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Seize the Fire

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,950 ratings  ·  224 reviews
Olympia St. Leger is a princess in desperate need of a knight in shining armor. Sheridan Drake, amused by Olympia's innocence and magnificent beauty, but also intrigued by her considerable wealth, accepts the position of white knight. Unaware that Sheridan is a notorious scoundrel, Olympia willingly allows herself to submit to his protection and his potent embrace. Theirs ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 453 pages
Published October 2nd 1989 by Avon Books
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,950 ratings  ·  224 reviews

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Wicked Incognito Now
Oct 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I am often reall embarrassed to be a lover of romance novels. I don't tell everyone, because I don't want them to think I am simple-minded because I just like reading about love stories and happy endings.

Then, I feel irritation at myself and anyone who would judge my reading choices. I am more intelligent than the average bear. I have just as much (or more) capacity for deep, intellectual thought as the next person. And I DO enjoy excellent literary fiction. I just ALSO enjoy romance novels :-)

Blacky *Romance Addict*

This is one of the BEST historicals I have EVER read! Bravo!!!!!

The second half of the book:

My fav quote:

"He shrugged. "I suppose I'm a fairly downy bird when it comes to hoaxing dragons. But when one of 'em ties you down and punches you in the stomach, not to mention beating you over the head and drowning you by degrees, it's high time to retire from the field with what grace you can muster." He looked at her, his dark lashes swept low over the silver firelight in his eyes. "I'm sorry you we
Preeti ♥︎ Her Bookshelves
Anti-hero is too glamorous a label for him. He is a scoundrel, a lying low-life, a common thief, a blackguard, a cad and he should be boiled in a vat of hot oil for his self-serving ways. Only his fallen angel charm, devilish wit and bad boy sex appeal lets him get away with it. Of all the cheating, lying Hs I’ve read about, he has to be the worst but at the same time the most lovable and the most swoonworthy!
He dares you to not like him despite his repeated transgressions and acts of treachery
Alex Morrison
Actual Rating: 4.5

I am so glad I didn't give up on this book. More coherent thoughts later.


This book isn't perfect - let's get that out of the way first. After having read three novels by Kinsale, I'm coming to understand that she tends to shove A LOT into 400 pages. I read this after My Sweet Folly which really suffered under the weight of the twists and turns she introduced, but that was not the case here - despite global adventures, pirates, a revolution, and a pet penguin.

I almost DNF'
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a crazy book!?

The plots are crazy, the characters are crazy. They travelled from Europe then the Americas, stranded on an island, then to Turkey and there was a sultan. A princess, a revolution, a un-heroic hero. This book is ce-razy!!

What I loved about the book (and what earned this book 4 stars in my book):


Sheridan (38) and Olympia (24?) are by no means the usual character types you see in this genre. Sheridan is a handsome scoundrel with no principles. He wa
Oct 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: no-books, historical

I humbly ask for forgiveness, Caz… but I just couldn’t go on…
DNF at 41%...
Jul 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Glamdring by: Blacky *Romance Addict*

The best asset of this book is Sheridan, the hero. He alone is worth a 4 stars. But then we have the heroine and the story.

Sheridan is not your standard bad boy or gamma hero, he is a anti hero plain and simple and doesn't apologize about it. Also, he is honest and clear about it with the heroine. I enjoyed him a lot.

I have nothing against naive or/and idealist heroines in historical romances. But let's face it, Olympia wasn't only that. At one point of the story, Sheridan went to
I read this a while back and haven't had time to write a full review. I did, however, write this mini-review for AAR.

I felt emotionally exhausted by the time I’d finished reading this book. There’s no way to do it justice in couple of paragraphs, but there’s no question that in Sheridan Drake, Ms Kinsale has created one of the most complex, compelling heroes – should that be anti-heroes? – I’ve ever read.

A decorated naval officer, widely regarded as one of the nation’s heroes, Sheridan knows he’
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The first time I read Seize the Fire was last year, shortly after finishing my first (and still favorite) book by Laura Kinsale, Flowers from the Storm, and I have to admit -- I just didn't get it. It was so weird! Flowers from the Storm had been unusual and full of heartrending emotions and high angst, but it was grounded in a setting I recognized in historical romances. The whole story takes place in England, and its concerns -- health, finances, religion -- were fairly domestic, if far from p ...more
Well, I had some feelings about this book, which seemed like it was really multiple adventure-romances Vulcan mind-melded together into one totally next-level insane adventure-romance.

Heroine is Olympia, a princess of "Oriens", a tiny kingdom in the Alps. Hero is Sheridan, an outwardly heroic Navy dude. Olympia is on fire with democratic longings and wishes to get back to the kingdom she's never actually seen, to lead her people to a peaceful democratic revolution. Sheridan just got out of the
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Once again I'm confused how to rate Laura Kinsale. Her writing is emotional and thought provoking, that alone deserves high praise. But there are elements of her stories that can be disturbing, but one could never say they're dull. While our H/h were stranded in freezing weather, I froze with them in the middle of summer. Kinsale creates true landscapes.

This story was hard to read. At times I was little lost for the political revolutions. But the love story, as unusual as it was, settled into my
I've given this an A+ for narration (well, duh!) and an A for content at AudioGals.

Even though I have eagerly snatched up every single audiobook from this hugely talented author/narrator team as soon as they’ve appeared, Seize the Fire is one I’ve been waiting for ever since Laura Kinsale and Nicholas Boulton began their collaboration. The prospect of hearing Sheridan Drake brought to life in all his tortured, roguish, f**cked-up, delicious glory by such a wonderfully skilled narrator made this
☾ Dαɴιyα ☽

How strange it is that of the princess in need of a knight in shining armor and the notorious scoundrel pretending to be a white knight, it was the scoundrel who won my affection first, and who had me rooting for him for over 400 pages. Or perhaps it isn't. When have I ever not liked a hero from Laura Kinsale's books? Even the one who thought being a hero was hell couldn't be the exception. It seems so silly now I was a little worried I wouldn't like this hero before I started reading. Ridiculou
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
How do I describe my love for this book? Laura Kinsale had me nearly in tears when I finished it last night. (view spoiler) ...more
Kinsale is a master story teller. Do not be misled into thinking that her work fits neatly in the romance category. Kinsale succeeds on all levels again. We have complex character development, a demanding plot with twists and turns, important psychological subject matter, a roller coaster ride taking us around the world to unexpected places, and ability to convey love/grief that transcends all. Full of tragedy and angst and nail biting adventure. I am spent. 4.5

Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
I didn't think I would see the day that I gave a Laura Kinsale novel 2 stars but, wow, this book was a steaming pile of colonialist fantasies that made me deeply uncomfortable. The central romance has some powerful moments - generally when the couple are 1000s of miles away from anyone else - but overall their story reads like a vehicle for messaging about white victimisation at the hands of people of colour. ...more
Sep 19, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, dnf
man, you need to watch out for small objects around our Olympia or she’ll choke on something. there is naivety and then there is a grown woman behaving like a helpless child. but with sexy curves and big green eyes of course. jeez.
I think Laura Kinsale puts together some great sentences, and this makes me forget that I really only liked one of her novels (the delightful Lessons in French) even though I've respected others (For My Lady's Heart). Okay, so I guess Seize the Fire is only the fourth of her books I've read. Details. They do all have very nice sentences!

And I thought I was going to like Seize the Fire a lot, at the beginning. It starts out like a Ruritanian romance: fictional European countries, a stranded princ
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary B.
I'm not quite sure what to say. This is my second Kinsale book, the first being "Flowers from the Storm." Like FftS, Seize the Fire was a long, arduous and often convoluted plot which ended in a powerfully emotional, tear-inducing, grab-you-by-the-gut-type of ending. The difference is that... with Flowers from the Storm, I felt as though the ends justified the means. In other words, as the reader, I really understood why it was absolutely necessary for Kinsale to take the readers along for the d ...more
Historic Romance I thought this was going to be another silly romance. I was wrong. Not since Jamie sent Claire back through the stones has a book hurt this much to read. This book deals with PTSD with such realism, I could hardly breathe.

The author put her dedication at the very end, understandably so. It reads "This book is dedicated to the combat veterans of Vietnam. With respect, and love, and hope for healing."

This is one of the most romantic books I've read, in a class with Tale of Two Cit
This is my favorite of Laura Kinsale's books. The cover is stunningly beautiful ( on the first edition hardcover), the characters are fantastic, and the story hits every romantic button in my body. I've read this book over and over and it's still fresh every time. I never get tired of it. ...more
Apr 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
Wow. There was a lot going on here. Regency, Gothic,Julie of the Wolves/Island of Blue Dolphins survival porn, pirates, Arabian slavery, plus a very serious case of post war PTSD. I am way too confused to write a review.
Jessa ♥dhanger♥ EvilDarkSide
May 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: historical romance lovers, epic love story
Recommended to Jessa ♥dhanger♥ EvilDarkSide by: Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Oh man, I almost missed out on a precious gem of a book. I got about 50 pages into Sieze the Fire and started thinking that it wasn't my type of story. I put it down and moved on to something else. For the next few days it kept bothering me that I didn't give it more of a chance, so I picked it back up and tried again. Boy, am I glad I did.

One of my initial reasons for disliking the book was the hero (or I should say more appropriately the anti-hero) of the book. Sheridan is a bastard at worse
Apr 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, favorites
So Unexpected. So good. It is always a joy to go into a book expecting a certain type of entertainment...and get something all together different, but in a good way. This was my experience with this book. And it made me appreciate it even more.My re-introduction into historical romance continues.
From the blurb I expected a nice lighthearted, and humorous adventure with the usual romance staples: they meet, they hate each other, they fight, they kiss, they fight some more, love, love, love, they
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have cleared my rating and review.

Regan Walker
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-reads
Masterful, Absorbing Storytelling

An intriguing, well-written tale of a tortured hero who must come to terms with his past, and a brave young woman who must face reality. Kinsale's dialog is snappy, her humor dry and fitting and the characters' inner thinking terribly witty and appropriate for the times. The twists and turns are clever and the angst believable. Very well done!

Set in England, the Falkland Islands, the Middle East and Europe, beginning in 1827, this is the story of Olympia, Princ
A.B. Gayle
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: regency-romance
Before I started reading m/m I used to devour Regency Romance, beginning with Georgette Heyer and progressing through Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, Loretta Chase and Laura Kinsale. The last four were my first foray into ebooks, as I discovered authors who were rarely seen in print in bookshops and libraries in Australia. (We are a deprived lot and rely heavily on female librarians who managed to sway the purchasing power of their male counterparts who believe romance is BAD and would much prefer to ...more
I don't think I can accurately describe my love for this book (I even think I prefer it to Flowers from the Storm!). I almost don't want to think about it too much just in case I find some issues that I can't get past.

I think that Laura Kinsale is becoming one of my favourite authors. I've now read three of her books over the last month or so and I've really enjoyed all of them. Her writing is so beautiful and it brings up such vivid pictures in my mind without being overly descriptive and her c
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Apr 16, 2016 08:19PM  
Really Good Book 1 30 Jan 22, 2009 04:07PM  

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Laura Kinsale is a New York Times bestselling author and both winner and multiple nominee for the Best Book of the Year award given by the Romance Writers of America.

She become a romance writer after six years as a geologist--a career which consisted of getting out of bed in the middle of the night and driving hundreds of miles alone across west Texas to sit drilling rigs, wear a hard hat, and at

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“Then you came and I started to feel again. I started to think there was a reason I survived, that you were my reason. But nothing's so simple, is it? I didn't protect you. Here you are hurting so bad, and I can't even help. I'm just here and I need you. That's all it comes to. I need you to be brave when I haven't been. I know how hard it is. Look at me. Look at what's happened to me. Jesus, I feel like I'll be crying for the next century." He bent his head, pressed his tear-wet cheek to her dry cold skin. "But I'm here. I'm not hiding anymore. Princess, I'm asking you. Come back to me. You're my life.” 38 likes
“I think,' Olympia said slowly, 'that I know you quite well.' She looked down at the deck and added in a carefully mild voice, 'You can be a scoundrel; I know that. You stole from me and betrayed me and lied to me. You have no morals and no ideals; you think of yourself first and you're a coward sometimes on that account.' She hesitated, chewing her lip. 'What people call a coward, anyway. I don't know what cowardice is anymore. I don't know what heroism is.' She looked up. 'But I know one thing, and I learned it from you. I know what courage means. It means to pick up and go on, no matter what. It means having a heart of iron, like they say. You have that.” 7 likes
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