Imprint or Line: Zebra Heartfire Romance
Book Series: Blue Falcon
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Antebellum Southern Romance, Historical Romance
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon
This review is of Shameless Ecstasy by Thea Devine, a standalone from Zebra Historical Romance, published in May 1989.
Shameless Ecstasy takes place on Swany Island, Georgia. One of the residents there is Sarianna Broydon. Sarianna lives with her father, Rex, her stepmother, Vesta, and Vesta’s daughter, Jeralee.
The relationship between Rex and Sarianna is not good for many reasons. Stepping into this family drama is Cade Rensell. Cade was born in Georgia, left, and has returned with some scores to settle.
As part of Cade’s revenge plan, he and Sarianna become lovers, whom Vesta and Rex catch in a compromising position. Despite Rex’s objections, he agrees to let Sarianna and Cade marry.
Sarianna and Cade marry despite Jeralee’s attempts to impede the process. Sarianna and Cade relocate to Savannah and begin their married life together. They are happy on one level, but there are many difficulties beneath the surface and two above it: Vesta and Jeralee.
Soon, after Sarianna suffers a miscarriage and other issues, she and Cade separate.
She goes to Charleston, South Carolina, to live with her late mother’s cousin. Cade follows her and tries to win her back.
He’s not the only one following Sarianna to South Carolina. Vesta and Jeralee do as well, and they visit and try to create problems for Sarianna. This time, they don’t succeed.
Ultimately, Vesta tries to kill Sarianna, but Cade stops her. He and Sarianna reconcile and get their Happily Ever After.
The best part of this Southern Antebellum re-telling of Cinderella is Sarianna, who is subjected to various forms of emotional and mental cruelty throughout her life. The fact that she can still be a loving person is a testament to her.
The sex scenes are also very good for a late 1980s mainstream romance novel.
To be more specific, the majority of the characters in Shameless Ecstasy are thoroughly unlikeable.
The cruelty that Rex, Vesta, and Jeralee exert toward Sarianna also contains sleazy elements. Although Ms. Devine tries to sell the book as a love story, there is no real love between Cade and Sarianna.
He wants her for revenge against Rex. Cade lusts after her, even though he verbalizes the words. “I love you” to Sarianna, but Cade’s actions tell a completely different story.
As mentioned, the love scenes are pretty good. They’re mildly descriptive and fairly erotic.
Thea Devine excels at writing steamy scenes. This is a Zebra that transcends warmth into hotness and sensuality.
Vesta tries to kill Sarianna by stabbing her. She wounds Sarianna, but the injuries are not life-threatening.
Bottom Line on Shameless Ecstasy
The only ecstasy I felt after reading Shameless Ecstasy by Thea Devine was the fact that it was finally over.
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