BOUND BY THE HEART by Marsha Canham

PUBLISHER: Avon, 10/1984
GENRE: Fiction/Historical Romance
SETTING: Caribbean & Barbados, 1811/12

FROM PUBLISHER: Rescued from the stormy waters of the Caribbean, Summer Cambridge, daughter of the British governor of Barbados faced a new threat aboard the American ship Chimera. Captain Morgan Wade, the notorious buccaneer, brazenly ordered the young beauty to his cabin to be held for his own pleasure!

Summer fought him with the ferocity of a wildcat, but held by his insistent passion, she was swept by waves of desire she had never known, and was powerless to resist him.

Even as she returned to Barbados and the marriage that had been arranged for her, she still trembled with memories of those days and nights of forbidden passions, and of the man whose love would forever hold her heart captive.

MY THOUGHTS: I’m reviewing the out of print paperback from 1984, not the rewritten e-book, which has the rape scene removed.

Summer is blond with gray-green eyes. Her age was never given so I’ll assume she’s in her early twenties. She’s a typical, slightly boring heroine. Not very feisty like I prefer, especially in these older books.

The American hero, Morgan, is thirty-four years old and has long black hair and blue eyes. He buys cargo and guns legally then sells them to the French, then transports them to America. In typical bodice ripper fashion, he rapes Summer aboard his ship once or twice (page 35 of print book) and makes no apologies for it. That’s pretty much where his abuse of her ends.

I liked her terrible husband Bennett Winfield. He lost interest in her right after they married. He suspected her of harboring feelings for Morgan and a secret, and forbade her ever seeing him again and threatened to ruin her and her family if she did. He’s shown violence towards her too. I like him much more than I do Morgan.

The story spans about a little over a year, beginning in June 1811. This just wasn’t a good story at all. It fits my criteria of a mild bodice ripper; it had the typical arrogant hero, rape, a decent amount of time apart from each other (over a year), and evil secondary characters and lots of action involving ships.

Morgan’s slightly younger half brother, Stuart Roarke was just pointless in this story.

I liked the first 119 pages when Summer and her ten year old brother Michael were on Morgan’s ship then island, Bounty Key, but once she returned home about a third of the way into the story, boring throughout the rest of the novel. The last fifty pages or so was nothing but one ship fighting against another and I truly forced myself to finish the book. It majority was so uninteresting to me. I really feel like this historical romance turned into purely historical fiction. The only good thing I can say about this is that I love the cover.

Same review here.




  1. Regan Walker said,

    April 6, 2016 at 10:11 PM

    I read the original version of this book and commented to the author that based upon the way she had drawn the hero, he never would have raped the heroine. First, he was titled, a member of the nobility, and then he had been a naval officer. And he knew she was innocent, governess ruse or not. Just couldn’t see him raping her. Based in part on my comments, Canham rewrote the book for the ebook version and I think the sexual tension was scaled back. He still takes her but whether she consents, as I recall, is vague in the newer version (she is drunk). The ship scenes were well done and the villain pretty despicable (her second husband). That much didn’t change from the version you have to the newer one. I liked both versions but the newer one might be more realistic. I would rate both versions higher than you did.

    • ✿ Terri said,

      April 6, 2016 at 10:15 PM

      Hello Regan! You’re not going to believe this but the other day when I was about to start reading this I saw your goodreads review and you mentioned the e-book was rewritten. I didn’t know that until I read your review.

      • Regan Walker said,

        April 6, 2016 at 10:17 PM

        I was looking for my original review and couldn’t find it. Drat! But I do recall the several emails I exchanged with the author about the improbability of this hero doing anything like he did in the original. He wasn’t a pirate, for Peet’s sake.

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