Sunday, November 18, 2012
New Review: Karen Robards’ ISLAND FLAME – Exciting Well Written Pirate Adventure with an Alpha Male Hero and a Strong Heroine
Set in 1842, this is the story of Lady Catherine Aldley, whose father sent her on a military ship to London from Lisbon where he was Ambassador, never knowing it is a silver transport ship and bate for an American pirate named Jonathan Hale who thinks nothing of raping (an ruining) an innocent well born lady half his age to have his pleasure. Cathy may be young and innocent but she is not tame. When Captain Hale captures her and sets out to tame her in a most brutal and humiliating way, he has no idea he will become her victim as well.
Say what you will about the old romances that don’t reflect 21st century sensibilities, but I can tell you this: this story kept me reading late into the night and that, folks, is a well-told tale. The pacing is fast, the action never ceasing and the chemistry between the two is compelling. Great sexual tension.
Modern historical romance authors can learn much from Robards. She makes some masterful twists and turns, I must say--all believable, which counts for much in my book. What did bother me was the reaction of the heroine. There was definitely some Stockholm syndrome going on as she came to see herself at fault (“she had brought her injuries on herself”), and the captain as heroic. Yes, he saved her from a band of nasty thieves and murderers, but she never would have been exposed to them in the first place if he hadn’t taken her captive. Any strong heroine would have tried to escape, right? ‘Nuf said.
I also thought Robards did a great job with the sailor/ship jargon, making real life on board ship. You might take that for granted but it required much work on her part. Her descriptions put you in the setting.
I’ll tell you what: I liked it well enough to order the sequel, SEA FIRE.