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The Pirate Prince (Ascension Trilogy (Paperback)) Mass Market Paperback – July 29, 1998
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"There is star quality in this writer! Gaelen Foley is destined to captivate readers." ---RT Book Reviews --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From the Publisher
This is a debut novel not to be missed! As an editor and an avid romance reader, I'm always on the hunt for fresh material that excites me, that takes me away, that reminds me why I started reading romance in the first place. The Pirate Prince by Gaelen Foley is definitely one of those books. She combines everything that is essential for a wonderful historical with a sweeping story full of adventure, passion and intrigue. I've read this book quite a few times as I've worked on it, but no matter how many times I go over it, even if it's just checking corrections on the page proofs, I'm drawn into the story of Allegra and Lazar all over again. These people really stay with you. Oh, and just a warning--be prepared for one of the sexiest heroes ever to grace the page! Shauna Summers, Senior Editor
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Top customer reviews
As I said I was really enjoying the book until 80% when the H becomes TSTL. He decides he won't marry the h because of a 'curse' on him, which causes everyone he loves to die. He made the h his mistress fairly early on but he declared his love for her at the same time. He decides to cut the h loose after everything they go through together. He calls her a wh*re and tells her he's tired of her. He treats her absolutely terribly and this was so close to the end that he couldn't be redeemed in my eyes. Worse still is that the whole island knows her as his wh*re and mistress - she was completely humiliated. She receives no recognition for the huge part she plays in him returning to take up as King or for her part in the plans for the island. Did I mention that she was pregnant too? He goes ahead with his plans to marry another woman up until the day before the wedding. I just couldn't see everyone coming around to respect her. Think Charles and Camilla here. A very disappointing end to what was shaping up to be a 5 star book.
Allegra is the daughter of the governor of Ascencion, an island kingdom (fictional) off the Italian coast. The previous king and all his family were murdered years before, and the current rulers are oppressing the peasants who are constantly fomenting revolts. Lazar do Fiore is the only member of the royal family to have escaped the assassins. He has returned after years away to take vengeance on the Monteverdi family; his plan is to take the governor's daughter hostage and kill her in front of her father, then kill the rest of them.
Thoughts: (SPOILERS AHEAD)
It was very unusual and clever of the author to have the hero be the character who has been enslaved and raped. Lazar expressed the same feelings of despair and shame and admits to attempting suicide; he even keeps a silver bullet with which he intends someday to shoot himself. And when Allegra finds out, she treats him the same way in which a man might deal with the rape of a woman he loves.
There was some witty banter between Lazar and Allegra. One of my favorite bits:
' "Wench.” “Pardon me?” “Wench. Saucy, common little cock-tease wench.” She lifted the glass and poured the water on his head. He sat up sputtering, water running down his face and chest. He stared at her in disbelief. She smiled innocently. “You like to live dangerously, don’t you, Miss Monteverdi?” He licked the water off his lips. She wanted to lick it, too.'
I very much approved and enjoyed the resolution with one reservation. WHY DID SHE KILL VICAR??? He was my favorite secondary character!
And a couple of criticisms. The sex scenes were in far too florid for my taste, bordering on cringeworthy. And I felt the book went on just a bit too long. I hated that Lazar believed he was cursed - I didn't feel that whole storyline was necessary. Ditto the whole bit about Princess Nicolette.
I'm not sure if I will read the rest of the series, but overall I did enjoy this one. 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.
FINAL DECISION: This book was uneven to me. There were parts that were compelling and beautiful and parts that just dragged and made me want to skip ahead. I ended up liking it more than not but I doubt I would read it again.
THE STORY: Lazar di Fiori returns to avenge what was stolen from him. As a youth, his royal family was murdered and he barely escaped with his life. He intends on seeking revenge by killing the only daughter of his sworn enemy. Allegra Monteverdi inadvertently ends up in Lazar’s hands, and her sweetness and purity makes it impossible for Lazar to kill her. Instead, Allegra offers to be his captive in exchange for her family’s lives. Despite himself, Lazar agrees and finds himself challenged by a woman who demands that he be better than he could have imagined.
OPINION: This book should have been tailor made for me. I love those dark, tormented heroes and Lazar definitely falls into that category. I could never fall completely into the story. I found it uneven and I didn’t become completely captivated by the story or the characters. Parts of the book were absorbing but so much was tedious and I felt like skipping ahead. I didn’t find the totality of Lazar’s journey as compelling as I might have expected. The story had the possibility to being a compelling and rollicking adventure, but while parts were great, there were too many parts that pulled me out of the grand adventure for me to think of the book as anything other than good but not great.
WORTH MENTIONING: Spoilers: The book contains references to slavery and rape.
CONNECTED BOOKS: THE PIRATE PRINCE is the first book in the Ascencion Trilogy.
STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.