This book caught my eye not because of the cover, though that is a hot guy who catches the eye, but because the story is during the early American Colonial times. I can enjoy the whole beautiful balls and gorgeous gowns of the Regency as much as the next gal, but I do love me some action and romance when the original thirteen colonies were considered the raw American frontier.
The blurb on this book was the other attraction. Can you imagine? Alec is a wealthy gentleman who owns a London shipbuilding company one moment and then wakes up in Virginia as an indentured convict known as Cole. He is now expected to labor on a tobacco plantation for the next 14 years. Naturally, he plans to do all he can to find his way out of this situation and find out how he got there. The only thing interfering with his plans is the feisty adorable lady who purchased his indenture and expects him to honor it.
The story is also about Cassie, the plantation owner’s daughter who, in an impulsive act, is the one to purchase Alec from the soul driver. It is a wrong move both because she cannot afford to throw money away on a worker that looks near death, but the soul driver tells her that this man is a criminal. Cassie is left in charge to bring a debt riddled tobacco plantation back into the black without anyone discovering her secret. She is sought after by many neighboring men because of the rich farm land that comes as her bridal dowry. Cassie cannot explain why she makes this spontaneous decision to purchase Cole Braden and for the longest time she truly does regret it. The man drives her crazy as she tries to figure out if he is telling the truth all the while his presence has almost immediate positive changes around the place.
Though this is a historical and the backdrop and details are pretty authentic, the emphasis is definitely on the romance. For those of you who panicked at the words ‘authentic’ and ‘historical’, you need not fear that it was dry and boring.
This story had so much going on. There was steamy, passionate romance that was shadowed with the whole forbidden aspect. The story had action such as attempted murder, kidnapping and even a court room drama. As with most romances, I had no doubt in my mind that there would be a happily ever after, but this one had so many moments where I had no idea how this would be achieved.
My only little problem with the book was the plot was almost too jam packed as it involved several subplots which added depth to the background, but also distracted me. The book would switch points of view to other characters to subplots that I did not feel were necessary to the story line.
The strengths of this book were the main romantic plot between Alec and Cassie and the ability of the author to write characters. Alec and Cassie’s romance began with a spark of interest that became moments of sexual tension morphing into passion and finally settling into deep love.
As to the characters, I liked the hero and heroine, but my favorite character was the cook, Nan. She had one of those personalities that had no trouble speaking her mind and taking no nonsense.
This was a début novel for Pamela Clare and I found it a good strong start. I look forward to reading the rest of this trilogy and her other historical series.