Disclaimer: I am writing this review in the middle of Hurricane Sandy and I’ve had a lot of rum. You have been warned.
Novellas are rapidly becoming one of my favorite things, especially in the romance genre. They’re a great length–just enough for a hour or two of reading before bed and the price is usually right (between 99-cents and $1.99). Eloisa James’s latest novella, Seduced by a Pirate, is no exception.
Taking place at the same time as James’s most recent novel, The Ugly Duchess, this story concerns itself with one of the secondary characters, James’s piratical cousin Griffin.
Sir Griffin Barry, on the occasion of his royal pardon on account of being a
pirateprivateer, has decided to return to his wife who he left after but one night of marriage. He’s made a bet with his cousin James, see, around who can reconcile with their wife first.
When he arrives at Arbor House, he is surprised to find three young children who call his wife Mama–since their marriage was unconsummated, there’s no way he’s the father; unfazed, he forges ahead and re-establishes contact with his wife, Poppy. And promptly discovers that he’s had her name wrong for fourteen years: her name is Phoebe, not Poppy. His ships are totally named the wrong thing. How embarrassing.
I found this book’s premise to be interesting and I was really intrigued about how James was going to resolve it because there are two pretty serious things going on here: (possibly) illegitimate children and nearly a decade and a half of abandonment.
Naturally, things aren’t as simple as they seem and the truth behind both conflicts is more complicated that it seems at first blush and I wish they’d been slightly better fleshed out. However, that is one of the things you sacrifice with this shorter format–when you’re used to the slow buildup that often happens in longer stories, the quick resolution of conflicts and sexual tension in novellas can sometimes feel jarring and rushed. On the other hand, they’re a fantastic way for authors to flesh out their fictional worlds and tell the story of characters whose stories may not have enough oomph for a full length book. In this case, I do think there was enough oomph, but obviously James felt differently.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story and it was a great way to distract myself while waiting for the hurricane to come and say hello to Delaware. And I’m definitely looking forward to James’s next book, a retelling of Rapunzel.
Note: I received an eARC of this title from Avon via Edelweiss. This fact did not affect my feelings towards this book. However, the rum may have. Yarr!
Further note: We were super-lucky and did not lose power or suffer any damage in the storm. Others weren’t so fortunate. If you can, monetary donations to the Red Cross are a good thing during disasters.