by Carla F., guest reviewer
It started out with an interesting premise and it ended OK, but there was so much in the middle that bugged me.
In The Pirate Lord, Sara Willis, a reformer, decides that she is going to try to expose the conditions of convict women who are being transported to New South Wales by getting on a ship and going with a group of them. After convincing her step-brother Jordon, the Earl of Blackmore, that she is of age and that he can’t stop her, she heads off on a ship as a teacher for these women. This ship is soon captured by pirates. What the pirates want is not treasure but the convict women. In attempt to save these women, Sara threatens the pirate Captain with retaliation from her powerful “brother”. Unfortunately for her, Gideon Horn, the Captain hates the nobility and in fact targets ships owned by and/or carrying nobles. This has earned him the name, The Pirate Lord. Once Gideon finds out that Sara’s brother is an earl, he decides to take Sara along with the other women.
Things I didn’t like (possible spoilers):
1. The crew on Gideon’s ship are “cleaner” than the crew of the ship headed for New South Wales. OK I don’t really want to read about dirty, nasty pirates either. Still it made me think of Errol Flynn and his Technicolor crew.
2. These pirates don’t want the women just to have their wicked way with them. They want wives because they are “retiring” and moving to an island paradise. Sara thinks that this is an awful thing to do to these women, and it cannot be allowed to happen. This leads me to #3.
3. Sara was an extremely annoying character who will not open her eyes and actually see what was going on. She has a captain and crew who have promised not to harm any of the women. Gideon even decides to give the women a week to be courted and will let them choose their husbands. Time and time again Gideon agrees to Sara’s requests/demands and yet Sara continues to believe that what is happening is so horrific and that no compromise is acceptable. At one point Gideon gets “forceful” with Sara to try to teach her the difference between him and a bad man, but that doesn’t last long. Sara doesn’t think that Gideon can be good man because, after all, he is a pirate (said multiple times).
4. There is the snake incident. On the island, while Gideon and Sara are talking, a black mambo appears from the tree over her shoulder. Gideon manages to cut off the snake’s head without any harm to Sara. Naturally, this freaks her out, and she winds up in Gideon’s arms for comfort. This leads to intense kissing and eventually Gideon pushes her up against a tree to continue further. Hello! There is a decapitated snake laying on the ground! A snake that came from a tree! Isn’t she concerned? If this had happened to me, I would have been halfway back to England before the snake hit the ground.
As I said at the beginning, I thought the idea of a reformer heading off in a ship to help convicts was an promising idea, but there were just too many problems with the book. If you really love pirate stories, like other Sabrina Jeffries or Deborah Martin books, or are not bothered by the same things that I am, you might like this book.