A Pirate of Her Own
When gathering my thoughts to write something honestly descriptive about this read, the comparison to the pirate novels of the ’70s and early ’80s was difficult to avoid. Unfortunately, this tie-in became so strong for me that I still find it difficult to judge A Pirate of Her Own on its own merits. By comparison, it’s a good read, but I feel less certain whether it is a good read all by itself.
Serenity James is an aspiring journalist who publishes an article about The Sea Wolf, an intrepid pirate, in her father’s newspaper in Savannah. She didn’t expect Morgan Drake, The Sea Wolf himself, to appear, trying to protect his identity. Nor did she expect his friend to kidnap her and dump her on Morgan’s ship just as it sails. Being feisty and independent, Serenity befuddles Morgan and charms his crew while trying to make the best of things. Gradually, Morgan’s annoyance grows into something different, but his past still has the power to destroy both him and Serenity.
Serenity is remarkably levelheaded, and while she cannot always refrain from baiting Morgan, she’s smart and realistic. In the few instances she acts like she had a mental short-circuit, it felt more plot-induced than a course of action that would spring from Serenity’s general character.
Morgan has come a long way since he was a child in the British navy, but along that way he has done plenty of things that could see him hanged. He is a man who blusters and commands, but who finds it difficult to harm a woman for any reason.
There were plenty of times when Morgan and Serenity would start an argument and I would feel the beginning of a 25 year-old flashback. What was amazing was that most of the time, the argument fizzed out without descending into the traditional “I-hate-you-You-raped-me-Lets-boink-like-rabbits!” While his friend Jack is prone to violence, there is nothing abusive about Morgan. He surprised me during his first love episode with Serenity, when I was bracing myself for quasi-rape and forced seduction. Nothing. Oh, not nothing, never that, but no violence.
I like smart and rational heroines and I cheered Ms. MacGregor’s ability to steer clear of the rutted road of clichéd pirate romances. Having said that, I had two major problems with the plot that dropped this read back into C-territory: the beginning and the end. The reason that Serenity makes it possible for Jack to kidnap her had me sighing through gritted teeth. Why is it that rational heroines must act irrationally so that the adventures can happen? Personally, I find it more frustrating than romantic. The middle was an enjoyable romp I breezed through, until I approached the end and was hit over the head with a Silly Misunderstanding. While I was still reeling, everything solved itself within a chapter, and the events of a missing time period were recounted to the reader rather than being experienced first-hand. There might have been a page constraint involved, but the ending firmly established A Pirate of Her Own in the mediocre ranks as far as I am concerned.
If you like modern romances and still have a soft spot for swashbuckling, this is a good read to pick up. If swashbuckling doesn’t excite you, A Pirate of Her Own is still worth reading even if it will not make much of a long-term impact.