ** (2)

This is interesting. This is a pirate book about a female pirate. I picked up this one and another one with the same premise (female pirate) at a corner store in a small town not to far away from here. Justification... can’t turn up pirate romance.

This book is filled with clichés and from the reviews within the book on the book I get the distinct impressions that this is the authors first book. Which for me would explain the fallbacks on clichés.

It is the story of a woman pirate out seeking revenge for the murder of her family. She rescues a man from prison who can help her to locate the pirate who murdered her family. She falls in love with the man she pulled out of prison, even as she tries to resist the pull and allure.

You have to read it to see what I mean about clichés. She eye patched pirate with the mustachio. And then there is her façade of bravery but she cracks under the slightest pressure. The character reasoning is there but the development is shoddy.

This one pass on the borderline though because for all the author did wrong I still found it amusing. And the concept of a female pirate was interesting, if only carried by the weight of her crew. There is better material out their to read so please don’t drop everything to pick this up.

Book: Too Great a Temptation

Author: Alexandra Benedict

Genre: Romance

Pass or Fail: Borderline Pass

Stars: ** (2)

This book passed on its sexual drive. The pirate aspect was a little meek, and the story could have taken place almost anywhere besides on a ship. I also got the distinct impression that Alexandra’s knowledge of ships was not thoroughly researched.

There is a man seeking justice for the death of his brother. A reformed rogue of the Ton. Pirates the cause of his brother’s death.

He chases the ship for several years than hears that the pirate ship now haunts the shores of America. He lands himself in New York and upon seeing a young man (boy of 17) in the street getting into a fight he steps in because the young man resembles his dead brother. They both get tossed into jail. The young man has sever injuries and almost dies but his brothers come to his rescue with a prison break.

The boy insists on taking the man who helped save him from the fight and although the brothers are hesitant agree as they need a new navigator. There is a sister who stowed away on the boat who will be dropped back off in England as soon as they can get back and so taking the man back to England is not inconvenient. She wants in on the family business of sailing and plundering.

The ship turns out to be the Pirate ship he has been hunting for, but first he has to go and lust after the sister, bed her, fall in love, and then find out about the ship being the renowned pirate ship he was looking for.

There is a merry chase through England. There is a castle. There is no tropical island. Revenge is not granted as misunderstandings are explained. People once thought dead come back from the grave (not zombies though), and there is a happily ever after.

Things that irked me. Her POV was not consistent. Switching perspectives often in the middle of a paragraph. “Tars” – she used this word so much it seamed like her only research in the way of pirating and sailing. Use the word sailor. “Whipped her insides into a frenzy” – it was a mantra, a theme of the book. Could have been used a motto for the love story. ENOUGH!!! However, what irked me the most were the motives of the love. I got the motives for revenge that was well crafted. But the love story was week.

The redeeming grace was the lust. And the sex. Cause that is what carried it to give it a pass for me. Alexandra is not hesitant about writing sex. And not timid about it either. It is borderline erotica. But there is a very motivating story line to follow to push it slightly away from that vein of fiction.

If this books comes to you then read it. If it doesn’t magically appear on your doorstep don’t go hunting it down.

Book: Captive of my Desires

Author: Johanna Lindsey

Genre: Romance

Pass or Fail: Pass

Stars: *** ½ (3 ½)

I picked up this book at my local library when I decided that I was in need of some pirate romance, and hence the next installment of this blog was designed. I completely forgot about A Pirates Love by this same author. Only later did it click when I was looking for more books by this author. Kind of funny and ironic to me anyways.

Gabrielle Brooks mother passes away. Her father somewhere down in the Caribbean. Being too young for her inheritance but not too young for a sea voyage with her maid she goes in search for her father rather than accept the guardian assigned to her in England.

Her ship gets attacked by Pirates and she is brought to a remote lair on an island were an alliance of pirates meet and use as a home base. She is to be ransomed to her father and is therefore treated with a certain amount of respect and care (she is not being damaged).

A dangerous pirate takes notice of her. Not the good dangerous, the bad dangerous. The serial stalker kind of dangerous. He would like to buy her ransom from the pirate that had captured her, but as the pirate who had captured her is still reuniting with his wife on the island, he must bid his time.

When the pirate who has captured her finally reemerges after days of reuniting (yah lopsided grin their as we all know what I am talking about) there is another pirate captain who has just sailed into the island. Upon seeing the girl he offers her immediate ransom and the pirate who has captured her accepts. The serial stalker pirate is out of duty as he got piss drunk the night before and hadn’t emerged in the morning to strike a bargain. Timing darlings.

Turns out the man who bought her is her father. Thus the foundation of piracy begins. He is in fact more a treasure hunter and remains a part of the alliance as a middle man who will often times purchase captives for the ransoms as it is burdensome to the rest of the pirates and can cause some captives their lives in impatience. Her father is to be viewed as a kind hearted compassionate man who inspires loyalty in his crew. And a treasure hunter not technically a pirate.

When she comes of age. Approximately 3 years later, she is shipped off to England on a husband hunt. Sent to approach an old acquaintance of her fathers to introduce her to society.

The Malory’s. When they first appear in the book, the Malory’s is said like I should understand that it is part of a series and be excited to finally be at this point in the book. That irked me. But she did t a lovely job of providing some back story for the characters, that has inspired me to buy the rest of the Malory collection to experience it.

Drew Anderson, Georgina Malory’s brother, is drawn into the story as he is in town visiting his sister and coerced to attend some of the functions. He lusts after Gabrielle, and in his desire for her and his inability to attain her gets foxed and spills to the Ton that her father is a pirate thus systematically ruining her husband hunt in the London market.

We then find out her father is kidnapped by the serial killer pirate who wants her in return for her father’s life. She decides to abscond with Drew’s ship and him and his crew as revenge to his ruining of her reputation and as a means to rescue her father.

Love follows lust. Family is rescued. Treasure is found.

I would say that if you are going to pick up this book you should pick up the entire series as the back-story seam to be most fascinating. Johanna is good at what she does, and can weave an interesting story. I prefer more Caribbean to my pirate adventure, but nonetheless this was a solid book.

Book: A Distant Magic

Author: Mary Jo Putney

Genre: Romance

Pass or Fail: Pass

Stars: **** ¾ (4 ¾)

This book came up in the search results at my library for Pirate romance. What it turned out to be was something else entirely. It is a wonderful read but do not read it expecting high seas adventure.

It is a book about the conquering of slavery and time travel used to achieve this. The man who is to be brought through time was captured by Barbary pirates and sold in to slave trade. He steels his freedom and sails the high seas searching out Barbary pirates and rescuing the slaves.

The woman is from a guardian family. She posses’ magical abilities. She is kidnapped for revenge but logics her way out of it as well as saving the ship and her crew in a huge storm at sea. She makes a pact with the captain, the man who has kidnapped her to seek revenge for a misunderstood situation that landed him in slavery. As she makes this pact with the captain a black woman lands at their feet, has traveled through time. And thus the story begins.

They both have magical abilities. They are both passionate about ending the slave trade. And they are meant for each other. Like linking pieces in a puzzle.

This is more of a fantasy book about slavery with a love story tossed in. The pirate aspect only further enhances the slavery end of it. It is a lovely book, well told. If you are looking for pirate romance this is not your book. But if you are looking for a book on slavery in the fiction genre of fighting against it, then this is a marvelous read.

Book: The Pirate Bride

Author: Shannon Drake (aka Heather Graham)

Genre: Romance

Pass or Fail: Pass

Stars: **** (4)

Red Robert sails the seas looking for revenge. Red Robert is really Roberta, a female who’s future had been stolen from her when Blair Colm murdered her family, with his decree from the English throne to subdue Irish uprisings. He was the one who sought trouble, and held no mercy, killing women, children, elderly, and the infirm. Saved from slaughter, but sold as an indentured servant to Lady Fotherington. Lady Fotherington finds ways of turning her indentured servants into slaves by crushing their spirits and accusing them of petty crimes to continually work off.

Roberta, once realized of the beauty she possesses, is sold to a diseased and dying duke in England. However, on her trip to be delivered, the ship she sails upon is beset by pirates. The tides of battle quickly change in a daring move were she kills the ruthless pirate, and takes on the guise of Red Robert.

Logan, too had his future stolen from him under similar circumstances by Blair Colm, but had been dealt a nicer set of cards in regards to whom he was sold to as an indentured servant. On his quest for vengeance and developing a future of his own, he takes a daring trip by carrying valuable cargo through the pirate isles. Over laden and under armed, they are beset by the notorious Red Robert. Logan wins a duel with Red Robert and thus insures his crew’s freedom…at the cost of his own imprisonment.

Thus is set the stage for a desert island and love to be found and vengeance delivered.

It is a well written story with love as the saving grace at its centre. Revenge is not all for one to live for. The idea of a woman pirate is pulled off in a believable manner. I would definitely re-read his love story again.

Pirate Romance as a Genre = Pass

Because I like the idea of freedom and the high seas and romance. The idea is not likely in reality hence its allure. Reading is about escapism, at least for the type of people who will be picking up Pirate Romances. There are enough women out their like me who can appreciate it to ensure authors keep writing about it.