Fierce Edenby Jennifer Blake
"Blake's style is as steamy as a still July night on the bayou, as overwhelmingly hot as Cajun spice." -Chicago Tribune
She was living in fear...
Beautiful, young widow Elise Laffont embraces her freedom during the daylight hours, running the farm she loves so dearly, but the night brings with it painful reminders of the torment she endured/b>/i>/b>
"Blake's style is as steamy as a still July night on the bayou, as overwhelmingly hot as Cajun spice." -Chicago Tribune
She was living in fear...
Beautiful, young widow Elise Laffont embraces her freedom during the daylight hours, running the farm she loves so dearly, but the night brings with it painful reminders of the torment she endured at the hands of her abusive husband. Fate may have taken her husband, but it hasn't erased the scars he left, and Elise wonders if she will ever be able to bear the touch of a man again.
He was a man torn by desire...
From the moment he laid eyes on the beautiful widow, Reynaud Chevalier wanted her. When disaster offers him the chance to claim her as his own, Reynaud seizes the opportunity to bind Elise to him, unaware that behind her determined bravado lays a heart shattered by the past.
Praise for Jennifer Blake:
"Full of Blake's captivating historical detail, rich, sensual atmosphere, and the intelligent banter and dialogue that make her characters so unique." -Affaire de Coeur
"Blake's a master at romantic fiction." -Chattanooga Times
"A most intriguing and passionate novel." - Fresh Fiction
"Bestselling author Jennifer Blake's Fierce Eden, is steamy, full of historical accuracy, and just the right book for any historical romance fan. " - Romance Fiction on Suite101.com
"Chock full of action, adventure, passion, and survival, Fierce Eden was a great read and one that I highly recommend. " - The Royal Reviews
"A sweeping, vibrant historical tale of love, honor, betrayal and adventure." - Linda Banche Romance Author
"Well paced, compelling, and delightfully satisfying, romance lovers are sure to enjoy this one!" - Minding Spot
"A master story teller... a tale that will be remembered long after the last page is read. Marvelous reading! " - Long and Short Reviews
"The story is one that takes you from one place to another, one culture to one vastly different and shows not only the blossoming romance between the two main characters but how it effects the world around them." - Savey Spender
"A very sensual and romantic book, with history woven into it." - Deb's Book Bag
"Blake is a master of research and description... tantalizingly delicious." - Love Romance Passion
"A great blend of romance, adventure, sexual tension, and historical information.... a story that firmly plants the reader into the past." - Life in the Thumb
"Amazing. The historical detail was rich and obviously well-researched." - Books Like Breathing
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.05(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.07(d)
Read an Excerpt
The gathering was sparse. At the board of Commandant Chepart, with its cloth of Flemish linen scattered with bread crumbs and ringed with spilled wine, there were a number of conspicuously empty chairs. It was not to be wondered at, of course, not when every day brought fresh rumors of unrest among the Indians. The village of the Natchez tribe was so close and tempers so uncertain that few cared to risk being caught on the road at dawn, should the evening be prolonged.
Elise Laffont had felt a qualm or two herself. She did not usually attend such affairs as the commandant's soiree, nor would she have this evening if it had not been most important. She had kept to herself during the past three years since her husband had died. Some considered it, she knew, a becoming show of grief and modesty in such a young widow. The truth was that she preferred her own company and had far too much to do managing the estate left to her for frivolous amusement to be an attraction.
From the head of the table came a roar of laughter. Chepart, chuckling at his own joke, signaled the servant behind his chair to refill the glasses of his guests with the excellent Madeira that was to accompany the dessert course. The light of the candles in the crystal chandelier, hanging from the rough rafters overhead, gleamed among the waves of Elise's honey-brown hair, bright despite their dusting of white powder, as she turned her head to glance at her host.
The warm amber of her eyes turned cool with the disdain that rose to her finely molded features.
Two places farther along the board, Madame Marie Doucet leaned across her husband to catch Elise's eye. Her plump face was alight with good-natured amusement and pleasure. "Commandant Chepart is quite the bon vivant tonight, is he not?"
"Certainly he thinks so," Elise said under her breath.
"What was that, chère? I didn't quite catch it."
The older woman had been quite pretty once, in a doll-like fashion. She had kept the quick coquettish mannerisms and light tone of voice despite the gray in her fading blonde hair. She had been a good friend to Elise, however, in the past few years and a good neighbor who lived less than a third of a league away. Elise had learned to overlook much of the silliness for the sake of the kind heart underneath.
Elise shook her head in quick dismissal. "Nothing."
The commandant of Fort Rosalie, the representative of His Royal Majesty King Louis XV here in the wilderness known as Louisiana, was indeed given to good living. Elise, with a slight curl of her mouth, which was smooth and a trifle wide, thought that he was more of a debauchee than a bon vivant. Chepart had been a tankard friend of her husband. He and Vincent Laffont had spent many an evening drinking each other under the table and guffawing at crude stories. When her husband had had the consideration to drown himself while fishing on the Mississippi, the commandant had come to her. He had been all concern, most solicitous of her comfort and well-being; so solicitous, in fact, that he had pressed her down upon a settle and thrust his hand into her bodice to fondle her breasts. She had snatched a wooden knitting needle from the basket in the corner of the settle and done her best to skewer him with it, then had taken down Vincent's musket from over the fireplace and ordered the commandant from her property. When he had gone, she had cried for the first time since Vincent's death, tears of rage and disgust, and of gladness that she need never again submit to any man.
It was distressing, then, that she must now ask a favor of Commandant Chepart. She did not like to accept his hospitality, much less endure his company; still, she would do it until she had what she wanted from the fat fool.
She allowed her gaze to wander around the room, noting the jewel-colored Turkish rug underfoot, the silk hangings at the shuttered, glassless windows, the Watteau pastoral scene that hung above the enormous fireplace, where red coals pulsed with fire and a black log smoldered. How out of place these things seemed in the simplicity of the house provided for the fort's commander. With the elaborate table setting and the ridiculous grandeur of the crystal chandelier that shed its light upon them, the furnishings were an indication of both the commandant's pretentious arrogance and his ambition. Chepart intended to use his office as a stepping-stone to greater things, perhaps an appointment at court, but in the meantime it pleased him to live in comfortable splendor, regardless of how his underhanded dealings with the commission merchants might affect supplies for the fort and the men who manned it.
What means could she use to persuade someone like Chepart to listen to her? She did not have the funds to offer him monetary inducement, and she refused to consider bartering that commodity she felt might interest him most: herself. But perhaps she was wrong in thinking that he would want something in return for what she would ask. It was not so great a request, not so unusual after all, however much it might mean to her. It would be no loss to the commandant to allow the prisoners now in the guardhouse at the fort to build a storage barn and poultry yard for her.
The men were not dangerous, being charged officially with nothing more serious than insubordination, for all Chepart's railing about sedition and a blatant attempt to undermine his authority. The crime committed had been the spirited representation by these men, all of them officers of the fort, of the wisdom of preparing a defense against the coming Indian rising. That there was going to be one, they were positive. Their information had come straight from the Indian village of White Apple, from women who had heard it direct from Tattooed Arm, mother of the Great Sun, who was the ruler of the Natchez.
Chepart had not been impressed by their source. He had declared that French soldiers should know better than to be swayed by their Indian whores and that his officers would learn better if he had to whip the skin from their backs to bring home the lesson. No puny Indian tribe would dare to challenge the might of France. Hadn't the diplomacy of the French governors of Louisiana always ensured amicable relations with their Indian allies? They were as children in the hands of men of intelligence and guile. Besides, no Indian chieftain would dare to order an attack knowing that the armed force of France would be turned against his people for such treachery.
In Elise's opinion, it was just such blatant disdain for the Natchez, just such lack of judgment in dealing with them, that was the reason for her pressing need for a barn and fenced yard. It was Chepart's bungling that had caused the recent unrest of the Indians, had turned them into marauders who took delight in carrying off her chickens and ducks, hogs and calves. Not that the Natchez had any great appreciation for property rights at the best of times, but everyone knew that their depredations in the last months were made from a sense of ill-usage and spite. And every day they became bolder.
Unconsciously Elise turned her amber gaze upon the corpulent figure of her host. Chepart, catching her eye, raised his glass to her. His expression held a hint of barely concealed lust as he surveyed her high-piled hair, the proud tilt of her chin, and the determined self-possession of her features in the oval of her face. He lifted his hand to twist a curl of his long, full wig where it fell over his shoulder as he permitted his overwarm gaze to drop to the low bodice of her gold brocade gown, which cupped the gentle swells of her breasts. His thick tongue came to lick his lips, leaving them wet.
Meet the Author
Since publishing her first book at age twenty-seven, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Jennifer Blake has written over sixty historical and contemporary romances. She brings the seductive passion of the South to her stories, reflecting her seventh-generation Louisiana heritage. Jennifer lives with her husband in northern Louisiana
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I found the book very interesting and enjoyable to read.
*Excellent plot with adventure, action, history, and romance in every turn of a page. Highly recommend...
Wonderfully portrayed characters lots of historical facts take you back in time. A lovestory and adventure you will not soon forget. Loved this book.
I rarely give a review of the stories for few are worth the trouble but in Jennifer Blake's storu of Fierce Eden is one of the best stories today. As an author she researches her stories well and goes in to great detail with her discriptions.... whether is discribing a person or the landscape or emotions. I have read most of her work and have loved each and every one of her books but in my opinion this is one of her best stories. It would be a shame If you pass this remarkable story for then you'd miss a chance to laugh, be angry, and to share a wonderful lovestory between to remakable people.
Elise Laffont, a widow, abused by her late husband, wonders if she’ll be able to love a man with all her heart ever again. Reynaud Chavalier wants Elise and is determined to have her…all of her. First, he must tear down the walls that keep her emotionally chained to her shattered past. FIERCE EDEN is both a tender and steamy love story, filled with tribulations and triumphs…all the usual beauty of romance and timeless love that comes from the writing of Jennifer Blake.
Elise Laffont and Reynaud Chavalier's trek through the forest to escape mayhem brings to mind the beginning of the Longfellow poem "Evangeline": "This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight." Fierce Eden is a vicarious trip back in history with strong, resourceful, and, of course, flawed characters that are memorable. Their will to live, their determination to hold on to the culture they know, and their resilience is mindboggling-awesome reading. The Natchez Indian Uprising, after so many years of ill treatment by the French, sets in motion events that start gigantic changes in the social structure of Louisiana Territory in the early eighteenth century. Fierce Eden is spellbinding. Elise Laffont is a widow who has managed her property well since the death of her abusive husband, but her independent ways go against the grain of the many men who want her and her property. She's been able to meet and beat their challenges until the Natchez Indians attack, killing and burning. Hiding in the forest, with nothing but the clothes on her back, she makes necessary decisions to stay alive. Her back-story gives the reader revealing insight into her survival instincts, her intelligence, and her skill with people. The French-educated Reynaud Chavalier, half Natchez and half French, drives a hard bargain before he agrees to take Elise and other "on-the-run" French to a safe post. His own agenda puts him in danger, but he knows what he wants and is willing to take the risk. He seems to embody the best of both cultures in which he was reared. He is unquestionably a hero-though a somewhat flawed one. Even flawed, he is a lover that makes the heart race. To Elise who has suffered at the hands of every man she's ever known, Reynaud is unbelievable. The freedom of choice he gives her becomes an aphrodisiac to Elise-the love scenes sizzle. Elise and Reynaud's love story reaches far past the physical. It shows a love that is loyal, faithful, giving, and felt to the core. However, Fierce Eden is much more than just a love story. It plumbs the depth of the human condition, reveals every one of the Cardinal Sins, yet, shows the compassion and caring that some of the characters never lose even when all hope seems gone. It also showcases how history is made and cultures changed. Jennifer Blake, a master story teller, transports the reader to another time and place as she weaves together incredible descriptions of the environment, historical information, cultural differences, and a fantastic love story to create a tale that will be remembered long after the last page is read. Marvelous reading! Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
FIERCE EDEN by Jennifer Blake is a wonderful historical romance set in 1700's Louisiana and Mississippi.This book was originally released in 1985.It is well written with depth,details,full of historical facts, twists and turns.It has Indians,strong characters,passion,sweet sensuality,obligation to family,slavery by the Natchez,romance,adventure, Natchez Indians,massacre,Louisana Bayou,sacrifice and of course love.The hero,Reynaud,is half Natchez,half French,handsome,well educated,handsome,tattoo over his chest,strong,determined,the brother of the Natchez chief,becomes the Natchez war chief,desires the heroine,helps a few of the French escape massacre for a small price,the beautiful French widow(Elise),and is a French gentleman.The heroine,Elise,is a widow,French,beautiful,fear of the marriage bed due to her dead husband,must willingly go to Reynaud's bed for him to lead them to safety,has a determination to survive, and will survive with the help of Reynaud learns that their are good and evil men in the world,Reynaud's is a good,kind,and decent man.Together,they embark on an adventure that will bring them to trust each other,for Reynaud runs the gauntlet to save Elise,and Reynaud will bind Elise to him forever.This is a wonderfully written story of love,passion,sacrifice,saving a enemy,saving a culture,leaving a shattered heart in the past,starting a future of happiness,love and trust.If you enjoy Indian culture,learning more of the Louisiana and Mississippi history,Indian culture I would highly recommend this story.It is fast paced,action packed,full of adventure,page turning,with a list of unique characters.This book was received for the purpose of review from the publisher and details can be found at Sourcebooks Casablance,an imprint of Sourcebooks,Inc and My Book Addiction and More.
This is an incredible story that blends romance with the history of the Natchez Indians.