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Captive of Sin    by Anna Campbell order for
Captive of Sin
by Anna Campbell
Order:  USA  Can
Award Books, 2009 (2009)
Paperback, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

War hero Sir Gideon Trevethick has no idea that the defiant beauty he rescues in a run down stable is actually the richest and most sought after heiress in all of England. No matter her background, she is just another victim of violence and abuse, a situation he finds unconscionable. Despite the young woman's mistrust and her obvious lies, he is determined to protect her, and persuades her to accompany him to his isolated estate in the wilds of Cornwall.

Lady Charis Weston realizes she has little choice but to accept her benefactor's help. After her beating at the hands of her brutal stepbrothers, she'd fled with nothing more than the clothes on her back. It was only by God's good grace that they hadn't found her already. Sir Gideon's proposal would give her time to recover her physical injuries and remain hidden until her twenty first birthday when law stated that she would no longer be the ward of her greedy stepbrothers. But when the pair come calling with dire threats against Gideon if he does not hand over their wayward sister, Gideon proposes a marriage of convenience. Charis accepts, but it's only after she and Gideon become husband and wife that she understands how emotionally crippled he is - and how desperate her brothers are to obtain her fortune.

Anna Campbell might be a relative newcomer to the historical romance genre, but her lyrical writing, her sense of setting, her knack for creating emotionally charged situations, and in particular her flair for characterization, are all outstanding. In Charis and Gideon she's created a memorable pair of leads, most especially in Gideon as he must deal with not only his growing feelings for his wife but also the shattering reality of his emotional issues.

A rushed and rather clichéd ending mars the conclusion as does Gideon's sudden cure, but as a whole Captive of Sin is one of Campbell's most compelling and sensual stories thus far and certainly marks her as a historical author on the rise.

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