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The Proud Breed
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The Proud Breed

4.3  ·  Rating details ·  881 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews

The first time Gavin Ramsay sees Tessa MacLeod y Amarista -- a violet-eyed beauty swimming naked in a hidden pool--she reacts by attacking him with a knife. Realizing her mistake, she nurses him back to health and into a deep, enduring
Mass Market Paperback, 832 pages
Published September 1st 1985 by Bantam (first published 1978)
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Nina i would love ebook versions of any of her books. sadly, there doesn't seem to be any call for it to happen :(

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Looking for a big, fat family saga set in Old California? Well then look no further; this is one of the best I've found yet. The Proud Breed begins in the 1840's as Tessa McCloud prepares for her sixteenth birthday. Great granddaughter of Don Esteban, one of the original Californio ranchero families, she has been "sold" by her father to the very evil Don Luis to pay off his gambling debts. Looking for a final respite before meeting her fate at the hand of Luis, Tessa goes to her favorite spot on ...more
Jenny Q
An untamed woman...
A fearless man...
A magnificent love.

The monumental adventure that sweeps across a mighty century of American History.

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this sweeping saga that was first published in 1978. The story begins in the territory of California, 1844, when our hot-blooded heroine, Tessa, takes a private swim in her favorite secluded pool, discovers she's being watched by a strange Yankee with lust in his eyes, takes out her knife, and stabs him. Thus begins the love o
Apr 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
This is my favorite historical. It is one of the best books that I can remember. It is a wonderful love story that just engulfs the reader in its emotions. It spans a lifetime, and encompasses every emotion the people have. The author made the history of CA come alive for me in this wonderful story. I read it about 22 or 23 years ago, and I have never forgot it. If you are able to find a copy of it, I would highly recommend that you read it.
Jul 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is still my favorite book of all time. it is a wonderful story of early california, from the bear flag days to the battles of being a free or slave state, to becoming a state, to the civil war, to the gold rush and much more. my copy is falling apart. i will not part with it. it is a wonderful read. if you can find it, get it. you will not be disappointed.
May 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I adore this book. It is one of the few books that can make me sob no matter how many times I read it. The only thing that was even the least bit disappointing was how once the children get into their teens, the book kind of rushes by. Then again it is an 800 page book and would be difficult to pack another 400 pages in. I am a history major in college as well so I was able to appreciate that aspect of the book as well. This was such a gripping tale, offering an entire range of emotions for the ...more
I threw in the towel at page 375 out of 830. "Tedious", "dull", and "flat" are not words that I could ever imagine using to describe a book by the same author who gave me Wild Swan, one of my favorite books ever. But there it is.

Taking place in California in the 1840s, The Proud Breed gives us the story of a descendant of Spanish nobility and the handsome Yankee who wins her heart. The metaphor is quite simple. This couple represents the transition of California from its past as a very traditio
Jan 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Misfit
Just arrived from USA through BM.

This is the love story of Gavin Ramsey and Tessa who start to build their story in the former California state.

As a historical background the golden rush is described as well as the series of fires in San Francisco and how the civil war affected some of the main characters.

Even if I'm not a big fan of historical romance, I really appreciated this book since the author did manage to keep alive the plot during the whole dramatization written in almost 900 pages.

Oct 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to BoekenTrol by: my mother
Before reading it, I had noticed the book on the shelf. I wasn't allowed to read it for a long time, not fit for a child, my mother said.
When I finally was allowed to (around 14 years of age),I simply loved this book. For me it was my first book about real life, though it is a novel and therefor probably fiction.

What I liked, apart from the saga about Tessa, her heritage and her family, was also the history part of this book. I have no clue if the background described is close to how it was in
Diana Ballew
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, and it's one of the only romance novels I've read over and over. Recently, I bought a used copy on Amazon. I had no idea what happened to my original copy. When I find the time(which is scarce these days now that I write romance novels)I want to read it again and capture that special passion I felt between the hero and heroine that made me want to become a romance writer myself. Ah, Gavin and Tessa... Great book!

Tami Riedinger Kitchener
Mar 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
i read this book as a teen, and I loved it. I have read it about 5 times since then over the years. The history is great, but the characters are so wonderful. We share in their lives from when Tess is 16 up to her death, and the life in between is so fulfilled. We laugh with her and Gavin, we cry, we get mad, and we see what happens when you love and live with others. Great story!!!
Beverly Diehl
Love love love this book, reread it periodically. Tessa, aka Teresa Maria Julietta Margarita Macleod y Amarista, and Gavin Ramsay are both strong, beautiful, larger than life characters. In them and through them, I really felt I was living the history of California, from the days of the ranchos belonging to Mexican citizens, to the gradual infiltration by Yankees. The gold rush, the boom of San Francisco, the droughts, the Civil War - all told through a very powerful love story.

It's very non-tra
Brandi Johnson
(Popsugar Challenge: A book your mom loves)

I was dreading reading this; not only is it huge but the description didn't overly appeal to me. My mom insisted it was one of her favorites and after getting over the initial 100ish pages it took me no time to see why. I loved it. I learned so much about the history of California and I fell deeply in love with Tessa and loved watching her life & the lives around her unfold.

So many awesome characters and a lot of rich history and the scandals were
Sep 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: favorites, mf, paperback
This is the first romance book I ever read...It is absolutely EPIC! I fell in love with Tessa, Gavin and their journey through life. I have gone through 5 copies to-date and though I rarely read m/f anymore? I find myself re-reading it about once a year. There are few fictional couples that feel so real to me. It's possibly one of the best books I have ever read. A very compelling read that takes you through a literal lifetime of love, loss, tragedy and more. Celeste DeBlasis made me want to BE ...more
Veronica Bareman
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
BEST BOOK EVER! My all-time favorite that I have read countless times from the age of 15 until now, many, many years later!

Book spans the lifetime of Tessa and her love, Gavin. Many ups and downs throughout the story mixed in with historical background of California. Many interesting characters, all of whom are flawed just enough to be believable. Although there are dark portions of the story, it is a sweeping saga of love, forgiveness, and family.

I've read all of Celeste DeBlasis' titles, but t
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of those books that I didn't want to end, even though it was over 700 pages, and in this digital age, I was reading a hard copy tome - not available in digital versions that I know of. This story is well-worth picking up any yellow-edged copy you can get your hands on to read, savor, and enjoy, and then passing on to others to do the same! The state of California's history told in the unfolding of one unconventional, yet realistic family tale. Loved it!
Shelly Sievert
Oct 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The Proud Breed was a FANTASTIC book. It has a great story line including the history of California!

I loved Tessa's character and actually can see a lot of her character in my personality. Driven, fiercely loyal, tries new things but loves her roots and believes that she is only able to succeed because of the love that she gives and receives.

Overall, probably a book that I will read many more times in my life.
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have ever read. It is impossible to put down and even though it's very long, you aren't ready for it to end. An amazing journey through one woman's ENTIRE life story. A great read! My Dad randomly grabbed this book off the decorative rustic bookshelf of a Potbelly's sandwich shop while in for lunch and got sucked in from the beginning and ended up "borrowing" it from them and then passed it on to me and then to my mom!
Nov 07, 2016 rated it liked it
This book gets a 3 because there were some pieces of it that I liked (although they were few and far in between). But holy cow if you were looking for an epic historical fiction saga - then move on. The characters are so cheesy, the relationship is unhealthy and every 150 pages they were trying to find a way to make it back to each other because of some swiftly placed obstacle. I had to roll my eyes several times, but when you have gone 400 pages in you gut it out.
Lynne Scholfield
Nov 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I read this book more than 30 years ago. In fact remember the old book clubs where you were a member and got a book each month? This was one of those books! I was 20 years old and I remember just being completely entralled with this...reading every moment I could. It was just a well written engaging saga! One of my first favorite books!
Sep 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Historians
Shelves: historical
I'd love to give this one a 4.5.

This can be read as either a saga-romance or a pretty good tutorial on California history. Tied together into one neat package, it's a great read. It didn't quite earn a 5 with me because I felt the book really dropped off once Tessa's kids turned adults. But taken as a whole, this is definitely on my keeper shelf.
Feb 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love this book. The characters just stay with you even after you are done. It is one of the best books I have ever ready.
Susan Rice
Apr 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love DeBlasis as a writer. She weaves history into a love story. I am still reading this book. I have read her Swann Trilogy which was wonderful. I would like to know more about her.
Aug 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Not sure if this is a 4.5 star or a 5 star- I'll let it settle in my mental catalogue for a little. There were certainly a few eye watering moments.

As for the book it is a classic example of the nice solid texts with plenty of plot written up to about 25 years ago (since then nearly everything is too damn short). 700+pages of small type telling a classic family saga through Californian history. I could have done without the last 200 pages (because of the sad bits rather than a need to cut down t
Aug 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This was a great read!! It has been a long time since I read the book. I found a hard back copy at a yard sale many years ago (I was still in high school) and loaned it to someone and never got it back. I have been searching for it ever since. I need to read it again. It has been about 20 or so years since i read the book. It must have been really good for me to remember it!
Rosanne Bittner
Oct 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the best historical romance I have ever read. It inspired me to write over 35 years ago. Setting is California - High-born Mexican woman marries an American from New England - clash of cultures - fabulous following of California history.
Aug 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was the very first large novel I ever read. I was 11 and I loved it! I've re-read it a couple of times & the story is strong enough to carry over into adulthood for me. Unforgettable characters & setting.
Apr 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Cried like a baby more than once while reading this book! Loved it!
Apr 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I've read this book more than once, maybe 3 times. I love it, but it is difficult to find!
Dahn Kilroy
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Another favorite. Nothing like an old time romance novel! :)
Sue Hess
Mar 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
753 pages of wild west adventure, hardship and the love of three generations ....
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Celeste N. De Blasis was a successful American writer of historical-romance novels. She grew up on the Kemper Campbell Ranch in Victorville, California, in the high Mojave Desert. She attended Wellesley College, later transferred to Oregon State University, and in 1968 graduated from Pomona College, near her home. She continued to live on the ranch until her death.

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“I am sorry because there will never be enough time, not even in a hundred years from this day would be enough time for us to love” 15 likes
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