It is a historical romance that takes place in the mid. 1700's in the Caribbean. If you like stories that take you to a different time and place, a women ahead of her time, and a tall, dark, and handsome man, seeking the love of a women who tries to deny him at every turn, then this your type of book.
Shanna is the beautiful only child of self successful "Lord" Orlan Trahern who made his wealth more or less as an investor, he acquired an Isle in the Caribbean and is the sugar baron and lord manor. He wants to pass his fortune down, and see as its the 18th century women didn't take over the "family business", so he wants her to marry and start having kids. More importantly he wants her to marry into a name of recognition. However Shanna turns down everyone who comes to court her, they only see her fathers fortune, she doesn't want someone to be with her only because of the fortune they would get, after all who would. Orlan sends Shanna to London and tells her she has a year ending on her twenty first birthday to marry or he will choose. Shanna, though at times seems spoiled, and with every right to after all she grew up without a want or need, she is much like her father stubborn and forthright.
With the year almost up Shanna formulates a plan. She goes to make a deal with a condemned to die man. This deal to marry for his distinguished name only to be widowed while giving him comfort in his last days. However he wishes that if he gives her his name that she must truly be his bride on that night.
She reluctantly agrees. Thus a few days later sets up the marriage, and plan on having him taken away before the deed is done, only to fail at that. Ruark Beauchamp mad that he didn't get his part of their bargain, or rather that he was interrupted, refuses anything that Shanna sends him.
"Ah, yes," he chuckled derisively. "I thought that might see the real price of your predicament. You seek my name for a cause so dear, this name which is my last and sole possession and mine alone to give. When I ask the same of you-that the cost be what is yours alone to give-then the price is much too dear. So you reject the price, deny the bargain, and will be seen to that end your father wills."
Little does he or Shanna know Ruark is about to be saved from the gallows when he is bought as a bondsmen by none other than her fathers agent, Master Ralston, who is pretty much a crook. Beauchamp is a very distinguished name in England however Ruark comes from the Colonies, which if you know your history is what the New England states were called, and so its unknown whether he is part of the this family when he is accused for a crime.
So now we are on the isle, but Shanna doesn't find out that Ruark is even alive much less on the island till months later. Ruark has become one of the top workers in almost every area, he's become the go to guy around there and so very likable by all, including Orlan. When Shanna does find out so begins the chase. At first Ruark just wants his night that was promised, but then it turns into actually winning her, as it were. He pretty much, at fist anyway, stocks her, he starts showing up everywhere Shanna is and Shanna tries to hate it. Every time he makes an effort, she dismissing it, and every time he insults her, she has a comeback every time falling into his trap.
She denies him and yet she cant help but be with him. The sex scenes are great, now given the time that it was published do NOT expect anything like fifty shades people maybe in Europe back then but not here. They had just enough detail.
Someone also by the name Beauchamp visits the isle, who is from Virginia he appears not to have any relation to Ruark though. As she herself is now a Beauchamp he welcomes her to the family, of sorts. He is there for a short time and even insist they go to Virginia and see if they can do some trade there.
'Her confusion came from the haunting sense of pleasure which now ebbed from her body. What spell had Ruark cast upon her that she should desire again that joining with him? She was alone in the room, but was just as sure that had he been there she would have yielded, nay, clung to him and demanded he give again that for which she yearned.'
Now its not a romance with out some drama, that is aside from Shanna trying to refuse Ruark as her husband, someone new comes into the picture and tries to weasel his way into Shanna's bed, and drive Ruark out of it. The town/island slut, as it were, puts a rift between Shanna and Ruark. It takes place in the Caribbean but sorry to disappoint there aren't any pirates......HAHA just kidding. Have you ever heard of a story that takes place in the Caribbean with out any!
After the events with the pirates the feeling they share only grow. With their visit to Virginia coming up Shanna is no longer denying the feelings and even openly showing care for him. Even her farther sees that she is more open with him and nice toward him. When there thing only unfold from who really murdered that whom Ruark was accused of, to the truth about who Ruark is and so much more. It end so nicely too.
This book has everything you could want romance, adventure, mystery. The dialog really puts you into the time period. The settings are so nicely described and detailed. I've seen a few of Kathleen E. Woodiwiss books they are all so well written. Some one I know has another one of her books and I plan on borrowing it at some point, just don't know when, lol. Truly worth a read.