Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

REVIEW: Celtic Fire by Joy Nash

Dear Ms. Nash,

Celtic FireI picked up a copy of Celtic Fire for the unusual setting for today’s romance and managed to get past the God awful cover. You seem to have done your homework about the clash between the Celtic tribes of Britain and their Roman conquerors. You nicely weave it into the story. I applaud the somewhat crude language that’s used since this makes the setting true to the (less PC) times. It’s mainly in connection to the sex scenes and in characters’ comments about the hero/heroine relationship. But one thing I could have done without quite so much of were the comments, almost every time the hero and heroine are in the same room, about the state of the hero’s arousal. This got old.

I do like the Roman hero’s relationship with his son and with his old mentor. The distance
seems realistic for a family that has been separated for so long by a father in the army. I also like how you showed the heroine’s relationship to her brother and worked that into the plot. I
was disappointed that once again we get stuck with a “healer” heroine but
that’s the breaks. She does act a little warlike in the beginning and manages to shoot the hero in the ass with an arrow.

Celtic religion plays a large role in the plot. At the time it was not soft and cuddly so I think readers should be prepared for some violence and somewhat graphic descriptions of various rites. Especially the death scene of the hero’s brother which sets the scene for his ghost to haunt the hero. Also, this is not a PC time and while you don’t go overboard in describing details, you do convey the fact that women aren’t seen as equals and that captured women can expect to be used as their captors see fit.

Alas, the romance aspect of the story is fairly standard. The heroine and hero lust after each other and the hero has only to touch the heroine and she’s a puddle of mush ready to let him do anything. Oh and she’s never had an orgasm.

I’m glad I ended up buying this new, even though my grade will be a C+, if only to support a well done different setting. A book I thought slightly better that has a similar setting is “Alena” by Merline Lovelace.


Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.


  1. Jennifer
    Jun 09, 2006 @ 11:31:19

    This review made me think of “Diana by the Moon”, by Tracy Cooper Posy (Hardshell)
    If you like Celtic – Roman historical novels, Diana by the Moon is a real treat.
    (I see this book is erotic though)

  2. Jayne
    Jun 09, 2006 @ 12:24:35

    Thanks for the rec, Jennifer. Erotic is fine. I love this time setting and there are so few books written in it.

  3. Jennifer
    Jun 09, 2006 @ 13:31:17

    Oh, Diana by the Moon isn’t erotica, lol. Sorry. Here is the link (hope it works);jsessionid=Vvmc9KMtyppjL1LYEAJG2zQlTdw?t=book&bi=21174&si=42
    Otherwise, I found it again by going to Hardshell and looking around.

  4. May
    Jun 11, 2006 @ 12:19:06

    Manda Scott wrote a few historical novels about Boadicea/Boudicca set in the same time period, but they are more alternate-history/fantasy rather than romance, if you’re interested, Jayne. I read the first one and it was pretty good.

  5. Jayne
    Jun 11, 2006 @ 14:17:13

    May, I’ve seen those listed. The thing that’s held me back from trying them is knowing what happened to the woman in real life and how her life ultimately ended. Just can’t see it as romantic. But perhaps I’m mistaken in how these are being marketed.

  6. May
    Jun 11, 2006 @ 14:40:49

    Jayne, I just dropped by her website.

    And I think you’re right, because I get the feeling that the series doesn’t have an alternate ending, the way historical fiction sometimes does.

    But it was a very compelling read.

  7. In My Books » The Grail King
    Feb 19, 2007 @ 08:29:54

    […] story happens some years after Celtic Fire which, judging from Jayne’s review, I don’t regret skipping – I would have given it a wide berth if I’d gone by its cover […]

%d bloggers like this: