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The Spitfire

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  942 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
"Realistic, appealing characters and an entertaining tale."
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 surre
Paperback, 490 pages
Published August 11th 1990 by Ballantine Books (first published 1990)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,376)
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Romancing the Book
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 e
Apr 11, 2011 Hege rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I read this book for the first time about 20 years ago. I've reread it numerous times since and I continue to love it. That first time reading it I was in a mountain cabin laying on a bunk bed stealing it from my mom because I wanted something to read. It was the first romance novel I ever read. So fond memories.

The book itself has created even fonder memories. It showed me that it is possible to be a strong and intelligent woman as well as soft and feminine. Arabella's story is fascinating, sh
Jane S
Aug 26, 2015 Jane S is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very different romance. It's very historical which I am a fan of usually, however this is a very unromantic portrayal of history. I was shocked with the level of violence and brutality displayed within the first chapter. I don't think ill be finishing this book...the biggest thing I have issue with is the extremely young age of the heroine. We meet her at age 12 and after skimming the book I believe this is when her romance begins...something I honestly find weird and disturbing on top ...more
Trina Guilty Pleasures
Jun 15, 2012 Trina Guilty Pleasures rated it did not like it
This was not my favorite book I was not fond of the character Lady Arabella Grey. I found her very spoiled, vain and irritating, I had read this book years ago and was doing a re-read and to be honest did not finish the book.
This is not your typical historical romance. Though it follows some conventions (hero and heroine despise each other at first, they are forced together, then naturally fall in lust if not love) it is mercifully free of my biggest pet peeve, The Great Big Misunderstanding that seems to so stupidly drive apart the lovebirds of so many books of this genre. Though there is something that comes between Arabella and Tavis, the heroes of Bertrice Small' s The Spitfire, it is an issue that has been a so ...more
Bertrice Small's writing is somehiow becoming almost a naughty little pleasure for me. Yea, I know the prose tends to be a titch purply, but otherwise it's not that bad. Mostly, I like the epic saga-type style, the stories spanning over a number of years, with lots of stuff going on. I also gotta admit to likin' the naughty bits in a way too. This one wasn't as kinky as the two mid-east set stories I've read by her, but the heroine did have relations with more men than just the hero. It was tame ...more
I really liked this book. The year is 1483. Lady Arabella is set marry the kings choice of husband (he's a bad guy) and he comes to live with them before the wedding. Note: she is to young to wed yet. During the time he is there seduces her mother. He had already killed one woman that he seduced that was betrothed to the neighboring Scot Lord.

Well on the wedding day, the Scot Lord Tavis Steward steals her away and makes her wed him. She falls in love with him and lives with him for a time, but w
Jeanine Joy
Jul 25, 2015 Jeanine Joy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fast paced and fun. I enjoyed the writing style and look forward to more books by Bertrice Small. I like learning about other places by reading books set there and Newfoundland is on my list. This book heightened my interest in spending time there.
personally i don't like it because i think lady arabella is spoiled and thinks only about herself. she became a whore because she is damn idiot. acting like a a spoiled little girl shows she is immature and idiot but not a brave and a bold women. if she threatened her husband that she is suicide or runaway surely he would have done somethin. but no she went and slept with his nephew and went to France and became a whore. she clearly didn't love her husband or anyone around her but herself. she i ...more
Cindy Johnson
Oct 03, 2015 Cindy Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read

I loved this book. Bertrice Small was an excellent author. I have enjoyed many of her books and this one certainly didn't disappoint.
Feb 24, 2015 Andita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three and a half...

And would have been a four if not for the uneventful beginning. I tried to start reading this at least two times before I forced myself to continue. Then the author list me for a while when she made the main character someone I didn't like. I'm not sure if I really enjoyed the ending either because it sort of felt forced. I'm sure I will read more but I hope these things don't happen in the next books.
L. (I need one of these, do they come in threes? cuz I need to squeeze them)
I believe I've read this. I remember little bits and pieces of it, like her being nekkid at her wedding.
Maryann Korzeniewski
Great book set in 15th century England.
May 06, 2009 Annette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book started off as a regular sounding historical romance, then many twists and turns came along...all due to the maddening result of man's rule and a woman trying to be strong when it wasn't allowed. She is praised and frowned upon for her strength and carries on trying to do what she feels is right, even doing what she feels is wrong because of orders from the men around her. The ending is sad, and it made me wish the end was different...yet the ending is good...if that can make sense, it ...more
Oct 17, 2014 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
good read
Mar 28, 2014 Tegs rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Aug 24, 2013 Heathy rated it it was ok
The book is too long. It dragged on, and I really disliked the heroine.
I think there was a three-some sex scene, which was something I hadn't read in a romance novel before, so that was a surprise.
I just couldn't bring myself to like Arabella. Travis was in spite of the era, a sweetheart who loved a selfish-overly proud woman.
Regan Walker
Here's the link to my review on Romancing the Book:
Sarath Krishnan
the adventures of Arabella Gray is really interesting.Certainly,she is a strong woman.
Jun 03, 2009 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2009
I don't like reading bodice rippers as much as I used to.
Jun 24, 2013 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nanas-books
Great Book! :-)
Sep 09, 2012 Maryirwin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Renee Mitchem
Renee Mitchem rated it it was amazing
May 01, 2016
Eleyne added it
Apr 27, 2016
Fyre.Katz marked it as to-read
Apr 26, 2016
Chavi rated it really liked it
Apr 24, 2016
Brenda S. Conant
Brenda S. Conant rated it really liked it
Apr 23, 2016
Annaratliff rated it it was amazing
Apr 21, 2016
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Bertrice Williams was born on December 9, 1937 in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA, the daughter of Doris S. and David R. Williams, both broadcasters. She studied at Attended Western College for Women and Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School. On October 5, 1963, she married George Sumner Small, a photographer and designer with a History Major at Princeton. They had a son Thomas David. She has ...more
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