Throwback Thursday: A PIRATE’S LOVE by Johanna Lindsey

The 2008 cover

It’s no secret that I adore Johanna Lindsey‘s novels. However, there is one exception to that rule – A Pirate’s Love. This is an old school historical romance – yes, I’m talking bodice ripper style! Like all of Johanna Lindsey’s heroines, Bettina is a virgin in the beginning – sex, passion, etc are complete unknown’s to her, while Tristan is an pirate but nothing like the politically correct pirates we’re used to reading in “modern” historical romances. This novel is not for the faint of heart and has been extremely controversial for a long time, just check out the divide between some of the reviews on Barnes and Nobles, Amazon, Goodreads, and others.

Sailing westward toward the Caribbean sun, young Bettina Verlaine obediently sets out to fulfill the promise made by her father – but not by her heart – a prearranged marriage destined not to be…once the notorious Captain Tristan’s pirate ship appears on the horizon.

Abducted by the bold and handsome brigand, the pale-haired beauty surrenders her innocence in the warm caress of the tropical winds — detesting her virile captor for enslaving her. . .yet loving him for the passionate spell he casts over fragile, yearning heart.

As far as heroes go, Tristan’s nothing like what I’ve come to think of Ms. Lindsey’s other heroes – many of whom are funny, charming, intelligent, and all-around likeable. I did not like Tristan – he’s got some MAJOR psychological issues to work out, what he needs in this novel is a therapist not a wife.

Bettina was a bit of a doormat and, I want to say trauma victim because of the heavy content from this novel, but I don’t know. Or rather, I can more accurately say, I don’t remember. I probably read this novel a good 6 years ago, and while I own a copy, I have not dared to pick it up since.

I sometimes wonder if Johanna Lindsey actually wrote this book or if someone – who clearly does not understand what a true love story constitutes – falsely published it under her name…it’s VERY different from her other novels. Like with a gap the size of the GRAND CANYON different! Ms. Lindsey’s a great writer, but this is not her best work – the other 99% of her novels have been hits with me, but this 1% just didn’t make the cut. (Try her Mallory series, if you’re interested in some of her BEST work.)

That said, the powers that be, at Avon have decided to reissue the novel. (I sincerely hope that they decide to upgrade, nay fix, the content as well.)

Here’s the oh-so-innocent latest reissue cover below:

And the original artwork:

As you can see the covers are all pretty different, and none really fit with the dark subject matter of the novel. Of course, this novel was originally published in 1978 and written before that, so the dated views are partly a product of the time in which they were imagined.


But that’s just my two cents for his Throwback Thursday…next week’s post should be much happier.


-Rika Ashton

(aka “This post is also turned into a semi-book review.”)


5 responses

  1. Hi, Rika!
    Welcome to TBT:HR~
    You have intrigued me with your review/feature of Lindsey’s A Pirate’s Love. Now I think I will go find a copy.
    I like that you featured the original covers. Of the three, I like the 2008 cover the best. ^_^
    Have a great day!


    May 22, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    • Thanks!

      The novel seems to be a love-hate thing…readers either love it or utterly loathe it. I’m in the dislike group myself. Read it once and never looked at it again.

      Let me know what you think and thanks again. Pleasure to be part of the club!


      May 22, 2014 at 11:48 pm

  2. Wow! I’m not sure if I want to read it just for the Heck of wanting to hurdle it against the wall. But for some reason it makes me feel as though it’s worser than what Ms. Christina Dodd did to me in her, A Well Pleasured Lady….


    May 23, 2014 at 1:13 am

    • Haven’t read that one by Christina Dodd but, yes, this was NOT a fun read. I kept going thinking it would get better or she would turn it around somehow…but no, it never did. 😦


      May 23, 2014 at 9:43 am

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