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Seaswept Abandon by Jo GoodmanCasee’s review of Seaswept Abandon by Jo Goodman
Historical romance released in Sep 1986 and by Zebra 1 Sep 2000

This may be a bit shocking, so brace yourself. This is the first ever Jo Goodman review where I am not going to gush. Not that I didn’t like it. It just wasn’t what I have come to expect when I pick up a Goodman book. I’m not disillusioned. Not yet anyway. I figure every author deserves a second chance. Or a third. Or a fourth. [Ed.: Float your cursor over the cover to see some 1980’s cover goodness.]

Seaswept Abandon had one plot device that I really dislike. Amnesia. There’s some cases where it works (Mirror Image by Sandra Brown), but in this case I really didn’t like it. Of course I continued to read the book and tried to be unbiased. This worked…for the most part.

This is the 2nd installment in the McClellan family trilogy. Jo Goodman brings us the story of Rahab McClellan, sister to Salem (Crystal Passion). Rae has been living with her brother and sister-in-law in New York for months. Feeling out of sorts and useless, Rae eagerly accepts Ashley’s request that Rae take her place in passing correspondence to a Washington aide. Having stood by for months watching both Salem and Ashley help the Continental Army with their fight against the British, Rae is more than ready to assist.

Being sent to a tavern, all Ashley told Rae was that the shawl she’s wearing will be the signal her contact needs to approach her. What they both don’t know is that Ashley’s usual contact was replaced at the last minute by one Jericho Smith. Though most of the McClellan family knows Smith, Rae has never met him, nor has Smith ever seen Rae. Not knowing her doesn’t stop Smith from intervening when Rae accidentally kills a man that tries to accost her. No matter that he thinks she’s a whore, he still can’t stand by while Rae is lynched by an angry mob.

I was pretty engrossed up until this point. It’s after Smith gets Rae back to his schooner and she awakens that Goodman started losing me. See, Rae has no memory of the attack nor does she remember anything before. All she knows is what Jericho tells her…she sleeps with men for money. She has no reason not to believe him. Another thing she knows is that Jericho wants her and despises what she is, all at the same time.

Eventually Rae’s family finds her with Smith, of course. When Rae goes back to her family, she tries to forget Smith but can’t. Smith goes back to spying for the Army yet he can’t forget Rae. When an injury forces him out of commission, he finds himself at McClellan’s Landing where he decides that he will make himself worthy of Rae.

The story takes another turn, yet again, when Rae and Smith find themselves in England against their will. You see, the Duke of Linfield (Ashley’s uncle from Crystal Passion) has not stopped in his quest to bring Ashley back to him. Unfortunately (or fortunately) for him, he gets Rae instead of Ashley though he doesn’t realize it at first. This part of the book was the most interesting to me. It intertwines Smith’s past (which is gradually revealed) with his future. Goodman tied this part up quite nicely.

In the beginning of the book, there is a letter to the reader. Goodman states that the reader may be dismayed by Smith’s treatment of Rae. I wasn’t really bothered by his treatment of her because I believe that it fit the story and his character. What I didn’t like was Rae. She was so hell bent on proving that she was capable of taking care of herself, yet she didn’t. Even knowing she was in danger, she still chose to stay in a situation that could kill her. I just couldn’t comprehend her stupidity or naiveté. She almost crossed the TSTL line.

Of course I still plan on reading the third and final installment of this trilogy. I was just a bit disappointed by Seaswept Abandon.

Book Binge Reviewer's IconGrade: C+

Flooded with desire

When green-eyed Rae McClellan agreed to be a courier for the Colonies, she never dreamed that on her very first mission she’d coldly kill one man – and hotly love another. But one thing led to another in the boisterous Redcoat tavern and before the spirited beauty could think what to do, she was aboard the private schooner of a British sympathizer! She fought her arrogant enemy with the fury of a tempest. . .then swoon like storm-lashed sail as his hands molded her curves. Passion clouded her fears, rapture drowned her rage, and all Rae could do was ride the current of ecstasy that pulled her into its depths.

Driven by lust

Towering Jericho Smith had never lacked for a willing woman, but when his gaze locked with the alluring Rae’s, he knew no other could satisfy him that night. His work for Washington’s army demanded he spurn love and family – and the iron-willed spy was sure the lovely wench would be just another tumble. Then he explored her satiny lips, touched her shapely limbs, stroked her pearly flesh, and Jericho felt himself awash in an unfathomable sea of arousal. He hated needing the hot-tempered miss, yet he couldn’t deny he wanted a lifetime of discovering the secrets of her body and glorying in their sensuous union with wild SEASWEPT ABANDON.

No excerpt to be found.

Read more from Casee at The Book Binge. And you can read Casee’s review of the first book in McClellan Family series here.