Another Review at MyShelf.Com


Publisher: Leisure Books 
Release Date: October 2003 
ISBN: 0-8439-5277-6 
Format Reviewed: Softcover 
Buy it at Amazon
Read an Excerpt
Genre: Romance -- Historical 
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Kristin Johnson 

Reviewer Notes: Reviewer, Kristin Johnson, is the author of CHRISTMAS COOKIES ARE FOR GIVING, co-written with Mimi Cummins. Her third book, ORDINARY MIRACLES: My Incredible Spiritual, Artistic and Scientific Journey, co-written with Sir Rupert A.L. Perrin, M.D., will be published by PublishAmerica in 2004.

The Pirate Next Door (Review 1)
By Jennifer Ashley 

      Jerry Bruckheimer may have gotten an advance copy of The Pirate Next Door for his swashbuckling film, Pirates of the Caribbean. For all the romance fans sighing over hunks on sailing ships, reading the book after seeing the Disney movie will make you feel like you've just discovered a treasure hoard.

      You can picture the brooding Johnny Depp or the darling Orlando Bloom in either the role of Jennifer Ashley's romantic hero Grayson Finley or her antagonist, Grayson's former best friend and pirate partner James Ardmore. And the movie's female lead Keira Knightley would find the role of Alexandra Alastair a similar challenge, with a twist.

Widow Alexandra Alastair, having survived a loveless marriage, is looking for a sensible husband based on a The Rules-type list. The problem is, Grayson Finley kisses her senseless the first time she rescues him from James Ardmore, who hates him desperately and has imposed a postponed death sentence (similar to the one on Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean) in exchange for giving Maggie, Grayson's daughter by Sara, the woman Grayson and James both loved, safe passage from the islands. In addition, James has kidnapped the exiled French king, whom Grayson is trying to find for the British Admiralty, a quid pro quo for a Nixon pardon of his pirate crimes. Don't you hate it when passion gets in the way of a blood debt, political intrigue and sensible respectable marriage?

      Passions and longings of the heart drive this sensual, seaworthy romp. Forget about the bodice-ripping. The main action is the conflict between heads and hearts in this marriage comedy that, as so many romances do, models itself well on Jane Austen. Oliver displays sense and sensibility in portraying her characters' motivations and feelings, and the characters themselves have emotional depth. Grayson has compassion and understanding for James Ardmore's hatred; Alexandra recognizes that her rashness led to her first unhappy marriage, but that an American Bandstand-type list for judging a mate is hardly a better approach. The steamy sex scenes are just the topper. Yo ho, a pirate's life for me!