Seize the Fire

Seize the Fire

4.0 27
by Laura Kinsale

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Without each other, they might not survive, but their love threatens to tear them both apart...  See more details below


Without each other, they might not survive, but their love threatens to tear them both apart...

Editorial Reviews

Romance Reader at Heart
Laura Kinsale's SEIZE THE FIRE is a royal tale unlike any other I've read. It is wonderfully broad in scope, taking the reader on an unforgettable adventure.
— Kay James
Racy Romance Reviews
Another great from the great. In intensity and sense of rollicking adventure...
— Jessica Miller
From the Publisher
"Laura Kinsale's SEIZE THE FIRE is a royal tale unlike any other I've read. It is wonderfully broad in scope, taking the reader on an unforgettable adventure. " - Romance Reader at Heart

"Another great from the great. In intensity and sense of rollicking adventure..." - Racy Romance Reviews

Product Details

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6.58(w) x 7.98(h) x 1.22(d)

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It was hell being a hero. With the guns crashing and the deck a blind chaos of powder smoke, Captain Sheridan Drake wiped his sleeve across his eyes to clear away a crust of Mediterranean sweat and battle-grime. He thought of his botched boyhood Latin lessons with profound regret. Really, he ought to have listened to his schoolmaster, and gone into practicing law.

A barrister, now-there was a profession for an intelligent man. Sleep late, rise rested, hot coffee and fresh eggs for breakfast...but no-he'd best not think of fresh eggs; he'd start hallucinating after a hundred and thirty-seven days at sea without one. The guns roared and the deck beneath him trembled with the recoil. To starboard, a Turkish ship jibed, swinging bows around and peppering the deck with grapeshot and rifle-fire. Sheridan ducked behind the mizzenmast and squinted longingly at the closest hatch, calculating his chances of slipping below unnoticed. No sense getting himself killed in this sordid little squabble.

He shouldn't even have been aboard, but of course no one besides himself would give a thought to that-the British navy being more interested in gallantry than brains, and inclined to become maudlin over its heroes. For the past week, the legendary Captain Sheridan Drake had suffered through the stultifying honor of dining here in the flagship, gazing gloomily into his wine and listening to off icers of the British, French and Russian navies work themselves into a frenzy of indignation over the way the Turks were enslaving the Greeks.

Or was it the way the Egyptians were devastating the Morea? Whatever-it was just another dubious variation on the old and unpleasant theme of poking one's nose into other people's wars. The only saving thing about it was the way they toasted his health every five minutes, a common official practice which Sheridan approved as a harmless pastime and a cheap drunk. His moody silence had been taken for a deep and painful case of martial ardor. Deep, because everyone was certain old Sherry was a firebrand for King and Country and Duty and Honor and various other high-flown sentiments-which he wasn't-and painful, because he was known to be a hell of a fellow when it came to a fight-which he was. A hell of a coward, not that any of them would believe it if he said so.

But he was forced to turn himself onshore, unlucky chap; he was leaving the fleet to pay his respects to his beloved father's fresh grave and take up permanent care of his dear invalided sister. It was a sad case, a sad end to a glorious naval career; anybody could see how poor Sherry was torn to pieces over giving up his command, and not a bit comforted by his nabob father's boundless fortune and estate.

It made no difference that poor Sherry himself had never voiced any of these sentiments. It was also immaterial that he would rather have been any number of places than trapped aboard a warship with a bunch of antique admirals who were itching for a fight. Nor did Sheridan bother to mention that he intended the imaginary invalid sister to be a fine sloe-eyed courtesan with a good education in the passionate arts, or that he had despised his father, his father had despised him, and the nabob fortune most probably had been left to a Home for Fallen Women in Spitalfields. Sheridan Drake had the gift of smiling darkly and keeping his mouth shut. He never lied without sufficient provocation.

Just now it was becoming unpleasantly hot on the quarterdeck, even for heroes. Vice Admiral Codrington didn't seem to notice-too busy pretending he was back twenty-two years ago still bellowing broadsides at the Battle of Trafalgar. The old fool apparently hadn't even realized that a bomb ketch behind the enemy line had managed to draw a damned accurate mark on his flagship. Sheridan sucked in an anxious breath as he heard the unearthly whistle of another falling rocket. He closed his eyes with a brief, private groan.

Below him the guns boomed again, covering the blessed thwop of a miss as the bomb hit water near enough to send the splash fountaining over his cuff. With an ardent oath, he flung off the drops that glistened against his dark blue coat. If one of those shells hit the deck and exploded over the powder magazine, the fact that he'd been relieved of his command with honors just this morning would be a point of academic debate. It certainly wouldn't make any difference to the tiny pieces of Sheridan Drake scattered all over the Bay of Navarino.

He'd had enough of this hellish nonsense. Like any sensible hero who wanted to live long enough to lay eyes on his laurel wreath, he hit upon a plan. It wasn't a first-rate plan. In fact, it was a damned shaky plan, but things were tight. He drew his sword for dramatic effect and took a step toward Codrington and the knot of flag officers, fabricating a fierce look and an obscure but frantic need to dispatch a boat back out of the action-a boat which Sheridan had every intention of being aboard. As he closed the space between them, the eerie shrill of another incoming bomb climbed to a screaming pitch. He spared a glance up past the mizzenmast.

In that numbing instant he saw his plan and his life and his future go for naught. The shell howled along its trajectory with nightmare clarity. In his panic the thought that pushed every other from his mind was that it was a terrible rotten practical joke. He hated practical jokes; it had been a vicious prank that had launched him into this abominable career, and now it was going to be a stupid black twist of humor that would take him out. Of all the days for Codrington to start a fight; of all the ships for Sheridan to be on; of all the bombs that were plunging down on all sides, there had to be one with his name on it: Captain Sheridan Drake, Royal Navy-Almost Paid Off.

In that endless moment beneath the bomb's rising shriek his life seemed to vanish before him-just evaporate, like steam in thin air: no time for evasion; too far to the rail; too late to do anything but complete the step he'd already started that took him among the officers next to the admiral. He was going to die right now-with his guts dissolving in fright and fury. It was outrageous; it was monstrous, and it was all Codrington's fault.

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Meet the Author

Laura Kinsale is the award‑winning and New York Times–bestselling author of The Shadow and the StarSeize the FireThe Prince of MidnightFlowers From the StormFor My Lady’s Heart, and The Dream Hunter. She and her husband divide their time between Santa Fe and Dallas. Shadowheart won the Romance Writers of America Rita Award for best long historical romance of 2004. Kinsale also won best romance novel of 1990 for Prince of Midnight. Kinsale was 1987–1988 Career Achievement Award Winner from Romantic Times Magazine. She was also Regency Historical Romance 2004 Career Achievement Award Winner from Romantic Times Magazine and the Innovative Historical Romance 1994 RRA Awards Nominee for Best Historical Romance Author.

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Seize the Fire 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
zombiesquirrel More than 1 year ago
This was an adventure and a journey--physically, emotionally, and mentally. I absolutely loved this book. The incidents on the island were incredibly steamy. It was a riveting story and I didn't want it to end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoy reading a good romance, yet I seldom find one. They're all so stupid! I bought Seize the Fire on a whim about 10 years ago, and couldn't believe what I'd discovered. Here was a romance novelist with a brain. From the very beginning, Kinsale blew me away with the devastating humor of her hero's cynical point of view--including his dead-on understanding of hypocrisy in military and political leaders. Sheridan Drake is a man who has been used so often, by so many, and for so many years from his youth, that he has grown into a beautiful but very dark and ruthless man. Short on cash, he encounters a young noblewoman who is his opposite in every way: plump, privileged, and utterly witless, Olympia is described in early passages as if she were a partridge or some other bright-eyed, stupid creature. Sheridan immediately detects her stupidity (it would be hard to miss) and hopes to capitalize on it; yet, improbably, it is Olympia's very helplessness that eventually draws him to her. She is so soft and harmless, and so certain to be devoured by other predators, that he finds himself protecting her--if only so he can make use of her himself. How does one make a romance of two such characters? One is a rat, the other an idiot. Yet these people come alive for us--they are flawed, but they are real; and like the rest of us, they're trying to survive in this world and maybe find someone they can trust. Many dangers are encountered, and very realistically drawn. Sheridan may save her when it's necessary, but he's no gentleman about it. He often ponders first whether saving her is worth the risk. Yet he's no coward. It's just that he's been burned so often, he's determined not to be anybody's patsy ever again. And Olympia misinterprets the motives of others so consistently as to blunder unerringly into the heart of any and every danger that arises. The sex scenes? Hot. Very hot. Very, very hot. Kinsale's definitely gifted though somewhat inconsistent. After reading Seize the Fire I sought other titles and especially enjoyed The Hidden Heart and Midsummer Moon. These latter two have something you sometimes find in Kinsale books: unforgettable moments of sheer brilliance, in an otherwise readable but less-brilliant story. But when it comes to building a powerful but repressed mutual attraction between two characters, Kinsale has no peer. (You know that feeling: when you're in polite company, and someone present is so gorgeous that you suddenly can't even breathe, and then he looks straight at you.) This is where she excels. Kinsale's heroes tend to be dark. You may not like them all the time. Or, you may not ever like them. Yet I think the novelty of characters that don't fit the tired romance-novel formulas make these books far more interesting than the most.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nobody writes romance like this author.Her stories are as much action\adventure novels as they are romances, but thats a big plus for a reader like me, as the twists and turns and high stakes situations that develop keep my interest. Of course the action always revolves around the romance between the two main characters who are inevitably very interesting people. People who are flawed and quirky...not your typical hero or heroine. Her characters have plenty of sexual\romantic chemistry but also have multi-dimensional personalities. If you read most of the other reviews, you will see that they are 5 star... the woman knows how to write. All her books are well worht reading, this one as well. Although it is not my favorite, I recommend it highly as it has all the elements I described above.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my first book by this author. The book is more than 400 pages. It takes the characters to different countries. The book is emotional with little romance. The male did not appeal to me. He was tormented in his head. I probably will not read books by this author again. This book contains much sadness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Probably a copout, but the other reviewers were dead on in their longer reviews so I will not repeat. I'll only reiterate, it is not a typical historical romance, and you should give it a chance even though it may be a little slow in the beginning and the characters are not initially likeable. No predictable plot here, yea!
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flowersKD More than 1 year ago
very moving and emotional book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first few chapters were okay, a bit slow. it took me some time to get into the story, but then all of a sudden, I was drawn into Sheridan and Olympia's world. There were so many twists and turns, I was glad i didnt know how they would end up. It felt like a real romance, not some sappy, predictable novel that is like every other. This was different and and amazing.
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Trully enjoy this book. A must read for sure.
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