The Fiery Cross (Outlander Series #5)

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New York Times bestselling author of Outlander

Diana Gabaldon mesmerized readers with her award-winning Outlander novels, four dazzling New York Times bestsellers featuring 18th-century Scotsman James Fraser and his 20th-century time-traveling wife, Claire Randall.

Now, in this eagerly awaited fifth ...
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The Fiery Cross (Outlander Series #5)

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New York Times bestselling author of Outlander

Diana Gabaldon mesmerized readers with her award-winning Outlander novels, four dazzling New York Times bestsellers featuring 18th-century Scotsman James Fraser and his 20th-century time-traveling wife, Claire Randall.

Now, in this eagerly awaited fifth volume, Diana Gabaldon continues their extraordinary saga, a masterpiece of pure storytelling and her most astonishing Outlander novel yet....

The year is 1771, and war is coming. Jamie Fraser’s wife tells him so. Little as he wishes to, he must believe it, for hers is a gift of dreadful prophecy — a time-traveler’s certain knowledge.

Born in the year of Our Lord 1918, Claire Randall served England as a nurse on the battlefields of World War II, and in the aftermath of peace found fresh conflicts when she walked through a cleftstone on the Scottish Highlands and found herself an outlander, an English lady in a place where no lady should be, in a time — 1743 — when the only English in Scotland were the officers and men of King George’s army.

Now wife, mother, and surgeon, Claire is still an outlander, out of place, and out of time, but now, by choice, linked by love to her only anchor — Jamie Fraser. Her unique view of the future has brought him both danger and deliverance in the past; her knowledge of the oncoming revolution is a flickering torch that may light his way through the perilous years ahead — or ignite a conflagration that will leave their lives in ashes....

Grand, sweeping, utterly unforgettable, Diana Gabaldon’s new novel is riveting entertainment, a vibrant tapestry of history and human drama. Crossing the boundaries of genre with its unrivaled storytelling, The Fiery Cross is a gift both to her millions of loyal fans and to the lucky readers who have yet to discover her.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The year is 1771. The American War of Independence is fast approaching. And it seems that Jamie Fraser and his wife, Claire, and their beloved family are fated to be in the thick of things once again.
Library Journal
In this fifth book of the "Outlander" series, time traveler Claire Randall, now firmly ensconced in the past with her daughter, Brianna, and Brianna's husband, Roger, finds herself and her dashing husband, Jamie, at a critical juncture. It is 1771, and the first stirrings of the American Revolution are being felt in the mountains of North Carolina where Jamie, despite being a Catholic, has been given an enormous tract of land by the governor and is ordered to raise a militia. Having learned about the Revolution from his 20th-century wife and daughter, Jamie uneasily complies with the governor's orders and is immensely relieved when the crisis passes and the militia is disbanded. Both he and the reader know, however, that this reprieve is only temporary; the still unfinished strands of this complex and engrossing tale, coupled with the impending Revolution, give hope to Gabaldon's fans that the saga is not yet finished. As always, the writing is superb lush, evocative, and sensual, with a wealth of historic detail and a good deal of humor. Highly recommended. Cynthia Johnson, Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, MA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
“Addictive in the extreme.”—Toronto Star

“A word-of-mouth cult success and a publishing phenomenon.”—Kitchener-Waterloo Record

“Leaving out the history, the time-travel and fantastical subplots, the wit and irony, battles and heroes and villains, what will keep loyal readers and attract new is this fine portrait of two immensely admirable and interesting characters.” —London Free Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781419359774
  • Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 10/4/2005
  • Series: Outlander Series, #5
  • Format: CD

Meet the Author

Diana  Gabaldon
Diana Gabaldon is the New York Times bestselling author of four previous novels — Outlander (which has been optioned for a television miniseries), Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, and Drums of Autumn — and one work of nonfiction, The Outlandish Companion. She lives with her family in Scottsdale, Arizona.
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    1. Also Known As:
      Diana Jean Gabaldon (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Flagstaff, Arizona
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 11, 1952
    2. Place of Birth:
      Flagstaff, Arizona
    1. Education:
      B.S., Northern Arizona University, 1973; M.S., Scripps Oceanographic Institute; Ph.D., Northern Arizona University, 1979
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

As though it had been a signal, the camp sprang into a flurry of activity, even before the Governor's aide had disappeared through the trees. Weapons already primed and loaded were checked and re-checked, buckles unfastened and refastened, badges polished, hats beaten free of dust and cockades affixed, stockings pulled up and tightly gartered, filled canteens shaken for reassurance that their contents had not evaporated in the last quarter-hour.

It was catching. I found myself running my fingers over the rows of glass bottles in the chest yet again, the names murmuring and blurring in my mind like the words of someone telling rosary beads, sense lost in the fervor of petition. Rosemary, atropine, lavender, oil of cloves....

Bree was notable for her stillness among all this bustle. She sat on her rock, with no movement save the stir of a random breeze in her skirts, her eyes fixed on the distant trees. I heard her say something, under her breath, and turned.

"What did you say?"

"It's not in the books." She didn't take her eyes off the trees, and her hands were knotted in her lap, squeezing together as though she could will Roger to appear through the willows. She lifted her chin, gesturing toward the field, the trees, the men around us.

"This," she said. "It's not in the history books. I read about the Boston Massacre. I saw it there, in the history books, and I saw it here, in the newspaper. But I never saw this there. I never read a word about Governor Tryon, or North Carolina, or a place called Alamance. So nothing's going to happen." She spoke fiercely, willing it. "If there was a big battle here, someone would have written something about it. Nobody did -- so nothing's going to happen. Nothing!"

"I hope you're right," I said, and felt a small warming of the chill in the small of my back. Perhaps she was. Surely it couldn't be a major battle, at least. We were no more than four years from the outbreak of the Revolution; even the minor skirmishes preceding that conflict were well-known.

The Boston Massacre had happened earlier in the year: a street-fight, a clash between a mob and a platoon of nervous soldiers. Shouted insults, a few stones thrown. An unauthorized shot, a panicked volley, and five men dead. It had been reported, with a good deal of fierce editorializing, in one of the Boston newspapers; I had seen it, in Jocasta's parlor; one of her friends had sent her a copy.

And two hundred years later, that brief incident was immortalized in children's textbooks, evidence of the rising disaffection of the Colonists. I glanced at the men who stood around us, preparing to fight. Surely, if there was to be a major battle here, a Royal Governor putting down what was essentially a tax-payer's rebellion, that would have been worth noting!

Still, that was theory. And I was uneasily aware that neither warfare nor history took much account of what should happen.

Jamie was standing by Gideon, whom he had tethered to a tree. He would go into battle with his men, on foot. He was taking his pistols from the saddlebag, putting away the extra ammunition in the pouch at his belt. His head was bent, absorbed in the details of what he was doing.

I felt a sudden, dreadful urgency. I must touch him, must say something. I tried to tell myself that Bree was right; this was nothing; likely not even a shot would be fired, and yet there were three thousand armed men here on the banks of the Alamance, and the knowledge of bloodshed hummed and buzzed among them.

I left Brianna sitting on her rock, burning eyes fixed on the wood, and hurried to him.

"Jamie," I said, and put a hand on his arm.

It was like touching a high-voltage wire; power hummed inside the insulation of his flesh, ready to erupt in a burst of crackling light. They say one can't let go of such a line; a victim of electrocution simply freezes to the wire, helpless to move or save himself, as the current burns through brain and heart.

He put his hand on mine, looking down.

"A nighean donn," he said, and smiled a little. "Have ye come to wish me luck, then?"

I smiled back as best I could, though the current sizzled through me, stiffening the muscles of my face as it burned.

"I couldn't let you go without saying...something. I suppose 'Good luck' will do." I hesitated, words jamming in my throat with the sudden urge to say much more than there was time for. In the end, I said only the important things. "Jamie -- I love you. Be careful!"

He didn't remember Culloden, he said. I wondered suddenly whether that loss of memory extended to the hours just before the battle, when he and I had said farewell. Then I looked into his eyes and knew it did not.

" 'Good luck' will do," he said, and his hand tightened on mine, likewise frozen to the current that surged between us. "I love ye' does much better."

He touched my hand, lifted his own and touched my hair, my face, looking into my eyes as though to capture my image in this moment -- just in case it should be his last glimpse of me.

"There may come a day when you and I shall part again," he said softly, at last, and his fingers brushed my lips, light as the touch of a falling leaf. He smiled faintly. "But it willna be today."

The notes of a bugle came through the trees, far away, but piercing as a woodpecker's call. I turned, looking. Brianna sat still as a statue on her rock, looking toward the wood.

This excerpt from The Fiery Cross, copyright © 2001 by Diana Gabaldon, appears here by permission of the publisher, Delacorte Press.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 1051 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1062 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2008

    I Also Recommend:


    Yep - this one is a RATHER LARGE read, but everything in it is necessary. Some whinge and whine that it drags on but personally I think it is superb - especially since I enjoy the historical element of these books not just the emotionally charged scenes.<BR/>When I read a Gabaldon book I want to see, hear, taste and smell everything Claire, Jamie, Bree and Roger do. I want to feel like I am sitting on their shoulder, becoming part of their Clan so to speak. And in the Fiery Cross, that is exactly what I got.<BR/>Take your time, read it at your own pace, and whatever you do DONT RUSH IT. The characters that become apparent in this one impact on A Breath of Snow and Ashes, so if you fly through this, you'll get lost in the next one.<BR/>As always I cant praise this series enough, but at the end of the day, your opinion will be the only one that matters to you, however I hope what I say helps you make the plunge and embark on this amazing story with the same gusto you got reading Outlander aka. Cross Stitch. Brilliant read.

    36 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2001

    The Weakest Link

    Having been hooked by Outlander, I anxiously awaited the sequels, and despite my vow not to purchase The Fiery Cross when it came out after waiting 2(?) years and suffering through Diana's Outlandish Cookbook (read: money-making scheme!), I broke down and purchased the new novel. I should have trusted my first instincts and waited for paperback! I finished the book in three days and not because it was a page-turner...I was just waiting for SOMETHING to happen! This book is about 700 pages too long and the reader is forced to suffer through the menses of each character, more breast-feeding passages than a baby-rearing text, and countless (and I DO mean COUNTLESS) descriptions of Jamie's 'flowing molten tresses.' Although the central theme of the novels is the love story between Jamie and Claire, it seems as though the first 300 pages of this book was simply there to re-establish just HOW MUCH they STILL love one another. Ditto Roger & Brianna. By page 250, the author had established that Claire & Jamie and Roger & Bree would STILL sleep together...and that's IT! There's a vague plot about the Revolutionary War coming on, also some other kind of plot involving Stephen Bonnet...but mostly the author resorts to flogging the reader with vignettes of Jamie & Claire and Roger & Bree's homelife. I have a home life with the every day banalities of kids and dishes and laundry and menses, etc. -- I don't want to spend my time reading about it too! This novel made me wonder if Diana is being paid per written word. So -- if you're a rabid fan of the series, invest the $28 for the book. Or if (like me) you're tired of the author trying to turn spoiled Brianna and dull Roger into the exciting Jamie & Claire of Outlander, wait for the paperback. Overall, a disappointing entry in an otherwise good series.

    18 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    review take from One Book At A Time

    I can see were others would begin to fall out of love with the Outlander series at this point. They are tedious and heavy books that take awhile to read. But, I still thoroughly enjoyed this one. I do wonder about some of the details. It's almost like the editors were afraid to tell Gabaldon that she needed to take some things out. And, it also feel like not a lot happens. At the end, I came to conclude that it's a setup book. It's preparing to you for things to come. While the overall content of the book is basically day to day living on the ridge, there are events that happen that are important to the future. I was completely dumbfounded with what happens to Roger. There are some tense moments with the local wild life (including a snake and a buffalo). I wish we could have gotten so more closure with Stephen Bonnet, but have come to accept that it isn't time yet. I loved the interactions between the characters. I loved what happens with Ian at the end. But, most of all, this particular book just made me think. I began to wonder if it's truly possible for a time traveler to change what happens? And if they do, what might the consequences be?

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2011

    When will this end?

    After neglecting all my housework, chores, work, husband and general hygiene to pour through the first four books of this series, I am having trouble even making it to a halfway point in this book. Ugggg, what are they doing? Nothing! Walking around bonfires, talking to people about nothing, changing clothes, feeding babies, causing confusion to result and cause nothing. I am so bored I can hardly believe it.
    There are the beginnings of several good story lines: the weird twins, the mysterious lady disappearing after giving birth, the murder of the slave, etc. But, just when things start to heat up, we leave any semblance of interest and start hearing about the food, the hair, Jamie's silvery mane flecked with amber, blah blah.
    I really hope I can make it through the end of this book and continue with the next installment.

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Absolutely Wonderful

    After reading "The Fiery Cross" I was totally enthralled with it from beginning to end. Of course, I have read the first four books. This one was my favorite. The other books are excellent and exciting. What I really like about "The Fiery Cross" is that it really digs into each of the characters. You really get to know each of them. Like them or not, they're human. You get a look into their lives and what it was like to live in the 1770s. The love story continues between Claire and Jamie, it deepens, and matures and their passion remains...well, passionate. I never thought this book was boring. I could not get enough of Claire and Jamie's world. I loved getting to know Roger and Bree better. I was happily engrossed with this story, so much so that the hours flew by. I would dream about these people what was happening with them. I would find myself thinking about the story all through the day always anxious to get back it. I read because I love a good story, especially a good love story. It's wonderful to get into Diana's books and totally leave the real world behind for a while. This is an excellent continuation of the series. I enjoyed it very much. I recommend it highly.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Great Edition

    The Fiery Cross was not my favorite out of Diana Gabaldon's novels but was by no means bad. I still enjoyed the story of Jamie and Claire as well as that of Roger and Brianna. The first 300 pages go by kind of slow but once you get about a third of the way through the novel picks up to what I would consider normal pace for this series. It was another great edition to the story and I was excited to pick up the next one.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Painful to get through the entire 1,443 pages of drivel.

    Like Dragonfly in Amber, this book was painful to slug through it chapter by chapter. I dare say that Diana could have said the exact same thing in 700 pages rather than bore the reader to tears through 1,443 pages of pure drivel. If I didn't know better I would have thought that she was being paid by either word count or page count. While her descriptions are stunning and how she sets up a scene is invaluable, it appeared that she was making up whatever, willy-nilly, along the way to increase the page count, regardless of the fact that many pages just flat out were not necessary. I didn't think the Gathering or the wedding would ever end - enough already, get on with the rest of the book. I prefer books that move very rapidly (as Outlander, Voyager, and Drums of Autumn). I didn't think this poor dog was ever going to die. For 1,443 pages, one would think there would be far more instances of great sex and more on-the-edge scenes, but no. Even Ian's reappearance was anti-climatic, and this could have been a very intense and emotional scene.

    7 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    In Which Life Somewhat Gets Simpler but Not Really

    This is my least favorite installment of the Outlander series; however, I did still enjoy the Jamie-Claire segments. Who wouldn't? As to why I wasn't so fond of this book: DG has entranced us with her emotional roller-coaster ride stories of Jamie and Claire. This book somewhat fails to deliver the same impact as it's predecessors. Nonetheless, she still manages to add conflict...just something we're not so used to.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2001


    This book is so bad that I can't believe its average rating is 5 stars. Someone must be 'selecting' the reviews. Don't bother with this one; it's boring,plodding,tiresome, annoying,trivial,etc., etc. Go re-read Outlander or Dragonfly in Amber. If I have to read 'his eyes were hooded....' one more time , I'm going to scream! Just what does that mean anyway?

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2001

    Who wrote this thing?

    This has got to be one of the most boring books I have ever read. I can't believe that Diana Gabaldon wrote this. It is nothing like her past books. This one is completely predictable and lacks intrigue and imagination. Even the 'revelation' scenes are so boring that you'll find yourself asking 'That's it?' The book can be summarized in 5 sentences and that's being generous. I had absolutely no desire to slog through all 976 pages of this, but I did. Her other books were ones that I could not put down. I finished The Drums of Autumn in two days. I read the first three books all at once in about 5 days. It took me 10 days to finish this one. It is just not interesting. The story is disjointed and jerky. There is no continuity from one scene to the next. It is VERY repetitive. If subsequent books are like this one, I'll never pick up a Diana Gabaldon book again. Diana, get yourself a new editor - NOW.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer


    I've read all the Outlander books and I think this is my least favorite. It's long, it's tedious and it's just too dang descriptive. The first 200 pages is all about one day, and it was a day where nothing really happened. Well, there was a wedding and a baptism, but that was about it. I used to love the way Gabaldon described a scene, but I think she got a little carried away in this book.
    I love the Outlander series, have read all the books multiple times (even this one), and am anxiously waiting for the next installment...but Fiery Cross just didn't do it for me.
    It's very character driven, which is fine except the characters don't seem to do a whole lot. I understand Jamie and Claire are older and more settled now, but I was hoping for some sort of big plot with a climactic scene...but all the things that happen in this book are rather small and insignificant. One of the biggest storylines dealt with Roger and what happened to him. I found this one to be over done and he felt sorry for himself entirely too long I thought. He was so strong and resilient, but then this terrible thing happens and it's like his whole personality and character changed and he never really got back to the real Roger.
    The other storylines were not resolved in this book at all. This is a set up book for the next one, and if you've invested time in the other four, you should read this book too as it does set up book #6.
    I love Outlander, I love this series but this one is without a doubt my least favorite. I would recommend only to those that have read the other four and want to continue the series.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2012


    The series continues to keep my interest and devotion!!!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 18, 2010

    A Huge Disappointment

    I have read all the other Outlander series book and enjoyed them very much. This book was slow and tedious. I got bored reading about the descriptions of the land and it colors, its textures. I'm also tired of reading about Jamie's copper colored hair glistening in the sunshine.

    Nothing eventful or extraordinary happens in this book. It appears to be a rambling series of incongruous chapters. Upon completion of the other books, I always looked forward to reading the next book. Not this time. I didn't even finish this book. After 1200 pages, I had enough. I'm not sure when or if, I will read the other books in the series. It's time to move on and get back to reading for enjoyment again.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    Don't waste your time or money.

    I loved the concept of this series and greatly enjoyed the first three books. #4 was OK and I was very bored and disappointed in book 5. Anything relative to the plot series could have been printed in 20 pages or less in book 5. It was repeatative, bloody, gross and the rest just down right boring. Don't think I'll obtain anymore in the series.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    Reading Them Again

    I am reading the series again, for the 7th or more time; preparing for the next book, to be released in 2013. This should give you an impression of my view of this book and the other books, in this series. I can not praise this series enough. So I just tell everyone I know, those who love to read and those who do not, to read these books. If you love adventure, if you love mystery, if you love romance, if you love history, or whatever, read these books. They have it all, something for all everyone. This is the type of book to entice non readers to read.

    To my delight, I find that the e-format has what must be delete material, that was not in the the hard or soft fomat of these books.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 9, 2011

    Love Hate Relationship

    I couldn't put down the first book. This book was so slow and drawn out I had to force myself to pick it up. It did have some good parts but those were few and far between the character deveopment sections of dreams and inner thoughts.Just when I thought the book was getting good again, it would start dragging. There was parts that were redundant from previous books and even from the beginning of the book. Also, the whole "I can't kill Bonnet cause he might be Jemmy's father" is ridiculous. Jamie is still sexy even though in parts it felt more like comfortable marriage than the previous sexual tension. (I know, I know they are married and that's what marriage is about)A review written in Nov. 2001 says it perfectly about the banalities of real life--we experience dishes, laundry, children,etc. I don't wish to read about it page after page after page. I'm torn as to whether to attempt the next book or not

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Continuing the series with alacrity

    At this point, I'm very invested in the characters and they continue to surprise me. Love the historical context melded with the mystical. Brianna and Roger are the more interesting couple at this point. I wish they longed for modern conveniences seems too easy for them to give up bathing, for example. I did find it amusing how many times the word 'alacrity' came up...wish I could use my Nook to count all instances.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2002

    Extremely Disappointing!

    I loved all of the other Outlander books in the series and had been so anxious to get the latest that I pre-ordered it. Boy what a let down. The story (what story there is) seems very disjointed without much of a plot. The other books I could hardly put down and when I neared the end felt so sad that the read would soon be finished. With about 100 pages left I just keep wishing she'd get it over with.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2013

    These books are very gripping, and intense. I have been drawn in

    These books are very gripping, and intense. I have been drawn in by the suspense so that I could not put it down. I am addicted but they are very raw and have language as well as sex in them. There are parts that I wish were just not there. The over all story is wonderful though and she has really brought the time period to life for me. I love the the detailed medicine practice, and the powerful characters. I think you really feel that you know and love them. Some times you want to smack them senseless to make them choose differently, but that is what keeps you reading until it is resolved.

    This one has a happy ending which is refreshing although there are still some very difficult situations that they have to endure first.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012


    This book took me along time to read,which is good I read fast. All her books have been good. Different from most romance i read not as many bedroom scenes or as discriptive as other authors i read but im still into the series and enjoying them.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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