Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Pirate and the Puritan by Mary Clayton

Genre: Historical Fiction-Romance

Publication Date: September 2007

One Word Review:

Author Website: www.monyamaryclayton.blogspot.com

First Line: “At first glance the pirate captain looked as staid a man as any Puritan Mercy Penhall knew.”

GoodReads Synopsis: 1704 - Dangerous times, when the colonies of the Americas are threatened by Queen Anne's War. It is not the French but a pirate who captures Mercy Penhall, mute Puritan spinster. In fear for her life and virtue yet drawn to the captain in spite of herself, Mercy has unknowingly begun on a course of adventure, heartbreak that will test her courage to the utmost. And in the end the secret she carries in her soul threatens to prevent even the small chance of happiness inherent in an impossible love. Edmund Gramercy is an unwilling pirate, forced to join a hostile crew to save his life. He defies them to spare the lives of the vanquished and the virtue of the women. But the mute Puritan girl tempts him like no other. It is best to set her free and never see her again. A pirate's life is a short one - for her own sake he cannot claim her. Yet their paths cross again, then again. He is drawn to her but his passion is hopeless. He is a wanted man. To love a decent woman is impossible. And there is a strange shadow behind her brave blue eyes... Can the impossible become possible for the pirate and the Puritan?"

Kathy’s Review: This wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I suppose I thought it would be similar to the book I just read, Guise of the Gentleman, with a pirate tale and high-sea adventure, and of course romance. While this does have the pirate and romance angle, it was very different from that book. It is definitely a historical fiction, with a heavy emphasis on history. The history lessons were woven into the story, which I liked, but at times it felt a little bogged down. So much happens throughout the story between Mercy and Edmund; being pushed together and torn apart so many times I lost count. By the end I was just plain frustrated with Mercy (I’ll explain more later). I was a little skeptical of how the story would play out with Mercy being mute; it only added another level to the story and surprisingly for me didn’t take away too much, although I am huge fan of conversation and dialog in books. Mercy was a good heroine, I liked that she had strong convictions, but trusted herself to make her own way. I liked Edmund as well and that he kept her strong and thought they were a good couple. Although, I still have a hard time with people that “fall in love” when they’ve barely said two sentences between them, I think their relationship grew throughout and ended where I believed them as a couple. It is a fairly clean romance, but some of their intimate times get a little heated, mostly just kissing, but kind of pushes the limit a little.

So this next section contains spoilers. I was somewhat confused at the very end when Mercy became convinced that she could not marry Edmund because she thought of herself as a witch. Of course we know throughout the entire story that her mother had been hanged during the Salem witch trials and that others worried that Mercy may also be a witch, but Mercy never thought of herself as a witch and until the end never thought of her mother as one either. Maybe I misremember what happened earlier in the book, but with everything they had gone through you’d think she would feel comfortable enough to tell him about her past. AND, when she leaves I was stunned that he just let her go so easily. Of course, another situation arose and things played out a little better, but I just had a hard time believing he would just let her go like that. Just too many partings and reuniting for my taste.

Anyway, I did enjoy the story. I learned a lot about the time period that I didn’t really know and although it was a bit too serious it still kept me entertained and was happy with how everything ended up.

Bookworm Rating: 3.5

Similar Reads:
To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker
The Guise of a Gentleman by Donna Hatch

I'm new to the pirate genre, any suggestions for some clean pirate adventures?


  1. I loved reading Pirates! by Celia Rees and I've heard nothing but good things about L.A. Meyer's Bloody Jack series.

  2. thanks for the review, I had some questions about this book, and you've answered most of them. also, thanks for the poilers, sometimes they are necessary.
    i loved the book Beyond Paradise by Elizabeth Doyle.


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