In 1759 Catherine Bradshaw travels from London to the colony of New York to join her future husband, Jeremy Flint, a man she barely knows but already fears. Immediately after the wedding ceremony, their coach is waylaid by Rive St. Clair, a French Army captain who has sworn vengeance against Flint. Rive abducts Catherine and heads north, confident that Flint will pursue. Sixteen years earlier, Flint instigated a massacre at an Indian village, and now Rive intends to lure him back to that same village and see justice done. As Rive forges a path through the wilderness, Catherine’s indomitable spirit and resilience are put to the test. She is frightened of her surroundings and the man who holds her fate in his hands. Rive makes no secret of his desire for her, and she is determined to resist her own growing attraction. Their journey will take them to Quebec City, the French stronghold where Rive must make a final stand against the British. Will Rive lose his life just as Catherine realizes her true feelings for him?
Time and Setting: 1760s Colonial America
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 3
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars
Review by Susan
Rive St. Clair, the hero in Carolann Camillo’s romantic adventure Moonlit Desire is a cross between the bold and brazen Rhett Butler and the charming and quick thinking Remington Steele. This paradoxical character arouses romantic instincts in readers and evokes their sympathy and concern.
Catherine Bradshaw, the heroine in the story also forges an attachment to readers, except it often comes in the form of wanting to shake her until she sees clearly to following the right path. It’s Rive who steers her towards the path which will lead her to happiness, namely him. The sparring that transpires between Catherine and Rive is witty and the narration incites readers to hang on every word.
It’s clear from the start that Catherine married the successful Jeremy Flint out of necessity. He promised to provide for her parents who were in failing health. Uprooting her from her home in England to settle in Colonial America, Catherine’s fate appears to be out of her control, but things take a turn for the better when Rive abducts her, forcing Flint, a man whose ego is superseded only by his greed, to chase after him.
On a quest to fulfil a vendetta, anRive draws Flint to the Indian village which Flint and his militia had massacred sixteen years prior. Rive wants Flint to be held accountable for his crimes, allowing the Indians their day of justice.
Colonial America is the backdrop for the tale taking readers from the rustic environs of Tarrytown, New York to the burgeoning metropolis of Quebec, Canada. Moving the story are well-arced conflicts. Will Flint be made to face his crimes? Will Catherine be released from her marriage vows to Flint, and will Rive want her if she is freed? These issues are the kindle that keeps the story’s embers inflamed.
The progression of the story, the vivid descriptions of the scenery all keep the reader engrossed in the character’s plight. Camillo’s keen perception about human behavior, desires, and motivation show that she deserves to be on the pedestal alongside such classic romancers as Nora Roberts and Jude Deveraux.