Captain Sir Sheridan Drake is no knight in shining armor, even if he happens to be famous for his heroism. An exiled princess with revolutionary ideas is just a convenient opportunity to get himself out of debt. Princess Olympia isn't precisely fairy-tale royalty herself; she's plump and a little shy, and desperate to do something of importance in the world. But though their meeting begins with her hopeless hero worship, a harrowing journey to the bleak edge of the world will transform them both, plunging Olympia into the darkest depths of Sheridan's battered warrior's heart and awakening demons she could never imagine in her dreams of glory.
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Will read anything within reason.
This is my second book by this author (Flowers from the Storm was the first). This book follows more or less the same formula but this doesn't stop it being a good story in its own right. The hero, Sheridan is a devilish scoundrel who betrays and lies to everybody around him. The heroine, Olympia is charmingly naive but after suffering trials and tribulations at the hand of Sheridan shows she has more mettle than she originally promises. The thing that sets this apart is that Sheridan is totally and uncompromisingly evil throughout most of this book and I really struggled to envisage how he is ever capable of redemption. This is an enjoyable romp involving booby trapped houses, financial ruin, trips on the high seas, pirates, shipwrecks and political turmoil. In other words, unmitigated escapism with some humour thrown in, and it just about manages to avoid being predictable. I thought the chemistry between the two main character in 'Flowers' was stronger than in this book, (hence the four stars), but this really was an enjoyable experience and I would certainly listen to more from Laura Kinsale.
Nicholas Boulton is a really outstanding narrator, unafraid to add a theatrical flourish to the material, which is entirely appropriate.
"Seize The Fire!!"
Anyone who reads my reviews knows that I love Laura Kinsale's writing and Nicholas Boulton's narration. The perfect combination!
Like LK's other books, 'Seize the Fire' is written with depth and dimension. The hero, Sheridan, is filled with many layers of flaws which I found irresistible. He struggles with nightmares, past tortures, fears, and even hero worship that molds him into a man of mystery and turbulence. The heroine, Princess Olympia, a somewhat spoiled young woman who is forced to learn by hardship. Together they travel on a journey of many twists and turns that proves to be the ultimate adventure of knowledge and love.
Its worth a credit if you enjoy well written - thought provoking - in-depth stories with substance and no fluff. :-)
The narration is excellent, but to me the book was tedious and too full of angst. I listened to the first ten chapters, then skipped to the last two chapters to find out what happened. That satisfied me and I never went back to read the chapters in between. There are just too many upsetting situations (whipping, torture, brutality, etc) for me and the love story just could not overcome my dread of the upsetting themes. I know PTSD is a problem and is bad, but I don't listen to books to be upset - I want to be entertained. Also, the h/h in this book just did not do much for me. I particularly did not warm up to the Princess. She was too naive and oblivious to reality. Other readers are very high on this book - but it just was not for me.
"I wish I had a book like this to read every week!"
I love, love, love Nicholas Boulton's narration! I always know when I read one of Laura Kinsales's books the male character is going to be a little bit of troubled soul. it makes for a great plot and Nicholas reads it sooo well!
i couldn't turn this book off, and wanted to listen to it straight through. I finished it in a few days amid laundry, work and car rides. it was just so wonderful, I couldn't get enough.
another reviewer said that Laura's books are an "automatic download" for her, and i'm really at that place, too. there's no need to read the summary or even skim the reviews, because her writing is just top notch. the characters are so intricate and detailed, that you just feel like they're family.
this is my new kinsale favorite. you will not be disappointed. well worth a credit.
"An entertaining, adventurous, and meaningful story"
Yes! This was a great book. I haven't been this hooked into a story for a really long time. There was so much angst, action, romance, great sex, amazingly developed characters, chemistry.. I could go on and on. Wonderful story.
There are a lot of really memorable moments in this novel.. I'd say the scene that stuck out most in my mind was an ambush at sea, because I feel like it pushed Olympia's character to a whole new level of understanding and growth. It was a heart wrenching and tragic way to grow, but after the ambush I feel like she was able to connect with Sheridan on a deeper level. I don't want to share more cause I don't want to reveal anything, but it was a very memorable scene.
Yes, I've listened to many of Kinsale's other novels that he's narrated. This is right up there to what I expect from such a talented narrator. He has the ability to suck you into the story so much you don't even realize you're listening to a narration.
The last scene of the novel was very moving.
Definitely credit worthy! I was nervous because I usually don't listen to stories longer than 12 hours, I get bored with the fluff really long novels tend to have. This has zero fluff. Everything relates to moving the story forward, so it keeps you really engaged and reads fast.
"Wow! What a journey!"
This is my second book by Laura Kinsale. I've since read others, before writing this review.
I loved Flowers from the Storm. I believe it's her most famous novel. But I must admit, I liked Seize the Fire as much, if not more. The book grabbed my interest from the first scene. The hero is thoroughly imperfect- an antihero- yet it's impossible not to fall for him. Don't worry he will redeem himself! The heroine is initially quite naive, but she learns and grows with the unbelievable journey she takes on with her hero.
There are so many exciting twists and turns in the book that it is certainly never boring. Of course, my favorite part of the book was the scenes on the island. My favorite character, other than h/h was the hero's loyal, bungling sidekick, Mustafah.
The narrator brings this story to life like no one else could! Nicholas Boulton is truly captivating.
I highly recommend this book not just to romance fans, but to fans of historical fiction. Be prepared for a great adventure in exotic lands. A steamy love story full of raw emotion! And a hero so bad yet so lovable!
"Buy The Audio Version of This One"
For most audio books from this author/narrator combination, I give the story a "5" and the performance a "4" -- not because Mr. Boulton isn't a terrific narrator; he is! But it's easy to make jewelry when the diamonds are already cut. Ms. Kinsale is simply the best in her field.
However, for a variety of reasons, "Seize the Fire" was never one of my favorites from the Kinsale library -- until Mr. Boulton sank his teeth into it and made it...extraordinary.
He starts by giving the (anti)hero sea captain basically the same tonal quality and accent that Rex Harrison had in "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." From the prologue -- which alone is worth the price of the book -- Boulton picks up Ms. Kinsale's battle scene and creates a technicolor cacophony of gunfire, smoke, and chaos overlaid with the internal dialogue of a man completely disillusioned by his military's adventurism. The sarcasm, the disdain for authority, the helpless fury; throughout the book Boulton gives a voice to a complex character which somehow made him more believable to me than he was in written form.
Published in 1989, Kinsale dedicated the book to to the healing of Vietnam veterans. As the U.S. now has many more veterans from more recent wars in need of healing, "Seize the Fire," sadly, continues to resonate. Highly recommend.
"More than a Romance Novel."
Laura Kinsale writes Romance with characters who are real people with flaws. I love all of her books & was delighted to find they were available in audiobook versions. Seize The Fire is one of my favorites & Nicholas Boulton does a fantastic job of bringing the hero, who suffers from PTSD to life. If you want a love story that doesn't reek of cheese, do yourself a favor & try Kinsale. You won't regret it.
"One of her best!"
I've read all of Laura Kinsale's books on Audible and they are all outstanding but I think this is one of her best. It's a rare thing to find a good book read by an excellent narrator. Usually one or the other is a bit off. Nicholas Boulton (as so many reviewers have said) is the best. More please!
As usual the Kinsale / Boulton duo is absolutely brilliant! This is story telling at it's finest!
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