by DeVa Gantt
This book is the first in a trilogy by sisters Deb and Val Gantt (hence DeVa). I won a dozen copies of this book in a promotion from Reading Group Guides, and gave them out to the regulars at my local book club's December book-gift exchange. Later, one member who, like me, had not yet read the book, suggested putting it on our reading list later in the year "since so many of us had it," but one of our leaders, who HAD read the book right away, said no. I agree with her on why.
While the story is very interesting, NOTHING gets resolved in this book. Nothing!! Apparently one is going to need to read all three books (with the third still to be released in late November) before anything is settled. Frankly, the book and story is just not good enough to wait for that (or spend that kind of money), in my opinion.
The book is set in the 1830's, beginning in Richmond, Virginia with heroine Charmaine Ryan, an 18-year-old whose mother was recently beaten to death by her alcoholic father. Employed as a companion to kind empty-nester Loretta Harrington, the latter suggests a change of scenery - applying for a position as a governess on a Caribbean island owned by the wealthy Duvoisin family, for whom Loretta's brother-in-law is an overseer.
From that point on we have a number of the typical characters of a historical romance: the young second wife, the illegitimate son, the black sheep heir, and so on. Our heroine must prove her worthiness as governess, deal with squabbling members and a death in the family, and of course the lust of the two half-brothers.
I enjoyed the descriptions of settings (particularly on the islands of Les Charmantes, "the charming ones") and the character development, but the plot and its lack of any resolutions sucked. I can't recommend it for that reason.
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