Ashley Brittany is living a nightmare. She's been mistakenly married to the one man she despises. Months ago, Lord Nicholas took her virtue then scorned her. Now, Ashley will do anything to have her revenge...anything but expose her ugly secret.
Nick Martingale has a secret, too: he's Captain Robin Hood, a pirate with a fearsome reputation. But when Nick learns his archenemy, the Barbary pirate Yussef, attacked innocents Nick has sworn to protect, he can think of nothing but vengeance.
Shana Galen is three-time Rita award nominee and the bestselling author of fast-paced, witty, and adventurous Regency romances. Kirkus says of her books, "The road to happily-ever-after is intense, conflicted, suspenseful and fun," and RT Bookreviews calls her books “lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching." She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston's inner city. Now she writes full time. She's happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making.
This was disappointing but not for the usual reasons (such as poor writing). While very well written and fast-paced and featuring a memorable hero and heroine, there are a lot of facets and layers to this story that make me uncomfortable.
I don’t really like the love child trope, especially when the hero talks of the child’s mother so unfeelingly. Nick and Zorah were lovers--she was a former slave--but he “never loved her.”
I also don’t like when the hero expects the heroine to accept his child so easily especially when he keeps so many other secrets; I want Ashley to resist more but she seems so blinded by lust she can't see straight.
Ashley is a very strong-willed heroine but I wanted her to be even stronger than she was. I felt like she was the one always to give and Nick didn’t have to give much back; this felt unbalanced. Nick accepts Ashley as his wife and does his duty by her to protect her and, eventually, (possibly) love her. But I wanted more sacrifice from him.
So my quibble with this novel is of plot. Was it riveting? Yes. Was it sexy? Yes. Was it shocking and disturbing? Yes. All good qualities in a good read. But, needless to say, this is not my favorite in the colorful Misadventures in Matrimony series.
What I did like:
Physical description of the hero; I’m a sucker for a man with black hair and blue eyes.
Ashley’s feistiness and fearlessness; I just wanted her to resist a little bit longer. "Ashley Brittany was more than a challenge. She was a trial by fire, a test of his patience and his sanity." (p15)
The detailed descriptions of shipboard life. Galen brings the excitement and danger of the lives of pirates to vivid life.
What I didn’t like:
Nick’s selfishness with Ashley. I wanted Nick to give in and give up more to win Ashley. It felt too much like he was piling on one new revelation after another and she had to adjust. I didn’t see that Nick had to adjust to anything, except Ashley’s temper. And the ending scene with her family felt like too little, too late for me. "She'd already given her love, but she was not certain he was willing to give her anything in return." (p36)
The opening scene is very shocking and upsetting, at least it was to me. The way Nick goes about scaring Ashley off a relationship with him is cruel and very selfish. I had a hard time forgiving him after that or even liking him. I’m still not sure I have. Sex with other women after the hero meets the heroine just turns me off. Elizabeth Hoyt's hero, Griffin, has sex at the beginning of Notorious Pleasures, but he hasn't yet met the heroine. What Nick does is the worst betrayal.
"Didn't Ashley understand that he couldn't love her? He was already too vulnerable." (p229)
"...but how was Nick supposed to fight when he didn't have the ammunition she wanted? Not to mention, he had a small child to see to first." (p230-231)
Several typos throughout the text were a bit distracting at times. As a voracious reader for almost forty years, I am finding more and more errors in both traditional and self-published works.
Shana Galen is one of my favorite authors who spins exciting and adventurous historical romance tales, so while this book's plot was not quite to my liking, I very much look forward to reading more stories in future.
The Pirate Takes A Bride captures the spirit of author Shana Galen's Misadventures of Matrimony series, provides Nick and Ashley's back story which is alluded to in Blackthorne's Bride and takes the story to a new level.
Shana Galen's writing style has evolved during the time that the last novel in this series , Blackthorne's Bride was published and it shows in Pirate's storyline. Galen does an excellent job writing these characters which she created in the past in her present day writing style. Pirate has conflict, emotion, action and is fast -paced which are the hallmarks of Ms. Galen's style. She weaves in some poignant scenes between the couple which leaves the reader hoping for Nick and Ashley's HEA. Our hero and heroine are well written and memorable.
Nick and Ashley's Grand Adventure contains many secrets, tattooed pirates, bloody battles and takes place on a pirate ship and on a tropical island. I loved the pirate battles which took place on the Robin Hood, they are well written. I read the final scenes well into the evening. The final pages were both intense and poignant. The story held my attention from start to finish.
I enjoyed the mix of action, adventure and romance in this novel.I am pleased to report that it was well worth the seven year wait to see what the author had planned for Nick and Ashley. Thank you Shana Galen for listening to your fans and writing such a fabulous conclusion to the Misadventures in Matrimony series!!!
THE PIRATE TAKES A BRIDE by Shana Galen is the much anticipated conclusion to her Misadventures in Matrimony series. By a strange twist of fate Ashley Brittany finds herself married to Lord Nicholas Martingale. Both Ashley and Nick have things they need to hide. Nick's biggest secret is that he is a pirate! Most of the story takes place on Nick's ship. Galen paints a picture with words that is so realistic I could almost smell the sea, and I got a little seasick. Nick has revenge on his mind. He has lost everyone he has ever loved. Can he ever love Ashley? This book is filled with adventure. The book has the sexiest cover ever! I highly recommend it.
I was so excited to read Nick and Ashley's story and it definitely didn't disappoint! The thing that I loved most about Nick was how he treated Ashley. He was so careful with her. I loved it when he saw her scars for the first time and kissed them and told her she was beautiful. Swoon. He gave up everything for Ashley and Rissa and I just fell in love with him. Another great story by Shana Galen!
Series: Misadventures in Matrimony #4 Publication Date: 05/07/2014
Riveting! Sexy! Entertaining! Fast Paced! Memorable and relatable characters. This book is everything I have come to expect of a Shana Galen book. It is a great, exciting read.
I did not read the other books in this series and that did not seem to be a problem. However, this book was so good that I am going to read the rest of the series!
The beginning is a heartbreaking, gut wrenching scene. Ashley had given him her innocence only the night before and tonight she discovers him being intimate with another woman. Her heart is broken and the love she had for him has turned to hate – forevermore. She was going to make Lord Nicholas Martingale sorry! Frankly – after reading that section, I wanted to make him sorry myself!
Eight months later, in Gretna Green, Ashley Brittany finds herself mistakenly married to Nicholas by a drunken anvil priest. The wedding was supposed to be between Ashley’s friend Maddie and Nicholas (I believe that tale is told in Blackthorn's Bride), but the priest filled out the papers incorrectly and suddenly she was married to her worst nightmare. The anvil priest is passed out on the floor and then, the pirates show up and she finds herself being forcefully taken to their ship. What more could happen in one night – well – she MIGHT discover that Nick is a pirate captain and it is his ship.
Nick isn’t as bad as you’d think from reading that first section of the book. That little scene she discovered was set by him in order to destroy any feelings she might have for him because he is a pirate and is on a mission of vengeance against another pirate. Now, I don’t have a problem with him discouraging her for that reason. What I personally found fault with was the fact that he encouraged her love, took her innocence and then decided it wasn’t in her best interest.
The pirate, Yussef, is a heartless swine who preys on innocent women and children. He will do anything to inflict pain and suffering – especially upon Nick and his crew. So, while Nick and his crew were in England, Yussef attacked the coastal village where Nick’s crew and their families lived. Yussef knew there would be nothing but children, women and the old and feeble left in the village.
Nick is one stubborn man and I was beginning to think this might be the one romance novel that didn’t have an HEA. He was absolutely pig-headed and determined that he was not going to love and share a life with Ashley. Luckily, love found a better way.
Ashley is a very strong, courageous and determined woman herself and you just have to admire her for that. She’s also very compassionate and loving and that serves her well.
Now, for my second (and maybe third) bone to pick with Nick. Nick has an illegitimate daughter that he loves totally, but he makes no bones about letting Ashley know that he never loved the girl’s mother. If he cared for the daughter at all, he could have said that although he didn’t deeply love her mother, he had affection for her. It has to be hurtful for the little girl to be aware of her father’s lack of feelings for her mother. There must have been some affections there because they lived together for years.
Greta Green has a legendary reputation for elopements that many poor love starved couples do to get around their families refuses. This is so not one of those story. This one has a serious irate and ferocious woman trapped with a blackguard who constantly has his hands and lips on every woman he see, except her!
Ashley Brittany is the only girl in her big and loving family. She grow up with 5 brothers, so she learned at an early age to fight with stick swords, throw elbows, use her fists and learned all the sensitive areas of a male's body, but mostly she wrapped all the men in her family around her little pinky. When Ashley was 7, she and 3 BFFs made a pledge to never, ever marry and be besties and grow old together. They called themselves the Spinsters' Club. Some problems arose as Wise Catie and the Sassy Josie got hitched and Caring Maddie takes off with a wimpy hound breeder to elope to Greta Green. What Ashley to do, but jump in the couples' carriage to derail Maddie's crazy plan.
Lord Nick Martingale also grew up in a loving family and his mother always volunteered to help poor. One day while his mother, older brother and he were in Whitechapel, he runs off to play with the other kids. Because of that one small mistake, his mother was raped and murdered as her boys watched. That moment defined him and he swore to never love anyone because they all leave him. Nick joined the Royal Navy and began his many adventures at sea. His brother Jack, the Marques of Blackthorne, is always getting caught up in the problems he causes and that is why he is in a carriage with a woman who despise and hates him.
All of Hades breaks lose as angry Ashley, Maggie, a wimp hound breeder, the Marques and Nick are chased by an pissed off Duke, a posse of hired ruffians, an enraged father shooting at them and then a drunk priest in Scotland married Ashley to the wrong man over an anvil. Now she married to Lord Nick Martingale, the man who took her virginity and then found him in another woman's dress the next night! If that is bad enough, Ashley finds herself surrounded and tries to fight(bravely welding a fire poker) 4 smelly, teeth missing, gold earing wearing Pirates in Scotland. A pirate with a gold tooth smiles and says, "Aye, Captain we have a problem!" Her new hubby smiles and says, "Honey, smile and meet my crew!"
Ashley is shocked that Nick is a Pirate, she is then man handled, throw on a horse with her Pirate hubby, forced to ride across Scotland to the coast, forced to board her DESPICABLE hubby's ship, The Robin Hood, and then locked in his cabin and ignored. Nick just wants to get to the Isla de las Riquezas before his nemesis the Barbary Pirate Yussef kills all the women and children. All he loves is on that island and he and this crew will protected it with their lives. Ashley and Nick are like sparks to dry kindling, their many clashes cause angry fights, hot and steamy kisses and uncontrollable passions! They begin a voyage of not only the sea, but of their wills. Who will win the war?
When Ashley witnesses Nick commanding presence as Captain, she angry begins to fade and her body craves his caresses again, but must hide her tormenting secret. Nick has never stop wanting to sink into his wife, but he has a earth shattering secret and doesn't want to love what he can lose. Just when they begin to fall into each others arms, they arrive at the Isla and their secrets are revealed and destroys their fragile peace. Will Nick ever let himself love again without the gripping fear of loss? Can Ashley accept his secret, embraces it and make it her own? How can Ashley make Nick admit his love? Can Nick set aside his all consuming revenge of Yussef to save Ashley and himself? But most importantly, can these two stop fighting long enough to rip off one another clothes and FINALLY just do it?
This is the long awaited last book of the Misadventures of Matrimony! I enjoyed this final book that wrapped up and answers all the questions I have had for about a year and half. Ms. Galen wrote 2 very strong, loved, imperfect characters with adventurous souls as her hero and heroine. Ashley is a spontaneous and "look after you leap" type of heroine. Its is her most endearing and also her worse quality, as it always causes her to find trouble. Nick truly struggles with his hard won beliefs and he has an inward wars with himself. He has a scarred soul with all the blood, killing and the many useless deaths he caused and witnessed. Ms. Galen challenged each character to overcome things inside themselves. She made both give away some of their control to each other and that is something no one wants to hand over. Ms. Galen does use her famous humor to rough out the edges of the soul searching journey that Nick and Ashley took. This was the most serious book of the series and it dealt with some difficult topics, but I did enjoy it. I give this book 4 fingers up and 8 toes.
Shana Galen does it again. What a delightful tale. This author has such amazing characters. They come to life on the page. And I love the adventure. I'm not normally drawn to pirate books, but I love everything Ms. Galen has written. Her stories are always so fast-paced and full of excitement that I can't put them done until I'm through and then I sigh because I don't want the book to end. I highly recommend this wonderful book.
Disclaimer: I didn’t know this was the last book in a series, nor did I know this was a Shana Galen book when I started so take this with a grain of salt Galen fans.
I have only read one other Galen book and I didn’t like it. Same goes for this one. Funny enough, I had just finished the other Galen book when I started this one (I don’t usually look at the author’s names unless I really like the book or I really don’t) so hr writing style was pretty fresh in my mind. When I got halfway through this audiobook and the MCs still hadn’t reached the island they had been sailing towards 3 HOURS IN, I started seeing similarities between this book and the other, and whaddaya know, it was the same author. Sense is made. I kept going a little longer, more because I needed something to listen to rather than actual hope the story would pick up. I’m stopping 5 hours in to an 8 (and some change) hour audiobook because the characters still haven’t left the island. When I started listening, I thought the book would be about more than a final showdown between the male MC and his mortal enemy because I was missing the tension I’ll assume was in the previous books in the series. Now that I know this is the finale of a several book long, (likely) continuous series I have no motivation to finish. Jumping in at the end has made the book rather boring, and I still don’t like Galen’s excessive descriptions of every thought that passes through the universe. I’m off the edge of the map now, here there be monsters, so I’m just gonna turn my ship around and sail my butt home.
I accidentally read this book out of order by reading it first in the series. It is actually the fourth book and I could tell that I missed out on a lot because there is an entire plot line that builds up to book four that is clearly in book three.
The female protagonist is incredibly likeable, strong, fiery, and smart. The male protagonist is self-destructive, but luckily fixes the error of his ways by the end. He has a traumatic past (death of mother, death of best friend) that causes him to make bad and impulsive decisions against his better interest. Ashley and Nick have loved each other before. But, he self-sabotaged by making sure she walked in on him with another woman. It broke her heart. But, he had always loved her regardless. His past trauma prevented him from settling down until he crosses paths with her again. There are a lot of sparks both times and it is clear that they love each other.
Nick takes Ashley on a revenge pirate adventure. Ashley finds Nick's daughter born out of wedlock and adopts her as her own. My only complaint about this book is Nick's previous lover and daughter. It makes him unlikeable as a main character because how can he swear his love to Ashley when he was clearly procreating with an exotic, sultan's lover's escapee on a remote deserted island at the same time?
That being said, it was not enough to detract from the overall historical romance book. There are a lot of passionate scenes on the ship, on the island, in Gibraltar, in a lake/river, against a tree, on the beach, etc.
This book is not in my normal genre. However, it was a fast, light, mostly fun read.
This is a romance book and it’s not focused on creating a very deep story. It’s clearly meant for some spicy, swashbuckling fun. It does provide the spice, however, it’s light on the swashbuckling side.
The first half was really, really fun and I flew through it. Then, it went a bit downhill. However, that could be based on my personality and not because the book started to decline.
The main character is sassy, a rules breaker, and not one to be told what to do. I loved this part of her personality.
Our pirate is a jerk at first and there’s some enemies to lovers tension. He does have some swoon worthy moments and some very spicy ones.
You’ll get some action on the seas, both in the ship and in the sheets.
The ending is satisfactory.
Like I said, this type of romance is not my normal reading. It’s light, fun, and fast. It works perfectly between darker and heavier books.
I would have liked a bit more pirate action, but I still had a good time reading it. Overall it does the job of providing a good story.
Ashley Brittany lost her innocence to Nicholas Martingale one night. The next night, she catches him with another woman and her infatuation dies. Months later, she accompanies her friend on her elopement and finds that the priest is drunk and has married Ashley to Nick instead of her friend. Then she finds that Nick is the captain of a pirate ship that is ready to sail and she is going with them. How did her impetuousness get her in this much trouble?
Ashley is headstrong but comes up against Nick who is also headstrong. She learns she has to give and take and life is not all about her. She nurtures Rissa, Nick's daughter, and grows to love her. Nick listens to her when she tells him revenge against the pirate is not what his friend would have wanted. He learns to think of others' needs before his.
I disliked the beginning of this book. The connection between the opening chapter and the first chapter felt off. It ends with Ashley vowing revenge and then all of a sudden she's married to Nick. You can tell that something definitely happened that lead up to their marriage. But the book doesn't go into it. It probably would have made more sense if I actually read the other books in this series first. But I didn't so that's why I disliked the beginning of the book.
I did like both Ashley and Nick. I think Ashley is amazing. Yeah, she could be annoying at times but I think her strength stood out.
Good story overall, however, not really a fan of the heroine; Ashley. I mean, I would have loved my heroine to have more spunk. Instead she seems to loose all her will power whenever the hero; Nick as much as touches her. Ashley is our beautiful, impetuous heroine who lost her virginity to Nick. Nick is a handsome Lord but unbeknownst to the society, he is also a formidable pirate. Due to his unlawful occupation, he purposely did something detrimentally hurtful to ensure Ashley hates him (even though he loves her). Towards the end, I skimmed through the pages and the heroine's character become very predictable. It was an ok read.
With her typical style of writing, Ms Galen has created a story so entrancing that I couldn't put the book down. It was the first book I had read of this series but it was so amazing that I didn't even realise until I looked it up to mark it as 'read'. This swashbuckling tale of a pirate and his resisting bride was humourous but it covered topics of serious natures, like the relinquishing total control in a marriage and the struggle of facing ones demons. I loved that Ashley wasn't a sap, but a strong, spontaneous, troublesome heroine who would fight for what she wants and for those she loves instead of living her life for a man and his whims as was the custom for women in those times. Nick was the perfect hero of this novel as he struggled to overcome his emotional scars, yet he isn't a dreary character caught up in depressive thoughts. His gentleness with Ashley and the love he showed his daughter suited the character and made him more endearing. Despite his roguish ways in the beginning, he made up for it by the end of the book.
I loved especially that Ashley didn't give into him so easily and I also loved that Nick never pushed her to do unforgivable things. The challenges that both characters faced, overcoming their fears so they might be better for the other, is something that everyone can relate to, even if it is in a fantasy world. I can't wait to read the other books in the series!!!!
As much as I love the idea of antagonistic love between the characters, I felt that there was more potential to be explored between Nick and Ashley. I am not favourable towards plot with children born out of wed lock, despite Rissa being an adorable girl.
But I have to agree with one of the reviewers that perhaps Nick was a bit lacking in his emotional department, something underplayed compared to his constant sexual deviations towards his wife, whom we know is a beauty.
I couldnt help but feel sorry for Ashley and wished there was some kind of promising situation that could prove Nick's genuine love for her. I admit the Nick's bastard child in the story was a bit random. I feel that the child's appearance hindered Ashley and Nick from developing their relationship into something more, not that I am blaming it on an innocent child.
I just believe the read and adventure would have been more satisfying if Rissa's sudden appearance didnt complicate thinga. Don't mind me, I happen to like stories where the hero bleeds dry for his heroine, and proves it like a real man does. I just wished Nick could have done the same for Ashley who deserved it.
I loved this book and the story of Ashley and Nicholas. Ashely is going with her friend who is going to Gretna Green to elope with a carpenter. When everything goes wrong and Ashley ends up married to Nicholas by a drunk priest. The next thing she knows is that a bunch of pirates are in the church and she is having to defend herself. Nick is just standing there and doing nothing. Realizing that the pirates are calling him Captain she figures out he is one. They grab her up and take her to Nicks ship the Robin Hood. Now she is captive and married to the man who used her a few years back. The one she wants revenge on for ruining her and leaving her feeling that he didn't want her because she was deformed. The supporting characters make this story really pop as they all have something memorable to say and contribute. I love the Nick's little girl Rissa. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it!
One night, months ago, Nicholas Martingale took Ashley Brittany's virtue, then scorned her, causing her to hate him. Fast forward to the beginning of this novel, and Nick and Ashley are accidentally married in Gretna Green. While a titled lord, Nick is secretly a pirate, and needs to set sail to avenge his friend's death, and to protect the island of people that he calls family. Nick takes Ashley with him on the voyage, and when they reach the island, realize the unthinkable has happened. Nick and Ashley have a battle of wills with each other, both loving each other immensely, but refusing to admit it to the other.
Awful. Which you know within the first 25 pages. And you think, wait, I've read some of her other stuff which I loved! (See Lord and Lady Spy series), this must turn around, right? No. It doesn't. Everything cliche that one associates with romance novels is in this. It's the fourth in this particular series, and it feels as if she was just...getting it over with. Perhaps the other three are better, but this was....cringe inducing. So bad it's like a first book, when an author is just figuring stuff out.