A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Friday, March 09, 2007

NIGHT IN EDEN by Candice Proctor

By now everyone knows all about my blues over my favorite UBS closing. I picked up a few books there, but mostly shopped for family and friends and was able to use half my credit. I hope like hell they get the other store.

Anyway among the books I picked up for myself were Candice Proctor's NIGHT IN EDEN, SEPTEMBER MOON and THE LAST KNIGHT. Since I was in the mood for a historical, and my reading is always about what mood I'm in, I decided to read NIGHT IN EDEN first because both Tara Marie and ReneeW had commented recently how much they liked the book.

Here's the blurb from Ms. Proctor's web site:

Bryony Wentworth's life is shattered when she is convicted of manslaughter and transported to New South Wales in 1808. Sentenced to indentured servitude, she is given to Hayden St. John. A hard, embittered man left with an infant son by the death of his gentle wife, Hayden has little but contempt for the muddy, vermin-ridden convict on whom he must rely. But Bryony is a survivor. As they journey through the outback to Hayden's rugged station, Bryony rediscovers her own strength even as Hayden finds his salvation and rebirth in a love as forbidden and dangerous as the land that surrounds them.

I'm so glad I read this book. This was a good historical in the best sense of the word. There is alot of depth and layers to the book. There's nothing more rewarding for me in a book than when an author knows the period well. I enjoy the small things and details that add so much color and texture to the story. I don't want to give the impression the book is burdened or slow by this because it isn't. Both Byrony and Hayden are well drawn and true to the time period without being stereotypes.

So many times in historicals I cringe when the heroine makes a TSTL move or seems to act totally out of the time period, place or the character we've been shown already. It happens so frequently in historicals that at several points in this story I was waiting for this to occur. Thankfully it never does. It was refreshing to see Byrony and Hayden actually communicate with one another and have the author avoid the plot device of one or another of them hiding or avoiding the truth to create a twist.

Ms. Proctor has plenty of sexual tension between these two and doesn't take any easy roads for them to be together. It was great to see she had plenty of twists and turns without having these two intelligent and resilient people be unable to have a rational conversation between them.
I sure am glad I was able to find this book.

It was originally published in 1997, but it is worth the search to read it.

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Blogger Kristie (J) said...

She truly is a gifted reader and the romance reader in me mourns that she is no longer writing romance but rather historical suspense fiction. All the books you picked out by her are very good. And you have to listen to me too and try and find Whispers in Heaven *g*. Although NIE is Tara's fave (and is really is wonderful) mine is WOH.

8:22 PM PST  
Blogger Tara Marie said...

I'm sitting here doing a happy dance for you. It's one of my all time favorites. I've worn out several copies over the years. And like Kristie I'm disappointed she's no longer writing romance, because she really wrote interesting smart characters. I don't think you can go wrong with any of her books, they're all good.

4:31 PM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Kristie, I'll add Whispers in Heaven to my list to look for. It wasn't at the UBS because I bought one of each of the books she had.

TM, don't you love it when someone discovers an author you love? I'm very happy to have made this discovery. However, after reading the review I don't feel like I gave the book justice. There is just so much emotional depth to these characters and my review is sort of dry and doesn't capture that. This was a very enjoyable read.

1:50 AM PST  

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