When Brighid Ni Maeleschnaillís brother is disrespectful to their Sasanach lord, Lord Sheffield Winthrop Tate III, she must pay the ultimate sacrifice, her virtue. But, Lord Winthrop doesnít want her virtue for himself, but makes her a present to his friend, Jamie Blakewell. Jamie is not a lord of the realm, he is a plantation owner in Virginia, but he knows that what Sheff is doing is wrong and takes it upon himself to protect and rescue Brighid from certain ruination.
The 1700ís are a difficult time for the Irish and the English. The English Sasanachís hate everything Irish and have killed and stolen to get what they want. All people of Ireland hate the English, and for good reason, at least as far as Jamie can see. Even though he was born in America, he is still an Englishman, but even that fact canít lessen the pain he feels when Brighid glares hatred from her eyes towards him. When he faces her in a darkened bedchamber, knowing that Sheff is watching, Jamie tries to comfort and soothe Brighid and make her believe that he wonít hurt her, he only wants to help her escape.
But when Jamie caresses Brighidís soft skin and kisses her tender lips, he doesnít know if he can hold back the passion that is brewing in their eyes. How is he going to convince Sheff that he did indeed take Brighidís virginity, and more importantly, how is he going to get them out of there in one piece?
Carnal Gift started out slowly, but built up speed during the third chapter. Ms. Clare writes some very steamy love scenes, and the pages were smokiní! Her attention to detail of life in the 1700ís is very believable. The main characters are very well written and the reader is never at a loss as to what any of them are thinking or feeling. Jamie and Brighid are from two totally different worlds, she a poor, peasant girl, he a rich colonial/Englishman, but they overcome everything in order to be together.
Carnal Gift is a wonderfully written story, with plenty of charm. A top notch read.