Thursday, March 5, 2015

[Kame's Review]: "Sweet Release"

Sweet Release by Pamela Clare
Publisher: Leisure Books (November 1, 2008)
Series: Blakewell/Kenleigh Family Trilogy, 1
Genre: Historical Romance

For five pounds in cash, the convict was hers. Though Cassie hated the slave trade, her Virginia plantation demanded the labor, and she knew this fevered man would surely die if she left him. But as his wounds healed and his muscled chest bronzed from the sun, Cassie realized Cole Braden was far more dangerous than his papers had indicated --- for he could steal her breath with a glance or lay siege to her senses with a touch.

Abducted, beaten, and given a new name, Alec went from master of an English shipbuilding empire to fourteen years of indentured servitude in the American colonies. There, he was known as Cole Braden, a convicted ravisher and defiler of women. And while he longed to ravish the auburn-haired beauty who owned him, he knew his one hope of earning her love --- and his freedom --- was to prove his true identity. Only then could he turn the tables and attain his ... Sweet Release.

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Kame's Review:

Alec Kenleigh is a titled Englishman. His family and business responsibilities take most of his time, so women not looking for commitment entertain his free time. His life changes as he rides home in his carriage after an evening with his mistress and he wakes up in the American Colonies.

“My interest in you has little to do with the status of your maidenhead and everything to do with your charms, which, if I may say so, are sorely lacking at the moment.”

Alec is just swoony – yes I made up a term!  Imagine waking to find out people think you are a convict and no one believes your story. Alec is confident the situation will be resolved and instead of acting like a spoiled brat he does the work he is tasked to do. But he does more than that, he befriends slaves and bondsman all while putting in laborious work he has never really known. He also quietly steals Cassie’s heart. Cassie is not obsessed with finery and balls. She is determined that while her father is away to keep the plantation functioning in the manner he always did, all to keep the legacy for her young brother that she is raising. She is mistress of the plantation but she runs it with a sharp business mind and a soft hand. She cares deeply for those on her land, sometimes making a decision with her heart rather than her business sense.

Alec and Cassie have an immediate attraction. Propriety and assumptions keep them apart. Cassie wants to guard her heart against someone who would just lie to gain her trust and their freedom, but as time passes she realizes Alec is a man of honor. Alec knows as a convict he has no right to Cassie’s heart and is humbled by her eventual acceptance of what he claims is the truth. Their romantic scenes are sweet and hot at the same time. You can tell they have given their hearts to each other even though they don’t dare say the words. There are also moments in their story that made me chuckle.

“Why did you change your mind and come to my bed?”

“The roof to my cabin was leaking frightfully.”

The plot spans many months, which makes sense since a telephone call to England to check out Alec’s story is not possible. During that time we learn about the process of planting and harvesting tobacco giving us a historical placeholder and allowing us to see telling parts of Alec and Cassie’s character. We also see the loving bond of brother and sister. The group of secondary characters are just lovely, expertly crafted with as much care as the hero and heroine. Zach and Luke are some of my favorites. They could have easily been written with little depth or humor, but at times they had me laughing and smiling as much as the hero and heroine.

In the end the conflict that threatens Alec and Cassie’s love is one that many would find unbearable.  Their resolve that their love would prevail is astounding and sometimes I wondered where they got their strength. Each are selfless in their love for each other and the other’s wellbeing is always the highest priority. Cassie at one point does something scandalous in the name of her love for Alec and I wanted to stand up and cheer. The ending was just wonderful and I am thankful that we were treated to an epilogue that tied up loose ends for many characters, not just Cassie and Alec.

“Look at me, Cassie.”

Slowly she lifted her gaze to his, her eyes full of wariness.

“I will never forsake you. That I promise.”

“Alec, I ----“

He held a finger to her lips to still her. “I know we’ve spoken no vows, but I swear before God I will make you my wife as soon as I am able.”

Years ago I read historical romance almost exclusively, but it is a genre I have not read much lately. As anyone who follows my reviews knows I am a HUGE Pamela Clare fan, and after much prompting from a friend (thank you Jackie!) I decided to try the first book Pamela ever wrote.  YES, this is the first book she ever wrote, and it was AMAZING. Pamela crafts her characters as a sculptor works with their medium to find the beauty underneath. This maybe a book set in 1730 Colonial America but it has all the elements I love in her romantic suspense – Alec has the kindness of Julian, the resourcefulness of Marc and is a quiet refined statesman like Reece; and Cassie is as independent as any I-Team heroine.  The plot has twists and turns with the right amount of sweet heat. Fans of Pamela Clare romantic suspense should find her historicals a wonderful way to pass time until her next I-Team novel is released.

I will be reading the remaining books in this trilogy in the coming months.


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Kame bought a copy of this book.

*Note: The quotes used belong to Pamela Clare; Kame and TBQ's Book Palace do not claim them.

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Thanks for the review, Kame! :) I need to read more of Clare's books, the few I have read, I've loved. 

Have you read Pamela Clare before? Do you have a favorite of hers?

Remember, since this is a Royal Pick, come back on Mar 26th for a chance to WIN an ecopy of your own!


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!


Jackie Turner said...

Love this book, and this author, so much! She has three series and I tend to partial to her historicals. Great review, I really hope people will check it out :).

Sophia Rose said...

I read this one a few years back and was blow away by it. I think I filled two tissues reading that stuff at the end. Nice review, Kame! Love the quotes too.