3 stars

Historical Romance Review: Passion’s Paradise by Sonya T. Pelton

Passion’s Paradise, Sonya T. Pelton, Zebra, 1981, cover artist unknown

Lying together upon the crest, their two profiles met, silhouetted as one against the clouds’ pink lattice. Here the sun shone softly, and the thrushes and cardinals and mockingbirds cooed love songs sang of twilight nigh, and the nascent magnolia flowers bloomed fragrantly…

PASSION’SS PARADISE

3 Stars

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Passion’s Paradise by Sonya T. Pelton is a wonderfully terrible book. The cover warns you; it’s dark and dreary, done in deep blues and white, with the wrong hair color for the hero and a ship about to sink in the ocean that shouts: “Disaster looms ahead!”

I got this book in one of those e-bay lots, it was a freebie that the seller was perhaps too embarrassed to mention and only too glad to get rid of, with no back cover (no worries, I printed out the book-blurb and taped it to the back) and garnished with red stamps from Arlene’s Book House & Paperback Exchange in Sweetwater, Texas. Now it lay in my Yankee hands, ready to thrill me with its awfulness.

Captain Ty, or Tyrone, is a pirate, a slaver, a whoremonger, a politician–but I repeat myself. Tyrone captures the ship that bears Angel Sherwood and her family from England to America. His Pa told him there was a special package on board and Ty was to take it. Ty and Pa had an agreement that Ty would marry when Pa found a woman worthy of his son and–who the hell cares, is the plot important? Not to the author, so you shouldn’t care either! Random events occur in the book, story-lines are dropped and nothing makes sense.

There is a mysterious murder…is Ty the killer? Who knows? Who cares?

There is another murder. Is Ty the killer? Well, this time yes, but who cares?

Angel runs away from Tyrone like four times in a row but keeps getting caught. The final time she flees, she leaves her severely mentally-unbalanced mother behind, and promises to retrieve her. And of course the only person Angel can trust to look for Mama is Tyrone’s evil ex-mistress. Mama goes missing. A year passes by, and Angel is concerned, but she’s had so much on her mind that she hasn’t had time to search. You see Ty’s penis keeps taunting her in those tight pants he wears and a girl can’t think straight with that anteater staring at her.

This book is filled with stupid “big misunderstandings” and really random, unnecessary secrets. For 200 pages the big mystery of the book is Angel’s first name. There’s no reason for her to hide it. I think it’s just so the author could have Tyrone call the heroine “My mysterious Angel” without him knowing that was really her name. Lame. Ty’s last name is a secret. Who is Ty’s father? Is Tyrone married? What is the secret of Cresthaven plantation? Where did Angel’s hymen go if she really was a virgin? (It blew up in the fire. Really, it did.)

Don’t expect any PC, this book is raw. A Chinese prostitute does her best Mickey Rooney “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” impression. Ty has slaves and whips them bloody. He takes what he wants from Angel (her love pudding) and doesn’t ask permission. But oh, he’s a misunderstood devil. There’s depth to Capt. Ty, and a heart that yearns for love. You see he had a rough childhood, because his mother was a slut, or something like that.

Passion’s Paradise is such a cliché-ridden calamity. However, it was oddly entertaining, like a terrible movie you watch just to shout inanities at the screen. Plus, I can’t hate a book with such craptastic dialogue as:

Ellen (a prostitute): “You know I used to enjoy all kinds of men before Captain Ty came along. That tawny-haired devil made me forget them all, with his lean body and bulging crotch! Shees! I’ve bedded down with more men than you could ever hope to meet in your lifetime.”

Angel: “But not with Captain Ty?”

Ellen: “Bitch. Take your clothes off!

What a mess. 3 itty-bitty stars for being so gloriously, wonderfully entertaining.

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