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The Firebrand (Wheeler Large Print Romance Series) [Hardcover]

Susan Wiggs
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Jun 2005 Wheeler Large Print Romance Series
On the evening of the Great Fire of Chicago, Lucy Hathaway, frantic to get out of the path of the fire, is shocked when a baby is tossed into her arms from the window of a burning building moments before it collapses. Four years later, Lucy has raised little Maggie as her own child. But when she encounters the infuriating and handsome Randolph Higgins, an old acquaintance whose daughter perished in the fire, Lucy knows that Maggie is his missing child. For the sake of the child the two decide to marry, denying their attraction for one another, but passionate clashes over Lucy's increasingly scandalous political pursuits keep them at odds, and put Rand's career -- and their lives -- in jeopardy.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 536 pages
  • Publisher: Wheeler Pub Inc; Lrg edition (2 Jun 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587249456
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587249457
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

More About the Author

I like to believe I am the person my dogs think I am.

I phone my parents every day, as they are elderly and adorable, and they read me stories every day of my freakishly normal childhood. I was a writer before I learned to read, by creating scribbles on paper and dictating the stories to my saintly mother. You can see examples here: https://plus.google.com/u/1/photos/104585203815605467940/albums/5587379107269629729?banner=pwa&partnerid=pwrd1.

Untold eons later, I still read and write everyday and I've gotten very good at it. I live in a ridiculously gorgeous place in the world--an island in Puget Sound, Washington where we have a lot of the same flowers you grow in the UK. But bigger slugs. Much bigger slugs.

I have lots more to tell you, so please join me on Facebook and check out pictures of my dogs and tell me what's on your mind. https://www.facebook.com/susanwiggs

Product Description

Review

"Susan Wiggs masterfully combines real historical events with a powerful captive/captor romance and... draws readers in with her strong writing style...".-- Romantic Times on The Hostage --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Helen Hancox TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm an Englishwoman and I didn't know a thing about the great fire that destroyed Chicago in 1871 - didn't know there had been a fire at all. This book is set just before, during and five years after that monumental event and the build-up to it, the description of the wooden buildings, factories, straw and hay and all the other dangers contributing to that tragedy is very well described.

Our heroine, Lucy Hathaway, is a crusading woman working for the rights of women in society. She's nothing special to look at and generally ignored by men which isn't a great problem to her. Until she meets Randolph Higgins - although he disagrees with her revolutionary opinions she finds him incredibly attractive.

The fire sweeps through Chicago and Lucy finds herself looking after an orphan girl as her world collapses in the wake of the fire - she was from a rich family but all their money is lost after the fire. But five years on as the proud mother to Maggie she meets up with Randolph Higgins, still mourning the death of his daughter in the fire and having suffered a difficult divorce. Randolph wants his daughter back - what should Lucy do?

I've read one other book by Susan Wiggs (The Charm School) and that, too, was excellently written. Wiggs excels at painting a picture of a different time with different social expectations. Unlike so many historical novels, her characters don't think with 21st century minds, even if they are forward-thinkers in their own times. The description of life after the fire was very well done, as was the contrast between the rich and the poor in Chicago. She approaches the different emotions that each of the characters have very well - they slowly learn to understand each other.
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3.0 out of 5 stars average book 6 Nov 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
the book did not hold my interest, i preferred the other books by susan wiggs like the charm school.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  52 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FANTASTIC CONCLUSION TO A TERRIFIC SERIES 3 April 2001
By Maudeen Wachsmith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Talk about one series I hate to see end! I've been enjoying Susan Wiggs's books for years, and have loved her series, but this one has topped them all. It was so enjoyable on so many levels it's hard to know where to begin.
A heroine who's a bookseller and a feminist - Lucy is a heroine any reader would be hard pressed not to identify with. There's one particular scene where Lucy is talking to one of her customers who is disparaging dime novels without ever having read one that had me sitting up and cheering. (Does this sound familiar, romance readers?) She even recommends books which will be vaguely familiar to romance fans.
A hero who is bitter and lonely but as gentle and as nice as they come and who wants to put his daughter's needs first - that's Rand. He's a successful banker who has had some terrible tragedies in life including the loss of his infant daughter in the Chicago Fire and then his wife leaving him, the palatial home he built for her remaining mostly empty.
What reader won't be able to have their heart simply torn from their chest with Lucy's decision to give up custody of her daughter? Sure, Rand is Maggie's biological father, but Lucy has cared for her for the past five years and is the only mother Maggie has known.
And prepare for a beautifully-written scene from Maggie's point of view as she meets her father for the first time in five years.
This is a fitting conclusion to the Chicago Fire Trilogy which began with THE HOSTAGE , and then THE MISTRESS. THE FIREBRAND stands alone just fine, but I believe readers will enjoy THE FIREBRAND even more having read the first two books in the series - and particularly one scene which is told from different points of view in each of the books.
Well done, thanks Susan for another terrific Series!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Fire Brand" is a great finale! 6 April 2001
By Kay Lewis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Loved the first two in this series, "The Hostage" and "The Mistress", and this, the third and final novel in the group I believe is my personal favorite. Hated to see the last page come up in each book in this triology of events that began with the castastrophic Chicago fire of 1871.
"The Fire Brand" is the name of the bookstore that the unconventional, independent Lucy Hathaway opens after the fire has taken the life of her father and his assets, leaving her mother and herself almost destitute. The bookstore is not only her livelihood but her dream of making her own way in life. Despite what the fire took from her, it gave her something she never expected to have in life. A baby literally fell into her arms! During the fire as she was trying to get herself to safety, she happened to look up toward a window in a burning hotel in time to see a bundle dropped from the window just before that floor was engulfed in flames. The bundle of securely tied pillows and blankets held a baby in the core of what was obviously meant to be protective wrapping for the infant. Unable to find the parents of the child, she took her into her home, her heart and raised her with all the love a child could have.
Five years later fate brings Lucy, her child and Rand Higgins, the natural father of rumbunctious 5 year old Maggie together and leaves a nest of confusion for all concerned in their attempt to resolve who will raise the adorable, precocious little girl.
Life has been difficult for both Lucy and Rand, and with quite a bit of conflict involved in their attempts to come to an agreeable solution that will keep both of them involved in Maggie's life they find more happiness then they ever thought possible.
Suan Wiggs is a master at combining history with fiction and an extra large helping of romance together for a spectacular read! I wish there were more novels to look forward to in this series.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Leads... 15 April 2001
By L. Ponder - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Lucy Hathaway saves a baby, the night of the Chicago fire. Unable to find out anything about the baby's parents, she adopts her, and names her Maggie.
Rand Higgins is horribly injured and disfigured, the night of the Chicago fire. His wife leaves him and Chicago, and he believes his child, Christine, is dead.
Five years later, Lucy owns a bookstore, The Firebrand, and nees a loan. She meets with a banker, Rand, and discovers the child she has adopted is his Christine. She decides to tell Rand of her discovery, in spite of her deep love for Maggie. The dilemma between the two, Lucy and Rand--deciding what's best for Maggie.
Lucy is a suffragist, a fighter for equal rights for all, especially women. Because of his past, Rand has a natural, and understandable distrust for women. In my mind, Ms. Wiggs bringing these two disparate people together in a believable way, is what makes this book so good. Neither character's true self is sacrificed to bring this book to a HEA for all involved. Lucy, Rand, and Maggie are wonderful characters. And even secondary characters like Rand's grandmother, Lucy's mother seem to walk off the pages of THE FIREBRAND.
My only complaint with THE FIREBRAND would be that I, personally, would have liked to read more about the romance and relationship between Rand and Lucy. And, I do prefer books with a little more sensuality. Otherwise, this book was perfect.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent romance set at the time of the great fire in Chicago 15 Dec 2006
By Helen Hancox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm an Englishwoman and I didn't know a thing about the great fire that destroyed Chicago in 1871 - didn't know there had been a fire at all. This book is set just before, during and five years after that monumental event and the build-up to it, the description of the wooden buildings, factories, straw and hay and all the other dangers contributing to that tragedy is very well described.

Our heroine, Lucy Hathaway, is a crusading woman working for the rights of women in society. She's nothing special to look at and generally ignored by men which isn't a great problem to her. Until she meets Randolph Higgins - although he disagrees with her revolutionary opinions she finds him incredibly attractive.

The fire sweeps through Chicago and Lucy finds herself looking after an orphan girl as her world collapses in the wake of the fire - she was from a rich family but all their money is lost after the fire. But five years on as the proud mother to Maggie she meets up with Randolph Higgins, still mourning the death of his daughter in the fire and having suffered a difficult divorce. Randolph wants his daughter back - what should Lucy do?

I've read one other book by Susan Wiggs (The Charm School) and that, too, was excellently written. Wiggs excels at painting a picture of a different time with different social expectations. Unlike so many historical novels, her characters don't think with 21st century minds, even if they are forward-thinkers in their own times. The description of life after the fire was very well done, as was the contrast between the rich and the poor in Chicago. She approaches the different emotions that each of the characters have very well - they slowly learn to understand each other. The descriptions of the decisions that Randolph has to take in accommodating to his wife's rather strident feminist views which affect his job are well written. My one quibble is that their love blossoms surprisingly quickly within a very argumentative and difficult relationship, but it's still a very enjoyable book to read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A weeper - the best kind of romance! 29 Mar 2002
By dreamweaver25 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This story moved me so much, I cried through most of it. It is a love story but not just romantic love, it's about what love can do to bring out the best in people. The characters are very carefully detailed, so you understand and appreciate what motivates them. They are very much "of their time" but in many ways the story still resonates to us modern women. I wouldn't rate this high on the sensuality scale, but for a great read that you won't put down, and will move you deeply, definitely pick up a copy of this book.
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