- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Leisure Books (November 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0843951699
- ISBN-13: 978-0843951691
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 162 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sweet Release Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 2008
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"A stunning debut novel that captures hearts and imaginations from page one, Sweet Release delivers a sensuous tale of lust, betrayal, redemption and freedom." ---RT Book Reviews --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Pamela Clare, a former award-winning columnist and investigative reporter, is the author of many historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense novels, including the MacKinnon's Rangers trilogy, the Blakewell/Kenleigh Family trilogy, and the I-Team series. She lives in Colorado.
Kaleo Griffith, who has been called "powerful, with the presence of a young Timothy Dalton" by the Hollywood Reporter, has won multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards. He holds an MFA in acting from Rutgers University, and his film and television credits include Oliver Stone's Talk Radio, Law & Order, and All My Children. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The chemistry and love between these two was extremely sexy but also really touching. Cassie and Alec's romance was full of passion, and the things they say and do for each other moved me emotionally. Their's was no easy road without obstacles but they endure, and protect, and love each other throughout the entire ordeal. I caught myself with tears in my eyes a couple of times for the heartbreak they go through and the faith they have in each other.
There were many characters in this book most of whom were great except of course for the villain, Geoffrey, and one of Cassie's bondswomen, Elly, who I couldn't stand. This is book 1 in the Blakewell/Kenleigh Family Trilogy, and I'm so looking forward to "Carnal Gift" next. Just a beautiful and heartfelt love story with a well thought out and engaging plot. I was extremely impressed with Ms. Clare's writing and would recommend this book to one and all =)
Mistaken identity with devastating results!
Alec Kenleigh is assaulted on the streets of London and his next conscious thought is in the colonies. He's now a "bonded convict," purchased by Catherine (Cassie) Blakewell for her Virginia plantation near Williamsburg. Her purchase was more a sentimental rescue as Alec was near death. As he begins his recovery, no one believes his story that he's not the convicted rapist, Cole Braden. Meanwhile, Alec's family believes he's been murdered as his brother, Philip, has identified a body as being Alec.
About the setting
My most favorite historical romances are those set in America as they allow for more expansive storylines. This story starts in the year 1730 so while it's in the colonies, they are still under British rule with many of the societal restrictions and customs though the ownership of slaves is unique to America. Even Alec comments on how abhorrent a practice it is, an affront to English gentry. Cassie's family owns slaves and it's honestly acknowledged that their plantation couldn't afford to run without unpaid labor. Life at Blakewell Neck is honestly portrayed with all the boils of the period, though Cassie's father had very liberal ideals that created a somewhat better lifestyle than most.
What I enjoyed
Alec's dilemma was interesting and believable, making for some challenging situations as it's no easy matter to verify his identity when it's tied to another continent. Cassie's situation was also intriguing given that women had no rights in that era. There's a strong cast of secondary characters that add flavor to the story, including an irritating but evil fop out to win Cassie's heart (and her property). There's lots of tension, duplicity and romance that kept me in the story and things progress rather rapidly. I especially liked Alec and Cassie's steamy romance.
If you're interested in reading this book, do yourself a favor and get the audio version just to indulge in the delightful performance of Kaleo Griffith. I fell for his voice when listening to Clare's Surrender and he's just as skilled here. He handles a huge cast expertly, though Cassie sounds a little raspy at times but Alec was a huge hit.
The bottom line
This is an extremely interesting story that is expertly narrated. If you're a fan of American historical romance, this should be part of your collection. There are so few set in the pre-civil war era and that historical context adds even more value to the reading experience. The romance works (there are several of them in play) and I'm definitely continuing the series.
(I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Both Cassie's and Alec's lives are threatened during the book, and I felt nervous for them, wanting their predicaments resolved. Cassie is a wonderful character - smart and resourceful, while doing the "man's work" of running the plantation. Alec is simply one of the best romantic heroes I've read in a long time. Strong, kind, incredibly masculine, and realistically written with an attitude towards women that was appropriate for the time. Similarly, I appreciated the way slavery was addressed in the book. It's not an issue that can or should be glossed over, and it would be unrealistic to expect every romance novel taking place in the slavery era to feature characters who are crusaders for freedom. Cassie's family owns slaves, and she justifies it by saying that she treats them well and that she protects them from worse treatment they may suffer outside of her protection. Alec challenges her on this, but he eventually realizes that his shipbuilding business makes him complicit in the slave trade.
There's no graceful segue here, but I have to mention the HOT sex scenes. There are only a few of them, but they are very erotic.
I will be reading more from Pamela Clare!