Monday, April 26, 2010


Ahoy all, Tori and I are stretched out on a comfy beach chair enjoying the ocean sounds and watching the menz play a little beach volleyball. Today the sea is a beautiful azure blue and the sky is clear with a few white fluffy clouds. It is curious though because there seems to be a bubble of thick grey mist moving in floating on the water. Then I see a ship emerging from the mist and it anchors off shore. The flag it flies is the skull and crossbones. I rub my eyes with the heels of my hands and blink.

I look again and a group of men, pirates apparently are scurrying down a rope from the ship, and jump into a waiting rowboat, they begin to row ashore. A man with a wide brimmed hat sporting a long multicolored feather stands at the helm of the rowboat, even from a distance I can see his piercing green eyes, handsome chiseled features, and what looks to be a well toned physique beneath a flowing long sleeved white shirt split half way down his chest and tucked into tight breeches. He is wearing knee high black leather boots and has (yikes) a longsword in hand.

I call to the guys, they stop their game and look in the direction my shaky finger is pointing out to the sea. I take an extra long sip of my chilled beverage. The guys look back at me, shrug and pick up their game where they left off. I look back out to sea and my pirate and his ship have vanished. The mist is spiralling away.....

Strangely, I feel, bereft...

Okay, so there was no pirate, but hey a girl can dream right? lol

The first story I read about pirates was “Treasure Island” written in 1883 by Robert Louis Stevenson, a young adult coming of age story which immortalized pirate Long John Silver. "Treasure Island" is a pure adventure novel, but as a kid I always thought there was something romantic about these bad boy pirates sailing the high seas in search of treasure and trouble.

As an adult I read “The Flame and the Flower”, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss’ 1972, debut romance novel. I was astounded to discover that it was the first novel to detail physical intimacy between the hero and heroine (Brandon Birmingham and Heather Simmons). Woodiwiss addressed a number of themes in the book and it is felt to have revolutionized the historical romance genre. If you stop by and take a peek at reader reviews you’ll find readers either love or hate this novel. Brandon and Heather’s romance is certainly unconventional, but I think one has to keep in perspective the time it was written and give Woodiwiss credit for being brave enough to write a story that was unique and actually quite controversial for it's time.

The 80’s and 90’s hailed a number of memorable pirate novels. Julie Garwood’s “The Gift”; Virgina Henley’s bawdy “The Pirate and the Pagan”; Johanna Lindsay’s, “Gentle Rogue”; and of course Laura London’s, “The Windflower” which has been shared amongst bloggers on a tour. Beatrice Small’s “Skye O’Malley” tells the story of a courageous female seafarer who captain's her own fleet. This is only naming a few, there are many, many more.

A more recent favorite for many bloggers was the Judith James book “Broken Wing”. I haven’t read this story but from what I understand the hero sets out to prove himself to his lady love and earn his way by becoming a mercenary pirate. Fellow DIK contributor, KristieJ hosts “The Questors”, at her blog Ramblings on Romance etc. etc. which proved to be a very successful blogging promotion of this novel.

Fiona Jayde, recently published a short story, “Treasure of Devil’s Isle”, a time travel romance about a 21st century librarian who is thrown back in time waking up in the 18th century aboard a frigate with pirates and a handsome captain. What about time travel and pirates? Do you think you would enjoy this type of theme in a pirate romance?

I think there is something inherently romantic about a swashbuckling pirate. Is it their carefree life? Or, is it because they are bad boy scoundrels? Maybe it is the conflict, as they are unlikely to settle down with one lady love, unless of course a pirate is the hero of a memorable romance novel.

Lastly I wanted to share this picture of an um.. swashbuckler, and as my wise friend Mary recently noted, “me thinks his mast is listing to the left.” (Man I wish I’d thought of that line.) lololol

Reference sites used with respect to pirate romance novels: Romance Readers At Heart: Great Romance Novels of Pirates and Swashbucklers. Goodreads list of Historical Pirate Romance Books.

Do you have a favorite romance where the hero or heroine is a pirate? Any romance subgenres such as m/m, present day contemporary or science fiction that involve pirates? Or, are they strictly appropriate for historical romances?

Tori and I are looking forward to another day on the island tomorrow, and I’m going to chat about mermaids in romance.


Anonymous said...

Rawrrrrr pirates! I haven't read any books about them, but I sure as hell love 'em! Wrote down some of the titles, and hopefully I'll be getting them soon!

Great post!

Lea said...

Hey Hilda!

Thank you so much. I hope if you do pick up any Pirate romances you will enjoy the ones you read. ;)

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Well shiver me timbers! *wink*

I loved the pirate books in the 1980's and early '90s.

My favorite would have to be ALL the pirate books by Johanna Lindsay. I think her earliest pirate book I read was "A Pirates Love" back in 1978! Loved it! Then later came the Malory family and those are all shelf keepers for me when I need to oldie complete with Fabian on the cover! LOL



Great post Lea!

Lea said...

Hey Ms. M!

Thanks so much. LOL Yeah, Johanna Lindsay used Fabio exclusively for the cover art for her books back in the day.

Linda Lael Miller wrote a good one in the 90's too. They were so popular then.

Nice to hear you love Lindsay's stories so much, I actually didn't remember her writing a pirate series but I know I probably read it because I inhaled most of her books back then. lol

Have a great day!

Heather D said...

Good Morning!!

I love a good historical pirate romance. You of course mentioned my all time favorite book, Gentle Rogue! There is one that has stuck with me, can't remember the name of the book or the characters and only some of the plot. I am hoping that I can find it by using your links!!! thanks so much for posting them.

Chris said...

LOL at Mary's comment!!

Um... I've never been a fan of pirates... But hey, for those who love pirates and belong to the Goodreads mmromance group, they have a list of mm pirate stories!

Blodeuedd said...

Haha look at those pants, those, well..yup lost for words here. Not a fan actually.

Pirates, yes cool, but fav story, nope nada

Kati said...

I'm in the midst of my annual re-read of The Windflower by Tom and Sharon Curtis. Not just my favorite pirate romance, but my favorite romance of all time. I just came across this little exchange.

(Our heroine, Merry, has been kidnapped and is aboard a pirate ship - she's discussing her most recent attempt to talk the hero, Devon, into letting her go. She's speaking with Cat (one of the best secondaries EVAR!).

Cat: "You've been talking to Devon?"
Merry: "I wouldn't call it talking. He circles around me like a carnivore and bites when the urge takes him. There's no more mercy in the man than there is mile in a male tiger."
Cat: "Panic won't help."
Merry:"Thank you," she said. "I needed a slogan. Panic won't help. That's an apt one."

Love, love, love this book! It's old skool piratey goodness.

Lea said...

Hi Heather! Thanks so much for your comment. I remember reading Gentle Rogue years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the story. LOL Doesn't it drive you crazy when you can remember the plot and characters in a book but not it's title? I do that all the time. :-)

Thanks Again

Hey Chris!

LOL Mary is so quick, she is lightening fast with these one liners, she makes me laugh all the time.

Hey, pirate romances don't 'float everyone's boat'. :P Thank you for the m/m pirate stories link. ;)

Hi B!

LOL Isn't that guy something.. *shakes head* Like I said to Chris, pirates aren't for everyone, you've got to really like a 'bad boy'. ;)

Hi Kati:

Thank you SO much for your comment regarding "The Windflower". I have it at home and tried to read it once and just couldn't get into the story but must try again. Like you, I know of many, many readers who love that book.

Some of the oldies are the goodies aren't they?

Love the quotes - thank you again!

Mary G said...

Hi Lea
Love this post. Pirates seem to be able to transcend all genres for me. The Flame & The Flower was my first romance novel. I also loved Johanna Lindsey's pirates. I'd say my faves were Lord Of The Storm & The Skypirate by Justine Dare which were Futuristic/Fantasy from the mid-90's. I'm assuming that being a Star Wars & Han Solo fan would explain that. I need to try some pirate M/M too.

Kati said...

Lea - You know ALOT of readers don't like The Windflower. I get it, I really do. But this story just speaks to me. For whatever reason. I think it's a combination of really lovely prose, and yes, I love a feeble heroine who gets stronger as the story goes along.

Plus, what isn't awesome about Rand Morgan, and coolest pirate ship name ever? The Black Joke.

Kris said...

Pirates! Yummy. :)

One of my fave m/m reads is the Details of the Hunt by Laura Baumbach. This sees the pirate main character get kidnapped and taken into the future. A little weird but it works. LOL.

And I so need to read The Windflower. I'm loving that little snippet that Kati posted.

Lea said...

Hey Mary!

Thanks so much. :-) I'm not familiar with the Justine Dare novels but definitely worth looking up. (I'm a Star Wars fan too.) Hans was definitely a space pirate of a sort wasn't he? *g*

Hey Kati:

Oh, I know a few readers that don't care for the Windflower, and most of the reviews indicate Devon was a turn off because they saw hime as dominant and controlling. Maybe I'm wrong but I think that exemplifies the type of hero written at the time the book was published?

I guess, just like anything else romance has evolved so much and readers have become more sophisticated, and expect heroines to match that sophistication even in historical genre?

I think that the novel speaks to you is wonderful and I know I have books that I treasure as my best reads ever but others absolutely loath the same books. lol

And, your right, 'The Black Joke' is the best name for a pirate ship. lol

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Katie.

Hey there Kris:

You will likely have trouble finding "The Windflower", it is out of print and folks hang on to their copies.

I'm going to try and read the one that was given to me again and if successful I'll let you know, and lend you mine. ;)

Thanks for the suggestion for the m/m pirate romance. It sounds different and I've written it down.

Have a great evening everyone!

Tracy said...

How about a space pirate? No?

Ah well then how about Grey in Surrender of a Siren. He was a retired pirate but still uber hot. And actually any sailor is great - even if they're just a captain and not a pirate...yep, I drool. :)

Unknown said...

Hi Lea!

LOLOLOL I believe that it listing to the left. OMG!

My very fist pirate was Treasure Island. Long John Silvers and shiver me timbers. LOL I've read Judith James' Broken Wing, and it was excellent. I'm looking forward to her other books.

I liked Capt'n Ron, he was a favorite for a little while (Kurt Russell with an eye patch, lol). Johnny Depp as Capt'n Jack Sparrow is my current favorite pirate though, which I could have joined seeing a peek of the Black Pearl and Capt'n Jack, lol, too sexy!! If you should come around again, and if he doesn't mind being landlocked, he's more than welcome in my stretch of the woods.

Dottie :)

Mitzi H. said...

LOL....I like listing.

I love pirate novels and recently discovered 2 by Marsha Canham that were awesome:

Across A Moonlit Sea & The Iron Rose.

Give me a handsome captain with a sword (that he knows how to use) and I'm a happy camper!!!!

Priya Parmar said...

i am a historical fiction author from hawaii and the pirates have actually landed on the island today to begin filming the fourth pirates of the caribbean movie!

Lea said...

Hey Tracy:

I think the idea of a space pirate is awesome. And, yes - seafarers are uperhot.. *g*

Thanks Tracy!

Hey Dottie!

Oh Yes, Kurt Russell's Capt'n Ron? LOL He was SO great in that role. Kurt is such a versatile actor.

Ditto, re Long John Silver. *wink*

Thanks Dottie. ((hugs))

Hi there Mitzi!

Thank you for your note! LOL re the 'listing'.. Me too, I love those handsome pirate sword wielding scoundrels. ;)

I'll look up the books you mentioned.

Thanks Again!

Hi Pirya!

Thank you so much for your note and how cool is that! Real pirates including maybe my hearthrob "Cap'n Jack" landing in Hawaii? I hope you enjoy the excitement and the view! I'll be looking forward to the 4th movie. *g*

Have a great day everyone!

Kris said...

Lea, really?? That would be awesome. Thank you. :)

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