Falling for the Pirate by Amber Lin


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London, 1820

After the deaths of his parents and a dark, troubled childhood, Captain Nate Bowen vowed he would have his revenge. But he never expected to have the tool of his revenge dropped so neatly into his lap. Juliana Hargate is not only the daughter of his enemy, but is destitute, very much alone – and exquisitely desirable. And now that Nate has saved her life, she’s at his complete mercy…

Captive. All Juliana wanted was to clear her father’s name. Instead, she’s been struck with amnesia – unable to recall even her name – and imprisoned by a tall, imposing, and entirely unscrupulous pirate. A pirate whose eyes seem to look past her skirts and many petticoats, and whose touch sends delicious ripples of desire through her. With every passing day, she finds herself tempted to give him the very thing he’s determined to take…

Publisher and Release Date: Entangled: Scandalous, July 2014

RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: London, 1820
Genre: Historical romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars

Review by Maria Almaguer

This is not a traditional pirate story. It doesn’t take place on the high seas and there are no sea battles. The pirate in the book’s title is more an allusion to its hero, Nate Bowen; he reminds Juliana, the heroine, of a pirate with his dark and sexy looks (and their profound effect on her), his love of the sea, his taste for revenge and success, and his elusive yet captivating nature. It’s also representative of how he steals her heart along with her father’s company.

Juliana Hargate has fallen on hard times, due to her father’s covert and suspicious activity in his company, Hargate Shipping. At the story’s beginning, he has disappeared without a trace, which has left her helpless, shunned by society and alone in explaining his disappearance to their creditors. Yet she’s determined to find out what happened to him. All her fortune has been lost. In short, her father has abandoned her; she doesn’t know if he’s dead or alive.

Nate is a self-made man, a part owner in the Hargate Shipping company with Adrian Mallory, the Duke of Sinclair who, despite his lofty title, is more of a peripheral character here. Nate’s has been a hardscrabble existence as he grew up in a whorehouse and lived a hand-to-mouth existence getting by on his wits and luck. After he catches Juliana sneaking into the company offices after hours at the London docks, he rescues her when she falls and hurts herself. She loses her memory and can tell him nothing when he questions her. Despite his suspicions, and distrust – she was breaking into his company, after all – Nate believes her, is drawn to her, and takes her into his house to care for her as her wounds heal and her memory returns.

As Nate gets to know her, he comes to care for her deeply. Juliana realizes he is a good and honorable man, as he helps with the local London charities. He helps others (as he helps Juliana) because no one took care of him long ago when he needed it most.

Nate is out for revenge against Stephen Hargate (Juliana’s father) for the murder of Nate’s parents and, thus, for leaving him destitute and alone. Indeed, he is a loner; he has no friends because he doesn’t trust anyone. All he has is his wealth and his beloved ship, Nightingale, a place where he feels most at home. Until, that is, Juliana makes him want more.

As Juliana’s memory gradually returns, she becomes torn between duty to her father and discovering the truth and her new love for Nate, his kindnesses to her, and his strength and protection. Who will she believe? And will Nate continue to seek vengeance or accept the unconditional love that Juliana offers?

I enjoy the little details Juliana discovers about Nate that fascinate her. That his library is filled with gothic literature – provocative passages from The Monk fascinate and titillate her – that he has kindly servants. And that he has a passion for the sea that brings him peace.

The writing is very strong and almost lyrical in its calm delivery, the hero and heroine are well drawn, and the pacing issteady throughout. The book is a quick read, perhaps a little longer than a novella. The amnesia plot, while always convenient, is not trite or trivial in the least; indeed, it moves the plot forward. Juliana accepts Nate’s care and protection as she gradually regains her memory, allowing her to adjust and make choices that will affect her life forever.

Falling for the Pirate is a quiet, dark, and compelling romance.


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