Linda's Reviews > Heaven's Fire

Heaven's Fire by Patricia Ryan
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Jun 24, 10

bookshelves: medieval-romance, expected-more-from-great-reviews
Recommended for: those who enjoy medieval romance
Read on January 01, 2010, read count: 1

It is the twelfth century when women are usually treated as objects to serve men. Reading about true love is rare and times are harsh. Marriages among high society are usually arranged and rarely do you hear of love between a commoner and someone from the upper class.

Young Constance attracts the evil Sir Roger's attention and agrees to live with a much older man and a member of the cloth. She loses her virginity to pay the price of being safe. During this time she is taught to read.

Some years later the pox is going around and the priest dies. Rainulf Fairfax, a scholar and visiting priest, meets the young woman during this time. Constance catches the illness and Rainulf helps her. He finds her special and kind. Believing her to be on the mend, he continues on his way not realizing how much she has affected him. In the meantime, Constance finds out that Sir Roger still wants her but not for a healthy relationship. She fixes her 'death' and takes off.

In the meantime Rainulf is shocked when he hears that she passed away.
Hiding her identity now, Constance is now Corliss and looks like a boy. She meets Rainulf again and he guesses who she is and decides to protect her. Though no longer a priest he has plans that will take him higher up the ladder in the church. Celibate for years he must continue sexual abstinence if he wants the position he covets. Corliss' actions and wisdom slowly chip away at Rainulf's shell. Can he protect her from Sir Roger? Is he willing to give up his dreams and love another above what he wants the most?

While an enjoyable romance, some elements were hard to believe in. This is a difficult time to write about since many people were illiterate and it is an era where much about the lay people is not known. It took me over a week to finish the story. There was some bite to the plot but I can't say I remembered the characters long after I completed the book.
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