My Wicked Pirate
I can’t begin to tell you how much I wanted to like My Wicked Pirate. After hearing so much about the old-fashioned romance feel that author Rona Sharon put into her debut effort, I went and bought it for myself. It couldn’t be all bad, I tell myself a few pages in. It has one of the most delicious pictures of romance cover model Nathan Kamp ever taken and a price tag of $3.99. Oh, how wrong I was.
Lady Alanis is sick of waiting for her fiancé to come back to England and marry her. She wants some excitement and adventure in her life. Her grandfather, an influential duke, agrees that she should make Viscount Silverlake come up to scratch and grants his permission for Alanis to sail to Jamaica in order to find him. Too bad her ship is overtaken by the notorious pirate Eros along the way. Eros is extremely attracted to the classy blonde, but he has another reason for kidnapping her: to retrieve his sister, who is currently in the hands of Silverlake.
Turns out Silverlake and Eros’ sister are in love, so the ultimatum Eros issues is moot. Through a series of events, Alanis sails away from Jamaica with Eros, who agrees to show her a few of the world’s more colorful places before she returns to her boring life in England. Things don’t go quite as planned. There is someone out to get Eros and possibly use his growing affection towards Alanis to their benefit. Alanis is quickly loosing her heart to the handsome pirate, and she is more than a little hurt that he will not open up to her about his super-shady past. This bare-bones plot description sounds like a lively pirate romance with some very interesting characters, doesn’t it? Again, how wrong I was.
The plotting that surrounded Eros and Alanis was very lively and in retrospect, it was rather interesting. While reading, though, I felt a strong urge to clean my bathroom. I think this may be due to the uneven pacing throughout. We have pages upon pages of a single scene and then the scenes move so fast I feel like I just got off a Tilt-a-Whirl. And a pivotal plot point centering on Eros’ background puzzled me. I found his secret obvious in the extreme, but I can’t tell if the author intended for the reader to know as the Big Reveal is so very, very dramatic. To tell the truth, I wanted to smack Alanis for not figuring it out herself. And that leads to…
Alanis is a twit. She is cast into the role of spoiled noblewoman who desperately wants to see the world but she’s too dumb not to go and get herself killed a half dozen times while doing it. I was okay with this until she agrees to sail away with Eros, proceeds to make her escape from the viscount’s house, meets Eros at the designated meeting place, and turns into a screaming hussy saying she changed her mind at the last second. Alanis then thinks Eros is the devil incarnate for “taking her prisoner,” forgetting that the man is due to be executed as a pirate in only a few hour’s time if he doesn’t haul tail out of there. For roughly 200 pages, Alanis meeting an early demise looked darn good to me. Wrong again. She lives. Imagine that.
For the same 200 pages I loved Eros. He is intelligent and drop dead gorgeous, with beautiful blue eyes and a penchant for oranges. I liked him best for calling Alanis on her foolishness most of the time. Though he fights calling what he feels for Alanis love, we see it in every thing he does and says that he does indeed love her very early on. He does some stupid things for Alanis due to that love, too. Why he would fall for her let alone risk his neck is beyond me.
Everything changes halfway through the book. Alanis loosens up a little and doesn’t turn from hot to cold in a heartbeat. Eros, as wonderful as he was in the first half, deserves a swift kick in the you-know-what during the last half. Of course he won’t think of marrying Alanis even though he has compromised her thoroughly. He wants to send her back to England one moment – then he won’t let her from his side the next. This extremely irritating behavior resulted in my begrudging sympathy for Alanis. When everything comes to a head during the final pages, I felt manipulated. Neither character showed any signs of consistency, turning into shrews and stubborn idiots whenever it suited the author to play with our feelings.
My Wicked Pirate is set against the War of Spanish Succession. It’s not a much used era for romance and now I understand why. This war is very convoluted and can be incredibly confusing if not explained correctly. I was confused. And that is the overall feeling I get from this book. At first I thought I had a mediocre read, but hissy fits ensued and usually good men started acting like jerks and I watched my grade slowly slip lower and lower. Oh, how I wanted to like this one…