Rapture’s Dream is a solid Zebra historical romance by Carol Finch, starring a heroic heroine who disguises herself as a boy and a ship captain hero tormented by nightmares.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, Sweet Savage Flame earns a small percentage from qualifying purchases.Rapture's Dream by Carol Finch, Connie Fedderson
Illustrator: Walter Popp
Imprint or Line: Zebra Historical Romance
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance
Buy on: Amazon, AbeBooks
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon
TOTAL SPOILER ALERT ⚠
This review is of Rapture’s Dream by Carol Finch, a Zebra historical romance from 1982.
Side note: Carol Finch is one of 4 names author Connie Feddersen has had books published under. Her other pseudonyms are Debra Falcon and Gina Robins.
Rapture’s Dream by Carol Finch begins with the hero of the book, Captain Daniel “Dane” Hampton, 33, suffering from one of his many recurring nightmares. These nightmares are survivor’s guilt, as he was the only survivor on a ship he was captaining, which perished.
Later, we meet the book’s heroine, Gabrielle Jarmon, 18. Gabrielle lives with her hateful uncle, Lord John Jarmon, and his cowed, milquetoast daughter, Elaine.
Gabrielle and John have been at “Sixes and Sevens” since she came to live with him after her father died. As such, their relationship doesn’t get any more pleasant when John schemes to marry Gabrielle off to a lecherous old duke.
Dane and Gabrielle meet when she rescues him after a mysterious assailant shoots him. They are immediately attracted to each other. Soon the two begin to engage in an emotional relationship, much to John’s dismay.
Later, Gabrielle disguises herself as a boy–calling herself “Gabe”–and goes to live in Dane’s house, where they become lovers.
As the Rapture’s Dream goes on, several attempts are made to end Dane’s life. Fortunately for him, “Gabrielle/Gabe” is always there to save his life. Eventually, Dane realizes that someone from his past is trying to kill him.
The mystery of the attempts on Dane’s–and Gabrielle’s–lives is resolved at the end. The couple enjoys their Happily Ever After.
Regardless of which name she writes under, there is one thing readers can count on from this author: strong, spirited heroines. Gabrielle is brave and heroic, more so than the hero. Both Gabrielle and Dane are fairly deep characters who display their emotions.
Dane sometimes acts like the typical arrogant romance novel hero, which I’m not fond of. The supporting characters are one-dimensional, and the mystery–while surprising at the end–feels tacked on. It is not as developed as I think it could have been.
The reasons for Dane’s nightmares are not explained at all.
If you like purple prose, you’ll love Carol Finch’s books. Like many 1980’s romances, this book is full of the purplest of purple prose. The love scenes are mildly descriptive.
Heat Level: Warm
Multiple attempts on Dane and Gabrielle’s lives. None are successful. At the end of the book, the people responsible for the attempts are killed. The violence is not graphic.
Bottom Line on Rapture’s Dream
Carol Finch is a reliable author. There’s a lot to like about Rapture’s Dream, but the issues stated above keep the book out of the 5-star range.
|Rating Report Card|
He came each night to the peaks of pleasure as he held her silky body in his arms. The Honeyed softness of her kisses and the searing fires of her caresses left him yearning for more. She tempted and taunted, yet satisfied his desires as no other. But her identity was a secret, her name a mystery–she was his phantom lover…
She came each night to Dane’s bed, just as he closed his eyes. Gabrielle knew it was a dangerous game to play but she was under his magic spell. She trembled with ecstasy when he molded himself to her body. She prayed he would never let her go. For if Dane discovered who she really was, the truth would forever shatter their Rapture’s DreamRapture’s Dream by Carol Finch