Ruining My Childhood: A Pirate’s Love, chapter sixteen WHY WON’T IT END

In case you’re just finding these recaps, A Pirate’s Love is a historical romance novel by Johanna Lindsey written in the late ’70s. I’m a huge fan of Lindsey’s, but this book suffers from the awfulness of its era. Recaps start here.

CONTENT NOTE: Shockingly, there’s no rape in this one, but the mind games and casual references to assault continue.

When last we left Tristan and Bettina there was yet more rape and stuff. There is truly no plot here. They wander around in the boat and he abuses her. And yet somehow this damn book just keeps going on and on? How is this entertaining instead of tedious and dull? HOW?

Oh, wait. I forgot Bettina complained about Tristan’s beard and so he shaved it. Chapter sixteen opens with his crew snickering at him for shaving, thus proving his pure and true secret love for his captive rape victim. He goes to his first mate Jules’ cabin and knocks. Inside is Madeleine, Bettina’s nurse. Tristan asks what the hell is going on and Jules explains he’s been busy reassuring Madeleine that Tristan didn’t beat Bettina, on account of her screaming the night before.

“Would you have me gag her? That would just increase her low opinion of me, although why that should bother me, I don’t know,” Tristan said.

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…yeah. Yeah, Tristan, that’s the problem here. When you’re raping your captive, you fail to gag her. If only you could just stuff some rags in her mouth while raping her, people who care about her would no longer worry.

Tristan sends Madeleine off to check on Bettina and Jules starts laughing at him the second she’s gone. Tristan grumps about his beard some more and Jules explains nobody’s laughing about his bare face, but about the fact that Bettina gave him a glorious shiner when she punched him the night before.

Ladies, I am aroused.

Tristan grins like the douchebag he is and reveals that he’s changed course back to their home island, because raping Bettina some more is worth delaying getting her ransom from her fiance. And Tristan plans on keeping the course change a secret from Bettina and Madeleine until they reach the island. He warns Jules to keep the crew from saying anything.

Back in Tristan’s cabin, Madeleine is checking on Bettina. Her lady assures her she’s fine, but she’s wearing only her shift and is trying to fix her torn dress. She has bruises on her wrists. She looks deeply upset. This leaves Madeleine…perplexed.

Because Madeleine is apparently the stupidest person on the entire planet.

Bettina resolves not to repair the dress that Tristan keeps tearing up any further. Instead, she wants white satin to make a new wedding dress to replace the one she lost when she was kidnapped. Or so she says. Since Bettina never gives up, I assume there’s more to her plan than sewing.

And there was a blessedly short chapter. Whew. On to chapter seventeen.

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