Review of The Raven and the Banshee by Carolyn Elizabeth
A fun swashbuckling adventure! What a great way to start 2022 off with a Carolyn Elizabeth book. While Elizabeth has only been published since 2019, all of her books have been great, if not wonderful, ranging in the 4-5 stars range. Elizabeth is not only an automatic read for me, but she is a drop what you are doing and go read, read. As much as I love Corey and Thayer (her Curtis and Reynolds series) when I heard her next book was going to be pirates, I was really excited. I mean come on, who doesn’t love lesbian pirates.
I found the book really easy to get into. It only took a few pages for me to feel quite immersed in this 1700’s time period. Elizabeth’s writing is nice and descriptive so that you can easily see the pirates, the weapons, the ships, and you can even almost smell the salt air. The setting, mixed with an interesting storyline, and I was hooked. The read goes by very quickly and leaves you wanting more.
I thought there was a good amount of romance for an action-adventure book. This is a second-chance romance which was smart of Elizabeth since the characters already had a built-in connection. This way, Elizabeth could spend the time, while not on a pirating adventure, growing their connection stronger instead of having to grow in from the very beginning stages. While the connection is there right away, and strong, it did take me a little while longer to really feel their chemistry. Their relationship is surprisingly on the medium angst scale, and I think their angsty relationship is what helped build their chemistry in my eyes.
I think my one slight issue with the book, and why I could not rate it higher, is that I found that the storyline felt a little predictable. I don’t know if it is because I will read or watch just about anything pirate-related, but I could tell at most turns where the story was headed. On the good side is that the story was still fun, filled with romance and adventure, and that is what you want from a lesbian pirate tale.
I do want to give a trigger warning for attempted sexual assault. I personally think this is an overused story beat in pirate stories, although I know it is realistic. However, I was very happy to see that the person this happened to was a badass in her own way. It was not like this was a story with only one character always saving the damsel in distress, instead, both characters were smart and tough women that were enjoyable to read about.
TLDR: This was a fun pirate-action romance. The pirate’s adventures were exciting to read and there is an angsty second-chance romance too. Elizabeth writes well as always and this time she has transported us to the 1700s and I didn’t want to leave. There is a short story starring our two main characters, available from Bella’s website, and I’m excited to read that too. I want more adventures with these main characters so I hope we will see a full-length book 2, in the future, but in the meantime, I will happily read anything Elizabeth writes. 4.25 Stars.
An ARC was given to me for a review.