Imprint or Line: Zebra Historical Romance
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance, Romance with Rape Element
Format: Paperback, eBook
Buy on: Amazon, AbeBooks, Open Library (BORROW FOR FREE)
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon
SPOILER ALERT ⚠
First off, let me say that I am a Cassie Edwards fan. I love most of her books and hope one day to own all of them. Having said that, this book–a reprint of a book originally published in 1982–is not one of her best efforts.
Maria Lazzaro and her twin brother Alberto are poor Italians dreaming of a better life in America. That is where their father, Giacomo, emigrated sometime earlier. Eventually, the twins are sent for and they travel on a ship in decrepit conditions to America. Once at sea, Maria and Alberto both lose their innocence. Maria gives hers willingly to the “hero” of the book, Michael Hopper.
Alberto loses his virginity in a far less pleasant way–more on that later.
Michael lies to Maria by telling her he is a buyer for a vintner in America. In actuality, he is a successful businessman investigating the cruel treatment of immigrant miners in one of the many business ventures of an individual named Nathan Hawkins. Why Michael is doing so himself instead of hiring someone isn’t fully explained.
After the ship docks in New York at Ellis Island, Michael and Maria part. They will find each other again in the future.
Maria and Alberto arrive in America thinking their father sent for them. They don’t realize until much later that they were actually sent for by Hawkins. Hawkins needs Alberto to work like his father in Hawkins’ dangerous, unsafe coal mine. Maria, Hawkins wants as his wife.
Brother and sister arrive in the Illinois town of Hawkinsville–also owned by Nathan Hawkins–to realize their lives have not changed for the better as they had hoped. Alberto goes to work alongside his father in the coal mine. Maria pines for Michael.
Maria and Michael find each other again and they have several intimate encounters. Later, Maria is forced to marry Hawkins after he threatens to deport her father and brother.
Eventually, Hawkins gets his comeuppance, Maria and Michael marry and they live happily ever after.
There’s a lot of sex, in Rapture’s Rendezvous though not terribly graphic. Or nice. As mentioned, Maria and Michael have several encounters. Michael also has sex with two other women–his secretary and a prostitute–while he and Maria are apart. There is some salaciousness.
Alberto is robbed and raped by a man/woman criminal duo on board the ship to America, which affects him later. Alberto also has incestuous feelings for Maria.
Maria is forced into a sex act by Hawkins after they are married.
Not much, but some. Alberto gets revenge on his rapist/robbers and hits both the man and woman.
There is also a fight scene in which Michael is assaulted and gets help from Alberto. Hawkins is eventually killed, and although he is shot, it is not graphically described.
Bottom Line on Rapture’s Rendezvous
As stated, Rapture’s Rendezvous is not one of Mrs. Edwards’ best books. The characters vacillate between whiny and barely likable. The “hero” isn’t really heroic, and the heroine, while being attractive physically, is less attractive because she is somewhat of a weak, whiny individual.
If one is interested in Cassie Edwards’ books, I recommend her “Savage” series. Those books are far better than wasting your time on this drivel.
|Rating Report Card|
A Woman’s Love
Maria Lazzaro was as ripe and as sweet as the full, juicy grapes that grew in her homeland’s vineyards. And as she boarded an immigrant ship for America, the olive-skinned, raven-haired beauty met the only man she could ever love. That night, with feverish desire, frantic passion, and wild, sensuous rapture, she gave herself to Michael in a moment she knew would bond them for eternity.
A Man’s LiesRapture’s Rendezvous by Cassie Edwards
Though they would have to part once they reached America, handsome Michael Hopper couldn’t deny himself the enticing wench. He had to take advantage of her innocent allure. Branding her satin throat with kisses, he promised his devotion forever. Searing her silken skin with caresses, he vowed his undying love. No matter what, he had to have her. And no matter what, he would have to leave her…Rapture’s Rendezvous