One Wore Blue
Author: Heather Graham
Publisher: Random House – Loveswept
Publication Date: September 8, 2010
The privileged daughter of a Virginia plantation owner, Kiernan Miller can’t imagine that her idyllic life will ever change—nor her days in the company of her devastatingly handsome neighbor, Jesse Cameron, a boy who returns her desire, kiss by tempestuous kiss. Then Jesse commits the one sin that Kiernan can never forgive: He abandons his roots for the Union army. Though Kiernan marries another, a part of her will always love the rebel in blue. To follow his conscience, Jesse Cameron must sacrifice his heart. He deserts his hometown, turns against his own brother, and rides away from the woman he loves. But he vows that it will not be forever. Now, bringing the war to Kiernan’s front door, Jesse has returned as the enemy, intent on winning back the widow with emerald eyes and sun-kissed hair—the beauty who has branded him a traitor.
I debated whether I was going to post this review at all, considering I couldn’t bring myself to finish the book. And then I decided I would be honest about my opinion on this. What’s the point in doing reviews if I can’t be truthful all around, even with books I don’t like?
This book was originally published in June of 1991. I read it somewhere in the early 90’s and then multiple times after that over the course of several years. Clearly I loved it and the two sequels (And One Wore Gray, and One Rode West) at that point in time. I read all of the Cameron books by Ms. Graham. It was reissued a couple of years ago and when I saw it offered on NetGalley, I leaped at the chance to re-read one of the earliest romance novels I remembered falling in love with. How could it go wrong?
Apparently my tastes have changed. A lot. While I’m not going to say this is a bad book in any way, because it truly isn’t given the rich texture of the Civil War and the emotional bonds of the characters involved. However, for who I am as a person and a romance reader, it just doesn’t work for me any longer. The pace is too slow, though you are immediately dropped into the plot both in the prologue (which takes place in the early part of the Civil War) and then when the story proper starts (which starts a couple years earlier, as Ms. Graham had a tendency to do with her books at that point).
The romance, or rather the sex scenes, which struck me as so naughty and graphic at the time (french kissing and actual penetration, I believe), don’t fit my tastes any more and are downright tame compared to even Harlequin Presents these days. This book is definitely more to the 80’s and early 90’s’ bodice-ripper type, though there’s relatively little actual bodice ripping/rape-posed-as-love in this one (now in the other two, as I recall, that’s a little less true).
However, if you are still a fan of those books, or want something a little less graphic than is currently published in today’s books which seem to be in a race for the most graphic, most heated sex possible with multiple partners…by all means, give this series a try. It’s a lovely look at one of the most bloody periods in American history. I still think of it fondly even if I don’t care for it personally any more. If I were rating it based on what I remember, rather than my current tastes, it’d be a 4-star rating from me.
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.