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Book CoverGwen’s review of Carnal Gift (Blakewell/Kenleigh Family Trilogy, Book 2) by Pamela Clare
Historical romance released by Leisure 1 Mar 04, trilogy reissued 28 Oct 08

If you read my review of Clare’s romantic suspense, Unlawful Contact, you already know I like this author.  However, I had not read any of her historicals.  I rectified that over the holiday last week and loved every page of it.  Read on for what I found so fun in this amazing storyteller’s work…   

Clare constructs very complex scenes.  You can smell, taste, and see the environments her characters inhabit.  The detail of the worlds she builds is rich and remains consistently so throughout a work.  Carnal Gift is chockablock full of this detail and it’s an escape the likes of which you don’t always get in a romance novel but you always want.

Bríghid and Jamie meet under rather unfortunate circumstances.  As with many historicals set in this place/time (18th century Ireland), the English are largely represented by a cruel aristo.  Only, this earl has reasons for being the way he is (you find out why at the end).  It puts a different slant on the whole circumstance that is just a sad, but you still hate his guts.  That’s okay – he’s the bad guy and hating is what we should be doing.

However, as a result of the the aristocrat’s machinations, Jamie and Bríghid are forced into a rather torturous odyssey aimed at keeping her and her loved ones alive and one step ahead of a hangman’s noose.  All this strife serves to cement J and B together even more (contrary to the aforementioned machinations), once the initial mistrust is overcome, that is.  The mistrust and misunderstandings last almost too long for my taste.  I should have had more confidence in Clare’s storytelling abilities, though, because she pulls our characters together before my interest waned.

I enjoyed this book, and while it’s part of a series, it reads fine on its own.  I highly recommend it to fans of Clare’s writing and fans of 18th century historical romances set in Ireland and England.

faye.jpgGrade: B+


“I expect you to show my friend just how grateful you are. Your willingness is everything.”

With those harsh words, the hated Sasanach earl decided Bríghid’s fate. Her body and her virginity were to be offered up to a stranger in exchange for her brother’s life. Possessing nothing but her innocence and her fierce Irish pride, she had no choice but to comply. But the handsome man she faced in the darkened bedchamber was not at all the monster she expected. His green eyes seemed to see inside her. His tender touch calmed her fears while he swore he would protect her by only pretending to claim her. And as the long hours of the night passed by, as her senses ignited at the heat of their naked flesh, she made a startling discovery: Sometimes the line between hate and love can be dangerously thin.

Read an excerpt.

Other books in the series:

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