4 stars and a half

Historical Romance Review: Passion’s Chains by Catherine Creel

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

From the back of the book:

Lady Eden Parrish stared in shock at the bare-chested, blue-eyed rogue who stood so proudly on the Bridgetown auction block– he was none other than her husband, the despicable Roark St. Clair! Eden had been sent to Barbados in disgrace after her brief, scandalous marriage to the unscrupulous American spy…after the way he’d betrayed her, she ought to let his contract of indenture be sold to the highest bidder. But memories of how it felt to be embraced by those strong arms and held tight against that well-muscled chest flooded her mind and body, and soon Eden was offering a fortune for the right to claim him as her

Roark had come to Barbados for only one reason–to reclaim his runaway bride. Of course, getting captured by the British and sold into slavery hadn’t been part of the plan, but t situation was working out nicely, things considered. He would find a to escape and take the luscious along, with or without her consent. The little minx might be his mistress now, but he’d soon be her master. He knew just how to tame her wild spirit and make those emerald eyes shimmer with passion’s fire. Before long, he would possess every silken inch of her…for this night and all the nights to come!”

4 1/2 Stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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!

Lady Eden Parrish met ship captain Roark St. Claire in England, and they had shared a hidden, forbidden love. Then they secretly got married. However, before they consummated their marriage, Eden was forced to abandon him. 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.

Roark follows her to her Caribbean, where he is captured and sold into slavery. Eden sees him at the auction block, and 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.

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, adored this one! Roark was such a great 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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