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River of Fire

(Fallen Angels #6)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,320 ratings  ·  66 reviews
He was known as the Demon Warrior. As rebel, soldier, hero, and spy, Kenneth Wilding has never known defeat, until he returns from the Napoleonic wars to an empty title and a ravaged estate. Then a stranger offers a devil's bargain: financial salvation in return for Kenneth's special subversive skills. Reluctantly, Kenneth enters the household of England's greatest artist ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 5th 2005 by Signet (first published 1996)
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3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,320 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Although I didn't like the way the last fifty pages tied every storyline up with a shiny bow, I think this is still my 2nd favorite in the series behind Dancing on the Wind. And this is a must-read for any romance reader who has a passion in one of the creative fields (in my case, writing). The things Rebecca tells Kenneth about painting can be applied across the board, and I especially found it very insightful.

Captain Kenneth Wilding aka Viscount Kimball is in debt due to his father's obsession
Kate McMurry
May 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Review of audiobook version of outstanding historical romance

Captain Kenneth Wilding, newly Viscount Kimball, has been left with nothing but a mountain of debts after his father’s death. His besotted father mortgaged everything he owned to maintain his young, beautiful, and extremely avaricious second wife in the exalted style she demanded as her due. At age 33, Kenneth has spent the past 15 years in the military, including the entirety of the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815), a good portion of that
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really liked this one and thought Kenneth was a stand up guy. Got irritated with the heroine after she found out what Kenneth secret was. He was telling her 6 ways to Sunday not to get involved that he had a secret, then when the big reveal, she gets mad at him. Still a very nice read.
Feb 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
How is it that I did not review this book?

I read this book last year but obviously did not shelf it on GR. Here it goes: great writing, impressive characterization, mediocre romance.

Let it be known that I LOVE Mary Jo Putney. I admire her ability as a writer, to build a intricate story with complex characters. This was proven again and again in her older books. She often writes about things that are not "pretty". There is no fluffy read written by Putney. You read her books, at your own peril.
Jan 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
After waiting for two years to collect the Fallen Angels books (so that I could read them all in a row), I've been very dissapointed in the series so far, with the exception of THUNDER AND ROSES. Now, after reading RIVER OF FIRE, my faith in Putney's writing ability is restored.

My main complaints with a lot of the other books in the Fallen Angels series was that the love story would get shoved onto the back burner while the mystery/intrigue took centre stage. This really annoyed me, as I want t
Nov 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical

I liked this. Liked the plot, liked the characters ok. I just didn't feel much chemistry going on.
The book was a bit flat. It was way too easy to put down and walk away.
I'll still read the next in the series and I still love Mary Jo Putney!
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: keeper
Kenneth Wilding’s love of art diminished him in the eyes of his father, and he left home to become a soldier. When his father was widowed, he married a much younger, acquisitive woman and neglected his daughter and the family estates. When Kenneth inherited, the family lands were mortgaged, the wealth of ancestral jewels were in the hands of Hermione, and Kenneth and his sister were within a couple of months of losing everything.

Lord Bowden acquires the mortgages and offers Kenneth a bargain: in
Lynne Tull
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency-romance
I was ready to give this book a five star rating until I had my first lesson in painting with oils. Too much of this story was spent on teaching me how oil paint. I know the painters were an integral part of this story; however, I didn't need to know how to mix the paint and prepare the canvas. I loved the H/H and the happily every after ending. Recommend the series-Start with the first book "Thunder & Roses".
Dee Jay
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intrigue, a spy within?

Kenneth Wilding finds that the Viscountcy that came to him had been looted by his father and his much younger second wife.
Finding that he must do something or the estate would fall into bankruptcy and his sister left with nothing, he agrees to investigate a year old death of Lady Helen Seaton at the request of her brother in law, Lord Bowden.
What transpires is a who done it and romance all in one.
Mary Ann
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book (and the whole series)

Part romance, part murder mystery. These lovers are terrific. Rebecca/Ginger lives in a hippy-type artist's home, long before there were hippies. She is a funny, smartass redhead, who is also a world-class artist. Kenneth is a friend of Michael and Catherine from the last book,tall dark,confident and handsome.
Virginia Tican
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This delves into the turbulent and perfectionist creative soul of most craftsmen and artists. The author has created very credible characters ~ giving insight as to why portrait painters sometimes have affairs with their models and the "river of fire" inside the artist that every "perfect" brush stroke of color with all the layers and nuances attributed to a work in progress attains perfection upon completion. A well~thought of piece that does not disappoint. Every book of hers is always an adve ...more
Marilyn Kavanaugh
In which tumbling

in more than one form is a central motif. The reader will also experience the throes of the developing artist and learn who executed lashing in the British Army, as well as hanging in the Royal Academy. And then there’s always the sex.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bingo-recs
Fantastic story. I love all the artistic details and I love envisioning the types of paintings that all three artists create, especially with the author's note at the end that explains the inspirations.
Marian Johnston
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very enchanting

Loved the book, it was a wonderful read. I have read them all and I think I liked it best.
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 stars.
Mar 15, 2017 added it
Shelves: dnf, owned
Darn it! I was liking this book. Then the hero and heroine get caught in a compromising position. The hero assures her that she does not have to marry him and she responds with a toddler tantrum about him planning this because she was an heiress and he would know that being her father's secretary. This after she was the one who had previously realized she could solve his financial woes because of her financial status. Sorry but now a romance is impossible. He's been honorable and will not feel e ...more
Oleta Blaylock
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Kenneth Wilding and Rebecca Seaton's story. We met Captain Lord Wilding in SHATTERED RAINBOWS. He was Micheal Kenyon's friend. Kenneth lived in the same house as Michael, Catherine's family and Moxbry's. Kenneth also helped to find Michael after the battle at Waterloo and in doing so helped save his life. This story is also about redemption, love, betrayal and artist passion. There is a great deal going on in this story. Kenneth is trying to save his family estate and give his sister the ...more
May 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love art so it’s not a surprise that I enjoyed River of Fire so much. This is probably the best portrayal of artists I’ve seen in romance and I give kudos to Ms. Putney for taking the time and effort to do a thorough research about art in this time period.

The hero, the heroine AND her father are all artists with very distinctive styles. It was clear from the beginning that the author modeled them after real artists of the time so their themes and struggles were real and in synch with the evolu
Crystal Carroll
Aug 12, 2012 rated it liked it
About midway through the book, the main female character, Rebecca compares the fire of creativity to a river of fire in your blood. The compulsion above all others to create art and express your internal vision. Although Putney is a writer and not a painter, she is clearly speaking through the voice of her character.

There is a wonderful sense of unfolding to the world as the hero, Captain Wilding, a man who has spent his entire adult life at war, opens up to the power of artistic creation and (w
Sep 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Estara by: I loved this series in the past
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very good addition to MJ Putney's Fallen Angel series. Kenneth Wilding is an officer who bears scars from the Napoleonic Wars, both physical and mental. He meets Rebecca Seaton when he is hired to pose as a secretary to Rebecca's father in order to delve into family secrets and prove that Rebecca's mother was murdered by her father. Rebecca is a socially ruined woman (due to a teenage elopement) and an artist.

Rebecca had given up on the idea of marriage and family, had in fact convinced herself
The latest of the books in the "Fallen Angels" series doesn't disappoint. We are reintroduced to Kenneth from some of the earlier books. His starring turns finds him in an undercover role in the private sector. A wealthy noble hires him to work in the home of a temperamental and wildly talented artist who may or may not have murdered his wife. The wife was at one time betrothed to the noble who by the way is also the artist's brother.

Kenneth needs the money to save his bankrupted estate and land
Amanda Caswell
Kenneth Wilding, out of the army and the inheritor of large debts, is given an unusual opportunity to earn enough money to set his estate in order and provide for his sister; all he has to do is infiltrate the home of an artist and find out if he murdered his own wife months before. Feeling deceitful, but desperate, Kenneth becomes the artist's secretary, only to find himself falling for his daughter. A ruined spinster, Rebecca teaches Kenneth how to transfer his worst experiences onto canvas an ...more
Nickie Kuhn
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really love this series to death. There are so many elements of adventure, mystery and suspense that add so much to the romance. We met Kenneth in a previous book 'Shattered Rainbows' and got to know him as warm, friendly, but mostly unattractive. His scarred, craggy face becomes handsome and mysterious in 'River of Fire'. We really get to know the many layers of his personality here.

I truly did not like Rebecca at first. I saw her as cold and bitter. It didn't take long for her to warm up, h
Feb 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: artist
Mary Jo Putney describes River of Fire as her "creative process historical." The novel wonderfully portrays the styles of art admired in Regency England, the rivalries of the artists, and the artistic institutions of the day. It also closely explores the creatives impulses that drive the artist hero, heroine, and secondary characters. The characters are interesting and likable, and it was enjoyable to revisit characters from earlier books in the Fallen Angel series. However, although intellectua ...more
Elis Madison
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: a-bit-of-mystery
Kenneth Wilding returns from the war to a ruined and bankrupt estate. He has no way to save it or give his sister any chance at a future unless he agrees to enter the household of a renowned artist and expose the man as a murderer. This plan is complicated by a number of factors, primarily the artist's also talented daughter, who wastes no time claiming Kenneth's heart. It turns out there really was a cover-up as to the manner of her mother's death—and it's not what anybody expects.

Good stuff ab
Oct 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A great one from Mary Jo Putney. The love story is wonderful, but also the description of the art world in Regency England - the Royal Academy exhibitions, the subjects and styles in fashion, portraits of high society figures. The descriptions of the painters' creative process and the therapeutic effects of painting are very vivid and looked perfectly plausible to me (although I am the diametric opposite of a creative person). Loved the secondary characters as well - especially Lavinia and Antho ...more
I read most of this series ages ago and kept expecting to discover that somehow I'd already read this one. It turns out I hadn't, and this book reminded me why at one point I stocked up on all the Mary Jo Putney books I came across.
Although it's fairly clear how the mystery will resolve itself, it's not annoyingly obvious. The hero and heroine are both interesting characters, and the role of painting and art in the story adds an extra layer to the final tableau, so to speak.
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This may be my favorite book in the Fallen Angel series. I liked getting to see Kenneth's story. I really liked all of the subplots going on. It was fascinating to read about the mystery, to read about different artists and what they were working on, as well as watch the developing relationship between Rebecca and Kenneth.

There was so much going on in this book. A must read for fans of the other books in the Fallen Angel series.
Oct 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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She writes young adult fiction as M.J. Putney.

Mary Jo Putney was born in Upstate New York with a reading addiction, a condition for which there is no known cure. After earning degrees in English Literature and Industrial Design at Syracuse University, she did various forms of design work in California and England before inertia took over in Baltimore, Maryland, where she has lived very comfortably

Other books in the series

Fallen Angels (7 books)
  • Thunder & Roses (Fallen Angels #1)
  • Dancing on the Wind (Fallen Angels, #2)
  • Petals in the Storm (Fallen Angels, #3; Regency, #2)
  • Angel Rogue (Fallen Angels, #4)
  • Shattered Rainbows (Fallen Angels, #5)
  • One Perfect Rose (Fallen Angels #7)
“Men are imperfect creatures, aren't they? But they are the only opposite sex we have, so we must make the best of them.” 12 likes
“I was raised to assume that wealth and rank and privilege would be mine by right," he said painfully. "Through a combination of bad luck and bad judgment, most of those assumptions were beaten out of me. While other young gentlemen raced horses and chased opera dancers, I learned that the world grants no rights beyond the chance to struggle for survival." His mouth twisted. "In the army I was flogged, wore rags, and damned near starved to death. I was forced to face every flaw and weakness in myself, and to learn the harsh lesson that men born to whores and raised in the gutter could be stronger, braver, and more honorable than I” 6 likes
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