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Crystal Passion by Jo GoodmanCasee’s review of Crystal Passion (The McClellen Family, Book 1) by Jo Goodman
Historical romance released by Zebra 1 Sep 99 (orig. Aug 1985)

I am really beginning to wonder if there is a Jo Goodman book that I won’t like in existence. I’m thinking not. I continue to be obsessed impressed with Goodman’s ability to draw me into the story.

[Ed.: for a peek at the original 1985 cover, roll your mouse over the blue book cover.  It’s so 80’s, isn’t it?]

Crystal Passion begins the McClellan Trilogy with the story of Salem McClellan. Arriving in England for business on the behalf of his family, Salem begins inquiring about the Duke of Linfield at the request of his father. Given precious little information, all Salem knows is that he’s looking for a branded horse. Arriving at the Linfield estate, Salem accepts the duke’s hospitality, unaware of the motives behind his invitation. As discreetly as possibly, Salem goes searching for this horse that seems so important to his father.

Ashley Lynne has been the ward of the Duke of Linfield for her whole life. Never having left the estate, Ashley has found some measure of peace in her life, even aside from the duke’s cruelty. Ashley takes heart when Nigel seems to forget her existence. Unfortunately for her, he’s about to remember her with a vengeance. Insisting that she marry an aging aristocrat, Ashley rebels. Though she has never lacked courage, she wisely learned to keep it hidden over the years. When she’s informed of Nigel’s plans for her, that courage comes bubbling to the surface and she adamantly refuses to fall in with his plans. It’s only when Salem McClellan arrives at Linfield House that she realizes the depths that Nigel will go to punish her.

Little did she know that her punishment would turn out to be her savior.

Though Salem eventually brings Ashley to America safely, they both underestimate Nigel’s obsession with his young ward. It isn’t until the story of her birth is revealed by Salem’s father (Ashley is the branded filly he was sent to find) that Ashley fully understands that Nigel will not just give up. Still, ensconced on the McClellan land, Ashley feels rather confident that he will not come after her.

This is another great book by Jo Goodman. I know I’m beginning to (okay, maybe I already am) sound like a broken record about these books, but I just can’t help myself. The love story of Ashley and Salem spans over the ocean, from England to America. As war begins to break out between England and America, Ashley gives Salem her full loyalty. This is a love that survives more than one heartbreak and is that much stronger because of it.

Book Binge Reviewer's IconGrade: A+

     Ashley Lynne had never expected kindness from her guardian, the cruel Duke of Linfield. But to be betrothed by him to an aging peer she hardly knew was unthinkable. Even worse was the cost of her resistance, for Ashley awoke from a drugged sleep to find herself in the bedchamber of a dark-haired, steel-eyed stranger.

     Sent to England on business, Captain Salem McClellan assumed the lovely young woman curled in his bed was only an evening’s entertainment supplied by the Duke of Linfield. Ashley’s terrified protests were proof of her innocence – and a powerful inspiration to rescue the young beauty from her guardian’s clutches.

     From the gloomy docks of London to the lush green hills of Virginia, Salem and Ashley embark on a journey that plunges them into scandalous family secrets, and into the danger of the American Revolution. Together, they will fight for America’s freedom, and the promise of being wrapped in each other’s arms…forever.

     No excerpt to be found.

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