REVIEW: Love’s Brazen Fire by Betina Krahn
Dear Ms. Krahn,
Sheesh, what a back blurb. I almost didn’t want to read your book because of it until a friend persuaded me.
“She had to persuade him. Barter was a way of life in Rapture, Pennsylvania and Whitney Daniels learned long ago that everything has its price. So when an officer of the new federal government threatened to arrest everyone in sight for violating the unfair tax on spirits and distillers, Whitney was sure she could talk him out of it. But the innocent beauty soon realized that handsome, stubborn Major Garner Townsend was a formidable opponent. The only thing she might be able to entice him with was herself! And as she looked up into his piercing blue eyes and felt the heat of his lean, muscular body luring her nearer, she realized that there would be no losers in this tempting bargain …only tender lovers!
He had to possess her. Garner was determined to do his duty, even if that meant breaking the heart of the lovely, infuriating Whitney Daniels. But the green-eyed spitfire managed to cloud his judgment and melt his icy composure. Before long he was dreaming not of upholding the law, but of holding her close! He might have to silence her arguments with kisses, but that would be no hardship. Her lips were rosy and inviting, her skin creamy and soft, her eyes aglow with sweet anticipation. And somehow he knew that together they would set the night ablaze with the wondrous heat of
Oh, the title. Oi, the cover. The old one has Garner with his shirt unbuttoned and half out of his breeches, Whitney with her lush, creamy bosoms heaving…my blogging partner’s dh, who has bought romance books before, would never have the guts to buy THIS one at a bookstore! And for all that, it’s surprisingly good.
The first half, when Garner is up against almost all of Rapture and most of his own men is great. Flat out over the top farce (which readers probably need to be in the mood for in order to enjoy it) and scathingly funny. Poor Garner is about to blow a blood vessel half of the time and Starched should be his middle name. I love the way Whitney and the townspeople keep getting the better of the poor man who is totally out of his element. But still he hangs in there and perseveres. And gets not only the illegal distillers he’s after but the daughter of the leader as his wife. Something stiff and proper Bostonian Garner doesn’t really want.
And after the arrests are made and the dust settles in Rapture, Whitney stirrs it up in Boston as she tries to make the best bargain of her marriage and breathe some life and family love into Garner’s unbending father, secretly rum swilling grandfather and spoiled cousin. But a final showdown is in store as Whitney’s father is on trial for treason against the fledgling United States of America federal government and Garner just might be the one who can save him.
First half was a B+ and the second half was a B- to average out overall as a solid B rating. Whitney reforming Boston is just too pat. You give us the overly uptight family who must be transformed into loving each other. Though the way you have it happen is different, still I’ve seen it too much. But for all that I still enjoyed watching the stiff Townsends unbend, especially the grandfather who nips at the family made rum and is the first to see how good Whitney will be for his proud grandson.
I was somewhat concerned that Whitney doesn’t appear, at least at first, to be that worried about the fact that her beloved pa is in a hellhole of a jail nor does she write or visit to inquire just what the charges are against him nor make any move to try and get him out. A mention or two of her worries or some more contact would have been more natural.
I do like how Garner and Whitney worked out their differences, each bending and giving to make their marriage work. The sex scenes are hot and fun (their bedsprings will need to be tightened on a regular basis).
You seem to have done your homework about the Whiskey Rebellion and worked it nicely into the story and the characters you’ve created. If readers are like I am, they probably don’t remember all that much about this event in US history and I’m off to do some internet searching to refresh my memory. B for you.