by Karen Robards

December 1992
ISBN: 9-994-45945-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Delilah Remy went to visit her great-aunt in the colony of Virginia to hopefully add some excitement to her life. Being an only child and heir to a sugar plantation, Lilah’s father was hoping she would be able to find a man to settle down with during her visit. Unfortunately, Lilah found the men in the colonies to be just as proper and “British” as they were back at her home in Barbados. That is, until a mysterious stranger showed up during her aunt’s party and rescued Lilah from yet another unwanted marriage proposal.

Joss San Pietro was sent to Lilah’s uncle home to deliver a packet of letters to him from Joss’s mother. Lilah’s uncle, George, had an illicit affair with Joss’s grandmother many years ago, and Joss knew that the letters would not be welcome. Joss knew that when his mission was discovered, he wouldn’t have any time to get to know the beautiful young woman the way he hoped to, so he coerced Lilah into taking a stroll with him where they shared a passionate embrace. However, they were soon discovered by George, and when Joss gave him the letters, George was shocked to discover that Joss was none other than his grandson. However, Joss was also in for a surprise when he learned that his grandmother was a New Orleans’s octoroon and a slave to Lilah’s uncle – making Joss his slave also!

Lilah knows that the minute trace of black blood in Joss makes him forbidden to her so she tries her best to get him out of her mind. But when she sees him being whipped and sold on the auction block, she scandalizes everyone by purchasing him herself! Soon Joss and Lilah are aboard the same ship returning to her family’s plantation in Barbados. When a storm hits and Joss and Lilah are stranded together alone on a deserted island, they can no longer deny their feelings for each other. But what will happen when they have to return to the civilization that forbids their love for each other?

Desire in the Sun is full of one peril after another. The most “rest” Lilah and Joss had was when they were deserted on the island, and even then they had a band of pirates after them before too long! While the abundance of dangerous situations kept the novel moving at a fast pace, I felt as though it took away from some of the romance that could have been developed between Lilah and Joss. We are told that they love each other, but it was more like they felt an instant attraction that grew into something sexual.

The serious issues keeping Lilah and Joss apart in Desire in the Sun were understandable and it was easy to understand Lilah’s trepidation at making the decision as whether or not she should leave everyone she loves and everything familiar to her to be with Joss. Likewise, Joss’s anger at Lilah’s hesitance to be with him was also understandable. Of course, these issues were resolved by the end, but it was once again amidst an overabundance of perilous situations that made the reader wonder if Lilah was merely being forced to make a decision, being swept along with the events surrounding her, or if it was truly her heart’s desire.

Reviewed in January 2003 by Nicole.

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