Monday, February 3, 2014

New Review: Virginia Henley’s THE PIRATE AND THE PAGAN: Enthralling, Complex Story of Love and Deception—a Pirate Romance to treasure—a Keeper!

Original cover
Winner of the Romantic Times Award for Best English Historical Romance in 1990, this is a wonderfully complex tale of deception and love set in 17th century England in the Restoration period when Charles II ruled England.

Lady Summer St. Catherine is an innocent, but not very lady like, young woman raised on the Cornish coast with her younger brother, Spencer (nicknamed Spider). With their mother dead and their father a wastrel, who spends all their money and all his time in London, they are left quite alone and cannot afford food, much less a servant. When Summer and Spider stumble into a smuggling opportunity, they take advantage of it in order to survive.

Soon after, their father dies and Summer goes to London to stay with their aunt (a wonderful character). It is there Summer learns her father has mortgaged away their beloved home, Roseland. Her aunt, who is teaching her to be a lady, convinces her the way out of her troubles is to marry a wealthy man. Summer takes on the role of a lady and sets her cap for the neighboring Cornish lord, Ruark Helford, a friend of the king. She manages to win Ruark’s affections, both of them falling in love. Ruark has no idea his new bride is a smuggler and when she confesses, his violent temper destroys their relationship. But Ruark’s younger brother, Rory, a pirate, will come to Summer’s rescue providing her all the love she can no longer have from Ruark.

New Cover
Henley weaves an intriguing story of love and deception in an interesting time in the history of England. She includes many rich historical details of the court of Charles II, including some infamous characters, and lots of steamy love scenes. Summer is a clever, courageous heroine who must deal with Ruark’s over-the-top temper—and does. I loved this book.

Henley is a master of historic romance. Few romance writers today bring such rich (and accurate historical detail to their historical novels. This is a well-told pirate tale and I highly recommend it.


  1. Pirate month? Oh, you'll see a lot of me this month. LOL. I LOVE pirates!

    1. Eileen, Yes! It's pirate month. And my best list will come later. But it's also Valentine's month so there will be some special treats, too!