Plucking The Pearl by Afton Locke
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Length: Full Length (230 pages)
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Review by: Amaryllis
When Pearl’s sheltered life shatters in the 1930s with her mother’s death, her only option is to move in with poor relatives and shuck oysters in the local plant on Oyster Island, Maryland.
Determined to live a morally proper life, the last thing she wants is an affair with a white man, but Caleb, the plant owner, knows a pearl when he sees one. The successful widower is the “oyster king” of the island, but his intense desire for his forbidden new employee, a woman of color, threatens everything he’s built.
What begins as a private sexual liaison flowers into strong feelings that don’t fit the social mores of the island. When their secret is discovered, they risk losing everything. They dared to pluck the pearl, but will their love be strong enough to keep it forever?
Interracial love in a dangerous and unsettled time. Hot passion draws an innocent young black woman into a risky affair with her gorgeous, widowed white boss. Maybe that doesn’t sound so risky now, but this is a small town in mid-1930s Maryland. Tensions are rising high between the KKK and those who are demanding their own rights.
Pearl is a sympathetic and well crafted heroine. Ms. Afton portrays Pearl’s emotions with depth and realism. Pearl is easy to relate to in her personal strength yet she’s weak toward this handsome man. This is really a sex-to-love story. And people seem to either enjoy them or be disappointed by them. I like both kinds of stories, slow build up and instant sparks. And the sparks in this story are hot and plentiful. Sexual chemistry becomes overwhelming and leads to something neither Pearl nor Caleb expected, love.
I highly enjoyed the forbidden nature of their affair and the uniqueness of the time period and setting. The historical aspect was good and genuine. In my opinion, the morality was believable for people coming out of the roaring twenties but not yet quite having reached the swing back to the ever-tighter morals of the forties and fifties. All and all, a hot and enjoyable historical that I highly recommend. This is definitely a re-read for me. Take an emotional escape to a different time and era with Plucking the Pearl.