Fire by Night

Author: Lynn Austin


ISBN: 9781556614439
Pages: 429
Description: You know a book is wonderfully good when you still think about it weeks after you’ve finished, when you’re still lost in its world long after reading the last page, and when the characters still cling to you as though they were your best friends. Fire by Night is just such a book. I became so lost in it I was able to read it anywhere, regardless of my surroundings. Everything else was forgotten as I plunged wholeheartedly in this wonderful, intense and passionate story of courage, selflessness, love and self-forgiveness. The first book of the series, Candle in the Darkness was amazing and I loved it, but this one…this one had me completely entranced. It’s quite possibly my favourite book of the year. The characters are real, relatable, human. They come alive as the story unfolds, and I could connect, understand and love them. Their adventures and experiences are believable and the settings and atmosphere so well described that, even though I have never experienced the gruesome sight of a bloody battlefield, Ms. Austin’s descriptions are the closest insight I have had – and wish to have. Everything in this novel was so engrossing. And for once I didn’t care that they were two heroines, that some scenes were incredibly sad, and that there were two stories going on at the beginning.

Rich, pampered and spoiled, Julia Hoffman lives a life of luxury and ease as a Philadelphia belle amongst the elite. She is young, beautiful, and very much solicited after. In these times of war and danger, all that is expected of her is that she pick a husband, start her own family and continue on with her life of fancy afternoon teas and expensive soirées. Julia has set her cap at dynamic, passionate Pastor Nathaniel Greene, a fierce abolitionist and ardent philanthropist, but he wants nothing to do with Julia. He is looking for a wife who is selfless, loving, generous and giving. A woman who will know what is expected of a minister’s wife and willingly comply to her husband’s will. In short, he wants a compliant woman who will obey him. And Julia is none of that.

After she witnesses the Battle of Bull Run, an ashamed Julia overhears a mortifying comment about her, and makes an important decision that will forever alter the course of her life.

For her part, Phoebe Bigelow is not afraid of the war. She would much rather enlist along with her brothers and go on shooting Rebels, than stay behind and work for that odious Mrs. Haggerty, all the while having to wear a dress and behaving womanly. Phoebe thinks she is ugly and that no one will marry her, so why play the part of a woman when she could easily pass off for a man, with her great height and stocky build, and enroll in the army?

Two very different women, coming from two very different worlds, running away for very different reasons. The one so pretty and delicate, but determined and outspoken. The other, strong, fierce and made for hard work. The one thing they have in common, is that they are both serving for the same war. Heart-wrenching, bloody, miserable, difficult, uncontrollable war. They will never emerge from it all the same person again.

Do yourself a big favor and read this book. You won’t regret it. It’s amazing. It has danger, suspense, battles, adventure and romance. The hero is unlike any I had ever encountered, and I found myself falling for him the moment I met him, and swooning all over the place by the end. He just made me melt. *sigh*

I really cannot wait to get my hands on the final book of the series, A Light to my Path!!

And now, for the spoilerish comments, for those who have read the book 🙂

(view spoiler)

*The hero, the hero and THE HERO. OMG. He was so HOT. And it was SO obvious he was falling for Julia the moment he saw her, and that all his rudeness was only an attempt to keep her at arm’s length. That scene when Miller dies and she goes and cries in his arms was so adorable. And all while she was wearing a beautiful silk gown 😉

*Why did Ted have to diiiiiiieeeeeee!!!! I wanted to bawl my eyes out, it was so sad!! ): ): I was so hoping he and Phoebe would get a HEA. I suppose the fact the he took a bullet for her, after she’d done the same for him, makes up for it, in a way. It was such a beautiful, noble way to die. I think they should’ve at least kissed before he died, though.

*Nathaniel Greene was so odious. What the heck was wrong with him!! I feel bad that Julia wasted so much as a minute on him.

*Julia was so wonderful. I loved her from the beginning. I think it took more courage to decide to leave her easy life, than it was for her to keep going on nursing.

*I love the way Phoebe is so good at manly things. She can beat up bullies, shoot better than the others and fight just like them. She was so strong. And I loved how everyone was surprise that she could cook. 😉 LOL

*That kiss between Julia and James. Oh dear. Please allow me a moment while I collect my scattered wits.

I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!!!! <3 <3 (hide spoiler)]
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