Bonnie Dee brings a charming yet suspenseful romance to life in Captive Bride. Heroine Chua Huiann (pronounced Shu-Anne) begins the tale as a tremendously sweet and fragile girl who evolves into a beautiful and strong woman over the course of the story. Dee descriptively portrays Huniann’s struggles with language barriers and new customs. Despite the fact that the book is set in the Victorian era, readers will recognize many of the political and social challenges as issues that remain in contemporary society. However, while the setting and heroine shine, the story's male characters, both the hero and the villain, fall flat. The lack of attention to these character's development is disappointing especially considering the detail given to the other aspects of the book.

Impulsive and kind Chua Huiann travels from her home in China to be married to a wealthy American businessman. But not all that glitters in America is gold. It turns out that Xie Fuhua, Huiann’s betrothed, has no intention of marrying her, but rather plans to sell her as a sex slave. Huiann’s hasty escape lands her in the caring arms of Alan Sommers, a war veteran, shop owner and political idealist. He agrees to hire her as a housekeeper and they quickly form an emotional bond. But the pair must deal with Xie Fuhua at every turn, as he is hunting for Huiann and involved in the political corruption that Alan is trying to fight. (CARINA PRESS, February, dl. $5.99)

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Reviewed by: 
Abigail Ortlieb