The Pirate Lord is a reissue originally published in 1998 and a good, swashbuckling story. Miss Sara Willis is a reforming young woman who causes endless headaches for her stepbrother, the Earl of Blackmore. Her latest scheme is to travel on a convict ship full of women to make note of the conditions, give them some education, and to try to ensure their safety when landing in the antipodes. She manages to persuade her stepbrother to allow her on the ship, but he makes sure one of the crew is going to look after her.
No one expects the ship to be boarded by pirates and the women to be kidnapped. Captain Gideon Horne, known as the Pirate Lord,
hates the English aristocracy and has plundered many ships belonging to nobles. However, he and his pirate crew want to settle down on the island paradise they have found - but not without women. When they discover the convict ship full of women, it's
too good an opportunity to miss.
But Gideon hasn't reckoned on Sara Willis and her care for the women. Sara and Gideon are locked in a battle of wills as she tries to protect the women and he tries to encourage them to live the utopian life on his island, Atlantis. Gideon and Sara might be getting more than they bargained for when they spend so much time together - can Gideon's distrust of the aristocracy and the wounds of childhood be overcome? Can Sara find happiness so far from her life in England?
The Pirate Lord
is an enjoyable story if rather far-fetched (I can't imagine any brother would have allowed his sister to be a passenger on a convict ship, for example).
While interesting, many characters seem stereotypical, but the central love story works quite well, and the verbal sparring between Sara and Gideon
is well-written. The revelations about Gideon's past are perhaps rather too convenient
to fit this story, but overall it is an enjoyable read.