This is the debut novel of Pamela Clare and surprisingly it is outstanding. A lot of debut books are a little slow and you can just tell the author was starting out not so with Ms. Clare. This book is the wonderful story of Alec Kenleigh a wealthy English gentleman that is kidnapped, beaten within an inch of his life and then transported to the colonies in the early 1700's to be sold as a slave. Luck however sees him safely into the hands and home of Cassie Blakewell a fiery and beautiful daughter of a plantation owner in Virginia. Cassie is left at the helm of her father's plantation when unbeknownst to everyone else her father has suffered a severe spell that has left him as helpless as a babe. And as her brother the true heir to the family estate is still a young boy the entire burden of the plantation and running of the family business etc. falls on Cassie.
Cassie is immediately drawn to the new slave Cole she purchased out of sympathy (he is quite in a bad way when he is presented as one of the slaves avalible for purchase he is near death from being beaten and running a terrible fever).
Cole (Alec) has suffered amnesia and has been passed off as a criminal and a ravisher of women. Will Cole/Alec with the help of the brave and beautiful lady that is now his master be able to prove his innocence and regain his freedom and his rightful place as the head of a very wealthy shipping line?
Cassie despite the accusations against Cole/Alec befriends him and it isn't long before Cole is not only trying to prove his innocence for his own sake, but that he might be able to claim the heart and hand of his enchanting mistress.
This is much more than your average historical romance Ms. Clare is wonderful in her attention to detail and she spins an absolutely enthralling love story here. I thoroughly enjoyed this stunning debut novel and as I stated in my review of Carnal Gift, Ms. Clare is now one of those at the top of my to buy list she truly is one of the best new authors out there.
Though Cassie hates the slave trade, her Virginia plantation demands the labor, and she knows this fevered convict will surely die if she leaves him. But Cassie realizes Cole Braden is far more dangerous than his papers have indicated -- for he can steal her breath with a glance or lay siege to her senses with a touch. Abducted and beaten, Cole goes from master of an English shipbuilding empire to years of indentured servitude in the American colonies. And while he longs to ravish the beauty who owns him, his one hope of earning her love -- and his freedomyis to prove his true identity. Only then can he turn the tables and attain his sweet release.