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Stormfire- Christine Monson

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 16, 2008 01:04PM) (new)

This is Christine Monson's first book, published in 1984, reissued in 1985. She won the Best New Historical Author Award from ROMANTIC TIMES for this very book. She later received the Romantic Times Best Romantic Adventure Award for her book SURRENDER THE NIGHT.

This is the tale of two people; soon-to-be 17 year old English Catherine Enderly, long black hair, blue eyes, fine boned, and Irish Sean Culhane. He's somewhere around 27 and has short dark hair and green eyes. He's a smuggler of currency, art and spices.

The book opens up with Catherine at home a week after Christmas Eve, 1798. She's there on vacation from school at The Gentlewoman's Academy in Bath, where she's been going since her mother's death five years before. One week later, Catherine is traveling back to school by coach. She noticed the coach was being followed by a horsemen so they stopped, she jumped out and started running. Three men started chasing her. She ran into a saloon to escape and was caught by Seans brother, Liam, who's older by two years. They have the same mother, Megan. No one knows for sure if Brendan Culhane is Sean's father. At school, Sean was called a 'bastard' by the other kids.

Sean sent Liam to abduct Catherine because, according to what Sean later tells Catherine, her father John 'owes me a debt'. John, who later turns out to NOT be Catherine's father, used to be a commandar who had lead a raid in Kenlo, Ireland. Sean and Liam's mother Megan was murdered in that raid but Sean survived. When Liam was two years old and his father had been in prison for two years for trying to attack the Dublin Armory, their mother Megan ran away with Sean, who she'd just given birth to recently. Liam must have been a baby or wasn't born yet when Brendan went to prision.

Catherine is carried aboard Sean's ship. She wakes up on the floor to find Sean staring at her and to find that they are in Ireland, where Sean and Liam live. Sean told Catherine that as long as she's there, she's his to do what he wants with. She then made a terrible mistake by spitting on him. Sean backhanded her, cutting her lip and blooding her nose. She fell when he hit her, he picked her up and carried to his room and sat her in a chair. He helped clean her face up. Then he sat on his bed and made her take is boots off. He told her to take her dress off but she refused. She turned around and threatened to kill him with a candlestick. He ripped her dress off, make her get on the bed, then raped her. He then took her underwear, rubbed her crotch on them then wrapped them in paper to mail to her father. "He collected the shreds of her undergarments and wiped them with the mingling of her blood and his seed." She got the package away from him. He told her not to throw it into the fire because it wasn't worth dying for. She threw it into the fire anyway. "Blackness clouded in Sean, the packet conjuring up the image of Megan's oil soaked, blazing corpse." Sean knocked Catherine to the floor as she tried to block his way to retrieve the burning package. We later find out he did send the package to her father.

Catherine became kitchen help and had to serve Sean and all the men their food. Once while serving him cobbler, she purposely let the cream run off the plate onto his lap. He made her go without food for the rest of the day. She got dizzy and sagged to the floor. Sean said she'd have to go without food the next day too. She told him if she wasn't going to get to eat, she'd not do her work.

One day she was snooping in his desk drawer and found a map with her father's estate marked off. She stole a horse to escape but was found by Sean and his men when they realized she was missing. Sean tied her wrists together, tied them to the horse's tail and made her walk the rest of the way home. When she got home, Sean told Peg, the servant, to bathe Catherine, wash her mouth out with soap, which Peg did, and feed her. She slept on the floor. Catherine awoke to the sound of Flannery, the doctor there and Sean's friend, attaching a leg iron to her ankle and to the floor. It had a ten pound ball attached to it. An iron was attached to her neck too. Later on, Sean raped her again then attached her neck iron to the headboard to keep her there. He raped her yet again. He told her she was to knock on his door every night and if he answered, she was to come in. If he didn't answer, she was to leave. One time Sean wasn't there but Peg's daugher Moora told Catherine she was to wait in the room for him, so she chained Catherine to the floor to await him. Sean came home, put a sleeping Catherine in his bed and went to sleep. Catherine awoke to Sean raping her.

A few days later, Sean and his men traveled to England and burned down the woods on Catherine's fathers property. Her father saw the blaze then went over to his desk and took out the package Sean had sent him of Catherine's dirty underwear. He knew Sean was responsible for the fire.

Sean didn't like that Liam and Catherine spent time together so he sent Liam to America for a month, telling him he'd come back a new man. He acted as 'first officer' of the Silvie, Sean's ship. Two weeks later, Catherine was lying in bed next to a sleeping Sean. She got up, got a brass letter opener out of the desk drawer, stood over him and almost stabbed him but lost her nerve and didn't stab him. He said to her, "Flannery was right; you haven't the grit for murder." He knew she was attempting to stab him and hadn't tried to stop her. He pulled back the sheet so she could see his arousal then made her crawl into bed with him.

Later, after her work cleaning fish outside, she went inside the blockhouse. There, she found several rows of muskets. They had saltwater on them so she thinks they must have come in by boat at night since she hadn't seen any activity at all during the day. She thinks maybe Sean is shipping arms all over Ireland. At this time Sean is at his lover Fiona's cottage. She's two years younger than him. As he was leaving Fiona to sail back home, he told her he wouldn't be back to see her anymore. The next day, Catherine was once again washing her hands in the pond because she'd been cleaning fish, when Maude, as servant, tried to drown her. A boy ran to get help while Sean was there so he came running to help her. He did CPR on her then gave her a bath. During dinner she was a bit drunk and tried to seduce him. He said 'no'. The next day he said to Catherine he'd 'make love to you again only at your desire". She then shared his bed willingly every night from then on. He also removed the iron band from around her neck.

Sean left Catherine a note saying he'd be gone for three weeks. He traveled to Norfolk, Ireland and met with some men, one or more had been friends with Sean's father, Brendan. While Sean was away, Catherine spent a lot of time with Liam, allowing him to draw her. She asked him if he was in love with her and he said yes. He asked her to marry him but she didn't give him an answer. They were about to have sex but she changed her mind. Sean arrived home and brough her her horse from England. They went riding together every afternoon after that. During one of their rides, Catherine told Sean that when she was twelve, she was out riding with her mother. Her mother tried to jump the wall on her horse but she and her horse landed on it. The fence pierced their bodies. Catherine shot the horse to put it out of it's misery. Her mother begged her to shoot her too, so Catherine did. Her father locked her in her room for "weeks or months", she couldn't remember which, and she wasn't allowed to go to the funeral. That's when she was sent away to school.

I don't have any more room for the rest of my review but you can read the rest here, This is an excellent book and I'm proud to own it.

zuba One of my All time favorite's... Ohh how i miss the bodice ripper days :( ... ima a sucker for alpha hero's

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