14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A Sweet first time book!! Way to go Pamela!!,
This review is from: Sweet Release (Mass Market Paperback)
I have seen in many reviews of historical romances (and have felt it myself) there is a dearth of historical in historical romances. The only difference between the historical romance and a contemporary is they ride horses instead of drive cars. Often it's REALLY hard to tell WHAT period you are in because so much of the historical has been cut away. The editors and publishers push for the leads to be on 'centre stage' and unless the history is driving importance, then they cut it. Which is a shame. There are a bunch of wonderful writers that can give you history AND ROMANCE. The trend came about because of competing with the net, they wanted a faster, leaner reads. Which is fine for a spell, but people are tired of this. Books are expensive and they want MORE for the money. They wants the sweeping panorama of history in all it's glory.
I am GLAD to say Pamela Clare gives you a TRUE historical romance. It has romance, passion AND history. I almost felt like I had picked up a pre-net Historical romance - so a BIG round of applause for Clare writing this wonderful book and to DORCHESTER Publishing for ONCE AGAIN giving their writers the room to do books THEIR WAY!!! So if you wish for a historical romance that is MORE....please give this first time author a chance. You will not regret it!!
I applaud Clare for dealing with the period, dealing with bondsman and slaves in a tender, yet not flinching fashion. I think many writers stay away from the period of 1700-1870s US because of the slavery issue. If you are accurate you turn people away, if you a kinder gentler version of GWTW people dismiss you. Clare chose this period and gives excellent treatment. And kudos to both her and her publisher!!
Alex Kenleigh is a rich English shipbuilding. He warns his dissolute younger brother that he will no longer support his wicked lifestyle, that he is on a pocket money allowance, disgusted with his brother getting a teenage girl pregnant and
then turning his back on her while she dies trying to rid herself of the unwanted pregnancy. On the heels of this, someone mysterious catches Alex leaving his mistress' home and nearly beats him to dead. Worse, they have arranged to have a body left to be identified at Alex, while Alex is sent to the Americas as a criminal called Cole Braden. He is to serve 14 years as an indentured servant in Virginia, reported to be a defiler of women.
Cassie Blakewell is running her father's plantation because her younger brother is just a child and her father is suffering from madness. A young woman in this period running a going concern would have been prey for either men pushing her into marriage hoping to gain control of the vast plantation or from do gooders demanding to do what is right and put a man in charge. Especially since her father has left her with a mountain of debts that it will take years to pay. The Creditors are willing to wait as long as they believe the story she is putting about that her father was in England. If she cannot keep this story going, the plantation will be seized for debts and sold.
When the ship comes in with slaves and bondsmen for sale, Cassie buys the release of Cole Braden and the slave that had
protected him and kept him alive for the long voyage. She buys him in a charitable act thinking he will die. But he does not, in fact in a short time he regains his strength. Only Alex is now furious to learn that is thought to be Cole, a criminal, and has been sold to Cassie for 14 years. He tried to prove he is Alex, but with communications as such during this period it will take months.
Cassie and Alex has a slow burn attraction to each other, with Cassie not knowing whether to believe Alex or not. Yet, it does not stop the attraction. Still they have to keep distance for it could mean Alex's death if caught with her.
Add into the mix, a foppish neighbour who is obsessively planning on marrying Cassie, pushed by a father who wants her lands. With strong supporting characters, this is a wonderful romance in the old fashion style of REAL Historical romances, with a good eye to details of the period.
So APPLAUSE to Clare for writing it and sticking to her guns, and to Dorchester and the consistent policy of letting their writer WRITE.
Hopefully, this is a new trend in old style historical romance!
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Initial post: 15 Apr 2010 15:56:41 BDT
Excellent review - and I agree with your comments regarding historical romances. They do seem to be rather thin on the detail now adays. I have just found Pamala Clare and think she is an excellent author.
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