In faraway Spain Aurora’s fortune was foretold –the exile from the home of her aristocratic ancestors, the journey to the steaming jungles of Peru, and at last, the love of a fiery dark man.
Now on a plantation haunted by a tale of lost love and hidden gold, the raven-tressed beauty awaits the swordsman and warrior she has seen in her dreams. Will he come-and protect her from the enemies that seek to destroy her? Will he love her with the promised passion-wilder than the tropic storms and brighter than the most precious treasure?AND GOLD WAS OURS by REBECCA BRANDEWYNE
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader
MILD SPOILERS 😉
The Book and the Setup
And Gold Was Ours is a sequel to Rebecca Brandewyne‘s Love, Cherish Me. However, I’d consider this more of a companion piece. The hero, Esteban, is the cousin to Wolf (Lobo), the male protagonist from Love Cherish, Me. Wolf’s story takes place in Texas, USA. Esteban’s begins in Spain and ends in Peru. While both novels have Brandewyne’s hallmark baroque-gothic atmosphere, And Gold Was Ours is not as dark and emotional as its predecessor.
What this romance does have are swashbuckling intrigue and a unique setting. It also employs a supernatural element.
Our story begins in Spain, sometime in the mid-19th century, under the reign of Isabel II. The book opens with a swordfight between Esteban and his evil stepfather. Although Esteban has right on his side, after he kills his stepfather, his wicked stepbrother vows revenge. So Esteban is forced to leave everything behind and flee to the New World.
Aurora Leila, also in Spain, has a fortune teller foresee her future. She is told that she’ll have to leave her home for faraway lands. There, she will find a love that has awaited her for eternity. While Aurora scoffs at the seer, the woman is correct. Some misadventures with a lusty nun occur while Aurora is in a convent. Like Esteban, Aurora must leave her birthplace behind. She travels thousands of miles away to Peru.
It takes some time for the love story to begin, as Brandewyne puts the players into their starting places.
When Esteban and Aurora meet in South America, it’s as if they’ve known each other for all time. A bond exists between them, which seems to have existed since time primordial. Theirs is a fated love, one passionate and thrilling.
There are villains aplenty and crazy adventures along the way as they fall in love in the jungles of Peru. Danger lurks as enemies compete for land. A search for legendary ancient treasure leads to mortal peril.
Midway through the book, Esteban and Aurora take a side trip to Texas. They share happy moments with Storm, Lobo, and their son, Chance. If you’ve read Love Cherish Me, this part hits hard in the feels. This was a brief halcyon period for Storm and Lobo before tragedy struck.
Then it’s back to Peru for Esteban and Aurora, who must overcome scheming antagonists.
And unfortunately, we encounter Esteban’s 180-degree heel-turn. He starts out as a dashing, romantic character and then, out of nowhere, turns into a jealous stalker. It was out of place and made Esteban less likable.
Meanwhile, Aurora has visions of the two of them in times past. She sees images from ancient Egypt to Viking lands and other eras long ago when she and Esteban had loved each other. Through forces of fate, they were forever being separated.
Is their love doomed to fail in this time and place as well?
Final Analysis of And Gold Was Ours
I didn’t particularly appreciate Esteban’s personality transplant, how became an insecure stalker mid-way through. There was no reason for him to mistrust Aurora, who was totally devoted to him.
While I enjoyed And Gold Was Ours as it had its adventurous moments, it pales compared to Love Cherish, Me. That book was far grander in scope and emotional depth.
I didn’t expect the paranormal elements, although they added a unique twist to the plot. The prose is at times overwrought and very florid, typical of Brandewyne’s style. The love scenes are euphemistically erotic.
And Gold Was Ours started a little slow-paced and gets too wordy in certain sections. It was not one of my favorites by Rebecca Brandewyne, but it’s not the worst book by any means.
File this under the “I enjoyed it very much but didn’t love it” category. Esteban’s misplaced jealousy aside, for the most part, it was a compelling read.