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The History of Maritime Piracy

Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX  76244-0425


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Books for Adults - Fiction

The Pirate Next Door                    The Care & Feeding of Pirates                    The Pirate Hunter

Cover Art: The Pirate Next Door
The Pirate Next Door
By Jennifer Ashley
Leisure, 2003, ISBN 0-8439-5277-6, $5.99

StarStarStarStarStar

One summer evening in 1810, Alexandra Alastair ponders a short list of marriageable gentlemen. Her first marriage was miserable and now that she’s a widow, she’s determined not to make the same mistake again. Should she add her neighbor, Grayson Finley, Viscount Stoke, to her list? He doesn’t fit the profile of staid London society, yet there’s something about him that draws her to him. Before she decides, though, she overhears someone threatening to kill Finley.

Grayson’s past finally catches up with him. The Admiralty insists he must track down the missing French king, else they will hang Grayson for piracy. James Ardmore, another pirate, wants to kill Grayson for killing Ardmore’s brother and marrying Ardmore’s one true love. Somehow, Grayson must survive long enough to satisfy the Admiralty, clear his name, and provide for his daughter before Ardmore slays him. Then his lovely neighbor, whom he eyes from afar, rushes in to save him and from that moment on, the adventure begins!

This book abounds with pirate escapades that provide a rousing adventure for all readers of Regency romances. In spite of placing the pirates about a century later than she should have, Jennifer Ashley successfully pulls off this feat with delightful humor and daring aplomb that should set the tongues of the tonne wagging, but instead serves to bring them to life. While most escapades take place in the streets and houses of London, the riveting denouement occurs aboard Ardmore’s and Finley’s ships. The Pirate Next Door will make you laugh, erase your worries, and elicit cheers for a heroine daring enough to face untold danger to fight for the man she loves and for a man bold enough to risk everything to make his dreams come true.

Read an Excerpt from The Pirate Next Door
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Book Review Copyright ©2004 Cindy Vallar

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Excerpt from The Pirate Next Door

Mrs. Waters took on a faraway expression.  “Can you imagine if you were a passenger on a ship he had boarded?  He’d come to your cabin—” she looked dreamily at the doorway from which he’d departed— “and take liberties with your person.  Against the cabin wall, perhaps.”  The room descended into thoughtful silence, broken only by the sound of carriages and horses passing in the street.  “Then he’d tear the jewels from your throat and vanish into the smoke.”  She let out a long and satisfied sigh.

Lady Featherstone lifted her teacup decisively.  “You read far too many novels, Cynthia.”  She leaned to Alexandra and whispered, “Besides, she must weigh twenty stone.”

Alexandra pushed aside the enticing vision of herself being taken by the viscount against the wall of a ship’s cabin.  He would kiss her just as he’d kissed her on the floor of his bedchamber, his lips bruising and commanding.  Her hands would rest on his wide shoulders, and he would kiss her and kiss her and kiss her.

When he was finished, he’d lay her, exhausted and weak, on the bunk.  He’d come away with her necklace in his hand.  “I will keep this to remember you by, dear lady,” he would say in a low voice.  He would give her a look with his dark blue eyes, press a light kiss to her lips, then turn and sweep away.

Copyright © 2003 Jennifer Ashley

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Cover Art: Care and Feeding of
              Pirates
The Care & Feeding of Pirates
by Jennifer Ashley
Dorchester, 2005, ISBN 0-8439-5281-4, US $6.99 / CAN $8.99

A proper young lady, Honoria Ardmore steps outside the bounds of propriety once. In 1809 she falls in love with a pirate condemned to dance the hempen jig. The night before his execution, they wed in secret, and Honoria never confides her love or widowhood to anyone. Four years later, while leaving a London theater, she swears she sees her husband’s ghost.  Why does he haunt her now, just as she’s agreed to marry Mr. Templeton?

After cheating death and enduring unspeakable hardships, Christopher Raine has no intention of allowing his wife to commit bigamy. On top of convincing her that they will remain husband and wife, he searches for his half-sister, who’s in grave danger. If that’s not enough, Honoria’s brother wants the treasure Raine buried just before his capture. What’s a pirate to do?

This delightful, humorous, swashbuckling tale promises romance and adventure, and delivers both in great measure. Jennifer Ashley reunites Honoria and Christopher with a pirate and pirate hunter, and their lady loves, from her previous books, The Pirate Next Door and The Pirate Hunter. The twists and turns in The Care & Feeding of Pirates will captivate and amuse readers from beginning to end.


Book Review Copyright ©2005 Cindy Vallar

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Cover Art: The Pirate Hunter
The Pirate Hunter
by Jennifer Ashley
Leisure Books, 2004, ISBN 0-8439-5280-6, $5.99

James Ardmore, a pirate hunter and the villain from Ashley’s previous book The Pirate Next Door, takes center stage in this Regency romance. He washes ashore half dead on the island of Haven. The only other person to survive the sinking of the Royal Navy frigate where he was imprisoned is Lieutenant Jack, the man who released Ardmore’s bonds, but Jack has amnesia.  Diana Worthington, widow of a British naval officer, discovers them on the beach. James is the last person she wishes to see, but she can’t forget him or their last encounter and his kiss.

Ardmore’s search for the pirate who destroyed his family brings him to Haven. Somehow Diana’s father, a retired admiral, is involved with the villain.  Diana will stop at nothing to protect her father or deaf daughter. Diana yearns to love, but her husband’s abuse makes her fearful of taking the plunge. The clash between these two is inevitable, but the outcome of the confrontation between pirate, hunter, admiral, and daughter is unexpected. Yet, a far greater danger lurks in the wings.

Unlike The Pirate Next Door, which was a humorous pirate romp through the streets of London, The Pirate Hunter is a more traditional romance. At times the sex overwhelms the story, but these two lovers’ hurts are deep and only together can they heal. Ashley doesn’t romanticize pirate life, preferring to remain true to the violence inherent in that lifestyle. Revenge proves a powerful motive to hunt pirates, but not necessarily with the expected outcomes. The most vivid and heartrending scene in the book occurs when James endures the cat o’ nine tails. For romance readers who enjoy mixing piracy and love.


Book Review Copyright ©2004 Cindy Vallar

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