Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Review: Jennifer Blake’s NOTORIOUS ANGEL – Unusual and Exciting Story Set in Nicaragua

First published in 1977, this story is set in the exotic locale of Nicaragua, Central America during the years 1855-1857. It tells of Eleanora Colette Villars from an aristocratic New Orleans family. Because of her brother’s folly, she loses her home and ends up following her brother to Nicaragua where he has joined the mercenaries serving William Walker, an American who is trying to take over the country.

Colonel Grant Farrell, head of Walker’s private military, takes Eleanora’s brother as hostage, forcing Eleanora, an innocent, to pose as his mistress. Then he holds her prisoner in his home without even clothes to wear. She even begins to make excuses for the colonel (he’s a half-breed Apache with a poor childhood).

Once her brother is released and she is free, Eleanora doesn’t tell her brother she was raped and, when her brother wounds the colonel in a duel, she returns to Colonel Farrell’s house to tend his wound. While tending the colonel, Eleanora introduces herself as his mistress, apparently resigned to the role. (He has such a low view of women he will not offer her marriage).

Impressed with Eleanora’s medical knowledge, the local doctor invites her to tend the wounded American mercenaries. She takes on the task and, for her valiant efforts, is dubbed “the colonel’s angel.” But she has rivals who seek Eleanora’s demise.

The writing is excellent. Blake really makes you feel like you’re in the hot, dusty streets of Nicaragua in a tumultuous time. I could suggest you might want a map, too, so I’ve included one. Blake has obviously done much research for the book and it is seamlessly woven into the story. The scenes as they tramp from Granada to the coast through the jungles and rivers are very well done, and very realistic. The characters are richly developed, too. (Luis was one of my favorite characters.)

This one will capture you, I promise.

Buy on Amazon
Original cover

Note: The ebook cover shows the heroine with blonde hair; it is actually red. (See original cover to the right issued under the author's name, Patricia Maxwell.)

This book is part of Blake’s Love and Adventure series, part 2:

Surrender in Moonlight
Notorious Angel
Golden Fancy

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