Thursday, September 24, 2015

Throwback Thursday Review: The Pirate and the Pagan by Virginia Henley

Welcome to the newest feature on the blog, Throwback Thursday!  This feature will occur the fourth Thursday of every month, and it has the potential to become my most favorite feature ever. So what's this feature all about?  Well, this will feature a review for a book that was written 20+ years ago. Why?  Because I absolutely love the old school historical romances written by legends such as Bertrice Small, Virginia Henley, Johanna Lindsey, and Natasha Peters to name a few.  I have been a fan of those epic sagas, action-packed romances, and bodice rippers since I was a teenager (I won't say how long ago that was!).  There are so many plot rises and conflicts that you feel like you are on a roller coaster and I am usually exhausted by the time I finish one of these great books.

I even went on a buying splurge last year and tracked down 15-20 paperbacks that were published before I was born... and I need to get through that stack!  I would love to see these books be made available in e-format, its just so much easier for me to get my reading in that way.

What are your favorite old school books and authors?

This inaugural edition of Throwback Thursday is starting with Virginia Henley.  I have read probably 2/3 of Henley's works, and she never fails me. I decided to start with Ms. Henley because I am hoping that she appears at RT Roundup in Houston next month.  (She was originally scheduled to appear, but is apparently in the midst of a big move so they aren't sure if she will attend or not.  I am crossing my fingers!)  Now, on to the review!

The Pirate and the Pagan 
by Virginia Henley
Pub. Date:  Nov. 1, 1990
Publisher:  Dell
Pages:  464
Format:  eBook
Source:  Purchased

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

Wild as a pagan goddess, Lady Summer galloped her stallion along the Cornish coast.  She had dabbled in the smuggler's game to save her family estate, but a wealthy marriage would better serve her purpose now.  Lord Ruark Helford seemed the answer to her reckless prayers.  But as his hot, hungry kisses drew her toward deception and irresistible acts of love, she had to hesitate.  Would this arrogant, handsome lord be her ticket to heaven--or hell? 

There is just something about these old Virginia Henley romances that I love. You feel like you have read a whole series by the time you have finished one book. They just don't write books last this anymore... and that makes me sad.

Like most heroines in these type of books, our leading lady in this story is a survivor. Lady Summer St. Catherine (Cat) is forced into a life of theft and smuggling to put food on the table for her and her younger brother, Viscount Spencer St. Catherine (Spider). Children of a wretched father who has gambled and mortgaged their property and ancestral estate, the pair have become a bit wild to survive. So when the father dies, Cat takes on her greatest undertaking yet, learning to be a lady so she can land a rich husband or protector. When she finds him, it all goes according to plan... until it doesn't.

Ruark is tall dark and broody... and a bit schizophrenic. I can't say much about his character without giving away spoilers, but I loved his dual-natured personality (even though sometimes I really didn't understand him).

This book was filled with the dramatic and catty court intrigue that I love so much. It takes place during the Restoration Period during the reign of Charles II. Our characters are intimates of the King, so we get a lot of the history of the monarch, not to mention London society. We go thru plague, the Great Fire of London, and the war with the Dutch. There was so much action and activity going on that I couldn't stop turning pages. When you pair that with the emotional roller coaster of our love story, you will be put through the ringer with this book (in a good way).

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