Imprint or Line: Zebra Heartfire
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Bodice Ripper, Historical Romance
Buy on: Amazon
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon
When lovely abolitionist Selene Sprague overheard secret Confederate strategy, the spiriited miss knew right then and there her duty was to inform the Union army. But as she galloped off into the inky night, cunning Rebel officer Wade Kinsolving reined in her horse and managed to lock Selene in his arms until she revealed her scheme. Refusing to admit to the pleasure of his embrace, the patriotic wench swore she’d undermine the traitor’s plans—even if it meant pretending ecstasy with each kiss they shared.
Captain Wade Kinsolving figured the gorgeous eavesdropper was up to no good, but since the sumptuous spy was so enticing, he’d punish her his own way. His bedroll would be her prison, his company would be her penance, and his caresses would be her torture. The arrogant Southerner gloried in ruining each of the willful girl’s tricks and, craving the challenge of changing the hatred in her eyes to rapture, decided he’d make her his forever, as his own foxy, sassy Yankee mistress.YANKEE MISTRESS by ASHLEY SNOW
SPOILER ALERT ⚠
This review is of Yankee Mistress a standalone from May 1989 by Ashley Snow, published by Zebra/Kensington as a Zebra Heartfire.
Yankee Mistress by Ashley Snow begins at an unspecified time during the Civil War. Selene Sprague, the heroine, is working in a tavern in Manassas, Virginia for her uncle, John Carpenter–both of her parents have passed. She overhears information about the Confederate war plans which will be helpful to the Union Army. Selene tries to get the plans to the Union forces but is stopped by Confederate Captain Wade Kinsolving, the hero of the book.
Wade later rapes Selene, who tries again to escape but is caught again by Wade.
After catching her again, Wade kidnaps Selene and takes her first to Norfolk, Virginia, and later to Barbados. (This is all to save his mission). He also marries Selene in a shipboard ceremony.
Selene and Wade are happy as a couple in Barbados. For a while, anyway. Their happiness ends when Simon Lazar, a contemporary of Selene’s from Virginia, arrives. Later, Lazar and Selene head to London. Wade soon arrives in London, and he and Selene reunite and have sex. He also achieves part of his mission, or so he thinks. Selene leaves London after being brutally assaulted by Lazar and killing him.
Selene returns to Virginia to search for Wade. Their first reunion doesn’t go well, but eventually, they reconcile.
In the end, Wade kills Lazar, who miraculously survived his attempted killing by Selene, and she and Wade have their Happily Ever After.
There is one good sex scene in the book. Beyond that…
Wade is a 2x rapist, an emotional, mental, and physical abuser. He is, to put it simply, a human piece of fecal matter.
While I can give Selene some credit for her strength in nursing the wounded and dead during the Civil War, and I can allow that she has little control over what happens to her due to the fact that she has no money, I can criticize her for her decision to fall in love with an individual who abuses her and treats her poorly throughout the book, which I found extraordinarily stupid. There is zero character development and no romance at all between Selene and Wade. None of the characters in the book are remotely likable.
As mentioned, there is one good sex scene. There are others, but they don’t approach a decent level.
As mentioned, Wade rapes Selene twice. She is also raped a third time by a peer of the realm. There are other scenes of assault, battery, wounded soldiers, and killings. The violence other than the rapes is not graphic.
Bottom Line on Yankee Mistress
I never thought I would read a book worse than Cassie Edwards’ dreadful, Eugenia’s Embrace. With Yankee Mistress, Ashley Snow has proven me sadly wrong.
Tropes: Civil War. Historical Romance. Rapist “Hero”.