Hazel's Reviews > Pleasuring the Pirate

Pleasuring the Pirate by Emily Bryan
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Mar 20, 10

Read from March 18 to 20, 2010

This is atrocious. The premise is silly, the plot ridiculous, the characters unconvincing. I get the feeling Bryan did just enough historical research to identify a few throwaway references that sound vaguely appropriate, but wouldn't stand up to scrutiny.

Oh,and the sex is dull, too.

Do I have to finish it?

-------------------------------------

OK, so I did my duty. I took a deep breath and finished it. And that has to be the worst ending of a novel I have ever read! How can I say this without spoilers? So the heroine (who doesn't have a heroic vein in her body, by the way) just happens to be related to someone who turns out to have had an intimate connection with a very, very, very important person - so important that the little matter of a death sentence can be overturned with a word. Well, we'd all love to have a fairy godmother who would wave a magic wand and, voila! - the tables are turned, the bad guys are punished, the criminals are ennobled and we live happily ever after. Sheesh!!

Don't get me started on the mattress sandwich. Did anybody else find the incestuous overtones a little, I don't know, distasteful? I'm thinking of the earlier notice of prepubescent anatomy, as well as the mattress sandwich with the nude 'relative'.

I find this very annoying. Understand, I enjoy light and silly stories. There's no reason that light and silly should mean stupid. Other writers can do light, silly, clever and entertaining. Bryan can, and should, do better than this.
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Reading Progress

03/18/2010 page 33
10.93% "Rubbish!" 2 comments

Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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Ellen Yes. You do have to finish it. We did, and you should suffer, too (just kidding).


Hazel Ellen wrote: "Yes. You do have to finish it. We did, and you should suffer, too (just kidding)."

You mean I should 'take one for the team'? :-)

Elizabeth wrote: "You don't have to but the ending is really astoundingly bad. It does put the rest in perspective."

I can't imagine it! That's just not possible!!!


Ellen Hazel wrote: Other writers can do light, silly, clever and entertaining. Bryan can, and should, do better than this.(

I was just looking at Bryan's profile page, and I got the impression that she likes what she does/writes. I'm not making an analogy here, but I listened to one YA lit speaker who described how she didn't read much, found classical literature too difficult and "boring," thought learning about the craft of writing was a waste of time, but decided that romance YA lit was a money-maker. Consequently, she learned the YA romance lit formula and went about cranking out novels asembly style. She's been very successful.

Emily Bryan may feel similarly. Her books are doing very well. I thought this comment, which she made in a Romance Fiction group was interesting:

One thing to remember is that women in other times had fewer choices than we do. It wasn't as if they could run for parliament or even attend the university in many cases. Women, respectable or otherwise, were dependent on the men in their lives to provide, be it father, husband or lover. I'm not saying becoming a courtesan is a good choice, but given the options, it becomes more understandable.

I used to sing professional opera and many of the heroines were "soiled doves."(La Traviata, La Boheme, and Candide to name a few) However, they all died in the end, so it's hard for me to envision a HEA for this type of heroine. Pretty Woman was a real stretch, IMHO. However, Francine Rivers' REDEEMING LOVE does a great job of making the "fallen woman" storyline plausible and is actually a retelling of the biblical story of Hosea.


And, there's a big market for this kind of soft porn. We can bemoan the fact that she could probably produce better fiction, but if she's got a ready audience, what is her impetus?

I'm playing devil's advocate here...


message 4: by Miriam (last edited Mar 20, 2010 09:54AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Miriam I liked Isabella the courtesan better than the other characters (not saying much, I know). At least she seemed to have some common sense. Writers by and large seem to think common sense is not romantic, so their protagonists much behave like idiots.

And what exactly does she mean by "it's hard for me to envision a HEA for this type of heroine"? She can't imagine a courtesan falling in love? Well, they did. Read some history. And often men loved them back. Does she really mean that she doesn't think "fallen women" deserve HEAs?


Ellen Miriam wrote: "I liked Isabella the courtesan better than the other characters (not saying much, I know). At least she seemed to have some common sense. Writers by and large seem to think common sense is not roma..."

Ha - that's true. Most romantic fiction heroines forever run toward mysterious noises (instead of in the opposite direction), can't seem to keep the floorplan straight, and fall down when it's least convenient.

Yes, Isabella was certainly clear-eyed and practical.


Hazel Ellen wrote: I was just looking at Bryan's profile page, and .."I used to sing professional opera and many of the heroines were "soiled doves."(La Traviata, La Boheme, and Candide to name a few) However, they all died in the end, so it's hard for me to envision a HEA for this type of heroine."

So the writer of fiction is telling us that she has no imagination?!? I'd keep quiet about that.

But then she makes much more money than I do. And you're right Ellen, if she enjoys her work, more power to her.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

But then she makes much more money than I do. And you're right Ellen, if she enjoys her work, more power to her.

I'm fairly sure most romance writers don't make much money. Actually, most writers don't make much money full-stop. In some cases, the cover artist doesn't make much less than the author, and cover art (not photography) goes for about $2000 - $3000. (This is all a seriously huge generalization, from what I know from cover artists & authors of my acquaintance.)

Super fun review. :)


Miriam No wonder the covers get reused.


Ellen Ceridwen wrote: I'm fairly sure most romance writers don't make much money.

It would be interesting to know, though. These books sell in droves, and I've noticed a lot of reviews on GR deal with this genre. Also, while there are a number of books I've been unable to order on Kindle, Pleasuring the Pirate was readily available, and I'm suspecting Kindle acquires books according to supply & demand.


message 10: by Hazel (new) - rated it 1 star

Hazel Ellen wrote: "Ceridwen wrote: I'm fairly sure most romance writers don't make much money.

It would be interesting to know, though. These books sell in droves, and I've noticed a lot of reviews on GR deal with this genre. Also, while there are a number of books I've been unable to order on Kindle, Pleasuring the Pirate was readily available, and I'm suspecting Kindle acquires books according to supply & demand."


There's something depressing about that.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Also, while there are a number of books I've been unable to order on Kindle, Pleasuring the Pirate was readily available, and I'm suspecting Kindle acquires books according to supply & demand.

Maybe, but availability often has more to do with DRM - digital rights management - the wars going on between Kindle & that new eWhatever from Apple, and copyright battles over older titles.


message 12: by Ellen (new) - rated it 1 star

Ellen Ceridwen wrote: "Also, while there are a number of books I've been unable to order on Kindle, Pleasuring the Pirate was readily available, and I'm suspecting Kindle acquires books according to supply & demand.

Ma..."


I honestly don't know, Ceridwen, but I'm finding it depressing - and agreeing with Hazel - that the NYRB bestsellers, mysteries, romance fiction, YA lit, etc. are available, while books like Walker Percy's The Last Gentleman or Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited are not.

I spent some time trying to figure out the rhyme & reason of what Kindle had available and didn't get very far. From what I've read, Kindle has the more books available than Nook or Sony's e-reader. I'm not sure about Apple.

On the plus side, there are 1.8 million books no longer subject to copyright that can be uploaded for no cost. That is nice.

I'll do some reading on the DRM wars. Thanks.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Interesting review + thread about the recent 1984 Kindle hose-job:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 14: by Ellen (new) - rated it 1 star

Ellen Ceridwen wrote: "Interesting review + thread about the recent 1984 Kindle hose-job:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/..."


I'm not sure why - probably just poking around - but I'd read that article. It's pretty ironic that it was 1984 of all books that was snatched right out of people's Kindles :).


message 15: by Ellen (new) - rated it 1 star

Ellen Elizabeth wrote: "I'm coming in late... What's HEA?

Ceridwen, how can you forget the name iPad - one of the funniest names ever! Better than SAP!"


Happily ever after.

Maxipad would have been worse, but you're right iPAD is not good at all.


Eh?Eh! Excellent! I love the "matress sandwich"!


Hazel wrote: "the heroine (who doesn't have a heroic vein in her body, by the way) just happens to be related to someone who turns out to have had an intimate connection with a very, very, very important person - so important that the little matter of a death sentence can be overturned with a word."

Ceridwen named this the "rex-ex-machina."


message 17: by Hazel (new) - rated it 1 star

Hazel Ceridwen wrote: "But then she makes much more money than I do. And you're right Ellen, if she enjoys her work, more power to her.

I'm fairly sure most romance writers don't make much money. Actually, most writers ..."


Returning to the subject of writers' success, material and otherwise, I've found this Sunday Times article about a writer who's certainly new to me. I wonder how many others are 'toiling away in obscurity', when their talents could be so much greater that Bryan et al...

Ain't life a bitch?


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