For five pounds in cash, the convict was hers. Though Cassie hated the slave trade, her Virginia plantation demanded the labor, and she knew this fevered man would surely die if she left him. But as his wounds healed and his muscled chest bronzed in the sun, Cassie realized Cole Braden was far more dangerous than his papers had indicated—for he could steal her breath with a glance and lay siege to her senses with a touch.
Abducted, beaten, and given a new name, Alec went from master of an English shipbuilding empire to fourteen years of indentured servitude in the American colonies. There, he was known as Cole Braden, a convicted ravisher and defiler of women. And while he longed to ravish the auburn-haired beauty who owned him, he knew his one hope of earning her love—and his freedom—was to prove his true identity. Only then could he turn the tables and attain his ... Sweet Release.
- Genre:Historical, Romance, Suspense
- Age: adult
- Source: owned ebook
- Read from July 13 to 14, 2013
FINAL RATING: ★★★★/★★★★★
My thought after finishing the book: It was really good. Not as awesome as i hoped it to be, but it was interesting romance and i don't regret reading it. I ventured into this story wanting to read third book "Ride the Fire", but i changed my mind when i saw that all three books involve two families: Blakewell & Kenleigh families. And then i thought... why not? Sometimes reading out of order is a good choice, but i don't think it would be good for this trilogy.
This book was a slow building romance, and the book itself was really terribly long - but what kind of bothered me is that i read it slower because of the slang... But overall, i just wish there were more scenes in London, but nevertheless it was well done. What i didn't like [ Cassie was once again a virgin heroine, while Alec was experienced...]
And thus i ventured into reading the story of Catherine Blakewell and Alec Kenleigh.
Catherine Blakewell , aka, Cassie is a daughter of a mentally ill man, and while pretending that he is on business trip, she runs Virginia plantation until her brother Jamie comes of age. She has hidden the condition of her father because she doesn't want to be married to someone who isn't her choice, despite the postion of women in 1730 Virginia. She doesn't want to face it - she would lose everything - her freedom, her freedom to speak and freedom of all people who are depending on her. Cassie despises slavery, and although her family owns many slaves - she cannot do anything But what she can do is to treat them as human beings. So when she goes to buy more people because her plantation needs more workers, she saves a man known as Cole Braden, a vicious criminal accused of being rapist... And she being as kind as she is buys him and saves him when he should have died.
Cassie was interesting, strong female protagonist who stood in defiance of the theories that women can't manage managing the plantation. She fought hard to prove that she is as fitting as any other man to do the job and she won't back down. She was naive for a while, but i wouldn't say she was naive all the time - afterall she didn't trust Cole in the beginning.
Alec Kenleigh, aka, Cole Braden is a wealthy owner of ship maker company in London. So how does he end up being sold as a slave on a auction all the way in Virginia? He doesn't know. And how does he end up being owned by Cassie Blakewell is even better question. He doesn't remember, but he is set to prove his identity, which is not Cole Braden. Being charged as defiler and ravisher of women, he finds himself in even tougher position than he imagined. Even though he accepted that he had no other choice but to serve 14 years as a bondsman on Cassie's plantation, he tries to prove that he is indeed Alec Kenleigh. But that will prove to be harder than he thought.
I liked how Alec managed to remain who he used to be, but sometimes it was like he forgot his situation and that his life could hang in balance. But, he is nice person, although he is also one of those who were led to believe that women managing stuff is wrong. Thankfully, Cassie makes him understand that he was wrong.
Other characters were well done as well, but sometimes they got on my nerves.
For example Geoffrey, who was the most selfish SOB that ever existed, and who made me loose my mind and role my eyes and shout endlesly at how horrible and despicable he was. Being childhood friend of Cassie, he sure was a jerkish kind who doesn't respect women at all, not even Cassie.
Elly and Zach were interesting, although i didn't agree with Elly most of the time, i did find Zach quite more interesting. He was such a sweet guy and he deserved all the happiness.
Jamie, Cassie's brother, was adorable and cute, and he was just so kind and nice.
There are so many other characters i wish to talk about, but it would take a lot of time and remembering to write, for example Alec's family back in London and others. And after all i do not wish to reveal more than i should.
Overall, i can't wait to see what other two book will bring, but i saw that they will be better than the first one so i really can't wait. It was dragging and slow in some parts but i liked it nonetheless. One star less was because i was endlessly frustrated in some parts (or more like 20% of the book) but i am glad that the problem was sorted out :)