Thursday, April 3, 2014

New Review: Johanna Lindsey’s CAPTIVE BRIDE – Lindsey’s 1st Book: A Classic Bodice Ripper with a British Desert Sheik

New Cover
I have read many by Lindsey and consider myself a fan. This was her first book, published in 1977, and you can see how much her writing has progressed since. While it is well written and will hold your interest, it is a historical romance without history or historical details. (I only knew it was Victorian because late in the book she gave the date of 1885, which means it begins in 1884.)

Set in England, Egypt and the desert, this is the story of Christina Wakefield whose brother brought her to London for a brief season when she was 18, following their parents’ death. There she enchanted many suitors who would claim her as wife, but she wanted none of them, preferring her freedom instead, at least for a while. However, one suitor, the enigmatic Phillip Caxton, the son of an English mother and a desert sheik, would have her as his. When she rejects his rather hasty proposal of marriage, he arranges for her brother to be sent to Egypt and then kidnaps her and carries her off to his desert camp where he keeps her as his woman.

The hero is an alpha male, takes what he wants kinda guy. And there is some appeal to that. But Christina, the object of his desire, for most of the book, was a naïve heroine who managed to remain clueless when a normal woman would be paying attention and gaining insight. Abducted and raped (no matter his finesse), she makes excuses for her captor whom she has come to love. However, a series of misunderstandings, coupled with treachery, will keep them apart.
Original cover

Lindsey’s next book, published in 1978, the year after CAPTIVE BRIDE, was A PIRATE’S LOVE and it’s another bodice ripper but much better in my opinion. And Lindsey went on to write books like HEARTS AFLAME (my favorite of her Viking trilogy and a keeper), and many others that have influenced the genre.

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