Author: Connie Mason
Pages: 232 (Kindle)
Publisher: Ten Talents Press
Release Date: November 1, 2004
She was a jewel among women, brighter than the moon and stars. Her hair shone like newly minted gold, and her skin was as smooth and iridescent as an exquisite pearl. Her lips were lush and pink, made for kissing. She was a pirate’s prize, yet he could not so much as touch her.
Destined for the harem of a Turkish potentate, Willow wondered whether she should rejoice or despair when her ship was beset by a sinfully handsome pirate. Now it seemed she was a helpless pawn in a power play between two brothers. Fortunately for Willow, neither Ibrahim nor Dariq realized that a clever woman is never without resources. No matter how much he tempted her, she would teach her captor a thing or two before she gave her heart to…The Pirate Prince.
The Pirate Prince was just an okay read for me. I feel like I’ve read this “I was forced into a life of crime and now I must get my revenge by taking this hostage, but fall in love with them instead” tale several times now, and have read it done better. Prince Dariq fled Instabul when his brother, the sultan, ordered all of his male siblings killed. Now, he’s a pirate but only attacks ships delivering goods to his brother. Then one day, the treasure isn’t jewels, silks, and spices, but a blonde English woman. Dariq plans to use her as leverage, if he can resist her allure.
I did like The Pirate Prince in places, but overall it left me kind of bored and annoyed. Every single time anyone talks about Willow, it has to be about her hair which looks like spun gold. Every time. We get it, she’s blonde and hot and unlike Turkish women. Then there’s the romance. I liked the latter part of the Dariq and Willow’s relationship much better than the development. I simply didn’t believe that first moment when they realize they have feelings for the other. She spent most of the time telling him she doesn’t want his wicked attentions, but they have sex anyway, lather, rinse, repeat.
The ending of The Pirate Prince also had me rolling my eyes. Like I said, I did get into the romance later on, and I enjoyed the plotline of him trying to rescue her from his evil brother’s harem. I wanted them to be together! I really did! But I wanted them to say “to hell with society’s expectations” and just go for it. Instead, there’s a twist. A pretty predictable twist, since there’s constant mentions of Dariq being half English. It just felt like a cop out to me. Like, they couldn’t be together unless he was “acceptable” aka seen as a Britishman.
The Pirate Prince does have good things going for it. I liked that it’s set in the 16th century and in Turkey and Greece rather than England or Scottland. But I just wish that there wasn’t such a strong focus on how white Willow is and how not white Dariq is, at least until it comes time for them to be together in public. That rubbed me the wrong way.