Sweet Release (Blakewell/Kenleigh Family Trilogy, #1) - Pamela Clare I don't go out of my way in search of Historical Fiction, be it Romance or otherwise. I do, however enjoy reading outside my norm every once in a while. I read the synopsis on Sweet Release when I was looking through Amazon's freebies and it looked like a fairly light read that I might enjoy. Isn't it great when you get much more than you bargained for? Sweet Release is set in 1730 and the setting spans between Colonial Virginia and England. The descriptions of the setting in both venues bring the story to life. Pamela Clare does an amazing job of drawing the reader in and lacing them right in the middle of the action. Add that with the depth of the characters and it's hard not to get lost in this Historical setting. Cassie is a wonderful character. She is strong, passionate about what she believes in and considerate, protective and loyal to all those under her care. She is definitely not your typical slave owner and she also isn't a typical woman in her time. Alec/Cole starts out as someone who you're not quite sure about. It's hard to believe that the man you meet in the beginning of the book is a man you will grow to respect as much as you do by the end. He is a womanizer, but he also shows them respect, but never sees himself as someone who could fall in love. He loves his family and works hard at being a gentleman business owner. One night turns his entire world upside down. Once these two characters are put in the same world, the result is amazing. I liked the fact that the romance took as long as it did to develop. The reader knows it's inevitable, but it isn't rushed or forced. The action, drama, twists and turns in the plot and the banter between all the characters makes this quite an entertaining read. Speaking of other characters, this is one book where the secondary characters add a lot to the story. The interactions that they have not only with the main characters but with each other are great. Beyond the romance, this story also packs a powerful message. You can't have a book centered around slavery and not send some type of message, but I liked the way it was handled in Sweet Release. Some of the messages were subtle and some of them were like a slap in the face. Even characters who felt they were beyond reproach were forced to look more closely at their own beliefs. It wasn't preachy or forced, it just fit. You know that a book was worth the read when you finish it and immediately go in search of the next one in the series. The Blakewell/Kenleigh Family Trilogy books have all been released. They follow chronologically but the time span is fairly long between the books. The next book in the series is Carnal Gift and the main male character is only 4 years old when he is introduced in Sweet Release. The final book is titled Ride the Fire and the main male character in it is a new born in Sweet Release. I'm sure I'll be checking out both of them and looking for more books by Pamela Clare in the near future.