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on Oct. 22, 2013 :
A historical romantic adventure set in a nicely different time and place, Dellani Oakes’ Indian Summer tells of the Spanish governor’s family in St. Augustine, Florida, enjoying high society while still treating the common people with sensible care. But the British are coming with plans to change the world.
Intriguing details of Indian tribes, British spies, history and politics feed very naturally into this young adult romance as teenager Bella wonders what the future will bring to her. About to become officially adult as she turns fifteen, she knows little of the world of men, and doesn’t understand why a servant might tell her to beware. Soon two handsome characters are vying for her attentions. But a storm of weather, matching Bella’s storm of emotions, helps her decide where her heart might lie.
Soon there are promises of wedding vows. Humor and innocence combine in the gently natural conversation and innuendos of Bella and her confidantes. But the dashingly handsome spouse-to-be is kept away by work, and suddenly fun and games give way to earnest danger and plots. New temptations loom and Bella struggles to stay true to her body and the man she loves, while her world falls apart.
Indian Summer is a pleasing light-hearted story of love, loyalty, friendship and fun, with just a hint of history’s dark themes, making it a thoroughly enjoyable, slightly edgy YA romantic suspense.
Disclosure: I got my ecopy free through a book club, I think.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on April 01, 2013 :
Indian Summer by Delani Oakes
This book is historical romance at it’s best. A true delight.
In Spain in 1739 Gabriella is about to come of age. As she prepares excitedly for her big party she has no idea of what is in store for her. As the daughter of the Governor, Gabriella has led a sheltered life along with her two sisters and young brother.
Intrigue and romance go hand in hand as the author takes us on an unforgettable journey with Gabriella, a remarkable young lady.
Be thrilled when she falls in love, be concerned when she has dreams, be happy when she has her coming of age party, be afraid when she goes to the fort. What will happen when she is lost and alone? Does her destiny lie with Manuel, James or Swordfish? Read this and discover.
A very enjoyable book I strongly recommend it. I give it 5 stars.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Nov. 25, 2012 :
Indian Summer, by Dellani Oakes, is a story that would appeal to the younger romance readers. It draws the reader into a world of the past that is not much different emotionally to the world of today. The suspense of the events surrounding the heroine draws you on through a plot that is not over-complicated and is an easy read.
Our story is set in the town of St. Augustine, Florida, which is under attack by the British.
It begins on February 15, 1739. Our heroine Gabriella Deza is a young girl of the tender age of fourteen. She is just coming into age where her mind and heart become awhirl with thoughts of boys and men instead of more childish pastimes.
As Gabriella is approaching her fifteenth birthday, and her big coming of age party, she becomes increasingly intrigued with her older sisters’ interests in men and marriage.
She soon begins to experience the first tingling of sexual attraction and the whirlwind emotions of an adolescent girl that can make a crush drive her mad and bring forth titillating fantasies.
Gabriella is also on the verge of discovering the more mature relationships and romance.
She soon finds herself considering two possible suitors. Dr. James Stevens, a surgeon attached with the fort and an Englishman is the first to show an interest. However, Gabriella’s attention is quickly drawn to the more exciting Manuel Enriques, a man her maid-servant encourages her to stay clear of for her own good.
As her fifteenth birthday draws nearer, Gabriella gets wrapped up in a whirlwind romance with Manuel. The romance becomes almost a torment for her as she finds herself terrified both by her own overpowering urges and Manuel’s passion for her.
However, before that day can come Gabriella’s world becomes turned upside down as the secrecy and intrigue between her father and Manuel deepens, taking her lover away from her for dangerous secret missions for her father.
At last, Gabriella’s big coming out party draws upon her, together with the promise that she will be permitted to marry Manuel. However, the dangerous events come home for her as the fort is attacked and Gabriella discovers the traitor in their midst. Gabriella flees for her life with her heart broken by the knowledge that her lover may be dead. Pursued by the traitor, she finds safety and solace with a new man whose passionate longing for her rivals Manuel’s and soon brings out her own passion for him.
Will Gabriella end up with her original suitor, the Englishman Dr. James Stevens who at first seemed to be the right match? Or will she stay with the aboriginals who took her in, get over her misgivings of betraying Manuel who very likely is dead, and let herself love Sailfish, the tribe’s chief’s nephew and next in line to be chief? And what of Manuel, whose death Gabriella was certain she witnessed but couldn’t quite let herself believe?
While Dellani Oakes stays true to the recipe for romance in many aspects, including the young innocent heroine falling for the older experienced man, she does stray in one significant way. It was a refreshing change to experience a romance where the obstacles involved outside forces instead of the usual emotionally abusive nature of the hero who inevitably wins the girl by treating her badly.
In this story the hero is neither abusive, nor treats our heroine badly at all. This is a true love story where love triumphs over situation and not one drawing on emotional strife to force the couple together.
I would recommend this to any young romance reader.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on March 13, 2012 :
Dellani does an excellent job of taking us into the world of 18th century young love with Gabriella and Manuel. She also gives us action, adventure and betrayal without going over the top.
Giving us enough twists and turns to keep us guessing right up until the very end, this book was well written. I highly recommend it for romance readers and YA lovers.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)