Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Celeste de Blasis’ A WILD HOPE – Great Storytelling & Love Among Smugglers in Devon & Racehorses in America

This is Pirate and Privateer month. I’m beginning with one set in the first part of the 19th century and spanning many years. It’s the story of Alexandria Thaine, who, at her grandmother’s urging, leaves her home in Kent to live with her cousins in Devon. Her mother doesn’t like her but her relatives in Devon love her. Smugglers, ship owners and farmers by trade, the Falconers are a warm family Alex willingly joins.


In Devon, Alex forms a bond with the youngest son, Rane, who not only looks like her in coloring but is also like her and cares for her. Over the years, Rane falls in love with Alex and plans to make her his wife. But with the death of her sister (who married a man named St. John), Alex returns to Kent to care for her sister’s motherless twins. St. John takes advantage of the situation and makes her his common law wife. Eventually they come to love each other.


Alex and St. John immigrate to Maryland with St. John’s dream of raising racehorses. And there they create “Wild Swan”, a center of famed racehorses and a sanctuary for a runaway slave, a lost girl and many others.


This book is hard to review. Without given too much away, let me say that the writing is excellent and the story is solid but unless you are really into horses, and particularly early race horsing in America, you might find yourself skipping passages. The smuggling in Devon was fascinating and the budding relationship with Rane and Alex heartwarming. Once St. John enters the picture and makes Alex his wife, there are many graphic love scenes which, given the timespan of the story, might be realistic but I skipped some of those. Rane’s appearances in Alex’s life were too brief for me. He was the man I wanted to see.


In the end, Rane and Alex come back to their love but getting there took a long path. This is book one is a 3-book saga.


The Wild Swan Trilogy


A Wild Hope

A Wild Heart

A Wild Legacy


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