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Night Fires
Karen Harbaugh
Dell
ISBN: 0553584189
December 2003
Historical Romance

Night Fires takes place during the French Revolution. Our heroine, Simone de la Fer, is a vampire. Simone is of the nobility. She was cast out of her family for her wicked ways right after she became a vampire. Even though her family cast her out, she still goes by her home to check on them. One night, she finds her old nursemaid is the only member of her household left. She keeps telling Simone she saved the heir and hands Simone a doll. Simone takes the doll and flies into a murderous rage and kills everyone in the house. She is taken by remorse and goes to her old confessor, Père Dumont. Père Dumont tells her to do penance for her sins. Her penance is to try and save all the people the Republic officials would kill, and she is not to kill, except in self-defense. From that point on, Simone becomes La Flamme. She covers herself in rags so her features cannot be seen and wears men’s clothing.

Our hero is a spy. Actually, he’s an assassin for his country. No one knows his real name. He goes by Michael Corday. His superior sends him to France. It seems someone over there is killing English agents and sending money to England to foment rebellion.

Well, naturally, the two meet. Michael decides to take Simone with him. She can be useful in his mission. Simone decides she can use Michael’s help in releasing prisoners. So they decide to join forces for the sake of their respective missions. While Simone is sleeping, Michael meets up with two officers of the Republic. He decides to travel with them. Simone shows up and gives quite a performance and the two end up married. Do they stay together? What will Michael’s reaction be when he discovers he’s married to a vampire? Will they both survive?

Karen Harbaugh has done a wonderful job with Night Fires. This story gives a chillingly horrifying look at the life of average French citizens during the revolution. We have a terribly strong heroine that looks upon her vampirism as a curse and an assassin that didn’t think he could feel anything anymore. This is a wonderfully written, historically accurate look at what happens when two people are forced to rely upon each other and fall in love in spite of themselves. I highly recommend this story to anyone with a love of vampires and the French Revolution.

Chere Gruver, March 2004

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