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Captive Passions (1987)

Captive Passions (1987)

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3.87 of 5 Votes: 4
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random house publishing group

About book Captive Passions (1987)

What a great, old bodice ripper! Yes, it's silly and OTT with 1970s feminist rants from the heroine, cartoonish pirate costumes, a catty mistress-villain, a crass and dimbulb hero, references aplenty to maimed manhoods, and exploding volcanoes for a climax, but it was hellacious fun.The story starts right off with the hero banging his mistress, and chalk Regan van der Rhys up as one of the bigger horndogs I've come across in the old skool rippers. He can't keep it in his pants. Native girls, local whores, nearby tree notches.... You name it, he's had it and continues to want it and feels he is owed it.Walking-dick hero? Check.The heroine is quickly introduced as a she-pirate just under the surface. Sirena Córdez can fight and swear and steer a ship like one born to the sea, a stark contrast to her sister Isabel, who would rather kneel in a nunnery and chant over her beads all day. Unfortunately it's Isabel who is en route to the altar, with none other than Regan van der Rhys waiting for her. The bad luck continues when the ship carrying the two sisters is boarded by pirates flying the Dutch flag and a big ol' pirate gang rape commences on the two sisters. With a guy named Dick Blackheart leading an Evil Penis Swarm upon virgin flesh, this Carnival Cruise will be even more horrific than usual.Sirena, being of stern anachronistic grrl power stuff, manages to regain control of her ship by page 46 and sets her course for Blind Revenge, with Regan the object of her can of whoopass. You see, in the tried-and-true Immense Jump To Conclusion, Sirena believes that Regan is to blame for the pirate rape and Isabel's fate since the scurves were flying the Dutch flag and Regan is the local rep for the Dutch East India Company. So obviously he knew! Her plan is to marry Regan and be his wife by day and the scourge of Dutch ships by night, donning a kicky little outfit and earning herself the moniker, The Sea Siren.Now here is where things really got silly, and it rarely let up:t* Sirena's success with her ploys to sneak out for days on end require a total suspension of disbelief, as does Regan's inability to recognize his wife whenever he encounters (and lusts after) the Sea Siren. That no one's light bulb goes off right away (or even after several months) makes it seem like all of Java is populated by a bunch of morons.t* Sirena can sail a frigate practically single-handed with a 12-year old boy as backup. But if Jack Sparrow and Will Turner can do it, who am I to argue? Also a bit "off" was the wide swathes of dialogue packed full of nautical terminology. My mom, the Patrick O'Brian snob, says they're all jammed together and make no sense. Indeed, Sirena sounds like she's a breath away from shouting, "Avast to bo'sun! Turn foretopmast astern! Careen that fo'c'sle wide!" And all while wearing tattered Daisy Duke shorts, a middie blouse with copious cleavage, and a loud scarf around her head, throwing back her head and laughing uproariously. (Just look at the cover. That's from the book.) Actually, she reminds me a lot of a female Douglas Fairbanks Sr., grinning and slapping her thigh and laughing in the face of danger. Her sacking of ships makes her a hero among women and an object of lust among men. It's a wonder Sirena didn't single-handedly get the women's movement launched in the 1620s and win it right then and there.t* The subplot about Regan's own tragic past that mirrors Sirena's own. Yes, they have lots in common! Imagine that! But Fern does her damndest to make sure they don't think so! Imagine that! Leaps of logic and contrived situations see that the headbutting continues right until the very end. Aggravating? A tad, but I had my big girl panties on and I could take it.t*The villain and villainess of the story. Oh wow, these two. Despite the predictability of much of the plot, let's just say that I didn't see the submissive groveling and silken knotted whip coming. Like any good bodice ripper, this WTF moment was one of the many cherries on this OTT sundae.So silliness abounded. Did I care? Hell no!Between the rapes, sea-going avasting and arrrrgh-mateying, and heroine-mistress catfights, there's subplots about illegal nutmeg cultivation and a missing child, but this serious bent is quickly slapped into submission by the mother of all OTT climaxes.This was a nearly perfect example of the 1970s bodice ripper with larger-than-life clichés, characters and emotions. They purr, roar, hiss, screech, and shout in shock, anger, lust, and seduction. And the proceedings are dominated by a heroine who personally kills several baddies while the hero makes it to the end with spotless hands. Sirena often rants about women being just as capable as men, and she certainly out-alphas most of the big, bad alpha boys I've come across. She'd have had no problem doing to Prince Humperdinck what Westley threatened to do (i.e., "To the pain.").Compared to Savage Surrender, this one was slightly more plausible in spots, but that bar is pretty low. Both books are epic cheese reads and if you're not squeamish about the nastiness in the REAL bodice rippers, then this one is a must.

The story itself, I loved. I've become very fond of Fern Michaels, and historical fiction itself. Though it's hard to truly believe a lot of things in the story, like the fact that no one puts two and two together to realize that the sea siren is, in fact Sirena, I can understand that this is fiction and can enjoy the story itself. What bothered me far beyond simple irritation was that the editors didn't care enough about Fern and her story to take their job of proofreading and editing seriously. Countless times, when Fern had intended an exclamation point, an "l" is in it's place. There, were, commas, where, grammatically, there, shouldn't, be, one, and I feel that whoever supposedly proofread this book should go back to school and learn proper English writing.All in all, I liked the book, and will definitely be reading the sequels.

Do You like book Captive Passions (1987)?

This is actually book #1 in the Captive Series and should be read in order or you will be L.O.S.T.I read this set about 20 years ago and I remembered that I liked them. In 2007, I picked them up to reread and I was so annoyed at the style, characters, and plot, that I was unable to reread them. Times they have achanged...or maybe me. This is old style romance/pirate theme. Bad things happen to the heroine, hero is overwhelmingly macho, There are some great old style romances that I love, Shanna, etc. But this is not one of them.

I was in the "What was that book called?" group and someone was looking for a book that called to mind this one. I'd forgotten about it until then. It was one of the romances I sorta snuck as a teen when books were passed along to my mom.What I remember best is that the heroine knew her mind and chose to be master of her own destiny. Yes, there were things she didn't have full info about, but she worked with what she did know - and adjusted and she had more info. Which is likely not what would be the way others would describe it, being a classic romance of arranged marriage and misunderstanding, but there you have it.

I stopped after reading about 75% of the book.I just couldn't finish it. The historical inaccuracies didn't bother me, because I knew this wasn't a historical romance so much as a romance/bodice-ripper conveniently set in a historical era. The plot didn't bother me, because as eye-roll-worthy as it was, I knew what I was getting into before I started reading it. Even the blatant lack of research (for example: last I checked, there's no Greek sea goddess named Rana) didn't bother me.The main reason I stopped was because the writing style drove me batty. Exclamation marks abounded, because every second sentence was apparently so exciting it needed to be emphasized. People never said anything (they did, however, roar and murmur and exclaim things at length). And the descriptions... Where do I begin with the descriptions? They were some of the most bizarre things I've ever read. Sirena's eyes spew flames (and her eyes are green, y'all. But hey, if you forget her eyes are green, don't worry: you'll be reminded of it every few pages just in case. Sea green, grass green, bottle green--if it's a type of green, you'll bet it'll be used to describe her eyes at some point). Regan's eyes are blue slits of steel. Someone else's are sultry orbs. And so on. The book took itself seriously, but it was too over-the-top for me to do the same. In short: this was not my kind of book. At all.

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