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Monday, July 19, 2010

One Perfect Flower by Roberta C. M. Caprio

One Perfect Flower by Roberta C. M. Caprio
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (352 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

Between the Rifle and the Spears


Raven Eagle, compromised by a white agent invading her village, is sent to live in England with her mother's people. Separated from her siblings, she boards a ship owned by the Lord of Limerick, going to Ireland instead. To save her from the threat of the Sea Patrol, the lord agrees to an arranged marriage.

Braiton Shannon, suffering from an inherited illness forbidding intimacy, becomes tormented by his heart’s desire to love Raven. Her courage in the face of danger saves him from death, risking her own life to release him from his curse. Raven's spirit and determination spans the globe from an Apache Reservation to an Irish manor, and she learns if you are true to yourself, love always finds a way.

Curiosity, compassion, and concern for others lead Raven Amelia Eagles from degradation to adoration on a journey fraught with perils, but she has a hero, albeit a reluctant one. From an Arizona Indian reservation to misty, green Ireland, Raven struggles to adjust to unforeseen happenings. An Apache Princess with an English woman of nobility for a mother, Raven is well-educated in both cultures, but she holds dearest in her heart the freedom she knew in tribal living before the white men came and herded her people onto a reservation where they were starved and mistreated.

Raven’s parents send her and her sister, in the care of their brother Gabriel, to England to take their rightful place there, but the brother proves less than dependable while Raven proves more than concerned for him and gets in trouble. She ends up on the wrong ship, a cargo ship headed for Ireland while her brother and sister are on a passenger ship headed for England. She copes and helps Molly, the cook, to pay for her passage. To her, work is honorable and she knows how to do many helpful things, but she doesn’t know how to deal with her feelings for the ship’s owner, Braiton Shannon—her hero who saves her again and again.

Braiton tells Raven he is a man of his word and they will be friends only, but Raven thinks he considers her “damaged merchandise”. She cries in anger and humiliation for what has happened to her, then she remembers her father telling her to never let anybody make her feel badly about herself. She is of proud blood.

Braiton Shannon is a rich and powerful yet good man with a secret horror he struggles with every day of his life. This horror governs how he relates to Raven and causes him many sleeplessness nights. His honest business dealings, his fairness to his employees, and the way he deals with traitorous friends bring him to life on the pages of One Perfect Flower. Still better, the reader can feel the depth of his emotions, and the struggle he has concerning Raven.

The secondary characters are critical to the working out of many conflicts that beset Braiton and Raven. Molly counsels Raven and says, “We’re not always given what we want, and so we must make the best o’ what we have”. Anna, the housekeeper (and so much more), tells Braiton that Raven should be told the truth. She should have a choice and he should not make that choice for her.

One Perfect Flower, remarkably good, has unique twists and turns that surprise. It captives the very essence of Raven and Braiton revealing qualities that make them truly heroic in the ideal sense of the word. Their journey from despair to undying devotion is memorably told by Roberta C. M. De Caprio with an engaging writing style that carries the reader along as smooth as a sailboat on a calm sea with a friendly breeze to fuel its sails.