Ruth's Reviews > The Rogue Pirate's Bride

The Rogue Pirate's Bride by Shana Galen
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I have a confession to make. I have a real weakness for pirate/naval romance. There's something about the wide open ocean, and those little itty bitty ships they used to sail to plunder and pillage (if you ever get the chance to tour a realistic modern copy, you realize just how minuscule they were, and how packing hundreds of people on board must have been interesting). And then pirates are always gorgeous and rough and scantily clad and full of derring-do, and naval officers are like pirates but more neatly turned out, and have more rules to ignore. I love them all!

Of course, in reality, being a sailor wasn't quite like that. Sickness and illness and injury were very common, the teeny tiny ships probably smelt worse than an outhouse and the food was atrocious. Pirates really weren't lovable rogues, but were incredibly cruel people, and usually ended up dead. Flogging wasn't some BDSM attempt at play, but was enough to kill a man. And I bet their breath smelt worse than fish whether they were the rogues or the good guys. David Cordingly has written some great stories about the reality of pirate life and naval life in general, including for women, and they don't read much like a romance.

But, even so, I LOVE the old trope of naughty, but lovable pirate rogue meets his match in spirited ocean-going woman, and this one, provided by netgalley, absolutely hit all the right notes for me.

Things I loved about it (oh, where to begin?)..

- The hero. Although he's a lovable-rogue type, with an eye for the ladies, a deft hand with a sword (I'm sorry, I really had to slip that in..) and the inevitable backstory, the author writes him beautifully. He's not really troubled by his past, and certainly not angst-ridden, but just has regrets and memories that he can't shake off. The author has written him correctly with long hair, black boots and tight breeches and an open-necked frilly white shirt - he wouldn't really be a romance pirate without that - but he's not a cartoon. Also, we don't dwell a huge amount on his backstory. There is plenty of action and plot that goes on apart from that.

- The heroine. Of course, it's totally unrealistic that an admiral (or any naval officer) would have a female relative on board a ship of the line. Sorry ladies, but the evidence is that it never happened to women other than non-officers' wives, who would have had to do work for their bread and rum, and sometimes probably sneaked on board if they had nowhere else to go, or no money. BUT, it's just such a great trope - and, boy, has this author ever created my absolutely favorite pirate's heroine! She prefers wearing men's clothes and knows how to wield a sword (absolute necessities in a pirate heroine IMO), but she also knows how to climb the rigging, and fire a cannon (bonus points), and (the real winner) is used to the rough talk that sailors dish out (including bartering to show her boobs to gain a favor from a sailor). She couldn't be a lady if she wanted to and tried really hard. She was just great.

- The action. So often, the combat part of pirate romances lets them down. I've found myself nearly shouting out "where's the blood and gore?" on a couple of occasions whilst reading particularly fluffy ones. Well, this one has great action. Not as much as a Marsha Canham maybe, but there is enough to make you feel that the setting matches the characters and the plot. You can almost smell the gunpowder and feel the ship recoiling from the cannon fire, and the pacing between the two points-of-view is absolutely excellent.

Honestly, there wasn't anything I didn't not like, but there were a couple of minor things which had me scratching my head. First one was why the awful title? It's so uninspiring - after all, all pirates were rogues really. What made this one different? Also, I have to admit the cover is gorgeous, but why the skirt on the heroine? She spends the whole book running around in men's clothes AND she's supposed to have big boobs... The last thing, and my biggest regret, was that we are told the heroine curses constantly, and, well, I really wish the author had actually come up with some really good, fruity curses and shared them with us.

So, in all, I did really enjoy this one. I actually have not read the others in the series (I enjoyed this one so much that I went out and bought them straight off), but it didn't prevent me from enjoying this one at all. Interaction with the characters from the other books was minimal, and it was a great standalone story. It's also my first book by this author, and not my last. I really like the way she writes. She manages to go the full range of emotions, had me laughing out loud a couple of times, and actually choking up at one point, but it's not overly-dramatic, or gothic or ridiculously angst-ridden. It's clearly written and is just a really nice, fun, pirate read.

5 stars. Loved it.
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Reading Progress

11/14/2011 "I hate it when work gets in the way of a really good pirate read... Grrr..."

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Erica (new)

Erica Anderson Five stars and his name is Captain Cutlass? Must be pretty amazing. Looking forward to the review.


Ruth I started out reading it thinking "cheesy title, cheesy names, cheesy trope", but it grew on me really fast. It's your classic pirate story, but I did really enjoy it.


Kathleen Hi Ruth, I have the book on my wish list at Amazon. I'm glad to see that you gave it 5 stars. The reviews are all really good on this book but no one has mentioned the heat level. I don't have to have erotic but I like some heat. Do you think this book would satisfied me in that area?


Kathleen WOW! Look at all the 4 and 5 star ratings. I love pirate book's with lots of action and adventure. Next time I buy at Amazon I'll probably get this ebook :)


Ruth Kathleen wrote: "Hi Ruth, I have the book on my wish list at Amazon. I'm glad to see that you gave it 5 stars. The reviews are all really good on this book but no one has mentioned the heat level. I don't have to h..."

I honestly can't remember the heat level. I don't think it was particularly smutty, but was probably more on the "slap-and-tickle"/"Hide-the-sausage" kinda level, if you get what I mean.

Thanks for asking, because I just remembered that I hadn't posted my review. Duh! It's up now... Silly me!


Ruth Kathleen wrote: "WOW! Look at all the 4 and 5 star ratings. I love pirate book's with lots of action and adventure. Next time I buy at Amazon I'll probably get this ebook :)"

You've reminded me about this one. I'm going to read it again, when I've cleared the books currently in process...


message 7: by Monya (new)

Monya Hi Ruth - obviously it's a deliciously fruity read. Unlike my (warning, self-promotion coming up) serious, clean but sensual, The Pirate And The Puritan wr/as Mary Clayton. Maybe I should have called it The Reluctant Pirate And The Captive Puritan Who Couldn't Talk. Yep, that's right, she's mute, can't speak, dumb - though not dumb in the sense of stupid.

I reckon Shana Galen decided on that title because who of us aren't attracted (er, only in the literary sense of course) to rogues and pirates?

And I agree with you about the naval heroes too. I've been a great fan of C.S. Forester's Hornblower series and am currently reading my way through Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series. Great books! And I must have picked up some hints from them because a male member of our local writers group says my action scenes read like the real thing. Oh, and I know and you know pirate/seagoing/navy life wasn't glamorous, but gosh, it doesn't hurt to romanticize them! Par-tic-u-lar-ly when the books are romances.

Looks like you'll enjoy the rest of the series, no problem!


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