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REVIEW: Pirate’s Price by Darlene Marshall

Dear Mrs. Marshall,

Pirate's PriceThis is a nice pirate romance with a more capable heroine than most “chick in pants” stories. I think it works better than most because Christine is more a thinking pirate rather than a true swashbuckling one. She tries to outwit her victims thereby making herself and her crew richer than when they started yet at the same time still alive at the end of the sea cruise. The fact that she’s tall and is willing to cut her hair off also helps her masquerade work better than in most romance books. You give her lots of reasons for not believing in her marriage of convenience husband, Justin and I love her idea of not only getting mad at being forced into it by her uncle but also getting even by raiding his shipping line. But I wonder just how easy it would be to obtain a divorce in this era. Was it easier legally than later in the century? I would assume the social stigma would still be as bad.

Justin very quickly wises up from his initial boorishness and is truly sorry for what he did to Christine and for thinking only of his own interests and feelings in their marriage of convenience. I came to like him a lot. However, his beta personification undergoes a change for the alpha too quickly in the end. I would have liked to have seen you expand this issue and story resolution in the book.

The pirate crew are more Disney than dangerous, though a few will surprise readers, but since I get the feeling that the book is mainly played as a farce, I could just go along with this. Pirate’s Price is the story of the parents of the heroine in Smuggler’s Bride and it was nice to see the beginning of the story. I’d give this one a B.


Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.


  1. Darlene Marshall
    Jun 06, 2006 @ 08:16:49

    Hello, Jayne–

    Thank you for taking the time to read my novel! To answer one of your questions, divorce would have been possible and expensive, but not easy. Justin could have sued for divorce from Christine in England, claiming she deserted him and was insane when he married her, an easy point to argue given her lifestyle.

    It would have been easier a few years later in Territorial Florida, which had more liberal divorce laws than England had, a point addressed in Smuggler’s Bride. These rules were tightened when Florida became a state, and England liberalized its divorce law in the 1850s.

  2. Jayne
    Jun 06, 2006 @ 08:38:42

    Yep, I would have thought it would be easier to obtain a divorce in America. This is a key point in Diana Norman’s Catch of Consequence. Even though Pirate’s Price is set about 50 years later, I would still think it would have remained easier to get divorced here than across the pond.

    If I may ask, what new books are on the horizon for you?

  3. Darlene Marshall
    Jun 06, 2006 @ 08:52:50

    Even as we speak, I’m supposed to be finishing the first draft of my next book, a “road” novel set in Florida during the War of 1812. It’s got pirates, privateers, hurricanes and buried treasure. It also has a H&H who don’t like each other, certainly don’t trust one another, but are stuck together because each has part of the treasure map.

    So somehow I have to get these two past the dangers, to the treasure, and liking each other well enough by the end to live HEA. It’s a challenge.[g]

  4. Jayne
    Jun 06, 2006 @ 09:43:34

    Oh, way kewl. I’ll be watching for it.

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