Stephanie Burkhart was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. She received a B.S. in Political Science from California Baptist University in 1995. She served in U.S. Army from 1986-1997, spending seven years in Germany. Her interests include exploring European history and watching Dancing with the Stars. Stephanie lives in California and works for LAPD's Communications Division as a 911 Dispatcher. She's married with two young sons.
Budapest Moon Book Three: Danube in Candlelightby Stephanie Burkhart
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Morgan Duma has always known she's different. Her eyes have unusual gold rings around her irises, a trait she's inherited from her father. She's faster and stronger than most. Her endurance and stamina allow her to complete tasks in a quick and efficient fashion. Since she was a little girl, she knew there was only one man for her -- Adam Varga.
Morgan learned to dance in Adam's arms. They grew up playing the piano together. Adam's calm, soothing presence was the perfect compliment to her restless soul. Not only that, he shared her differences down to his feral eyes.
Enter Zoltan Kristos, Hungary's Minister of Reconstruction. He shares those same golden eyes that Morgan possesses. After Zoltan carries her mother out of a blazing fire, Morgan's life takes a turn she doesn't expect. She discovers the reasons for her differences, and questions her very identity. Is Adam strong enough to be the man she needs him to be?
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Review: Danube in Candlelight Set in Budapest after the First World War, the Dumas and the Vargas families deal with multiple issues. Reconstruction of the city and the surrounding countryside once the communists have departed is a theme running throughout, but the major premise is that of humanity. Both males in the two families are werewolves. Are they human or not? When the daughter, Morgan, discovers links within her genetic code that might make her less than human, she is disturbed and struggles to come to terms with her humanity. Another issue that Ms. Burkhart addresses is the use of morphine as a painkiller and the addiction it causes with subsequent uses. I don’t know a lot about the history of this time period in Budapest and the issues the people had after the war but this book seems well researched, giving the reader a feel for the time period and the problems faced by humans and werewolves alike. For me, this novel was slow to draw my interest, however by the middle of the book the characters and their story drew me into their lives and how their stories would end. Adam and Morgan were interesting characters who seemed to have difficulty communicating. Many times I was screaming, ‘Just tell her’. But they did hold my interest and I cheered for them and for their happy ending while I read. Too many of the plot points were predictable. I really enjoy books with lots of twists and turns, I didn’t see coming. In this aspect, Danube in Candlelight was a disappointment. There is no suspense when the reader knows what is going to happen next. A couple of scenes, although interesting, seemed to be put in just to make the story longer. Their relevance to the theme of the story didn’t seem to exist. I also found the repetition of plot lines such as the addiction to morphine to be repetitive. As a reader, I don’t need to be reminded constantly about something. Danube in Candlelight was enjoyable. If you like books with werewolves, you might find this one an interesting read. Even with my criticisms I can recommend this one. It might not have you flipping pages or reading into the middle of the night to see what will happen next, but it could be a good read on a wild stormy day.
Reviewed by Brenda Ballard for Readers Favorite Morgan Duma and Adam Varga have known each other their entire lives. In fact, their mothers are close friends despite their fathers having sometimes strained interactions with one another. They also have a unique common trait passed down from their fathers: eyes like none others they have ever seen. With the war in their home town of Budapest, Hungary, the two parted ways a few years prior to pursue goals elsewhere. They are reunited by coincidence while riding a train back to their homes in the city. Each feels the emotional pull they had for the other from years prior, although they had not shared their feelings during that time. Another passenger stands out to both Morgan and Adam: a man who also has the strangely mesmerizing eyes as they. He, too, has noticed them, but especially Morgan, and has his assistant find out everything he can about her once they get to Budapest. What happens next is an intertwining of suspense, action, passion (there are a couple of very steamy scenes that are not for the faint of heart), dark secrets unlocked and revealed, and lives changed forever. This book is one in a series, but it read well on its own. The foundation of the other books would have been nice but was not necessary. There are more in the series to come, as the characters develop further and the story continues on. One of the things I really enjoyed about the author's writing was her smooth incorporation of area history and verbal visualization of the area. If I close my eyes, I can see the city, the manors of the Vargas and Dumas families, the rooms and furnishings. This story is the closest I have ever come to reading a book that feels like a movie!