Seduced by a Pirate is Eloisa James’ most recent novella. I’m not actually too fond of novellas, but I’m quite fond of Eloisa James, so I went ahead and read it. It’s – okay. Which is disappointing, coming from Eloisa James. Normally, her books are lovely, full of wit and charming romance. (She and Julia Quinn are my favorite romance authors.) Most of her books have focused quite heavily on female friendships, as well as the main romantic plot but this little novella didn’t. The plot was a little too neat and tidy and, I think, lacked the time (space?) to be well-developed. Like I said, I’m not terribly fond of novellas and I usually find them to be lacking either in character development or plot development.
The main female character was really isolated – the whole of the story was fairly isolated, come to think of it – and though the male lead had some interactions with a good friend of his, the story is almost entirely focused on the leads’ interactions. (If you’ve read her four books in “The Duchess Quartet,” you’ll understand how female friendships really makes her work shine.) The premise is that Sir Griffin Barry, who ran away from his wedding night and became a pirate, has finally returned home to his wife, whom he barely knows. Sir Griffin was, mind you, a fairly principled pirate – no one walked the plank, slaves were freed or returned to their homeland if found, and he only pirated other pirates. Thus he ended up being a privateer instead of a pirate. (I do get a little bored of romance novels who have the “good-guy-masquerading-as-the-bad-guy-I-was-always-principled-in-the-end” thing going on. It’s somewhat tiresome.)
Though the characters had a believable chemistry, things were a little too pat. Example: Sir Griffin can never return to society; his wife disdains society. The wife (I can’t remember her name; my apologies!) was a bit too modern to be quite believable – though I’m no expert on Victorian society, of course. It could be that her views were quite common to a certain sect of the time and I just don’t know it. The writing style was good, because Eloisa James is quite an excellent writer, but this wasn’t up to her usual standards. It was short enough that I don’t think it was a waste of time to read it, but I doubt that I’ll ever reread it.