1 star

Historical Romance Review: A Pirate’s Love by Johanna Lindsey

A Pirate’s Love, Johanna Lindsey, Avon, 1978, Robert McGinnis cover art


1 star

Rating: 1 out of 5.

I Didn’t Love This Lindsey

I hated Johanna Lindsey‘s A Pirate’s Love for many reasons, some based on logic, most others based on pettiness. If you’re looking for a great review that does a better job explaining why this book blows, search elsewhere. I’m just going to go on a diatribe based on my ever-waning recollections of this “romance”:

The multiple rapes that the hero commits upon the heroine didn’t really faze me, although they did get redundant. After all, it’s a bodice ripper, and that’s what comes with the territory. If a hero raping the heroine offends you, best not read this genre. It was everything else, in Lindsey’s second-published book, that I despised.

Embrace the Hate

I hated Bettina and her knee-length hair that’s easily hidden under a hat! (Apologies to the beautiful Johanna who actually had knee-length hair. She could have easily passed for one of her heroines.)

I hated how she cried over her dresses and how ill-tempered she was and hearing about her flashing eyes that were blue one minute, then green another. Not blue-green eyes, mind you, that look different depending on the light or what colors they reflect. Her eyes just change color randomly with her emotions. She’s like a human mood ring.

I hated Tristan. He was such beta-fish, shaving his beard off when Bets demanded it of him. Some tough pirate, eh? Plus I don’t like the name Tristan. I joke about the overused names in Romancelandia that are so overbearingly macho and repetitive, but Tristan Matisse just doesn’t inspire fear. He’s French, so why not Capitaine Sauvage? It may sound cliché, but it’s better than that prissy name.

I hated Casey O’Casey. There’s another stupid name for a stupid character.

I hated Bettina’s mother. Or was it the maid? Or was it both women who gave Bettina horrible life advice? Don’t remember, don’t care.

I hated the lack of romance. I hated the lack of variety in action. It all seemed to blur together: rape, fight, escape, repeat; rape, fight, escape, repeat; etc.

I hated how the antagonists are portrayed. In a pirate book set in the 1600s, it was natural to have Spaniards playing the villains to the English/French buccaneer heroes, but in A Pirate’s Love Lindsey laid it on a bit thick, reaching Leyenda Negra levels of ridiculousness, their wicked deeds falling just short of infant necrophilia and cannibalism.

I hated the stupid coincidences at the end of this book. I mean, really? All of them happening at once?

a pirates love2
A Pirate’s Love, Alternate Edition

Final Rant on A Pirate’s Love

Why would I despise this book, when it’s not so different from Lindsey’s early, more “serious-toned” works, like Fires of Winter, which was one of my teenaged favorites, or So Speaks the Heart, to which I gave a favorable review?

Maybe I was feeling sick that week or was stressed by heavy loads of classwork or I was on my period or maybe, just maybe, this book does indeed reach epic levels of suck. It’s just so blah.

A Pirate’s Love is not the worst Lindsey book because at least I could finish it. As repetitive as it was, it did draw out emotions from me, which is more than I can say for her later soporific works I dislike. Ah well. Lindsey wrote so many books, it’s natural I’m bound to dislike a couple of them. A Pirate’s Love just happens to be one of them.

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