The Last Pirate
Pirate stories are amongst the more maligned in the field of romance novels, so when I got a chance to review this offering by Marti Phillips, I jumped at the chance, hoping to find a rare gem among the stereotypical Pirate books out there. Alas, it was not to be.
Adrian Wolfe is a feared pirate who holds no love for either the Americans or the British. As he arrives in New Orleans, he spots a young woman running away from a group of ruffians and promptly saves her. He is instantly besotted with this beautiful, impetuous girl who wears boots instead of satin slippers and demands a kiss in payment for rescuing her. When they meet again, outside her home, the results are slightly different.
Carly Kelsey is determined to find her father, Captain Richard Kelsey. After hunting unsuccessfully for him, she determines that her only course of action is to go to the lair of pirate Jean Lafitte (the real historical figure who aided future president Andrew Jackson in defending New Orleans against the British) and find out if he’s holding her father hostage. Meanwhile, she has met a man who is miles away from everything she knows, certainly miles away from the pompous, arrogant Roland Crawford, whom her aunt and uncle want her to marry.
Carly and Adrian’s attraction grows after they are thrown together due to another reckless move by Carly, one which nearly gets her drowned. Considering that Carly is due to return home and marry Roland, she gives no thought to the possibility of pregnancy or to her reputation were it known she has been traveling with such a disreputable man.
There are plenty of other problems as well. The dialogue feels both awkwardly old-fashioned and modern. Plenty of sentences and thoughts end in exclamation points! Yes! This makes everyone sound slightly hysterical and frantic nearly every time they open their mouths! The secondary characters add nothing but stereotypes and dialects that typify their ethnicities, but add no richness to the story. The villain was also a disappointment, and there was never a mystery about his real identity – even with the twist that was thrown in.
As for Adrian and Carly, we’ve met these people before. Adrian comes across as slightly more levelheaded and mature, as well as muscled and brawny, of course, but he does reflect on his past and its consequences on his future. He suffers from excesses of the “I want her, but I can’t have her” syndrome, but even this is understandable, given the course of the story and his own background.
Carly, on the other hand, was a cardholding member of the Too Stupid to Live Heroine Guild. She escapes from a gang of would-be rapists, hires dangerous thugs and goes to a pirate’s lair, only to be saved by Adrian’s presence every time. Poor Adrian. He even had to lock her up in a cabin so she wouldn’t get herself into more trouble. The final straw, however, was Carly’s convenient fit of the vapors when asked a question that would solve the Last-Minute Misunderstanding.
Did I look forward to reading this book? Yes! I so wanted to read a good pirate romance, so that I could recommend it to people who usually snub this particular type of book. Unfortunately, The Last Pirate is one of the best reasons ever to avoid the pirate romance.