Category Archives: year 1985

Captive Heart phoebe conn

Historical Romance Review: Captive Heart by Phoebe Conn

historical romance review
Captive Heart by Phoebe Conn
Rating: one-half-stars
Published: 1985
Illustrator: Pino
Imprint or Line: Zebra Lovegram
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance, Bodice Ripper, Medieval Romance, Viking Romance
Pages: 526
Format: eBook, Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon


Historical Romance Review: Captive Heart by Phoebe Conn

SPOILER ALERT ⚠

The Book

This review is of Captive Heart by Phoebe Conn, a Zebra Lovegram historical romance novel.

The Plot

Captive Heart takes place at an undetermined point in history. It is here that Celiese d’Loganville is a slave to Olgerthe Torvald, the pampered daughter of Raktor Torvald, a brutal Viking warlord.

As the book begins, Aldread Valdahl, whose family hates the Torvalds, offers a truce to Raktor. Aldread’s son, Mylan, will marry Olgerethe and end the feud between the families.

Olgerethe refuses to go along with the plan; she will not marry Mylan due to his being disfigured after a fight with a bear. She convinces Celiese to marry Mylan in her place.

When Celiese meets Mylan, she discovers, despite his disfigurement, that he is a very handsome man. They soon marry and enjoy their wedding night.

The next day, however, Raktor tries to kill the couple.

Mylan believes that Celiese knew of the pending attack and grows to hate her. This leads to Mylan spending the next part of the book emotionally and mentally abusing Celiese, calling her his slave, among other derogatory statements. He does offer Celiese a lifeline, however, telling her that if she kills the bear that maimed him, he will set her free. Celiese sets out to do just that, although she doesn’t actually end the bear’s life–Mylan does–she does wound the bear, and Mylan sets her free.

Celiese goes back to Mylan’s family, but this creates further problems. One of Mylan’s younger brothers, Hagen, is in love/lust with Celiese, and later, one of Olgerethe’s brothers, Oluf, tries to rape Celiese. Mylan kills him, but with the other Torvald brothers vowing revenge–and his own father helping them–Mylan and Celiese head to France.

Upon arriving in France, Celiese discovers her mother, Marie, is alive. Their reunion doesn’t go well, however, when Marie discovers that Celiese is married to Mylan, a hated Viking. Celiese plans to get her family’s land back from the Danish invader Hrolf, now known as Robert, who obtained the land from King Charles. Celiese’s plan does not go well.

After being imprisoned by Robert, Mylan rescues her. He does so by claiming to renounce his Danish heritage, agreeing to become a Christian, and marrying Celiese again. This second marriage, however, does not solve all of the issues between them.

By the end of the book, both Celiese and Mylan realize that they do love each other and put those feelings into words that help them find their Happily Ever After.

The Upside

Celiese. She endures unspeakable cruelty from virtually all the males in her life, but she remains strong. That’s a great quality to have.

The Downside

For the first third of the book, Mylan is a total bastard. He inflicts intentional emotional and mental cruelty upon Celiese. Yes, she lied to him in the beginning, but that doesn’t justify his treatment of her.

Most of the time, Celiese doesn’t think through her actions, leading her to get into difficult and sometimes dangerous situations

With the exception of Celiese’s stablehand, Andre, there isn’t a likable male in Captive Heart.

Sex

The love scenes in Captive Heart are more about the emotions of the act than the esoterics.

Violence

It is mentioned that Celiese was treated brutally by Raktor and his sons. Later, Celiese is assaulted several times. The violence described is not graphic.

Bottom Line on Captive Heart

Phoebe Conn’s take on “Beauty and the Beast” is far from classic. Captive Heart is somewhere around a 1-star book.

Rating Report Card
Plot
1
Characters
1
Writing
1.5
Chemistry
2
Fun Factor
1
Cover
4
Overall: 1.8

Synopsis

BOUND BY PLEASURE
Celiese, the lovely slave girl, gasped when her betrothed emerged from the shadows. She had been secretly sent in her mistress’s place to wed the much-feared Mylan. But instead of the cruel savage she had expected, he was a magnificently handsome warrior. His cool topaz gaze unnerved her. The fire in his touch sent shivers of unfamiliar desire down her spine. And the sweet madness of his burning kiss as he trapped her within an iron embrace made her forget her past, abandon all reason, and surrender herself–if only for one night–to the pleasures of passion’s fire.

BRANDED BY PASSION
Mylan stared in astonishment at the woman before him. Instead of the spoiled, pampered innocent he had expected, she was a radiant silver-blonde beauty. The hot flush of her cheeks disarmed him; the flame in the emerald depths of her eyes aroused him. Gathering her into his arms, he silenced her startled protest with a slow, wanton kiss and awakened her supple flesh with tender, searching caresses. He would teach her the secrets of passion, take her to ecstasy’s searing heights, and forever possess her Captive Heart.

Captive Heart by Phoebe Conn

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CATEGORIES: , , , , , , ,
texas treasure

Historical Romance Review: Texas Treasure by Victoria Thompson

Synopsis:

A GOLDEN COWBOY
Dusty Rhoades had to be the most unsettling man Priscilla Bedford had ever met! All the tall Texas cowboy had to do was glance her way and the chestnut-haired beauty felt her composure crumble. One moment he’d infuriate her with his high-handed arrogance. And all the while he made her yearn to snuggle close to his lean, hard chest and stay in his arms forever!

A SPARKLING LADY
The lovely new schoolteacher was the most confusing woman Dusty had ever encountered. With her creamy skin and polished eastern ways, he knew she was worlds above him. Yet when he looked into her eyes he saw the soft glow of desire, and when he held her slender body close, he heard a sweet sigh of surrender. Then he looked into her very soul and knew he would make her his own, exquisite…

Texas Treasure by VICTORIA THOMPSON

Reviewed by Blue Falcon

SPOILER ALERT ⚠

The Book

This review is of Texas Treasure, book #1 in the “The Cowboy and the Lady” series by Victoria Thompson.

The Plot

Part One

The book begins in Rainbow, Texas, where Priscilla Bedford, the heroine, has come to be the schoolteacher for the town’s children. Picking her up from the stagecoach which brought her to Rainbow is Phillip Alexander “Dusty” Rhoades, the hero of the book. He is the foreman of the Steele Ranch.

From the moment they meet, Priscilla and Dusty have chemistry, even as he is playing a joke on her by not immediately acknowledging her; she gives as good as she gets.

As the book goes on, Priscilla and Dusty become more attracted to each other but also do a lot of “he/she loves me, he/she loves me not”, which also leads to them intentionally and unintentionally hurting each other.

Dusty and Priscilla become lovers, which creates its own set of issues. While Priscilla and Dusty play “are we/aren’t we a couple?”, other stories are taking place. One involves Jason Vance, a Virginia native who was on the same stagecoach as Priscilla. He has come to Texas seeking a cache of gold that legend says is buried in Rainbow. Another denizen of Rainbow is Rita Jordan, owner of the town saloon, and a woman with bad blood toward Dusty.

Part Two

Later, Priscilla secretly buys a ranch. The significance of this is that the ranch belonged to Dusty’s family in the past. At first, Dusty is very angry, but he comes around and he and Priscilla get married.

However, Rita and Vance become threats to their marriage: Vance for the gold buried on the ranch Priscilla now owns, and Rita due to being rejected by Dusty years ago. Vance and Rita hold Priscilla hostage to force Dusty to tell Vance where the gold is. Two violent confrontations ensue, one between Dusty and Vance, the other between Priscilla and Rita. Vance assaults Dusty and escapes. Rita is shot and killed when the two women fight over a gun.

Priscilla and Dusty have their Happily Ever After, and the gold has yet to be found…

Upside

Priscilla and Dusty are fairly interesting characters. It is highly unusual in my experience to see a book where the hero’s emotions are on display as they are in Texas Treasure.

Downside

This, however, is not always a good thing. This book is the definition of T.M.I. Ms. Thompson exposes her readers to every emotion Priscilla and Dusty feel.

Every. Single. Emotion.

The book is way too long at 494 pages for the print version I own (average approximately 30 pages per chapter, with many longer than that, around 50-60 pages), which is difficult for time-challenged readers like myself. The Vance/Rita storyline is basically there to make the book longer, and neither they nor Priscilla and Dusty are the type of characters whose actions will be remembered after reading the book.

Sex

The love scenes–between Priscilla and Dusty and between Rita and Vance–are okay at best.

Violence

After Priscilla disciplines one of her male students, he tries to rape her; she is saved by Dusty. Vance shoots and later kills the former owner of Priscilla’s ranch. We learn that Rita is a serial murderess, who had a very traumatic childhood. I described the end of the book violence above.

Bottom Line on Texas Treasure

Victoria Thomspson’s Texas Treasure is not a bad book, but it is also not a dynamic one, with too many issues to keep it from being a very good book.

3 Stars

texas torment

Historical Romance Review: Texas Torment by Catherine Creel

historical romance review
Texas Torment by Catherine Creel
Rating: two-stars
Published: 1985
Illustrator: Oliviero Berni
Imprint or Line: Zebra Lovegram
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance, Western Romance
Format: Paperback
Buy on: AmazonThriftBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader


Historical Romance Review: Texas Torment by Catherine Creel

SPOILER FREE REVIEW 😊

The Book

Texas Torment, a Zebra Lovegram by Catherine Creel is set in Texas, naturally, in the post-Civil War era. In this book, Adelaide has left her husband Daniel and Daniel seeks her out again.

Catherine Creel liked using the “secretly married couple that is separated & then reunited under crazy circumstances” plot, didn’t she? She had a similar thing going on in the much more fun Passion’s Chains.

The Plot

Daniel’s a Yankee, while Adelaide’s family were Confederates. Daniel and Adelaide fell in love and eloped, but the war tore them apart.

Adelaide’s family moved to Texas to start a ranch. Daniel pursues and finds her, buying a neighboring ranch of his own. He agrees to keep their marriage a secret from her family and the townsfolk but is determined to win her love again.

Adelaide is an abrasive heroine and I really could not understand why she was so adamant against being with Daniel. He is such a better hero than she deserved.

Final Analysis of Texas Torment

I wish I knew where I put this book because I had some passages marked noting Daniel’s awesomeness. However, at almost 500 pages, this premise wore thin, leading to a so-so experience. It took me so long to finish Texas Torment that it became Introvert Reader’s Torment!

2 Stars

Rating Report Card
Plot
2.5
Characters
2
Writing
3
Chemistry
2.5
Fun Factor
1.5
Cover
4
Overall: 2.6

Category Romance Review: Fantasy by Emma Darcy

historical romance review
Fantasy by Emma Darcy
Rating: five-stars
Published: 1985
Illustrator: Len Goldberg
Imprint or Line: Harlequin Presents #840
Published by: Harlequin, Mills & Boon
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 192
Format: Paperback, eBook
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader


Category Romance Review: Fantasy by Emma Darcy

The Book

Harlequin Presents #840, Fantasy, is a great oldie by Emma Darcy.

The Plot

Fantasy opens with the heroine, Eve, a fashion model, anxious to arrive home and see her fiancé.

Our heroine gets the shock of her life when she catches her boyfriend cheating. She finds him in bed with another man and her heart is crushed!

Despondent, Eve tries to drown herself in the ocean. Luckily the hero is there to save her life.

He also gives her a nice boost to the old self-esteem to show her that–no matter what her fiancé thinks–she’s a desirable woman.

After their one-night stand, Eve figures she’ll never see the stranger again. How wrong she is.

When they meet again, we discover that the hero is a big-shot businessman whose company is releasing a perfume called Fantasy. He’s running a major ad campaign and naturally demands Eve to be the face of Fantasy.

The hero is in charge of the beach photo shoot. Eve is supposed to pose on the sandy shores with a creepy male model in erotic embraces. She keeps freezing up, so the hero comes in and takes his place.

The heat is off the charts, and Eve can’t deny her attraction anymore or dismiss it as just a momentary lapse into madness.

Final Analysis of Fantasy

I’ve read Fantasy one a couple of times, and it’s such a sweet, cheesy read. I don’t care if the plot is a little unbelievable.

This is just the kind of story a Harlequin Presents should be all about. It’s some sexy little fantasy that makes you smile and not want to throttle the douchey hero for being a dominant ass.

Lucky for us readers, the hero is a dream! Eve’s fantasy becomes reality in the end.

Rating Report Card
Plot
5
Characters
4.5
Writing
4.5
Chemistry
5
Fun Factor
5
Cover
4
Overall: 4.7

Synopsis

HAD SHE DREAMED HIM UP — THIS MAN, THIS FANTASY?

Her fiance’s betrayal and her frenzied flight to a secluded beach near Sydney had been for Eve a nightmare — until the moment a stranger held her in his arms and revealed a lotus land where love was possible …

For a while Eve gave herself up to the joy of loving and being loved for herself and not as the money-making image her fiance had devised with his camera.

She wanted the fantasy to go on forever. Surely to stay would be like trying to prolong a dream …

Fantasy by Emma Darcy
CATEGORIES: , , , , , , , , ,

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