Ah … who doesn’t like a tale of adventure and the high seas and of pirates and fair damsels? Generally, I do and I had high hopes for Capturing Annie but for me, it didn’t hit the mark.
Annie Bonny, the heroine of the book, was born and raised on a pirate ship. The daughter of the pirate captain, Annie has been raised as a boy in order to protect her from lecherous pirates. Because of this, Annie (or Jem as she is known) knows nothing about what it’s like to be a woman, let alone the kind of lives women lead in 1780. When her pirate ship is boarded by another vessel, Annie is taken prisoner too.
Captain James Noble thinks there is something odd about Jem but can’t quite put his finger on it. James is a man who believes position is everything in life. He has worked hard to amass a fortune and has arranged to marry the daughter of a nobleman. He does not love the woman but this is irrelevant as he plans to spend most of his life at sea. He is sure of everything he is and everything he wants, until he discovers that Jem is really Annie. Once this happens, he begins to seriously lust after Annie – poor, sweet, innocent, completely annoying Annie. (Okay, she annoyed me anyway.)
At first, I tried to cut Annie some slack. After all, she’d spent all of her life surrounded by pirates; it’s all she knew. But after awhile, her lack of common sense and childlike behavior are extremely off-putting, especially as her involvement with James became more serious. A little naivete is fine – but too much can make it seem as though the hero is a dirty old man.
Annie, for her part is completely attracted to James, even going so far as to tell him that he makes her go all squooshy between me legs.” It could be me, but that comment completely grossed me out. James cannot seem to think anything but lustful thoughts about her. He wants to keep his hands off of her, but he can’t, but he has to since he’s decided to pass her off as his ward but he can’t – and well, you get the picture.
Eventually, James decides to take her to his friend Terese, who can teach Annie how to act like a woman. On the voyage to Jamaica, they make love and James offers to make her his mistress. This bothered me on a couple of levels. First, Annie still seemed very much a child to me. Just because she has the body of a woman, doesn’t mean she’s ready to make love … even if she keeps insisting on it. I didn’t believe for one moment she truly understand what she was getting into. Second, James’ ham-handed offer to her was not heroic but self-serving. He took advantage of an innocent, plain and simple.
After this, I didn’t much care what happened. James leaves Annie with Terese for almost a year and by the time he returns, she’s done a complete 180. She’s a vixen now and even the way she speaks is different. Still an irksome character, however, she just went from one extreme to the other. My main problem with this book is that beyond lust, I never felt these two really connected and got to know each other. The book was fun in spots and some of the discussions between Annie and James were funny, but for the most, this book just did not work for me.
If you love pirate romances, you might enjoy this more than I did, but there are better ones out there to try and I recommend you take a look at our Pirates Special Title Listing for reader recommendations. You might also consider some of the titles on our Guardian/Ward List – there are some great titles there as well.