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review 2019-02-26 05:28
Some Thoughts: Sweet Release
Sweet Release - Pamela Clare

Sweet Release

by Pamela Clare
Book 1 of Blakewell/Kenleigh Family trilogy



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 in the sun, Cassie realized Cole Braden was far more dangerous than his papers had indicated—for he could steal her breath with a glance and 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.

Pamela Clare books never cease to be addictive for me because of the fact that they're often well-written and contain a lot of heart.  I'm more familiar with Pamela's contemporary series, and will usually devour them in one read through.

Sweet Release was no exception, although there were some parts where I wished the book would either get on with it, or stop creating so much added drama towards the end--a lot of the ending felt a bit deliberate in creating more suspense than necessary.  I feel like, maybe a whole lot more went on in this book than was actually necessary.  And while I thoroughly enjoyed myself reading this book and got hooked, I really didn't have any strong feelings towards the two main characters, one way or another.

I DID feel like Cassie was more shrill than I liked, and was inconsistent in her behavior.  Some moments she would show some backbone and stand up for what she believed in, other times she would back down and let others walk all over her.  It got frustrating, and it's not like I expected her to HAVE too much of a backbone and stand up to the men in the book--this is a historical taking place in the 1700s after all where women were treated no better than chattel, and any kind of attempt at back talk or expressing opinions either got belittled or reprimanded.  But I still wish she could have been a bit more consistent.

Alec had his moments, but came off a bit of an ass.

In contrast, I loved all the background characters much more than the main characters.

This is probably the first time I've read a historical taking place during this time frame, set in the Americas when slavery was so prominent.  I can't say one way or another whether the historical aspects were handled properly or accurately (history was never my best subject), but it certainly managed to bring to surface how terrible people were treated, based on class, gender, and race.

Story wise, I was truly only interested in finding out how Alec would reclaim his real identity, though it didn't take a lot of sleuthing to know who was behind his abduction in the first place.  The rest of the story got super angsty, and even the main villain of the story felt kind of comic.

Overall, this could have been a better book, even if I DID get hooked into it and finished it in pretty much one sitting.



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/02/some-thoughts-sweet-release.html
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review 2013-04-19 00:00
Sweet Release - Pamela Clare Great book!
When I started reading it the first thing I suspected is that is very similar to [b:Shanna|896621|Shanna|Kathleen E. Woodiwiss|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327869967s/896621.jpg|695105] and after finishing it, I had it confirmed.
Obviously, this story is NOT a photocopy! It is good, it is still fresh and it is HOT! *wink*

Alec/Cole at the beginning is a high-stung English, but as the story proceedes he's doing a fast growing up! I like him though. I liked how he was capable to remain himself, even in front of very difficult situation he found himslef in: from rich to indentured servant in an almost blink. He's not afraid of hard work, he's not so haughty to avoid slaves, he's good with children.

Cassie is sometimes incredibly strong, sometimes too naive for everyone's good. She's in a difficult situation: her father is mentally sick, but she must avoid anyone outside the estate finding it out, else she'l have the estate taken out of her hands, her slaves sold to other, more cruel owners, her married off to somebody... a very dire stiuation! She's a good person: her slaves are treated good, her indentured servants too. She shares her food and medicine with everybody on her estate without distinction. But she's also young and naive...

Obviously, when she buys Alec, she does it because she think that otherwise he will die and she's not going to allow it. She nurses him, but when he awakens and tell her who he really is, she doesn't believe him. But as she gets to know him better, she changes her mind, and tries to help him prove it and, in the meanwhile falls in love with him. He too is not immune to her: what starts as lust, grows into love.

But there are others to consider: the neighboring estate owners. Some are good people, but there's one family that is really awful. And the hair wants Cassie and doesn't understand why she doesn't want him.

So all kind of problems arise: she has to maintain the ruse that her father is abroad and not sick; that Alec is only her indenture servant when he's her lover; that she's just a weak female following her father's directived about managing the esatte when she's a clever manager herself...

Sometimes she is a very mature and intelligent, but sometimes she's jut plain naive. Alec too... Just one example: she and Alec make love outside, in the barn, sleep all night long in her bedroom... and neither think that somebody could be spying them!

One complaint: the back-story in England is barely touched. I would have preferred to get more information of how Matthew find out about Philip's treachery. This part was just overlooked and I missed it. I think the book could have been much more rich if this was included.

The chemistry between Cassie and Alec is hot, hot, HOT. Pamela Clare knows how to write a sex scene!!! :D
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review 2013-02-16 00:00
Sweet Release (Blakewell/Kenleigh Family Trilogy, #1)
Sweet Release (Blakewell/Kenleigh Family Trilogy, #1) - Pamela Clare 3.5+ starsI fell in love with Pamela Clare's books with [book:Surrender}, the 1st of the Mackinnon's Rangers series. This is the 1st book in the Kenleight/Blakewell Family Saga, and while, not quite as good as Surrender, it's got it's own appeal.The story takes place in 1730, starting in London with Alec Kenleigh. One evening after visiting his mistress, Alec is kidnapped and taken aboard a slave ship bound for America. His wounds keep him foggy, but with enough fight to sustain several beatings. And when he makes it to the colony of Virginia, he's so ill with fever from his many cuts, he practically dies on the docks.Cassie Blakewell has a tender heart - tender enough that she can't bear the thought of this man dying, so she buys him for less than 10 pounds. She's told that he's Nicolas "Cole" Braden, convicted of rape, and transported to the Americas to be a bondsman. Her purchase of him makes him her property for 14 years.Cassie is running her father's tobacco plantation, while her father is supposedly either in England seeking a new wife or about the Americas looking for breeding horses. In reality, after her mother died giving birth to her 9-year old brother and heir, Jamie, her father simply lost his will. It's difficult to know if he sank into depression or was already suffering the effects of early Alzheimers or a combination of the two. Cassie's hiding her father, who's tended regularly by Takota, the Tuscarroa woman who one day simply appeared and joined the Blakewell family farm. Only a trusted few know the truth. And to keep from being forced into an unwanted marriage and to keep her brother's inheritance, Cassie's forced to take control.She sees Cole as a much needed additional man. But when Alec awakens and learns his fate, you can bet he doesn't accept it easily. He even convinced Cassie to call the Sheriff and allow him to write a letter to England to establish the truth of his identity.In the meantime, Alec/Cole finds his place on the farm and learns a lot about growing tobacco and the neighbors - including the poncy Geoffrey Crichton, Cassie's childhood friend. Geoffrey's father is offensive, beating his slaves and bondsmen alike; he's a rough, cruel task-master. Geoffrey is constantly looking for his father's approval, but despite following in father's footsteps, Geoffrey's schemes always seem to backfire.Geoffrey is determined to marry Cassie. Except that, of course, Cassie and Cole/Alec have been falling in love. Quite a risk for Cassie, since Cole is a convicted rapist! But everyone on the Blakewell farm and most of the neighbors have seen how gentleman-like Cole/Alec is....But how did Alec get in this predicament? Who's responsible? What happens with the letter to England? Will Geoffrey discover Cassie's secret hiding place for her father? So much seems to happen in this book, I almost couldn't stand it! I was only 50% of the way through the book, and I swore it should be coming to an end. But it's well written, and in the reading of it, didn't seem overly long.I was biting my nails at the end, however, and grateful when it did end. It's a romance, so we do have a happy ending, but there's a LOT that occurs before we can get there!
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review 2012-08-11 00:00
Sweet Release
Sweet Release - Pamela Clare 4.5Loved everything about this one. The locations, the characters, the H/h, their love. It just all worked. Rich story and characters that just come alive. This is what historical romance is suppose to be like :). It sweeps you off into this richly described world where you get to spend some time with people you actually care about. Looking forward to reading the other 2 in the series.
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review 2012-07-04 00:00
Sweet Release (Blakewell/Kenleigh Family Trilogy, #1) - Pamela Clare I don't go out of my way in search of Historical Fiction, be it Romance or otherwise. I do, however enjoy reading outside my norm every once in a while. I read the synopsis on Sweet Release when I was looking through Amazon's freebies and it looked like a fairly light read that I might enjoy. Isn't it great when you get much more than you bargained for? Sweet Release is set in 1730 and the setting spans between Colonial Virginia and England. The descriptions of the setting in both venues bring the story to life. Pamela Clare does an amazing job of drawing the reader in and lacing them right in the middle of the action. Add that with the depth of the characters and it's hard not to get lost in this Historical setting. Cassie is a wonderful character. She is strong, passionate about what she believes in and considerate, protective and loyal to all those under her care. She is definitely not your typical slave owner and she also isn't a typical woman in her time. Alec/Cole starts out as someone who you're not quite sure about. It's hard to believe that the man you meet in the beginning of the book is a man you will grow to respect as much as you do by the end. He is a womanizer, but he also shows them respect, but never sees himself as someone who could fall in love. He loves his family and works hard at being a gentleman business owner. One night turns his entire world upside down. Once these two characters are put in the same world, the result is amazing. I liked the fact that the romance took as long as it did to develop. The reader knows it's inevitable, but it isn't rushed or forced. The action, drama, twists and turns in the plot and the banter between all the characters makes this quite an entertaining read. Speaking of other characters, this is one book where the secondary characters add a lot to the story. The interactions that they have not only with the main characters but with each other are great. Beyond the romance, this story also packs a powerful message. You can't have a book centered around slavery and not send some type of message, but I liked the way it was handled in Sweet Release. Some of the messages were subtle and some of them were like a slap in the face. Even characters who felt they were beyond reproach were forced to look more closely at their own beliefs. It wasn't preachy or forced, it just fit. You know that a book was worth the read when you finish it and immediately go in search of the next one in the series. The Blakewell/Kenleigh Family Trilogy books have all been released. They follow chronologically but the time span is fairly long between the books. The next book in the series is Carnal Gift and the main male character is only 4 years old when he is introduced in Sweet Release. The final book is titled Ride the Fire and the main male character in it is a new born in Sweet Release. I'm sure I'll be checking out both of them and looking for more books by Pamela Clare in the near future.
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