I discovered this author when I read one of her novellas in an Anthology. If you know my reading habits you will know that I'm not too fond of Anthologies. I think they don't give the author enough time to develop a decent story or flesh out the characters enough so that the reader can connect with them. On the other hand, Anthologies are great for people that have a problem concentrating or for people that don't have much time. It's like instant gratification if you want to get some reading in but don't want to start something that will take you forever to finish.
Anyway, I'm deviating. After reading that novella I needed to see if her other work was as good. My reading group buddies tell me that she is very good and everyone had different takes on their favorites but everyone agreed the The Forbidden Lord was their favorite. The thing with that book is that it's part of a trilogy and I just could not bring myself to read the damn thing out of order so I patiently waited until I could get my hands on the first book of the set. On Tuesday I found it.
The Pirate Lord tells the story of Capt. Gideon Horn who sails the Satyr against any nobleman that might dare cross his path. Although born English he is raised in America and after privateering against the English during the Revolutionary War he decides to become a Pirate after the war ends. He is known as the Pirate Lord because he only takes on the ships of noblemen. His mother was the daughter of a duke and she had abandoned him and his father at a young age. He was told that she had ran back to her family in England because she missed being pampered. Gideon lived a miserable life with his drunkard of a father who beat him because he reminded him of the mother that had left them both.
Sara Willis is the step sister to the Earl of Blackmore. Her mother was no one special but after Sara's father died in debtor's prison, Sara's mother decided to become a reformer and work to change the system that led her to become a widow. She meets the late Earl during one of her visits to parliament and they fall in love. He supported her reformist ideas and they lived happily. When her mother died and quickly after the Earl, Sara decides to continue her mother's work by voyaging with a group of women that are being transported to New South Wales in Australia. Although a lawless country, Sara is determined to go with them to document their treatment and make sure that they are treated with dignity. Of course Jordan, her stepbrother, the new Earl, is adamant she not go, but he has never been able to control his stepsister and she sets off on The Chastity.
Gideon wants to retire but to do so he needs to find women that are willing to join him and his crew on a deserted island that will be their new utopia. With his reputation built on fear, it's that fear that is making his task difficult. No willing female can be found, until he hears that a convict ship filled with women is at port. Assuming that the women on board will be grateful of escaping the clutches of their jailers he kidnaps them and offers them marriage to his gang of ex-pirates. What he didn't expect was that these women have a mouthpiece and she is not one to be trifled with. As they bargain for an equitable arrangement over the rights the women will have he realizes that the spitfire makes him burn. Since he too is looking for a wife he decides he will have her.
This book was so much fun, I was sad it actually ended. There wasn't tons of sexual tension but more of a pin pong of desire running through them. The tender scenes grabbed you and the harsh past of Gideon made him sympathetic. He was a strong man but not without faults and yet when proven wrong he acknowledge it and tried to remedy the problem. These two were just perfect for each other. There were a few secondary romances between the sailors and the convicts that were also highlighted and added to the enjoyment of the book.