One Perfect Flower by Roberta C. M. DeCaprio

Story: 8
Presentation: 9
Total: 17
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Spicy Historical Western
To Purchase

Blurb: 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.

Review: The cover was not very appealing when I first saw it. Picture of a pretty flower done in pastel pinks and grays was nice but not all that great. When I was almost finished reading the story the cover started to make sense, I changed my mind, my thought was "ah ha, now the cover makes perfect sense and it is a great choice". Molly tells Raven she is beautiful as a flower and again at the end of the story it becomes clear that Raven is the perfect flower.

The opening scene was a grabber, the aftermath of a young woman's rape is enough to make all women readers want to get revenge for her. The plot developed from there. She is half white and half Indian living on an Apache reservation in Arizona. Her white mother convinces her Apache father to send Raven, her sister and brother to relatives in London to escape the white agents who control the reservation and violate and abuse the Indians living there.

The description of the Indian women's clothing made the description of white women's clothing show just how miserable the white women must have been in all the many layers that respectable ladies were expected to wear. Changing from a soft, flexible moccasin to a stiff shoe with a very pointed toe and buttoned to well above the ankle must have been miserable. Ms. DeCaprio describes how uncomfortable it was.

Raven becomes an accidental stowaway on the wrong ship going across the Atlantic. Lord of Limerick, Braiton Shannon, is the captain/owner of the ship. He marries Raven to protect her against arrest by the "Sea Patrol". This is his third time to rescue Raven. She has a miscarriage and loses the baby who was the result of the rape at the reservation.

There are many hints throughout the story about a terrible secret of Braiton's. Terrance, the ship's physician provides one of these hints when he suggests a year of marriage and "Raven will never have to know the truth about what physically ails you...." Braiton thinks many times about how he has been cursed and would never inflict his hell on her or a child of his own. He and Terrance agree the marriage be unconsummated because "she doesn't deserve to be caught up in my hell."

Raven's sister and brother go to London and Raven lands in Ireland with her husband. They have agreed to be married for one year and then he will send her to London.

The discussions of Raven and Braiton about the differences in cultures and lifestyles of British/Irish life and the Apache reservation and the Irish dialogue and Apache terms were enjoyable reading. I think they added to the contrast in lifestyles and how much Raven had to learn.

Besides their cultural differences, Raven and Braiton had other problems to overcome. She has confrontations with Joleena, who wants Braiton. Joleena and her brother are causing business problems in Braiton's shipping business. Raven becomes pregnant by drunken Braiton and he does not remember the encounter.

There were only two things about the story that bothered me. The Apaches never had a social structure with titles like "princess”. A chief's daughter did not have a social ranking equal to the British. The other thing was the "Sea Patrol". The British did not have a naval force called "Sea Patrol". These two technicalities did not detract from my enjoyment of reading the story. This is a story I enjoyed; I was up after midnight because I couldn't wait to read what was happening next! It was great.

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