Read with: Paperback
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Ivy Books
Hero: Lucas Gallagher
Heroine: Jesmond Corbett (Jessie)
Date of Publication: July 3, 2001
Started On: September 23, 2010
Finished On: September 24, 2010
This story is set in Tasmania in the Australian continent in the 1800’s, a time during which this picturesque island witnessed the most shudderingly brutal excesses of the British convict system according to the Author’s note at the end of the book. I have read a couple of books set in Australia during this time period some of which I have reviewed previously.
Jesmond Corbett (Jessie) returns to her beloved home known as Corbetts Castle in Tasmania after spending two years studying Geology at the Ladies Academy of Science in London. Engaged since childhood to marry Harrison Winthrop Tate, childhood friend and the only son of their closest neighbors, Jessie is glad to come home even though the thought that her robust and energetic father who had died 3 weeks after she had left to London and wouldn’t be there to welcome her with open arms saddens her.
Anselm and Beatrice Corbett had had 6 children, 3 girls and 3 boys out of which the youngest of each were the only ones who were alive. Whilst Cecil and Reid Corbett had both died horrific deaths, one at the hands of the merciless sea that surrounds the island and the other at the hands of the rogue Aborigines, the sisters Jane and Catherine Corbett had succumbed to the effects of Scarlet fever. Beatrice who was strictly British and upheld the iron control on her emotions that the British were famous for had always let the fact be known that she had adored the 4 children who had died more than Warrick and Jessie, both of whom had always been a trifle wild and harder to bend to the rules of the society.
Jessie knows that no matter how hard she tries to please her mother by molding herself into something she is not her mother Beatrice would never be completely happy or satisfied with her efforts. And when upon her return she lays eyes on Lucas Gallagher, an Irish convict who sets her pulse racing with the danger and wildness that seems an integral part of him, Jessie instinctively knows that Lucas answers some deep calling within her that yearns to be set free.
Lucas is a man hell bent on escaping the harsh life he had had to endure as a convict up until now. Lucas is a man far too proud to ever accept the fact that he is not his own master and the thought that he would practically die as a slave in the wilderness of Tasmania makes him more determined that he would escape or die trying. But when he lays eyes on the beautiful Jesmond Corbett, a woman who is forbidden to him on so many levels within the society he was forced to live in changes everything.
No matter how hard Jessie or Lucas tries to deny the intense connection between them, they find themselves helpless in the need to be with one another. Lucas tries his damnedest to say no to what his heart clamors for when Jessie looks at him with those beautiful blue eyes of hers, but one forbidden kiss flares every need that he has ruthlessly tamped down til now.
Once Jessie had tasted passion in Lucas’s arms, she knows that there is no going back and that marriage to Harrison who was as rigid in his views on the proper behavior of genteel women in the society as Beatrice would mean a slow death for the passionate and vibrant woman that she is. But then again, there is always a heady price one has to pay for indulging in the forbidden desires of the heart and both Lucas and Jessie would have to love and trust one another beyond anything comparable in order to triumph over all obstacles in their way, to embrace a love as fierce as the wilderness that surrounds them.
A story so beautifully written that you cannot help but be ensnared by the magic it slowly weaves on you, Candice Proctor surely knows her stuff with the beautiful characters she creates. I am just sad that she doesn’t write romances of this kind anymore because she is so good at creating the most beautiful love stories and Night in Eden is a testament to her glaringly obvious talent in this regard.
His hand moved over her breast in a rough, agonizing caress, tanned, scarred fingers against black satin that they watched together. “Do you?” he said, his hand still roving her breast, his face taut. “Do you understand that when I say I want to touch you, I mean I want to touch all of you – all those secret places where you’ve never been touched before, where you’ve probably never even dreamed of being touched. It means I want to lay you down on the grass with your skirts rucked up about your waist and your flesh bare beneath my hands.” His fingers found her nipple through the cloth of her dress, and the pleasure was so piercing, she almost cried out with it. He saw, and his lips curled into a fierce smile. “And when I say I want you, Miss Jesmond Corbett of Castle Corbett, it means I want to bury myself deep inside of you, I want to take you, hard and rough and hungry. Here. Now. Because I am a hard man, and my life is rough, and you have no idea of the hunger that burns inside me.”