The Pirate Bride by Temple Hogan is the third high seas adventure in the Pirate's Booty series. The characters are well written and the dialogue is sharp, occasionally humorous and sometimes quite bawdy. It's a solid addition to a fun series full of swashbuckling pirates and highly adventurous women.
Jackson Shaw is an interesting character; he's young, good looking and has had a very successful career as a buccaneer. He's used to being in command and now that he has a small treasure set aside, he plans to marry a wealthy merchant's daughter. A woman who's secretly been his lover. He didn't plan on being played false, getting drunk and marrying a beautiful and seductive woman, who's a complete stranger. When he realizes his bride is none other than "Red Charlie" an infamous pirate with a large price on her head, he's shocked. He's also embarrassed at his less than stellar performance on their wedding night.
Charity, who the world knows as "Red Charlie", is a fantastic character. She's young, beautiful and highly adventurous. She's also smart and somewhat conniving. Forced into the life of a pirate when her parents were killed, she finds herself forced into a quick marriage with a man she was attracted to in a bar. When her groom mistakes her for a whore and expects sexual favors she knows nothing about, she runs away. She didn't plan on her ship being captured by her new husband or on being forced to agree to act the loving wife for two weeks, in order to get her ship back. Jackson expects her to be his wife in every sense of the word, both in and out of bed.
The scenes between Charity and Jackson are full of passion and sexual tension. They are attracted to each other but refuse to acknowledge their attraction. The dialogue is sharp, witty and occasionally downright hilarious. Both Charity and Jackson intend to teach the other a lesson. Jackson is intent on turning Charity into an obedient wife and Charity intends to teach Jackson that she's not only self-sufficient but is in charge. As they get to know each other, their feelings become involved and soon both are falling in love but refuse to admit it. I really liked how Ms. Hogan developed the characters and their romance.
The secondary characters are fairly important to the plot, from Avery Townsend, the rich merchant whose daughter Jackson had wanted to marry and who also happens to be the governor of Massachusetts, to his daughter Johanna Townsend and her new husband Robert Cooke, who provided some interesting tension in the story.
The story does take some twists and turns which add some drama and there is of course the question of what will happen when someone is accused of being a pirate and gets sentenced to death. Ms. Hogan gives the story a fine ending and resolved all of the issues in this particular story. I look forward to reading the next installment in this series and seeing where Ms. Hogan takes us next.
ELEMENTS: Adult situations and strong sexual content.
HEAT LEVEL: Garnet
Red Charlie is the scourge of the sea, the devil himself, so imagine Jackson Shaw’s stunned disbelief when he recovers from a drunken night of revelry and discovers he’s married to the infamous pirate captain. Furthermore, he did not acquit himself with much sexual finesse on his wedding night. Now he wants to redeem his mangled pride, but a few nights in Red Charlie’s arms will make him forget about pride…
Charity, known to the world as Red Charlie ever since she was abducted by the same bloodthirsty pirate who killed her parents, relaxed her guard for one night and was ushered into a hasty marriage with a man who mesmerized her. But when the bridegroom mistakes her for a whore on their wedding night and expects her to perform sexual acts she knows nothing about, she runs away. But there’s no running away when Jackson captures her pirate ship and refuses to return it unless she spends two weeks as his wife, with all that entails.
Charity sets out to teach Jackson a much needed lesson, but the tropical nights of lovemaking teach her a few things about men that she never expected to learn.