In this edition of Dueling Reviews, Introvert Reader reviews Passion’s Paradise by Sonya T. Pelton, a Zebra historical romance. Did she like it? The answer is: sort of.
Imprint or Line: Zebra Historical Romance
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance, Bodice Ripper
Buy on: Amazon, AbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader
TOTAL SPOILER ALERT ⚠
Passion’s Paradise by Sonya T. Pelton is a wonderfully terrible book published by Zebra in its early years. 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. It had no back cover; no worries, I printed out the book blurb and taped it to the back. The book was 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, the supposed hero of Passion’s Paradise, 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, storylines 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 again, who cares?
Angel runs away from Tyrone about 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.
Of course, the only person Angel can trust to care 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.
Stupid Big Misunderstandings & Clichés Abound
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 at a 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.
But in the end, Ty and Angels’ love wins out and th book ends on a happy and sappy note
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…
Final Analysis of Passion’s Paradise
Passion’s Paradise by Sonya T. Pelton is a cliché-ridden calamity. Even so, 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!”
Apparently, Passion’s Paradise was a multi-million best seller making Sonya T. Pelton a Zebra superstar author. Alas, like most Zebra romances, it didn’t even have a pretty cover!
What a mess. Even so, it gets 3 itty-bitty stars for being so gloriously, wonderfully entertaining.
|Rating Report Card|
As the beautiful, fair-haired Angel Sherwood sailed from England to Louisiana, she sensed that her destiny flowed with the rough waves of the ocean. Frightened by the harsh sea, Angel prayed that perhaps, just perhaps, she would find happiness and romance in her new home.PASSION’S PARADISE BY SONYA T. PELTON
But Angel’s fate changed course when she was kidnapped by the cruel, yet captivating pirate, Captain Ty. And even though her future was suddenly in the balance, Angel was strangely warmed by his manly touch. Her strong captor stirred in her a delcious pleasure, a burning fire that made her whole body tingle with precious thrills.
Captain Ty’s black heart was softened, too by her golden presence; she was an untouched treasure, full of charm, wit and innocense — a jewel that he feverishly desired. But rather than taint his savage and foreboding name, he kept his feelings hidden. First he had to be sure that her heart belonged to him–and then he would send her to PASSION’S PARADISE!