Brazen Ecstasy is the best of first four books Janelle Taylor’s in the “Ecstasy/Gray Eagle” series so far.
Illustrator: Walter Popp
Imprint or Line: Zebra Historical Romance
Book Series: Savage/ Gray Eagle Series #4
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance, Bodice Ripper, Colonial Era Romance
Format: eBook, Paperback
Buy on: Amazon, AbeBooks
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon
TOTAL SPOILER ALERT ⚠
This review is of Brazen Ecstasy, book #4 in the Ecstasy/Gray Eagle Series by Kensington/ Zebra author Janelle Taylor.
Alisha and Gray Eagle Separated Yet Again!
When Brazen Ecstasy begins, it has been five years since Alisha Williams and Oglala Lakota warrior Gray Eagle first met. Despite numerous hardships–many self-inflicted–they have welcomed a son, Bright Arrow. They are very much in love and happy.
Which–of course–means something will soon shatter their happiness. Two things, in fact.
The first incident is when American soldiers kidnap Bright Arrow in an effort to bring Gray Eagle to heel. This effort fails somewhat as Gray Eagle rescues his son. However, there is tragic news. During the rescue, Alisha was hit on the head, fell into a raging river, and got swept away.
Gray Eagle’s tribe believes she’s dead!
Fortunately–or not–Alisha is rescued by Brave Bear, her former Blackfoot suitor. But Alisha has suffered amnesia from the head injury. She doesn’t remember the last five years of her life.
The Other Woman Makes Trouble
That creates many issues between her and Gray Eagle when he finally decides to search for her and brings her back to the Oglala camp.
Because while Alisha was with Brave Bear’s people, Leah Winston, a white slave with a strong resemblance to Alisha, set her eyes on Gray Eagle.
She does her best to take advantage of Alisha’s absence by ingratiating herself with Bright Arrow.
Then Leah attempts to seduce Gray Eagle– and almost succeeds. But despite the blatant evidence of physical attraction to her–if you know what I mean, and I think you do!–our hero ultimately rebuffs her advances.
For such acts of other-woman villainy, Leah is fated to die later on when trying to kill Alisha/Shalee.
Alisha’s amnesia–plus Leah’s taunts about her (non-existent) affair with Gray Eagle–exacerbates the rift between the two protagonists, who briefly separate–again.
Ah, but love wins out, and in time, the couple reconciles.
A secret is revealed. Gray Eagle and his warriors take their revenge upon the White soldiers for the previous attack. And for a while, happiness comes to Alisha and Gray Eagle.
Mrs. Taylor is at her evocative, flowery, lyrical best in Brazen Ecstasy.
The characters are developed, and the emotional level is turned up to 11.
The arguments that Alisha and Gray Eagle had with each other could have easily happened today, as in 1782–when the book is set. Or in 1983 when the Brazen Ecstasy was first published.
No matter how evil Leah was, that does not excuse Running Wolf, Gray Eagle’s father, for raping her.
During the quarrels Alisha and Gray Eagle have regarding Leah, his behavior comes across as very childish. Gray Eagle lacks any sympathy and understanding for Alisha’s trauma from her kidnapping.
The love scenes in Brazen Ecstasy are a bit more graphic than in the previous books in the series. It’s still not erotica, but there’s a little more pepper in the soup here.
In addition to the aforementioned rape of Leah and the assault on Alisha, there are other scenes of assault, shootings, and other forms of violence. The violence is not as graphic as in the first book in the series, Savage Ecstasy.
Bottom Line on Brazen Ecstasy
Brazen Ecstasy is the best of Janelle Taylor’s first four books in the “Ecstasy/ Gray Eagle” series so far. (#1 Savage Ecstasy, #2 Defiant Ecstasy, and #3 Forbidden Ecstasy.)
It is not flawless, but it is very, very good.
|Rating Report Card|
For four years, green-eyed Alisha Williams had been Princess Shalee, the cherished wife of the Oglala Chief Gray Eagle. Still their love was stronger than the surging white water of a snow-swollen stream and even more powerful then the fiery crimson sun that commanded the earth. But fate envied their perfect love and swept the stunning Alisha down a raging river and out of Gray Eagle’s life…
There was no way Gray Eagle could know that his love was alive when his empty teepee proved she was gone. But the daily torment of his lonely heart and the nightly agony of unfulfilled passion insisted that somehow she had survived destiny’s decree. He had rescued Alisha many times before — somehow he would find her once more. No river was too wide and no journey was too long to find his beloved, to share again their BRAZEN ECSTASY…BRAZEN Ecstasy by Janelle Taylor