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A Secret Fire

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  30 reviews
In the small, western town of Thunder Creek, Emma Marchant leads a simple life, her days spent by picking wildflowers, dodging the unwanted advances of the town drunk, and running her family-owned inn with her brother and his wife. Though ever-cheerful on the outside, Emma can’t help but long for something more.

Finally, a promise of change comes when cowboy Thatcher Deako
Paperback, First Edition, 209 pages
Published May 2nd 2012 by Draft Horse Publishing
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Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  100 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Feb 2013: Re-read for book group. Such a cute story.

Aug 2012: I really enjoyed this one. I was quickly sucked into the story by Emma’s endearing character. I thought Emma was really likable, a bit shy at times, but a sweetheart. Thatcher was a doll, I fell for him right off the bat, just like Emma. I thought they had good chemistry and some really nice moments together (Mmmm, kissing in the rain!). It really is a sweet story and full of that good old western charm. I even got a kick out of snobb
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
3.5 stars

It's so interesting to me to see the growth of this author from this book to her latest book, To Warm a Wintered Heart (which I LOVED). This book is sweet, but not her best work. I love that she has progressed and is refining her art. While this book wasn't my favorite, I did enjoy it and I'm going to read the next book in line from this author. :)

This book was full on Texas twang. Thatcher is strong and fills the pages with his essence. I loved his character. Emma was sweet, but I wan
Katie W
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow!! It's been awhile since I've read a kindle book that I absolutely love!! I thought the dialogue was very real and flowed well; the interactions between characters was realistic as well. I felt like I could see inside the characters and understand them and what made them tick, yet I got a great story in the process.

I don't believe we're given a time period, but I believe it's probably 1800s western (telegraphs, horses, words used, etc). Emma's parents have passed away and she is living with
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was such a cute book and I could not put it down. I really enjoyed the characters. For some reason I enjoyed the simpleness of the life. I enjoyed that what they wanted most was to be married and have children(at least that was our main characters, Emma's dream) and it was a simple dream and I liked it. I liked the fact that this in and of itself was a dream to aspire to. As a friend just recently reminded me I get to live my simple dream everyday and it brings me so much JOY! Maybe this is ...more
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
What a fun quick read, a western romance. I was hooked from the first sentence! I can't wait to read more books by this author. A clean historical romance.
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sweet, clean, western romance.

A sweet, clean, western romance. A bit predictable and repetitive, but still a lot of fun. Full of endearing characters and a bit of adventure. The author gives beautiful descriptions that pull you into the story. I fell in love with the town of Thundercreek. I'm definitely impressed that this is the authors first published book and I look forward to reading more from her.
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-again
Cute. Wish I had read it a few months ago for our book club, but better late than never. I hope she keeps writing, I love supporting writers who are bringing good things into the world.

The door to the Marchant Inn swung open behind them, causing the bell to ring above it, and Emma turned around to welcome their unexpected guest. A broad-shouldered figure appeared in the doorway and stole her attention entirely. His spurs clanged against the wooden floor as he walked into the room, and Emma couldn’t help but notice his long, thick legs matching his barreled chest. The thin white shirt he wore clung to his biceps that bulged with each movement he made, and his shoulders
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5 but I'm rounding up.

Let me just say, I love Marcia McClure. I love her cheesy dialogue and swoony kisses and exclamation points. This felt very Marcia-esque. I would be surprised if the author hadn't read Marcia's books because all those moisture-flooding-the-mouth kisses were very Marcia, but reading A Secret Fire was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. I love a good, clean western romance and hope this author writes more!
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simple and sweet

This was a simple yet delightfully sweet romance. I enjoyed it, and thought the writers style was very similar to that of Marcia M. McClure :)
Nov 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
Sheer agony, reading the sample and waiting to get to the end of it to relieve me of my misery. You have a silly girl Emma with a heavily pregnant Eliza, and two cowboys described in the follow manner:
The thin white shirt he wore clung to his biceps that bulged with each movement he made, and his shoulders stretched the fabric to what looked like ripping point.
They talk like this:
Oh come on, brother. It ain’t that hard. Just go do some more of that flirtin’ you were doin’ earlier.
Not f
Jul 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Cute story, it kind of reminded me of a McClure book but the kissing wasn’t so deep and stormy. (Cool names, strong muscle handsome hero, insecure heroine) I got a little annoyed with how often the insecurities took over with the couple, but they always worked it out quite quickly so that was nice
Very clean and quick light read
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

It was a good book overall. This is my second book I've read from this author, I definitely enjoyed the Lighthouse story more. But there was growth in the characters and a satisfying ending.
Melinda Ross
May 31, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was disappointing. I really liked her Cornwall series and was intrigued by the different setting. I liked the characters, which gives it 3 stars instead of 2, but the story dragged a bit. I think it would have made a good novella.
Kristin Carmack
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable

I almost finished this book in one sitting. Great plot, very believable characters, enough suspence and romance to keep a person wanting to read just a few more pages until you just have to go to bed. LOL Recommended!!!
Donna Campbell
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great story

This was a great story of people learning to overcome their past. This was a sweet, clean romance with a little suspense as well.
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 ☆
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was an adorable, fun read! I really enjoyed Emma even though I wanted her to have more of a backbone. She eventually doesn't let you down though. I enjoyed that there were so many characters that you just love. You love Emma, Thatcher, his brother and Emma's brother and sister in law. This was a fun, clean, adorable read!

Thanks to the Happily Ever After book group on good reads I found another cute read.
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!
I read this book last year. It is one of those books you just don't want to put down. In fact  I read it in just one night. I Couldn't wait to see how it ended. Beautifully written and a clean romance.  You can't help but to be drawn into it and love it's characters. I would definitely  recommend it!!!
Marinda Moss
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Awesome story! From the very first page it pulled me in and I couldn't help but read the whole story.. In one night... Even though it was 3:00 in the morning. The characters are so endearing, and I couldn't help but like them, even the notorious Nancy Jane! I recommend this book to anyone looking for a little extra romance in their life. It definitely hits the spot.
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books I have read so far this year. The plot was fun, the characters interesting, and the pacing of the story as it unfolded made this a book I couldn't put down until I was done. I can't wait for this book to be made more widely available so more can enjoy this great story! READ IT!
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love historical fiction books...but when you add a little romance, I REALLY love them! This book is an easy read, you fall in love with the characters, of's CLEAN! I appreciate that greatly since there are so many "not-so-clean" romance novels out there. I highly recommend A Secret Fire to everyone!

Keanna (JustKey)
Dec 01, 2013 rated it liked it
I don't like a lot of historical and western fiction, but this background story on the characters and their development has piqued my interest. Hathaway has done an excellent job in making me like historical fiction more.
Keanna Lewis
Aug 06, 2012 marked it as to-read
I don't like a lot of historical fiction, but this background story on the characters and their development has piqued my interest. Hathaway has done an excellent job in making me like historical fiction more.
Melissa Sargent
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
It was a sweet romance. A quick, easy read. I recommend it. This review was provided in exchange for a copy of the book from Goodreads Firstreads and the author.
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It was an easy read. I couldn't put it down, I was sad it had to end. I found myself smiling throughout the book. It was very clean, I definitely recommend this book!
Amanda Whatcott
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have been looking for a clean romance story and this was the best one I have found in awhile!
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really liked this story, I wanted to love it. I struggled with Emma's insecurity, it was driving me crazy!
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was a page turner. It is a romance novel yet there was not anything inappropriate. Loved it!!!! I would highly suggest it for a fun easy read.
Mar 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Cute cute cute!! 3.5 stars. A lovely western about a spinster who finally gets her man. <3 ...more
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Clean Romance Novels: A Secret Fire eBook Sale for $.99 1 2 Aug 15, 2015 02:34PM  
Happily Ever Afte...: A Secret Fire eBook Sale for $.99 1 11 Aug 15, 2015 02:32PM  
Clean Reads: A Secret Fire eBook Sale for $.99 1 13 Aug 15, 2015 02:31PM  
Clean Romances: A Secret Fire eBook Sale for $.99 1 3 Aug 15, 2015 02:29PM  
All Clean Romance...: A Secret Fire eBook Sale for $.99 1 3 Aug 15, 2015 02:27PM  
Happily Ever Afte...: February 2013 - A Secret Fire 5 27 Feb 10, 2013 01:38PM  
Clean Reads: A Secret Fire available on Kindle 6 38 Jan 25, 2013 01:19PM  

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Deborah M. Hathaway graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor's degree in English and an emphasis in Creative Writing. As a young girl, she devoured Jane Austen's novels while watching and re-watching every adaptation of Pride & Prejudice she could, entirely captured by all things Regency and romance.

Throughout her life, she wrote many short stories, poems, and essays, but it was not un

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