This review is of Passion’s Web by Cassie Edwards.
The book begins in Key West, Florida, with the heroine of the book, Natalie Palmer, and the hero, Bryce Fowler, meeting in a carriage. Shortly after they meet, Natalie and Bryce become lovers.
Natalie lives with her father, Saul, a wealthy tobacconist. She also has an older brother, Adam. (Natalie’s mother, Kathryn, passed when Natalie was younger. The circumstances of her passing is one of many secrets-the word of the book-that Saul is trying to keep from Natalie).
Bryce-who has multiple aspects to his persona-has come to Key West at the request of his dying father, Tom, whom Bryce has been estranged from. Bryce also has to deal with his younger brother, Hugh, whom he has bad blood with.
Bryce is hired by a businessman in New Orleans, Clarence Seymour, to find three things. An opium shipment, and Seymour’s wife and daughter, who were taken in separate incidents years apart. Bryce won’t be able to bring back Seymour’s wife-she, Kathryn, is dead-but he can bring back his daughter…Natalie.
Bryce kidnaps Natalie and takes her to New Orleans to meet Clarence. He’s happy to see her, but one person who most definitely isn’t is Brenda Seymour, Clarence’s other daughter, Natalie’s sister…and Adam’s lover. When Natalie decides to go back to Key West, Brenda helps her; this effort ends up with Natalie being forced to marry a man, Albert Burns, who is a former pirate. Bryce saves her from this forced marriage and they return to New Orleans, to discover sadly that Clarence has been shot. He is later shot again.
In the end, the secrets Saul and Adam wanted to hide from Natalie are revealed, and she and Bryce have their Happily Ever After.
I got through it.
Passion’s Web contains many of the same literary weaknesses which mark the rest of Mrs. Edwards’ work: shallow, undeveloped characters and storylines; unsatisfactory endings; and way too many exclamation points! At unnecessary times! It’s annoying!
There are a lot of love scenes. None are as hot as what Mrs. Edward’s would come up with for her Native American romances.
Assault, battery, shootings and killings. None of the violence is graphic.
There are books I’m glad I got through because I paid for them and can now resign them to the dustbin of history-literally and figuratively. Passion’s Web is one such book.