Rafael Adriano recently discovered of the underwater site a ship portrayed in Greek myth. The scientific community's interest quickly gave way to general interest when a few spin-doctors capitalized upon his pirate good looks and romantic aura. Now he wants to find the remains of a Civil War clipper ship captained by the successful privateer Juan Rodiguez del Flores, and believes professor Cora Prescott holds the key.
Cora bought her home from the University where she teaches. The family of Abigail Conrad once owned her home. Abigail kept diaries of her illicit affair with a man she does not identify, but could easily have been Juan. Rafael believes those diaries may contain the knowledge needed to find the remains of the Juan's clipper ship. With the university bringing considerable pressure to bear upon her, Cora agrees to aid Rafael's quest, in return for a bit of help. Her sister's dumped her three daughters on Cora for the summer, and she needs a nanny. Along with searching the house for missing diaries, however, Rafael vows to awaken the smoldering passion carefully concealed beneath Cora's prudish demeanor.
The children, complete with Benedict Bunny and oyster spit, add a marvelously amusing element. They also cast the rogue pirate in a responsible, caring role as he lures them into good behavior or when he rescues the bunny. Author Neesa Hart displays her remarkable story telling skills with a careful balance between the secondary plot of a research project and the main plot of the growing romance between the staid professor and the swashbuckling rouge. The sophisticated Rafael allows their romance at unexpectedly slow, and sizzling pace without ever rushing his counterpart. He also discovers his intellectual and spiritual equal in the reticent professor, thereby lending the relationship a strong sense of balance. Moreover, despite a large and varied cast, characters appear fully developed with their own quirky personas without threatening to overwhelm the narrative. A wonderfully entertaining, sensual and seductive story, HER PASSIONATE PIRATE comes very highly recommended.