Historical Romance Review: Passion’s Chains by Catherine Creel

Passion’s Chains, Catherine Creel, Zebra, 1991, Pino cover art


4 1/2 Stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Book

Passion’s Chains by Catherine Creel was a crazy book that in 1991 could only have been published by the Zebra romance lines. It was completely unrealistic, but I had a blast with it. This was the first book I read when I subscribed to the Lovegram line many years back. The plot description on the back of the book sounded like it would be a riot!

The Characters

Lady Eden Parrish met ship captain Roark St. Claire in England and they had shared a hidden, forbidden love. The pair secretly got married. However, before they consummated their marriage, Eden was forced to abandon Roark. Her family tricked her into believing he betrayed her. They whisk her off their Barbados plantation as Eden is now marred with the taint of scandal.

The Plot

Roark follows her to her Caribbean, where he is captured and sold into slavery. Eden sees him at the auction block. To everyone’s scandalized shock, she purchases him as her slave.

Perhaps nostalgia plays a part in me remembering this novel so fondly, but I thought this book was amazing. Roark would sneak into Eden’s room at night and assume his “husbandly rights,” but by day, he slaved away in the sugar fields plotting his escape and his revenge.

On the negative side, there was a boring secondary couple, your typical boneheaded villains, and silly misunderstandings that they could have avoided if Eden and Roark had just talked to one another.

Final Analysis of Passion’s Chains

I don’t want to re-read this book to see if it stands the test of time. I want to recall it as I did way back when, because I adored this one! Roark was such an outstanding hero.

I figure this was a rip-off/homage to Kathleen E Woodiwiss‘s Shanna as the plot is similar, and so are the heroes’ names. Anyway, as I have never finished a K.E.W. due to her never-ending clauses and overuse of purple prose, Passion’s Chains is good enough for me.

(ETA: No, that’s not true, I fully intend to read Shanna one day. But I’m glad I read this one first.)

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