In Gloria Jones-Wolf only published novel, Secret Rapture, a young woman sails the High Seas from France to New Orleans, Louisiana along with a dashing captain to find a cure for her dying sister.
Illustrator: Franco Accornero
Imprint or Line: Zebra Heartfire
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance
Buy on: Amazon, AbeBooks
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon
TOTAL SPOILER ALERT ⚠
This review is of Secret Rapture by Gloria Jones-Wolf, a Zebra Heartfire romance that takes us from France to New Orleans.
Part One: France and the High Seas
Secret Rapture begins in Bordeaux, France, circa 1838. Sabrina Rancine, 18, the book’s heroine, has come to the “po’ side” of town to try to obtain passage on a ship to America for herself and her younger sister, Denise.
Denise is seriously ill. Later, it is revealed that Denise has leukemia.
After failing to get anyone to take them, Sabrina approaches David Wolfe, the book’s hero and captain of the Sea Wolf. Sabrina agrees to be David’s bed partner if he will accept the sisters on his ship. They make a deal.
So as the Sea Wolf sails, Sabrina and David become lovers.
Problems soon arise. They both are falling in love with each other but don’t want to acknowledge it to the other person.
But there is a bigger problem: David believes Sabrina is–with absolutely no evidence to back up this theory–a gold-digging whore.
Part Two: New Orleans, Louisiana
When the ship arrives in New Orleans, Sabrina and David part company–for now. Sabrina and Denise find a place to live, Sabrina gets a job and meets a doctor, Therrel Latrobe, who might be able to help Denise. What Sabrina doesn’t know is that Dr. Latrobe is falling in love with her.
Sadness occurs when Denise passes, and Sabrina discovers she is pregnant by David. Sabrina soon receives two marriage proposals, one from Therrel and one from David. She turns down Therrel–whom she doesn’t love–to marry David–whom she does love. But Sabrina isn’t sure he loves her back.
Sabrina and David’s marriage isn’t a happy one at the beginning due to a lack of communication and Sabrina’s yellow fever and miscarriage.
However, in the end, Sabrina and David realize they do, in fact, love each other, reconcile, and have their Happily Ever After.
Sabrina is an easy heroine to root for and like. I felt her discomfort at having to sacrifice her virginity to get help for Denise, I felt her pain when Denise passed, and I felt her pain at feeling unloved by David.
At the same time, I liked the fact that Sabrina was self-sufficient. Although others helped her, she didn’t rely on David for financial support when the ship docked in New Orleans. She then found a place to live and employment and supported herself and Denise via her own efforts.
David started okay, then became an obnoxious bastard in the middle/end, but he slightly redeemed himself at the conclusion of Secret Rapture. Overall, however, I found him hard to like.
As for the book, there isn’t much depth here. For storylines that require emotional depth–Denise’s passing, Sabrina’s miscarriage–Ms. Jones-Wolf doesn’t provide the emotional deepness necessary.
Like too many books, Ms. Jones-Wolf falls back on the “mis/ lack-of-communication” trope to create tension between her hero and heroine.
The love scenes are fairly tame and not particularly exciting or erotic.
Steam level = Lukewarm
Sabrina is nearly raped twice in Secret Rapture. Thankfully, both attempts are thwarted before anything happens.
Later, David and Therrel engage in a duel. Both men are shot, but neither suffers life-threatening injuries.
Bottom Line on Secret Rapture
Secret Rapture–the only book Ms. Jones-Wolf wrote–is a fairly good romance. However, it has too many issues which keep it from being anything other than middle-of-the-road.
|Rating Report Card|
A MISSION OF LOVESecret Rapture by Gloria Jones-Wolf
It was her only chance. Sabrina had to book passage for her sister and herself on a ship bound for America. So she gathered her courage and approached Captain David Wolfe with the hope of trading the one thing she had of any value–her virtue. But one look at the virile stranger and Sabrina lost her heart… She began to dream about the dark-haired man, about how it would feel to be in his strong arms as the salt-air of the ocean caressed their skin. Even though she was an innocent, Sabrina knew that David would be the one to make her body come alive like never before–and she could not wait for the day when he would make her his own!
A MEETING OF FATE
David Wolfe didn’t like to take chances. But when the attractive young vixen approached him with her unique proposal–her virtue in exchange for passage to America–he couldn’t resist. He had known many women before, but something about this green-eyed beauty turned his head like no other. He knew that she was inexperienced in the ways of love, but he wanted to be the one to teach her… He longed to stroke her silky skin, wind his fingers in her shiny hair and kiss her soft lips until she tasted his pleasure. If it took all night he’d release her into SECRET RAPTURE