REVIEW: Crystal Passion
CRYSTAL PASSION by Jo Goodman cured my romance reading moratorium. The pandemic and the political unrest this year eliminated my ability to read for pleasure. I tried everything – new, old, unusual, weird, and completely out of my comfort zone. Nothing appealed. I tossed more books unfinished than ever in my life. Finally, this book written in 1985 gave me comfort and revived my love of romantic historical fiction.
Why was this book in Dorine’s TBR? Our theme for this month’s TBR Challenge is exactly why this book was on my digital shelf. Jo Goodman is my favorite historical western romance writer. Our theme was to find a “comfort read”. What can be more comforting than a favorite author? Well, there’s more to that comfort reading than I knew I was in for with this book.
I started reading historical romance fiction in the 1980s. Yes, I know I’m dating myself, but this old lady is beyond caring about who knows she’s old, especially when her mind doesn’t agree, even if her body refuses to listen. I had overindulged in all the historical fiction I could find, after discovering it in the late 1970s. I fell upon historical romance by accident, which instigated my love for this style of historical fiction that has been with me ever since.
So, the fact that Jo Goodman writes my favored historical romance westerns didn’t phase me when this book began in England in 1775. Once I realized this was going to be a late colonial, my absolute favorite period in American history, I was digging in with my whole heart. These stories are a rarity and I was beyond excited to find this one.
It didn’t disappoint. Oh sure, it has a lot of the nuances of 1980s historical romance that can be maddening to us modern historical romance readers, but I did not care. I loved it all. Even the bits that normally make me roll my eyes and scream at the heroine for being so stupid. And I yelled at the hero, too, for being a jerk and not realizing he had lain with the heroine in his ill stupor. She was mortified, of course, and didn’t tell him.
It all makes sense in the end and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. That’s because both characters are good people in unusual circumstances. They’re easy to forgive because they’re so likable.
What I loved most was all the detail about the Sons of Liberty and the unfolding of possible treason that sounded all too familiar. This was the time of American democracy and I couldn’t wait to read more. It was exactly what I needed. I wanted to feel good about our freedoms and where we started.
CRYSTAL PASSION is book one of THE MCCLELLANS SERIES. I downloaded all three books when I found the first one, then set them aside for someday. I’m glad I had them in my stash, because I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. SEASWEPT ABANDON is book two and TEMPTING TORMENT is book three.
At 448 pages, CRYSTAL PASSION is a large book. Toward the middle, I thought the book was ending and was pleasantly surprised when we were treated to the early days of this couple’s life together. This gave me a chance to get to know the McClellan clan, as well as imagine where Jo Goodman will take us next. If you love a detailed historical full of adventure, evil men set on controlling others, and a lively group of men and women who strive to win against anything put before them while falling in love, then I think you’ll enjoy this one, too.
P.S. – it’s good to be back writing on my blog again. I have a lot planned for the future, including posts on gardening, recipes, and travel, and I’m excited about the year to come. I hope you’ll join me. Happy 2021!
Review by Dorine, courtesy of TheZestQuest.com. A digital copy was purchased by me. Thanks in advance for following links and sharing this review on social media. #RomBkBlog #TBRChallenge
Crystal Passion by Jo Goodman
Series: The McClellans Series, Book 1
Category: Historical Romance, American Colonial
Publisher: ePublishing Works! (December 20, 2017, original 1985)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 Stars
January 21, 2021 at 7:27 am
I want to wish you a happy year, hopefully with more great books for you!
I have only read a book by this author and although I liked it well enough, it didn’t rock my world lol
I might try another one day, to compare.
January 21, 2021 at 11:05 am
Thanks so much, Sonia! I hope you find some great reads this year as well. I do that, too – try one and if it doesn’t rock my world, I’m not anxious to try again. LOL I haven’t even come close to reading everything Goodman has written, but I think her more recent western historicals are very fun.
January 21, 2021 at 2:42 pm
Ooh, Jo Goodman is a good comfort pick. I read Only in My Arms in 2018 for a buddy read and we both loved it.
that can be maddening to us modern historical romance readers, but I did not care. I loved it all. Even the bits that normally make me roll my eyes and scream at the heroine for being so stupid. And I yelled at the hero, too, for being a jerk
So with you on this, older books definitely get more leeway on this stuff with me but if there isn’t a huge jump across the line and the overall story captures me, I’ll still like the story in spite of it. Should be interesting we when have the Bodice Ripper month, lol.
January 21, 2021 at 6:46 pm
Exactly on the bodice rippers. LOL I read way too many of those in my 20s. I’ve tried to reread my favorites and I’m appalled, chucking the book at the wall. Hahahaha But, back then, they worked for me. We’ve come a long way, baby! This one is much smoother and didn’t make me crazy.