Illustrator: Ray Kursar
Imprint or Line: Zebra Historical Romance
Book Series: Chippewa #1
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance, Native American Romance, Western Romance
Buy on: Amazon
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon
SPOILER ALERT ⚠
This review is of Savage Obsession, book #1 in the “Chippewa” series by Cassie Edwards. (Note, only the first two books in the “series” appear to be related to each other).
The book begins in Minnesota in 1859 in a remote area outside of modern-day St. Paul. It is here that Lorinda Odell, 17, the heroine of the book, lives with her father, Derrick, her mother Mavis, and her 5-month-old sister, Amanda. The Odells are not a well-off family, and so Derrick’s sister, Rettie, who owns a boarding house in town, urges Derrick and Mavis to let Lorinda stay with her for a better life. They reluctantly agree.
Lorinda runs into problems in town, however, namely being accosted, kidnapped, and nearly raped by Lamont Quimby, owner of a mining camp and one of Rettie’s boarders. She is saved from him by Yellow Feather, the hero of the book. Yellow Feather is the son of–and therefore future chief of–a band of Chippewa Indians led currently by his father, Chief Wind Whisperer.
As their relationship deepens, Lorinda and Yellow Feather face many challenges:
The kidnapping of Amanda by Sioux Indians after they kill Derrick and Mavis; Amanda is later rescued.
Another villain, Silas Konrad, tries to rape Lorinda.
Flying Squirrel, Yellow Feather’s friend, is far less a loyal friend than Yellow Feather believed at one time.
Foolish Heart: Before being banished for her actions, she was one of Yellow Feather’s wives. Another wife, Happy Flower, is pregnant with his child. She is used and abused by Quimby before being abandoned.
By the end of the book, Amanda is found, Lorinda and Yellow Feather-somewhat-reconcile with Rettie, Lorinda gives birth to a son, Gray Wolf–who gets his own story later–,and Lorinda and Yellow Feather have their Happily Ever After.
Mrs. Edwards does a lot of research into each Tribe of the books that she writes about, and it shows.
Although I am a fan of Mrs. Edwards–mostly for her love scenes–I am also not unaware of her many issues as a writer. Mrs. Edwards’s career essentially ended after being accused by the romance novel blog Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. of being a plagiarist.
Then there is the fact that Mrs. Edwards’ novels, especially her Native American books, are horribly formulaic. That formula, which is on full display in Savage Obsession, goes like this:
The beautiful, innocent, naive, sweet heroine, who is almost always Anglo, meets and falls in love with handsome, noble, strong, Indian brave, who is ALWAYS either the chief or son of–and therefore future chief–of his band of the Tribe of the Book.
After they fall in love, the hero and heroine’s love is threatened by the Evil White Man, the Evil Indian Brave, and/or the Evil Indian Maiden. While these efforts ultimately fail, the Evil characters do manage to cause the hero and heroine pain and suffering before the hero and heroine find happiness. (All of the above characters appear in Savage Obsession. Quimby and Konrad are the Evil White Men, Flying Squirrel is the Evil Indian Brave, and Foolish Heart fills the Evil Indian Maiden quota).
I didn’t find either Lorinda or Yellow Feather particularly likable. Lorinda is whiny–although to her credit, she kills Quimby as he’s trying to rape her. But Yellow Feather is an obnoxious, unfeeling individual whose verbal tone toward Lorinda is described–constantly–by Mrs. Edwards using the adjective “flatly”. The “romance” between Lorinda and Yellow Feather is very much a Stockholm-Syndrome type of romance with little to no passion or tenderness.
Mrs. Edwards’s love scenes are the best part of her books for me. They aren’t super erotic all the time, but she is willing to occasionally add some pepper to the soup.
Savage Obsession contains scenes of assault, battery, attempted rape, and murder. Most of the scenes aren’t graphic.
Bottom Line on Savage Obsession
Mrs. Edwards’ books are like going to a fast-food chain restaurant. You pretty much know what you’re going to get. From what I read of others’ reviews of her books, there is no middle ground with Mrs. Edwards’ work. Some love her, and others absolutely hate her. I’m kind of in the middle.
Savage Obsession won’t make anyone a fan of Mrs. Edwards’ work who wasn’t already one.
POSSESSED BY HIS STRENGTH
Orphaned when Indians slayed her parents, kidnapped by a lustful lumberjack, stunning Lorinda was sure nothing worse could ever happen in life… until she saw the broad- shouldered, copper-skinned brave towering over her. Instant terror made her shiver with fear, but shameless instinct made her tremble with desire–and somehow she felt that her fate would always he bound to his.
CHARMED BY HER BEAUTYSavage Obsession by CASSIE EDWARDS
As Yellow Feather gazed at his white captive’s satiny mane of auburn hair, he was compelled to caress her creamy skin and gentle curves. His burning touch commanded her to respond to his ardor; his enflamed need demanded she return his love. The handsome Indian wanted her to be more than his prisoner; he wanted a woman to possess forever. And, deep inside, Lorinda sensed he was so much more than a heartless captor–he was the only man for her. He was her…