When Risen Glory was first published in 1984, readers were enthralled and I was one of them. I loved that powerful story of a bold heroine and dangerous hero and the volatile relationship set against a time of great turmoil in Americas history. I didnt want a new version of a book that was a classic for me. Thus, it was with some trepidation that I picked up the revised reissue, JUST IMAGINE.
I should have known that a writer as clever and careful as Ms. Phillips would never ruin the integrity of a novel she knows is beloved by many readers. With great care and finesse, she subtly altered a few scenes to minimally soften her hero and make sure there was no hint of rough sex or anything that could be misconstrued as rape.
The same powerful relationship simmers between the daring Southern hellion Kit and Baron Cain, the bold Yankee officer who shes come to kill when she suddenly finds out that as her stepmothers son he is her guardian and the owner of her beloved home. The story told in Risen Glory is just as strong as ever. The lovers tense contest of wills has not been diminished nor have the slight touches of humor been muted in any way.
Reading JUST IMAGINE is like visiting an old friend to discover shes changed her hair color and makeup, but is still very much the same underneath. For readers new to Ms. Phillipss historical voice, JUST IMAGINE will be a marvelous foray into the past and a wonderful look at a classic revised.
Kudos to Ms. Phillips for updating and enhancing her woefully politically incorrect romance for a modern audience.
SENSUAL (Sep., 400 pp., $7.99)