There’s a pirate in the house.
What is vicar’s daughter Bess Farrar to do when the dashing new earl, the man gossip paints as a ruthless pirate, kisses her the day they meet? Why, kiss him right back, of course! Now Lord Channing vows to claim the lovely firebrand, despite interfering villagers, a snowstorm, scandal, and a rascally donkey. The gallant naval captain’s first landlocked Christmas promises mayhem – and a lifetime of breathtaking passion
Pursued by the pirate…
Bess Farrar might be an innocent village miss, but she knows enough about the world to doubt Lord Channing’s motives when he kisses her the very day they meet. After all, local gossip insists that before this dashing rake became an earl, he sailed the Seven Seas as a ruthless pirate.
Bewitched by the vicar’s daughter…
Until he unexpectedly inherits a title, staunchly honorable Scotsman Rory Beaton has devoted his adventurous life to the Royal Navy. But he sets his course for tempestuous new waters when he meets lovely, sparkling Bess Farrar. Now this daring mariner will do whatever it takes to convince the spirited lassie to launch herself into his arms and set sail into the sunset.
A Christmas marked by mayhem.
Wooing his vivacious lady, the new Earl of Channing finds himself embroiled with matchmaking villagers, an eccentric vicar, mistaken identities, a snowstorm, scandal, and a rascally donkey. Life at sea was never this exciting. The gallant naval captain’s first landlocked Christmas promises hijinks, danger, and passion – and a breathtaking chance to win the love of a lifetime.
Published by Anna Campbell, October 2015
Place and time: Northumberland, 1822
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1
Reviewer Rating: 3.5 stars
Review by Wendy
Rory Beaton, the new Earl of Channing, has returned to his estate to take up the reins after the demise of his older brother. Bess Farrar, the local vicar’s daughter and from necessity, the village ‘manager’, has written to him on numerous occasions – and been ignored, so she decides to march in and beard the lion in his den. Rory’s donkey, Daisy, is central to the Nativity celebrations, time is running short and Bess needs to obtain his agreement to borrow the animal. She is appalled at the unkempt condition of his home and he persuades her to take control of its cleaning and restoration. This will give the villagers much needed employment and earn Rory some brownie points as he also agrees to allow the villagers to hold their annual Christmas party there. But the Earl has an ulterior motive; if Bess is supervising he will be able to see her every day!
Rory is completely out of his depth, having no expectations of ever inheriting, as a result of his estrangement from his father and older brother after the breakdown of his parents’ marriage. He spent his younger years in Scotland and joined the Royal Navy at the age of eleven, so he did not ever reconcile with his male relatives. It was this latter fact that set in motion the rumour that Rory was a pirate. And as rumours tend to do, those took root and grew so that Rory has acquired a swashbuckling reputation, leading the villagers to be both intrigued and a little wary of him. But Bess is neither. She takes charge of his initiation into the the life and responsibilities of an earl, and helps guide him through some choppy waters, taking him straight into the hearts of the villagers on the way.
The couple are attracted to each other on sight, and as is her style, Anna Campbell creates a delicious, swoonworthy hero, and Bess is smitten by this handsome, but boyishly needy man. Rory can’t explain it to himself, but he knows almost immediately that Bess is the only lady who will fill the position of his Countess, and with the help of the matchmaking villagers, lays siege to Bess’s heart.
Ms. Campbell hits the ‘happy’ spot with this fluffy little Christmas novella with plenty of romance and no conflict other than the recalcitrant donkey who will only co-operate for the Nativity if sung to – which Rory does with gusto! In fact Daisy is quite a central character and it could be said that she plays Cupid for Captain Rory and bossy Bess! A Pirate for Christmas is a quick, entertaining read that will bring a smile to your face this festive season.