THE INDENTURED HEART
by Barbara Raffin

November 2002
ISBN: 1-58749-328-4
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The Indentured Heart brought with it a story of profound struggle, ghosts from a tortured past, and the love of two people, true and satisfying.


Royce Devlin is indentured and on his way to be sold to his new mistress. A gentleman in his former life, he was accused of captaining a ship filled with smuggled contraband and now serves a sentence of fourteen years. Upon his arrival at Hilltop House in Virginia, he meets his new mistress, the very thorny Megan McCall, who is crippled due to a carriage accident that resulted in the death of her husband and the use of her legs.


Megan is trying to keep her deceased fatherís shipbuilding business afloat, while running a plantation and taming the sharp-tongued Royce. When Megan discovers that Royce may be able to help her regain the use of her legs, she begins to consider him an asset, rather than a thorn in her side.


Royce finds he is alternately angry and then puzzled by Megan and the circumstances surrounding her husbandís death. Neither lack for a sharp retort and while Royce is indentured to Megan, his strong personality wonít allow her to run roughshod over him. Each has demons, secrets to be revealed, and passions to be ignited!


I was a bit put off by Meganís prickly nature, though I completely understood the value of having a spine in an era when men were dominant. Megan suffered more than her fair share of difficulties, though frail in form, she made up for her lack of physical strength with her knifelike tongue! As the telling of the tale progressed, a softer side to her hard edges emerged, allowing me to sympathize with her tough exterior.


Royce was powerful indeed, but his grudge over being indentured was a bit unfounded in Meganís case and certainly not her fault. He hung on fast to it, but it made him all the more endearing when a gentler side to his smoldering anger appeared.


Royce works like a man possessed to win Meganís trust, which wasnít an easy task considering her life thus far. I fell in love with his grit and determination, and the pride he summoned to keep from being beaten by societyís condemnation.


The sexual tension that mounts between the two was utterly incredible! I found my heart began to beat faster whenever the two were in close proximity; I was white knuckled from gripping the edge of my seat, just hoping Royce would merely kiss Megan!


The dialogue was positively hilarious at times; the pair takes devilish delight in antagonizing one another! They are so similar in spirit and willfulness that they set the pages on fire with their banter! The author created a love that will last long after the closing pages of this story!


Gloriously written with raw emotion and red-hot passion, this reader highly recommends The Indentured Heart!




Reviewed in March 2003 by Connie.

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