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Mistress Firebrand

(Renegades of the American Revolution)

by
3.88  ·  Rating details ·  480 ratings  ·  88 reviews
British Occupied Manhattan, 1777. American actress Jennifer Leighton has been packing the John Street Theater with her witty comedies, but she longs to escape the provincial circuit for the glamour of the London stage. When the playwright General John Burgoyne visits the city, fresh from a recent success in the capitol, she seizes the opportunity to court his patronage. Bu ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by NAL Trade
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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Melinda
Jan 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
Fairly exciting novel, than again espionage always adds a level of excitement.

I was unsure of Jennifer at first. Was she flighty, opportunistic or something else. I warmed up to her as the story progressed, I must say I preferred her paired with Severin, together they compliment each other, proverbial ying and yang, not to mention their many similarities. Severin – charming, cultured, revolutionary James Bond. Frances was a muted character but her presence added to my fascination with Angela Fer
...more
Ava Brightly ☕
When given the opportunity to read and review Mistress Firebrand, I was thrilled and jumped at the chance. I’ve read two others in Renegades of the Revolution series and fell in love with Donna Thorland’s writing.

It took me longer to get through this one, not counting the week long flu at Christmas, but due to wanting to relish the settings, the characters, and watch every twist and turn unfold. You can only read a book once “for the first time”. As firsts and lasts, and everything in between,
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Erin
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I've been eyeing Donna Thorland's Renegades of the Revolution series since the publication of The Turncoat, but fitting the books into my schedule has been something of a challenge. Till now that is.

For the record, the books are written as standalones and weren't published in chronological order, so feel free to start where you will. I also encourage readers not to worry too much over the material. Thorland's writing is won
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Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder
10-Stars l!

I don’t think this series is HR, but rather HF or romantic historical fiction. This book like “The Turncoat,” bk 1 of the series is very heavy in historical detail, as it should be. This author is an expert on the period. This is her area of expertise.

There was so much intrigue and political maneuvering, that the romantic element was a little overshadowed, but I don’t think this is HR. However, I really liked the MCs and they had really good chemistry.

The intrigue and political was p
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Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I've long wanted to read Donna Thorland as I love Revolutionary-era historical fiction and have seen rave reviews for her books. Happily, I wasn't disappointed with this read, which was atmospheric, detailed, and vividly done.

Set in 1777, Mistress Firebrand features a young American playwright, Jennifer Leighton. Niece to the much toasted actress Fanny Leighton, Jennifer aspires to fame, and considers a daring plan to do so: have British general John Burgoyne act as her patron. Burgoyne is a not
...more
WhiskeyintheJar/Kyraryker
Jun 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book and series is amazing if you're looking for high quality and quantity of historical facts and feel in your romance. This time period, 1776/American Revolutionary War, is sadly ignored right now, so it makes this series extra special.

The romance gets pushed to the side in favor of political dealings, the beginning is a little slow starting and the middle gets a bit meandering but the end finds itself as the historical and romance aspects finally find a happy marriage.

If you enjoy hi
...more
Manda Collins
Donna Thorland is one of those writers who I know will give me a great adventure, a sexy romance and pitch perfect historical detail. This time she takes the reader behind the scenes of the theatre during the American Revolution. Our heroine, Jennifer Leighton, is a colonial playwright who dreams of having her plays performed on the London stage. And when she hears that British General and playwright "Gentleman" Johnny Burgoyne is nearby, she devises a scheme to get her play in front of him. But ...more
Ashlyn Macnamara
Mar 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There are not enough books about the American Revolution--or at least I can't get enough of them. And when a writer of Donna Thorland's caliber takes the period on, you know you're in for a ride. The hero is a BAMF, the heroine is more than his match, the historical detail is lovely. I have admittedly researched the era period since some of my manuscripts-under-the-bed were set then. Knowing some of the background already just ups the tension at certain points. I devoured this book. I had to thi ...more
Sarah
The stars of the book for me were the two leads, Jenny and Severin. The author characterized them as strong individuals who are caught up in the tides of war and revolution, doing an outstanding job in the process. She also gave her secondary characters real life, making us live them rather than just read them.

Jenny knew what she wanted out of life and never lost sight of that goal to utilize her writing as a method of support, monetarily and revolutionary. I also liked that she knew she was in
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Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Setting: New York City 1777

4 1/2 Stars

After reading the authors first two books and I absolutely loved them, I admit I was hesitant going into this one only because I really don't care for historical books romance or otherwise where the backdrop is a actress/playwright/actor theme. I don't know why, but they just bore me and I can't hold any interest in one. That being said...I thought "Mistress Firebrand" her most amusing, clever, adventurous, and thought provoking novel yet and I couldn't put
...more
Rachel McMillan
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really really thought that this book breathed something different into contemporarily written romantic historicals. While the passion is high and the romantic sequences leave you breathless, Thorland is a literary mastermind when it comes to weaving circumstances indigenous to a riled time in American History. Her inclusion of historical figures is well done and their fictional counterparts are so well-realized you get the sense they actually lived. I eagerly await Thorland's next offering. So ...more
OLT
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have always heard only the highest of praise from reader friends on Amazon for Donna Thorland's "Renegades of the American Revolution" series, so I took their advice and read THE TURNCOAT and THE REBEL PIRATE and found those two books to be very interesting, romantic, although perhaps with unrealistic insta-love, and with nicely researched historical background and a good balance of characters from both the Loyalist and Rebel sides of the American colonies' struggle for independence from Engla ...more
Gaele
As a fan of historic fiction, how could I not jump at the chance to read Mistress Firebrand, one of the Renegades of the Revolution series that Donna Thorland has created. Using the American Revolution as the backdrop to her historic romances, Thorland’s creation of the setting and scene, addition of historical benchmarks and characters that fairly breathe through the pages, it was a wonderful read.

In 1777, Jennifer Leighton is eking out a living as an actress and playwright, while staying with
...more
Robin
NetGalley ARC, my opinions are my own.
Also at Historical Readings & Reviews

It amazed me how much Thorland was able to pack into only about 400 pages, and I don't just mean the plot, but also the character development, politics, history, etc. There is so much attention to detail and yet even with all that, it never gets bogged down and instead remains a fun, quick read.

While it's told from the third person points of view of the two, very likable and believable main characters, Jenny and Severin,
...more
Amalia Carosella
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Turncoat is still my favorite in this series, but I think that is just the difference of personality-meshing with Jenny vs Kate.

I wasn't completely SURE about Jenny when the book began, and it took me a little bit longer to warm up to her than it did for Kate or Sarah, who I both fell instantly in love with, but even so, she is a rich character and I grew to admire her as I read on, because again Ms. Thorland did a BRILLIANT job with characterization and weaving the relationships of these e
...more
Elysium
4,5 stars

American revolution is an era that I haven’t read much – if anything, so this was all new and fascinating for me.

I liked Jenny who was a strong woman who was determined to be successful in her own right. In a time when actress was pretty much synonym for a whore it wasn’t easy to be taken seriously as a playwright.

Severin is half-Indian so he’s had his own share of troubles. I liked these two together and it was great to see this mutual respect between an actress and a spy. Jenny didn’t
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Jaclyn
More like 3.5.

Mistress Firebrand is the third in Thorland’s Renegades of the Revolution , a series that puts a romantic spin on the American Revolution. That said, despite the romance element in Mistress Firebrand, this in no way sugarcoats the challenges faced by people during this period. In particular, I was struck by the challenges faced be the heroine, Jennifer Leighton, an actress trying to make her way as a playwright. Unfortunately, being an independent and ambitious young woman duri
...more
Jane
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review first appeared on the Historical Novel Society website.

Jennifer Leighton is a playwright and a loyalist. In 1775 Manhattan, both her gender and her politics are against her. Theaters, especially those staging pro-British satires, are at the mercy of the Rebel mobs, and, to be taken seriously as a female writer, Jenny’s best hope is to obtain passage to London. When British general – and playwright – John Burgoyne’s ship unexpectedly docks in New York’s harbor, Jenny sees a chance to
...more
Mary Adams
Mar 15, 2015 rated it really liked it

I found this story refreshingly different. Although I bought it thinking it was a romance, it didn't fit so neatly into the romance genre. (Much in the same way Diana Gabaldon's Outlander doesn't fit into the classical romance genre, but can still delight lovers of romance.)

The story is told in a classical romance style, with the point of view moving back and forth (without the head-hopping, thank goodness) that you'll find in most romance novels. That aside, the main characters don't spend all
...more
Maria
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The power of the theater to stir the masses, bolster confidence and public opinion, and rally the troops is celebrated in this superbly written novel by Donna Thorland. Marketed as historical fiction, this story has a sizzling romance at its center, so I think it’s more an historical romance.

This the third installment in Thorland’s riveting American Revolutionary era Renegades of the Revolution series, but each novel can be read on its own. This series is so rich in historical particulars, with
...more
Jennae Vale
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this author

Mistress Firebrand was an amazing read. The tension built from the beginning and carried through to the very end. I could not put it down and on more than one occasion told my husband to stop talking to me because I had to know what was going to happen. I look forward to reading more by this author.
Mandi Schreiner
I think this book is well written - but it's more historical fiction than romance - or at least I need more romance - so it's not the book's fault in any way - just not for me right now.
Lisa
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was such a charming story. It had it all! Historical fiction, romance, espionage, spies, thrills...theater (?) and a happy ending. Should I have checked, spoilers?
I fell in love with both of the main characters for their spirit and stubbornness. But most of all, their commitment and loyalty to each other (even when they weren't on the same side -if you will-).
Donna Thorland has written three all time quick, enjoyable and entertaining reads!!
Looking forward to reading THE DUTCH GIRL.
Linda Shrum
This book was not very good. In my opinion. Virtually nothing happened of consequence until page 300. It was extremely boring. The one thing I didn't know about the revolutionary war was how the theater played such a big part in propaganda. I would only give this book 1 star and that is stretching it.
Alyssa
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: summer-reads
Another wonderful Revolutionary War novel from Donna Thorland, about the power of the written word in that conflict. Thorland excels at writing books that are sexy page-turners and impeccably researched so that the era comes alive. I very much recommend this book, and I hope that she writes many more novels set during this period.
Meg - A Bookish Affair
In "Mistress Firebrand," our main character, Jennifer, is both an actress and a playwright in Manhattan. It is the 1770s and the colonies are an ever changing and sometimes dangerous place as it does not take long for Jennifer to find out. Jennifer gets herself entangled with infamous British general, John Burgoyne, but it is his intelligence officer, Severin that falls for Jennifer. What follows is a story of a burgeoning romance set against a very exciting time in American history.

I really li
...more
Max Von
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, and like the others in the series, a great read! It's a stand alone novel, but some of the background historical, quasi-historical and entirely fictional characters from the other two books appear on stage or in the background at times. And welcome they are.

I suppose these are romances, or romantic historical fiction, but that's really in my mind perhaps because of the female protagonists and strong relationships throughout. They really remind me more of swashbucklers or historical th
...more
Ciska
Jan 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review*

Every now and then I like to read a little romance. When I saw this book combined with the theatre aspect I knew there was a chance that I would enjoy it.
I liked Jennifer. She is a strong woman with a goal. I liked how even though she was really in love she did not let her life hang on what the guy did for her. Actually her character made all the guys in the story a bit unnecessary.
The story was in
...more
Barb
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
I very seldom read historical fiction about the Revolutionary War period. However, “Mistress Firebrand” by Donna Thorland seemed to be, from the previews, a very interesting story about that time. There were so many tidbits that, although I’m not sure they were historically true, added to the drama. I was interested in the reversal of loyalties of the main characters and, for that matter, most of the characters. Just when I thought I knew who were the Tories and Whigs, something would change. I ...more
Sydney Merten
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love all of the Renegades of the Revolution books. History is my thing and this book had love, lost, humor and suspense all wrapped up in a pretty little cover.
Here is my full review for your enjoyment--> https://shhhbookreviews.wordpress.com...
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A native of Bergenfield, New Jersey, Donna graduated from Yale with a degree in Classics and Art History. For a number of years she managed architecture and interpretation at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA, and wrote and directed the Witch City’s most popular Halloween theater festival, Eerie Events. She later earned an MFA in film production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

The direc
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Other books in the series

Renegades of the American Revolution (4 books)
  • The Turncoat (Renegades of the Revolution)
  • The Rebel Pirate (Renegades of the Revolution)
  • The Dutch Girl (Renegades of the American Revolution)

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