Friday, January 11, 2013
New Review: Jennifer Horsman’s PASSION FLOWER – An Irish Heroine from Jamaica and a Sexy Virginia Shipbuilder Make for an Exciting Tale!
Catherine Mary O’Neil (nicknamed “Jasmine”) was a poor young woman living in Jamaica in 1759, the granddaughter of an aging doctor, when she promised Fortune that if Fortune would lead her heart, she would pay “any price”—and Fortune took her up on the offer.
Born in England, wild Johnathon Mahn became a successful American shipbuilder who provided England with many ships. Responding to an English general’s request to help recover a cargo of arms seized by pirates off Jamaica, Jon and his men take six ships south to search for the goods. Once there, Jon stays at the Governor’s mansion, hoping to learn where the Governor, who he believes is a traitor, has hidden the stolen arms. One night he meets young Jasmine who the Governor has sent to Jon’s bed upon threat to kill Jasmine’s grandfather if she does not comply. Little does Jasmine know that she gave Jon her innocence for nothing as her father is already dead.
Charged with treason, brave, resourceful Jasmine is forced to flee Jamaica. She steals aboard a departing ship, and of course, it is one of Jon’s ships sailing north to Virginia. As they voyage north, she falls in love, but the rake makes quite clear he has no interest in “doing the right thing.”
Horsman is a wonderful storyteller and I find her novels hard to put down. This one is no exception, and for a first novel, is exceptional. She paints a vivid picture of life in Jamaica and in the colony of Virginia and creates some wonderful characters. As always, one of them is an animal, in this case a huge dog names Bear Dog. The last part where Jasmine has an experience that separates them is a bit brutal for my tastes, however.
An absorbing tale with a satisfying ending.