Reviewed by May
Favorite Quote: “Someday we’ll find ourselves old, gray, and tattooed, battling it out in the House of Lords over a corn bill.”
At age seventeen Sir Griffin Barry disappeared the night of his wedding, his bride left a virgin and his father the Viscount without an heir to spare. When he woke up aboard a ship he made the most of it – raising himself up and into a legendary privateer. When injuries significantly hurt both himself and his cousin James (Duke of Ashbrook and hero of her last book the Ugly Duchess) – the men find themselves returning home to their wives. In this tale, we follow Griffin to Bath to reunite with his wife of fourteen years.
He was a sorry excuse of a gentleman, with a limp and a tattoo and fourteen hard years at sea under his belt. Not exactly the respectable baronet to whom his father betrothed her.
Eloisa James writes so beautifully, I was immediately swept into her story and drawn into this tale of reunited husband and wife – who are really getting to know each other for the first time.
“Why do you persist in calling me Poppy?”
“Because it’s your – it’s not your name?”
“Of course it’s not my name.” She wrinkled her nose. “And I don’t like it.”
“You don’t like it?” He was dumbfounded. He had named his ship after her, after the wife he left behind. The Flying Poppy and then the Poppy Two were dreaded by pirates all over the world.
“My given name,” she stated, chin high, eyes flashing, “is Phoebe.”
He cleared his throat. “Lovely.” He must have misheard during the wedding ceremony. Bloody hell.
I do love a good marriage of convenience and reunited love too – where you see character growth and how the people have changed and why they’re now perfect together. The problem with this story, is that there wasn’t much of a story. James sets it all up – then gives us an instant love, trust, happy ever after finish before we ever really get started.
The lack of character development or strong plot, and the unbelievable insta-love reaction between these characters disappointed me, and turned this story into a disappointment. Much as I adore James for her writing – this didn’t work. How would a woman who has been on her own for fourteen years and a man who’s been on the seas his entire adult life just fall into this instant love? How could they come to trust each other in a matter of hours? It felt rushed – perhaps with a longer format for the story it would have satisfied.