Sir Griffin Barry leapt out of the bedchamber window at age seventeen after a very disappointing wedding night, drank a bit too much at the pub and woke to find that he'd joined the crew of a pirate ship! Years later, he has become one of the most feared pirates on the high seas, piloting the Flying Poppy, a ship he named after the wife whom he fondly (if vaguely) remembers.
What happens when a pirate decides to come home to his wife - if she is his wife - given that the marriage was never consummated? And what happens when that pirate strolls through his front door and is met by... well, that's a surprise!
After finishing The Ugly Duchess I couldn't resist grabbing this novella featuring Sir Griffin Barry ( who is introduced in TUD) and since this is a RITA nominee for best romance novella it seemed perfect for this months TBR Challenge.
I was ready to enjoy this. Not only because Sir Griffin seemed potentially intriguing but also because it is a story about a marriage in trouble and it features more mature characters. And enjoy it I did because of the familiar elements I enjoy in these plots but I also felt that it was a weak story because of the way it is developed. We don't see the characters getting to know each other better, adapting to their new situation and make the best of it and eventually falling in love.
Everything happens too fast and there's almost no room for internal conflict. They just fall in love instantly after fourteen years apart. The external conflict seems obvious from the beginning that it won't be as complicated as the characters seem to think. I wonder if James had trouble because of the shorter format and prefers to write longer stories. My favourite short story author is still Mary Balogh, she really makes me believe that characters are falling in love even if they are developed in just a few pages.