Violet Fire Mass Market Paperback – Jan 29 2008
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About the Author
Brenda Joyce is the bestselling, award-winning author of Promise of the Rose,Scandalous Love and The Fires of Paradise. All nine of her historical romances have been highly acclaimed, and four of them, including the first three novels in the "Bragg" saga Innpocent Fire, Firestorm, and Violet Fire have won six awards from Romantic Times and Affaire de Coeur. She has also won three industry awards for her trendsetting promotional bookmarks from Affaire de Coeur. Brenda Joyce is currently working on her next novel.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Brenda Joyce is a talented writer-but in this novel she had both hero and heroine doing stupid, dangerous, implausible things.
The hero is VERY Alpha male-to the point of grabbing, throwing the heroine about-constantly thinking about his lust for the heroine, but not really caring about anything she believes in-doing things that ruin her reputation, make her lose TWO jobs and become a outcast-but doesn't understand why she doesn't want to be with him?
Sadly-the heroine is even worse. For someone who is supposed to be a strong, intelligent neo-feminist/suffragette-Grace comes across and a mean, mealy mouthed,insipid, just plain stupid-even the dreaded "too stupid to live".
One wonders why the hero would want to be with her-she is hateful to him and accuses him of bigotry, womanizing, and a host of other sins simply because he's a Southerner. She spends the entire book getting herself into one perilous situation after another-and Rathe must come save her every time-real independant, huh?
Also-I understand this is a post civil war book-but the author paints a simply terrible picture of all Southerners. The women are stupid and all the men vicious "Dark Riders"(klan) who seem to go around all day raping, killing and torturing former slaves, being ignorant and turning a blind eye to everything. Not one Southern character is shown in a positive light-enough to throw me off this book for sure.
It is a testimony to Miss Joyce's writing style that I actually stuck around for about 250 pages before I gave up in disgust!
If you like intelligent, loving characters-then definately SKIP this book.
Grace O'Rourke is the daughter of two radical people and believes firmly in the rights of negroes and of women. When she takes up a new post as a governess in a Southern town she discovers very quickly that the local white people have not taken on board the ideas of human rights held by those from the north. She and her schoolteacher friend Allen find themselves under attack and Grace's work is made exceptionally difficult. When she realises that Rathe is also pursuing her she finds herself both attracted to him and repelled by his presumed political views.
Grace and Rathe's relationship in this book is alternate arguing and making up and yet somehow it didn't get annoying or wearing, perhaps because both characters were so feisty. The initial attraction to Grace appears to be entirely from her appearance but Rathe soon discovers that she's intelligent and passionate about justice and also that he has to keep her from running into dangerous situations, rescuing her with regularity. Rathe's rather aimless life seems to be given a boost by Grace's actions.
Some of the Bragg books have been a disappointment but this one was enjoyable, if rather thin on the plot. The setting in the South in the 1870s was interesting, as were the reminders of the some of the situations that former slaves had to cope with. The central love story was more of a lust story initially but the author wrote of the way in which the two people realised they needed and complemented each other in a convincing way. I occasionally felt that Rathe was rather unheroic in his actions, trying to seduce a lady and not really taking care to protect her good name, but it was overall a pleasant read.
Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2008
This book was very unsatisfying and highly predictable. While Rathe was somewhat interesting, Grace was very stereotypical and cliche, in my opinion. Most of Joyce's fans look to her to really make the pages sizzle with passionate heat, and sadly, this book fell short and it fell HARD. None of the love scenes were endearing or worthwhile. Is this the same author that wrote The Fires of Paradise?
On a more positive note, Joyce's use of the deep south during the horrible aftermath of slavery was a very promising backdrop for an excellent story. The plot did not stand up to the setting, and the "romance" between the main characters was dry and inspired very little emotion from the reader. If you love stories set in the deep south, you may be able to find some enjoyment out of it.