4 stars

Historical Romance Review Silver Storm by Cynthia Wright

Silver Storm, Cynthia Wright, Ballantine, 1979, cover artist unknown

It had been so long. He pulled her gown open and her breasts spilled out like ripe, round melons…

SILVER STORM

4 Stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I started reading Cynthia Wright’s Silver Storm, then put it down; it was sweet, but sometimes too sweet and I have enough cavities. Then halfway through it changes in tone. Our previously gentleman hero does a 180 and turns into a lecherous jerk. It was great and I wanted more!

The Plot

The first half involves a sensuous French privateer Andre Raveneau escorting orphaned Devon Lindsay to her fiancé in Virginia at the end of the American Revolution. The girl is obviously not in love with her missing man but devoted to him out of a weird sense of commitment. All the while, this tall, gorgeous, gray-eyed Frenchman plays nice, and Devon stomps her foot and plays hard to get. Andre was such a gentleman; I wondered where this was going.

But oh, he has a plan–a cunning plan–to trap his strawberry-haired prey, and when he finally gets what he wants, he plans just as cruelly to be rid of her, eagerly awaiting his next new lay.

In one scene, Andre attempts to seduce his ex-mistress while her brother and new husband play cards downstairs, and Devon, his current mistress, naps. But poor Devon wakes up and witnesses the dog’s hounding:

It had been so long. He pulled her gown open and her breast spilled out like ripe, round melons…”

He’s jerk all right, but he’s French, so it evens out. I enjoyed the break from the English heroes that dominate Historical Romancelandia. There’s something about a Frenchman that’s so sexy. I can listen to Eric Ripert recite recipes all day…

Final Analysis of Silver Storm

Years ago, I read a book that designated romance novels, specifically bodice rippers, into two genres: “Sweet” or “Savage.” (Even though it was Kathleen Woodiwiss who started the bodice ripper genre, it was Rosemary Rogers that gave it a name.) “Sweet” defined a story with a hero who may be cruel, callous, forceful, or cheats, but he is the heroine’s one and only. In a “Savage” styled-romance, anything and everything goes.

In Silver Storm‘s case, although here the heroine is almost raped, her bodice ripped, she is abandoned, and is cheated on, it’s still sweet. But it’s very spicy too!

One nit to pick: a reference to “Empire”-styled gowns in the early 1780s when Napoleon wasn’t crowned Emperor until 20 years later.

This book would have excellent if not for the slow start.

However, once it gets there… Oh my.

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