Monday, March 5, 2012

Review of Shana Galen's The Rogue Pirate's Bride

Title: The Rogue Pirate’s Bride (The Sons of the Revolution #3)
Author: Shana Galen
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Format: Mass Market Paperback & eBook
Source: NetGalley
Publication Date: February 1, 2012
Rating: 4 out of 5

For some reason I’ve been in a historical romance reading slump lately. Actually, if you look at my last review, you’ll notice that I haven’t written any reviews in nearly 2 weeks, so I think it would be more accurate to say that I’ve been in a reading AND writing slump. I started Rogue Pirate’s Bride weeks ago, but just couldn’t get into it (for reasons I’ll go into below), but I finally went back to the book and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I’d read both the previous books in the trilogy and liked them both, but for some reason I wasn’t able to get into Ms. Galen’s last release, Lord and Lady Spy, which was a DNF for me. However, Rogue Pirate’s Bride was a lot of fun once I got into it, so I think I might try giving Lord and Lady Spy a second chance!

As Rogue Pirate’s Bride begins, Raeven Russell is in a tavern, dressed as a boy and looking for the infamous pirate Captain Cutlass. Raeven’s father is a British Admiral, and she’s grown up on his ships. Unfortunately for the pirate, he’s responsible for the death of Raeven’s fiance, and Raeven has sworn to avenge his death. When she confronts Captain Cutlass in the bar, he easily routs her in swordplay, but he doesn’t realize that she’s a woman until after the fight. He has her taken to his ship, where he’ll make her work as his cabin “girl.” Raeven manages to escape, however, and the two meet up again purely by chance 6 months later.

What Raeven doesn’t realize is that Captain Cutlass is no other than Sebastien Harcourt, Marquis de Valere. As a child the pirate was forced from his home during the French Revolution, and he believes all his family to have died. Since this is a trilogy about three brothers, we’re lucky enough to realize that Sebastien, or Bastein, is not the sole survivor and that he is a member of the aristocracy. Raeven attempts to avenge her fiance once more, only to find herself swept away on Bastien’s ship, as he has his own plans for revenge against another pirate. The couple set off sparks, and Raeven’s resistance to the pirate’s charms proves illusory at best, but there seems to be little chance for a future for the two of them.

For a historical romance to have any pretensions to accuracy, the heroine usually must be a young woman, and Raeven is only 19 at the beginning of the novel. At the beginning of the novel, she’s your typical spirited, impetuous heroine who’s so stubborn that she quickly verges into TSTL territory. I think this aspect of Raeven’s character is what initially turned me off from the book. She’s so insistent upon seeking revenge when it’s clear from the start that the pirate is more than a match for her. Her repeated attempts to board his ship started to get on my nerves, and when she finds herself stuck, I thought it was a case of just desserts.

However, Raeven’s character quickly redeems herself, and I really liked her once she spent an extended period on board Bastien’s ship. She’s an intelligent young woman used to getting her own way, but when she stopped acting like an idiot, she was very well suited to the hero.
Bastien is clearly a man of honor, as he doesn’t force himself on Raeven (no old skool bodice ripper here!). He’s also less of a stickler than one might expect of an aristocrat of the period, because he proves willing to listen to Raeven’s excellent advice, and he isn’t put off by her wearing unusual attire. The sparks between the two fly, as it’s clearly a “I hate him! I love him!” type romance.

I’m glad I gave the book a second try, because Ms. Galen managed to work out an intriguing ending to a sticky problem - how can an Admiral’s daughter marry a pirate? It made for fun reading, and I think one can make the case that Raeven’s character matures over the 6 months between the first and second meeting she has with Bastien, which is highly believable and made her a more interesting character.  On a side note, I like that on the cover she's the one holding the sword, although I'm sure Freud would have a field day with that (it's a really LONG sword, lol!).

1 comment:

  1. So glad you ended up liking it. I hate to disappoint.