Sultry Southern Nights by Elle LeBeau

Sultry Southern Nights by Elle LeBeau
Publisher: Red Sage Publishing
Genre: Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (227 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism, Toys
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Sultry Southern Nights is an historical, highly erotic and romantic story set in 1858-1860 Charleston, South Carolina and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a noir tale in which the heroes struggle to conquer their inner demons and overcome their enemies. Beth Franklin’s huge, tortured eyes still haunt Rafe LaRue as he recalls the announcement of his betrothal to Amanda Hamilton. Marrying an heiress allows him to save his plantation and position in 1858 Charleston society. But at what cost? Enraged that Rafe cannot quell is obsession with Beth, Amanda acquires forged papers proving Beth to be an octoroon, arranges Beth’s kidnapping, and lends her to Geoffrey Mandeville as his love slave. To her great shame, Beth finds herself submitting to her captor’s relentless seductions and lascivious demands. She hates Geoffrey. How can her body betray her so completely? Rafe believes Beth is dead. Only months later does he learn the depths of Amanda’s perfidy when she brings Beth into their household as her personal slave. Beth convinces Rafe of her innocence and that he will find proof of her heritage in the Ashley family Bible, now in the possession of her former mammy in Philadelphia. Will Rafe be able to find the Bible and prove that Beth has no black blood that would condemn her as a slave? Will Beth be able to escape Geoffrey and his heavily-guarded house? Will she be able to move beyond her trauma? Will Amanda and Geoffrey escape retribution for their evil actions? Sultry Southern Nights is a gripping, spell-binding tale of sex, violence and love.

It’s bad enough to have your heart broken by the only man that your young heart has ever loved but to also be stripped of your freedom and sold into slavery is the ultimate nightmare. New Year’s Eve 1858 Beth Ashley’s life takes a turn in to a life she couldn’t have imagined. How will she prove her heritage to show she’s not a slave? Will she be able to recover emotional from the vile treatment she has endured?

The author has crafted a skillful story that is highly entertaining. The characters in this novel are seemly real. I enjoyed the love and determination that Rafe LaRue had towards Beth, though he made the horrid decision to marry Amanda Hamilton to increase his financial status not knowing the calamitous domino effect it would cause. The author keeps it coming. When I thought all was well and life was good for Beth and Rafe another unpredictable domino would fall.

The writing is enjoyable and I even learned a lot of new words while reading. The book is inundated with vocabulary that caused me to keep a dictionary handy. The plot is engaging and many twist to move the story along. Amanda Hamilton is a egotistical minded woman with sexual desires that cause her to seek consolation in various men. It’s okay for her to find pleasure but she took things to a completely different level to stop her husband from seeing the woman he loved. Awesome job on creating such a villain. Amanda was an unlikeable character and her sole purpose was thinking of herself and what pleased her; how others felt did not matter.

I like the surprise at the end. The conclusion that Beth came to was inspiring to see that she grew from her harsh treatment as a slave and wanted to do something she felt in her heart was a way to help other that have been treat badly.

This is a recommended book that tells a tale of jealously, shame, deceit, remorse and best of all, a man that is determined to be with the woman he loves. How can you pass up a book that includes all this?

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