Major Rayce Hampton is the Confederacy’s final hope to turn the tide of war. Haunted by heartache of generations past, love is the last thing he has on his mind when he meets Eden Blair. The emerald-eyed beauty is as headstrong as she is tempting, but Rayce must keep his wits – and his secrets – as he executes his dangerous undercover mission to save the South.
Accomplished nurse Eden Blair has secrets too, only she doesn’t know about them yet. Stung by her fiancé’s betrayal, she has no reason to trust the scandalous Major Hampton. But as Yankee troops close in, Eden must take refuge in the major’s mysterious ancestral home, leading her into the shadowy corners of deceit and desire, where endless love lurks within every soft whisper.
Here lately, I have been craving me a Civil War romance read, which there was one that I had my eye on for a couple months that I really wanted to try after taking a peep at the first few preview
pages on Amazon. The saying goes, if the book piques your interest within the first chapter, it’s gonna be good and folks, Thorns of Eden was good, I loved every bit of it. I have never read a book by Diana Ballew, so this was a first for me.
Rayce, the hero, was such a rascal. I loved him from the beginning when he first met Eden in the local mercantile store as she was buying fabric for a dress. He was so open, blunt, and very, VERY,
forward with her. Her reaction to him was priceless. Right then and there he loved her fiery spirit and couldn’t get her off his mind. Eden hopes she doesn’t ever see the devil again, but what she doesn’t know is, that she will encounter the devil in the flesh soon, very soon as the matter of fact at her sister in laws wedding. He was aware of her the whole time, but Eden had no clue he was the cousin that Lucy (sister in law) was talking about and when they meet again at the wedding, she about has a fit, which Rayce basks in the enjoyment of her shock. While they dance, he boldly states that he wants her, which Eden thinks he wants to marry her, but no no, he doesn’t want that, he wants her in his ‘bed’. Eden refuses, but you know how romances go, the heroine detests the hero, but the hero is very charming and manages to lure her to his web, right where he wants her. Rayce is the ‘love em & leave em’ type of man, never settling down or having long term relationships but with Eden, everything changes and has him changing his mind about marriage and a family.
What I didn’t expect in this book is the theme of ‘reincarnation’. You see there is supposedly a curse on the Hampton family where the men never lead a happy life with a woman, which starts with his grandfather – Captain Reginald Hampton – when his wife boards a ship and leaves him while he goes mad watching out the third story window waiting for her return to him. Over the years, either the wife leaves the love struck husband, the mother has nothing to do with her child due to her husbands transgressions, or she bares a bastard child. The so called curse supposedly still continues on with Rayce. Trinidad – Rayce’s half sister – has the sight and can see things others cannot. She knows of this curse and tells Eden of it, that she is the only one that can save Rayce. Near the end, she has Eden look at the painting of Rayce’s grandfather – he looks remarkably like him, clear down to his raven hair and dark eyes -, she tells her to look, really LOOK into his eyes to see what Trinidad is trying to say. She goes on saying that they are one and the same, which had me thinking ‘No….is she talking about reincarnation? There is reincarnation in this book??’. I thought, ‘meh’, maybe its just a silly hunch of mine. But at the end, she covers up the painting of a woman with emerald green eyes and honey blonde hair adorning a magnolia blossom – If you have read the book, Eden’s perfume is magnolia scented -, stating that the Captain – Rayce’s grandfather – can rest now, that she has come home, which to mean sounds like the curse is finally broken and Captain Reginald Hampton can finally rest – he supposedly haunts the third floor if you are still with me.
Another thing that I really liked about the book is Rayce’s sly mischievous innuendos he throws at Eden all throughout the book. I couldn’t help but to snicker at the man. Also I loved his nickname
for Eden – Sweetness. He would affectionately call her that whenever he was near her.
After finishing this book, it has me highly curious of Diana’s other works, which I am sure I will eventually get around to trying them out in the near future as well.