Eloisa James' The Ugly Duchess was one of the best historical romance novels I've read in a very long while. The second half...well, I'm still conflicted about the pace of the ending though it's definitely a book that will stick in my mind for a while (my review here).
One of the most intriguing characters in The Ugly Duchess was Griffin, cousin and co-pirate to the hero James. Griffin is the notorious earl who left his wife on their wedding night and took to the seas for a life of plunder and pillage. He left London midway though the novel to reclaim his wife and Eloisa James fills in the missing parts of his story in the novella Seduced by a Pirate (currently $0.99 in ebook).
Summary: In Eloisa James's companion story to The Ugly Duchess, Sir Griffin Barry, captain of the infamous pirate ship The Poppy, is back in England to claim the wife he hasn't seen since their wedding day . . . but this is one treasure that will not be so easy to capture.
My thoughts: Seduced by a Pirate was a thoroughly enjoyable accompaniment to The Ugly Duchess, primarily because Griffin's wife Phoebe was such a good heroine and because of James' deft ability to create satisfying novellas. Phoebe may have been an abandoned bride but she didn't let that get in the way of living the life she wanted. In her husband's absence, Phoebe has become a mother and woman of worth.
Griffin and Phoebe's reconciliation doesn't feel rushed despite the novella's length, and the chemistry between them is palpable. It doesn't hurt that Griffin has become a delicious, piratical specimen of a man over the past 14 years. He also doesn't begrudge Phoebe the life she's led, nor the children he assumes she's borne to his replacement. His desire to win her over romantically is rather adorable, even if it seems to have come on rather suddenly. Above all, it's clear that the maturity Griffin and Phoebe attained over their 14 year separation has enabled them to fall in love
Seduced by a Pirate could work well as either a standalone novella or as a mini-sequel to The Ugly Duchess. I hope Eloisa James will continue her writing Fairy Tale books since it's become one of my favorite historical series in recent years.
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: October 30, 2012
Length: 100 pages
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.