The Spitfire

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"Realistic, appealing characters and an entertaining tale."
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The year is 1483. Just as beautiful Lady Arabella Grey, the young cousin of England's King Richard III, speaks her wedding vows to Sir Jasper Keane, the Scotsman Tavis Stewart, Earl of Dunmore, abducts Arabella as payment for Jasper's murder of his fiancee. Irresistibly, deliciously, Arabella surrenders to her enemy with fierce ...
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1992 Mass-market paperback Reprint. Mass Market ed. New. NEW in Excellent condition a SMOKE FREE book Mass market (rack) paperback. Glued binding. 480 p. Audience: General/trade.

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The Spitfire

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Overview

"Realistic, appealing characters and an entertaining tale."
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
The year is 1483. Just as beautiful Lady Arabella Grey, the young cousin of England's King Richard III, speaks her wedding vows to Sir Jasper Keane, the Scotsman Tavis Stewart, Earl of Dunmore, abducts Arabella as payment for Jasper's murder of his fiancee. Irresistibly, deliciously, Arabella surrenders to her enemy with fierce abandon—knowing that there may be only one way to get what is rightfully hers....

Cousin of England's King Richard III, Lady Arabella Grey is just about to pledge her vows to Sir Jasper Keane when Scotsman Tavis Stewart, Earl of Dunmor, interrupts the ceremony, demands that Keane pay his dues for murdering Stewart's fiancee, and takes Arabella as his hostage. "Realistic, appealing characters and an entertaining tale."--Publishers Weekly.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When she can resist the temptation to be outrageous such as staging a wedding with the bride stark naked, veteran romance novelist Small Blaze Wyndham offers realistic, appealing characters and an entertaining tale set in 15th-century England that integrates the historical enmity between English and Scotssee p. 488 . The wedding ceremony of Arabella Grey and Sir Jasper Keane is disrupted by a band of fierce Scots, led by Tavis Stewart, Earl of Dunmor. Tavis reveals that Jasper took the earl's intended bride as a mistress and subsequently murdered her. g In turn, Tavis carries Arabella away to Scotland and marries herg --a union g both find rewarding. But Jasper still covets Greyfaire, Arabella's family lands, and so marries Arabella's widowed mother. Arabella becomes determined to regain her property, leaving Scotland to petition Henry VII of England for assistance. Henry will help, but only if she'll spy for him in the French court. As the story progresses, Arabella grows from an innocent child to a subtle, sophisticated woman who can bargain with kings as well as regain both her Scots husband and English home. Sept.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345375650
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/13/1992
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: FIRST/REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.85 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Customer Reviews

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( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2014

    Whar a let down....

    I feel this book could have been more well thought out. It wasnt structured well and things seemed to mash into one another. The heroine of the story is a selfish chit who makes terrible choices. So much heartbreak comes of it and its just not worth it. It does not have a very happy ending. It keft me with the sense of regret fof having put myself through the emotional wringer without any gain. Sorry ms small, but this was not you best.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 16, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Regan Book provided by the publisher for review Revi

    Reviewed by Regan
    Book provided by the publisher for review
    Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

    For those not familiar with her work, Small has a very different style than other romance authors and tells complex, intricate and sometimes disturbing stories. This one is no exception. It begins with deception and treachery and a Scottish earl seeking vengeance. But it makes some strange twists and turns. To enjoy it, you must adjust your expectations from the typical historical romance to embrace Small’s unique style. If you do, you will plunge deep into the history of the time with well-developed characters whose life experiences are realistic for the era (late 15th century), and the place (the border between Scotland and England and France). She uses long narratives, repeated scenes told through different characters’ eyes, and “head hopping” from one character’s perspective to another when it suits her purposes. Her descriptions of clothing and food are intricate.

    One has to love the “historical” part of historical romances (which I do), as Small goes into great detail as to what was going on at the time, including the politics. I give her full marks for her deep research. Some of her characters are real historic figures, like King Richard III and Henry Tudor of England, James III of Scotland and his son, Jamie Stewart (James IV), and King Charles of France. They make the story seem more historically accurate and bring these men to life.

    Finally, you must adjust your expectations for the hero and heroine. In Small’s romances, not all have one love and live happily ever after. Oh, there is a happy ending, don’t get me wrong; this is romance. But it won’t be what you might expect and the heroine won’t always be with the hero. In fact, for long passages they aren’t together. Not all romance readers will like that. In this case, Arabella turns from a moral, headstrong young woman in love with her Scottish husband, and determined to take the right course, to a pragmatic woman four years later who makes some very odd, and seemingly incongruous choices, all for the sake of securing her family’s rundown English estate. Small attempts to explain Arabella’s whoring as understandable. In my view she was only mildly successful in that effort. For those turned off by a heroine’s considerable infidelity, I don’t think you’ll like this one. Then, too, the hero, Tavis Stewart may be a powerful Scottish earl and uncle to a king (I rather liked him at first), but he is too passive when it comes to his spitfire wife, even blaming himself for her bad behavior. It all comes right in the end but only in the usual Small way.

    Small writes well and weaves an intriguing story. I just don’t think this one is for all, not even all of her fans, which I count myself as one.

    Warning:  The heroine is a part of a menage a trois in one of the later scenes. This is not erotica but that is very strange for a historical romance, though perhaps not for Small.

    Favorite Quote:  “No man, or woman for that matter,” the queen said softly, “should love another person so deeply. When ye love that much, ye are more often than not doomed to disappointment because ye make yer lover someone or something he isn’t. Eventually ye realize it, and then ye must come to terms with that disappointment, Jamie.”

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2014

    2001 review

    I was not surprised mrs. Small but how talented you are deserve 4 stars thank you for this wonderful chapter that can sta in our hearts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Excellent.

    Excellent. I hope she continues to write & entertain

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    Heroine as Doormat

    On the day of her wedding to a man she thinks she loves, Arabella is stolen from the altar by Tavis Stewart, a Scottish Earl who has reason to hate Jasper, her almost-bridegroom. When it becomes clear that Jasper is a wicked man and he has no intention of rescuing her, Tavis decides to marry her. She tries to escape, he drags her back, and when she balks at marrying him, he rips off her clothing - in front of all his men and the priest, and makes her marry him completely naked. Is she angry? No. Does he ever have to acknowledge that he was wrong to humiliate his own wife in front of his men? No. As with too many of Small's heroines, Arabella just meekly tolerates being degraded and treated no better than a dog. She does not even need an apology before she is experiencing bliss in this man's bed!

    Small's historical research is excellent, and to her credit, she manages to make me care enough to be outraged on behalf of her heroines. But I have to ask, am I really supposed to root for these two people to come together? It's so hard for me to respect heroines who have no respect for themselves, and while I wouldn't object to seeing him redeem himself and become worthy of her love, I'd actually like to see him regret his ill use of her before she's thrashing wildly in his arms. Would anyone really like to see their daughters allow themselves to be so treated?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2002

    Not Recommended!

    I've heard that Bertrice Small is a very good writer but not to read 'The spitfire' since it wasnt one of her best works and its a disappointing book. i didnt listen to the advice and i hope you'll listen to mine, if your thinking of reading this book, DONT! Its not worth it, it a frustrating book, that's so dumb. It irritated me from the start and i dont know how i was able to finish such a poor written book. This is the first book i read of Bertrice Small but being that she has the reputation of being a good writer, then i'd give her one more chance... I like the idea of the story line but hated how it was pulled through, it was so unrealistic. I must say, i dont recommend this book! The main characters fell in love too quickly when they were separate for six months on the day of their wedding. Arabella is so stubborn and does so many dumb things to gain her land back including, divorcing her husband whom she claims to love and becoming praticaly a whore, all to be forgiven at the end by her ex husband so easily. In the end she had done all she could to gain her land back for nothing! I'm telling you, its all downhill since the divorce and even worse when she has to go to France as a favor for the king to gain her land back for her daughter. The point is, its not worth reading! Trust me!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2001

    Definately not her best

    Mrs. Small is one of my all time favorite authors.However, I was extremely disappointed in the way Mrs. Small portrayed the heroine in this book. Usually the women in her books are smart, brave, determined, intelligent,and mostly unselfish women. Not so in this one.Lady Arabella is a selfish, childish, violent shrew. She stabs Tavis twice,slaps and punches him countless times and what's worse is Tavis comes off looking like a punk because he does absolutely nothing.He just goes away like a dog with his tail between his legs.Not only that but when she is in the wrong he is ALWAYS the one to apologize.Throughout the entire book Arabella reminded me of a spoiled three year old. Everything had to be her way, and if it did not concern her directly, she doesn't care. This book was totally infuriating, and gets two stars only because Mrs.Small wrote it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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