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To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker

July 15, 2007

cover of To Catch a Pirate by Jade ParkerIt’s 1720, and Annalisa and her father are sailing to a small Caribbean island where her father will be governor when their ship is overtaken by pirates. One of the pirates, James Sterling, steals a kiss from Annalisa, but his comrades take something more valuable: a chest of gold coins to be spent building a fort. Upon reaching land, Annalisa’s father is jailed, suspected of being in league with the pirates. Determined to prove her father’s innocence, Annalisa forges a letter of marque to hunt down the man she considers the key to her quest.

James Sterling was a pirate when he and Annalisa first met. Now he’s a wanted man. Annalisa is determined to use him to track down the notorious Crimson Kelly, captain of the pirate ship that stole the gold chest. But the more Annalisa learns of Sterling, the more she starts to fall for him.

Ultimately, To Catch a Pirate is a wallpaper romance. If not for a few references to Queen Anne’s War and the fact that we’re told the story is set in 1720, I wouldn’t have known when the story takes place. For that matter, I wouldn’t have known where the story is set, either. Yes, much of the action takes place on board ships, but ship life doesn’t come alive the way it does in Bloody Jack or Star-Crossed. When the characters are on land, the Caribbean islands are generic and bland. Since we’re talking about pirates here, Pirates! by Celia Rees and The Pirate’s Son by Geraldine McCaughren do a much better job of bringing the historical setting and the ruthlessness of piracy to life, even if the romance is not as overt. With the popularity of pirates these days, no doubt the title will attract the attention of teen girls, and some may very well enjoy it. But if you want something with a little more depth and character, try one of the other books mentioned.

Don’t be surprised if some of your adult patrons pick up this book thinking it’s an adult romance. The cover wouldn’t look out of place on a Candice Hern or Liz Carlyle book of a few years back. It is, however, very much a YA romance. In other words, no sex, just kisses, with a sort of naive, innocent aspect to the non-relationship parts.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 14, 2008 2:32 pm

    This book changed my WHOLE outlook on pirates! It made me cry, the romance between James and Annalissa is so innocnt, so sweet!

  2. ashleigh permalink
    September 7, 2008 5:00 pm

    um hello!!! i am a huge fan of this book!!! i love it!! i can’t stop reading it!!! it is totally fantastic!!!

    not all books have to be about sex ya know!! the kisses in the realationship help the plot along and in those days sex wasn’t common until after marriage!!!

    if you look in the last couple of pages in the book it contains the aspects of history in the story. someone obvioulsy didn’t read those!!

    by ashleigh

  3. September 7, 2008 11:43 pm

    ashleigh – Thanks for commenting. When said there was no sex, it was not intended as a criticism. Just a way of letting people know that although it may look like an adult romance, the book is entirely appropriate for teens.

  4. Ashley permalink
    November 27, 2008 10:08 am

    at first my mom would not let me read this book because she thought it had sex in it. then i went on the internet and looked up some things about the book and found out that there was no sex. i finally convinced my mom to buy it. i absolutly love this book, it is still romantic but it is romantic at a certain level. so all you moms out there who are like mine, THIS BOOK DOES NOT HAVE SEX!!!

  5. jennifer permalink
    October 13, 2012 11:16 pm

    .. i really enjoy reading this story.. i love it.. full of thrills ..

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