Fri
Sep 19 2014 2:15pm

Ahoy, Maties: Top 10 Pirate Romances from Hoyt, Lindsey, London and More!

Pirate in Her Arms by Danelle HarmonTalk Like A Pirate Day is today, and what better way to observe the holiday than talking pirate romance? From Cape Cod to the Barbary Coast, Elizabethan times to Victorian era Brazil, these seafaring romances are ready to board your keeper shelves.

Pirate in my Arms by Danelle Harmon

Let’s start out this list with a story based on the real deal. Danelle Harmon spent three years working with the crew that recovered the sunken ship, Whydah, belonging to actual pirate Black Sam Bellamy, and it shows in her attention to detail. Prepare to be swept back in time with this unforgettable tale of an adventurous English rogue who finds his greatest treasure in gentle Maria Hallet of Cape Cod, and a love that will not be denied.

by Marsha Canham

Marsha Canham could probably fill this list all by herself, but if pressed to pick only one of her nearly flawless pirate romances, the first in the Elizabethan-set Pirate Wolf series would have to be the one. Isabeau (Beau) Spence, herself the daughter of a notorious sea dog, is definitely daddy’s girl. A skilled navigator who demands respect, she rescues Simon Dante from a doomed ship, and the battle of wits between them begins. Rapier-sharp wits, passionate hearts and thrilling adventure make their happily-ever after one for the history books.

The Windflower by Laura LondonThe Windflower by Laura London

Husband and wife team Tom and Sharon Curtis bring us one of the most loved pirate romances of all time. Decades after its release, readers still wait patiently for stories from some of the memorable secondary characters. (oh Cat, you intriguing gent of the long pale hair and heart-wrenching past, we will leave the light on for you forever and ever.) This story of innocent Merry Patricia Wilding, sketcher of root vegetables, charmer of pirate crews, who grows from naive waif to confident woman quite possibly has one of romance fiction’s original shipping wars. Are you Team Devon or Team Rand?

Broken Wing by Judith James

This book, oh this book. Do not attempt without tissues, chocolate and a compassionate friend who understands the emotional rollercoaster that is the tale of former child prostitute Gabriel and comfortably unconventional Sarah. Gabriel’s foray into piracy is the only way he can convince himself he’s worthy of Sarah’s love. The story is rough and bloody, physically and emotionally, but also oh so tender, with a happily ever after that makes it worth all the pain.

The Charm School by Susan Wiggs

Set in nineteenth century Boston, Brazil and points in between, ugly duckling Isadora Peabody begins her journey aboard the aptly named Swan as a misfit spinster, but shipboard life with the renegade red-haired sea captain Ryan Calhoun does things to a girl. Breaking free from her past gives Isadora a new outlook on life and herself. Her work as a translator gives her purpose, and the farther she gets from land, the closer she gets to herself. Oh, and her first intimate encounter with Ryan? Under the influence of enhancing herbs, definitely a scene to be remembered.

Sea Change by Darlene MarshallSea Change by Darlene Marshall

Charlotte “Charley” Alcott is a doctor. That’s been her identity for years, ever since her father dressed her as a boy so she could work as his assistant, and she can’t see any other life ahead of her. Captain David “Black Davey” Fletcher boards Charley’s Jamaica-bound ship in search of a doctor to save his injured brother, and both of their lives undergo a sea change indeed. With humor, poignant emotion and historical detail, Charley and David form a friendship and working relationship that adds an extra dimension to their unforgettable romance.

The Wind and the Sea by Marsha Canham

Yes, Canham again, but this standout standalone tale of the Barbary Coast boarded this list and refused to leave. Pretty par for the course when our main characters are a spitfire pirate’s daughter and an American naval officer forced to share close quarters. Courtney spends time as Adrian’s cabin boy, oh the classic trope, but Canham makes it work. Imagine all the swash and buckle of an Erroll Flynn movie in book form, with a happily ever after ending.

A Gentleman Til Midnight by Alison DeLaine

Readers hungry for a tough female pirate and the tormented naval officer who loves her—and is responsible for her downfall from high class lady to persona non grata after a shipwreck and subsequent stint in a harem that leaves her the single mother of a blind daughter—won’t want to miss this one. Bonus points for Katherine’s crew of equally intrepid females, several of whom have their own tales to tell.

Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth HoytScandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt

Looking for all the swash and buckle of regular pirates, but without the sea spray and months at sea? Charming Mickey O’Connor doesn’t prowl the seven seas, but the river Thames, and that’s not even his most unique quality. Sure, he ruined the virtuous Silence Hollingbrook’s reputation on purpose, but that doesn’t make him a bad guy. A single father who will go to any length to protect his daughter, Mary Darling, Mick will steal readers’ hearts with his golden tongue and tortured soul, even as he charms Silence from the ghosts of her own past.

Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey

This classic entry in Lindsey’s Malory family introduces the Anderson clan, bringing the series to American shores. We get a chick-in-pants in spirited heroine, Georgie, and classic Malory hero James, who isn’t fooled by her disguise. What starts out as another cabin boy situation soon turns into something else altogether as innocent Georgie and rakish James lay siege to each other’s hearts in a most unexpected way. The supporting cast includes Georgie’s overprotective brothers, seafarers all, and James’s long-lost son.

What pirate romances put the wind in your sails?
 

 

To find out more about each book mentioned:

Pirate in my Arms by Danelle Harmon  
Across a Moonlit Sea by Marsha Canham    
The Windflower by Laura London  
Broken Wing by Judith James  
The Charm School by Susan Wiggs  
Sea Change by Darlene Marshall  
The Wind and the Sea by Marsha Canham    
A Gentleman Til Midnight by Alison DeLaine  
Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt  
Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

+Check out more reading recommendation lists:


Anna C. Bowling considers writing historical romance the best way to travel through time and make the voices in her head pay rent. She welcomes visitors to her blog, Typing with Wet Nails and to follow her at Twitter.

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9 comments
Jennifer Proffitt
1. JenniferProffitt
Confession time: I've never read Gentle Rogue and I feel its remiss in my Romance Edification, however, just bought it, along with Charm School!
Kahintenn
2. Kahintenn
Great post! I've read six of these...I'm putting the rest on my TBR list.
Kahintenn
3. kahintenn
Across a Moonlit Sea is FREE right now on Amazon for Kindle.
Kahintenn
3. kahintenn
Across a Moonlit Sea is FREE right now on Amazon for Kindle.
Anna Bowling
4. AnnaBowling
@JenniferProffitt, you've got some excellent reading ahead of you.

@Kahintenn, so glad you liked this post, and found some great new reads. Thanks also for the tip on Across a Moonlit Sea on Amazon. Perfect time for new readers to try it.
lauralee1912
5. lauralee1912
I hadn't read Across a Moonlight Sea, so that was on my list. Great list as I've read most of them!

Another pirate book on my keeper shelf is Siren by Cheryl Sawyer. The pirate is Jean Lafitte and the setting is Louisiana and the Caribbean and the siren, Leonore, is a pirate's daughter.
Kahintenn
6. Maranda67
These bring back some happy memories! 35 years ago, when I was 15, I read my first "grownup" romance, and since I was really into pirates, of course my very first was about pirates. I can't remember the title, but I'm reasonably sure it was by Johanna Lindsey. Then I went on to devour all the pirate romance books my library had. That was a good summer!
Heather Waters
7. HeatherWaters
@Maranda67 -- I love basking in the nostalgia of my first romance reads too! We're so glad this list brought back good memories.
Anna Bowling
8. AnnaBowling
@maranda67, there is nothing like a good pirate binge. That sounds like a wonderful summer.
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