Alexandra Warren ventured to Australia as a young bride eager for adventure. A dozen years later she is returning home as widow and mother when a pirate attack separates her from her beloved daughter and condemns Alex to a life of servitude. Then a miracle arrives in the form of a steely-eyed Yankee captain willing to risk everything to set her free.
A shocking turn of events brings an unexpected alliance with her rescuer, and Gavin and Alex arrive in London as intimate strangers joined by too many painful secrets. Yet attraction and affection soon overcome the trial of their first meeting. Until the past reaches out to change Gavin's life - and threaten the passionate love he has found with his irresistible bartered bride.
(P)2004 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I have a PhD in American Literature but my love affair with romance novels on audible is going strong.
I was extremely moved by this story because unlike many other romances, it eloquently portrays the true difficulties of finding love for people who have been deeply wounded by painful experiences. Putney is known for not shying away from difficult topics, and female slavery-both in the East Indies, and the U.S. is a significant issue in this story. which is quite unique in that it begins at the end. As one of the main characters Alexandra says to Gavin , "We did things backwards, starting with disaster, marriage and then love." How they work their way back from events they could not control makes their story less a fairy tale and more a story of real human love with all its difficulties.
Sea Captain and international merchant Gavin Elliot has made his fortune in America and Asia, and he is heading back to London to set up a new office as well as to face his difficult family history. When he discovers British citizen Jeannette Warren in a slave market on his visit to a tropical Island, he tries to buy her, but the ruler decrees he must win her through a series of difficult physical challenges. Gavin frees Jeannette and marries her shortly after in an effort to preserve her reputation in London society.
Meeting Alexandra's relatives brings Gavin into contact with Dukes and Duchesses, members of the landed gentry, an institution he has learned to despise in America. Gavin suffers to find his place among them but is even more baffled when his own history brings him into society in surprising ways. However, the overriding issue for the love between Gavin and Alexandra is her fragility due to the way she was treated as a slave. And just when the two are finding their way to towards love and romance, catastrophe enters their lives again with potentially disastrous results. Through it all Alexandra demonstrates courage and determination to fight for herself and for their happiness. While some readers have labelled the story "predictable," it doesn't seem possible to use that adjective in a tale about human bondage that works backwards through pain and brokenness to create love. Even though the author uses every plot device available to create what seems like melodrama, the story itself is compelling and lovely in the way it shows real human striving, using their compassion found through pain to create a life full of love and dedication to the betterment of society.
This was an engaging, interesting historical romance. It's one of the better ones that I've read in a while. Michael Page was fantastic. Definitely worth the credit.
I read so I can write
I couldn't turn it off. This book held my interest from start to finish. It is actually stories compounded and each level develops the characters more and more. Once again Mary Jo Putney has created a great love story without overdone sex, but instead with great story telling.
I am not usually that excited about male narators for romance novels, but Mr. Page does a good job.
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