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Innocent Fire [Mass Market Paperback]

Brenda Joyce , Sherry Robb Literary Prop
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

29 Jan 2008
Leaving behind the sheltered life of a French convent, Miranda journeyed to the New World and an arraged marriage to a prosperous Texan rancher. Arriving in America, the innocent European met her fiance's freind Derek Bragg, a rough-hewn Texas Ranger, whose harsh manner and candid comments about her beauty enraged the shy miss. Although Bragg fought to deny his feelings for his charge, he knew that he was falling in love with her. Miranda, too, was struggling with her desire for her escort as they trekked across the treacherous wilderness. Drawn to the lawman--enflamed by his raw masculine virility--will Miranda sacrifice her innocence to the fire blazing out of control in her heart?

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Innocent Fire + Violet Fire + Firestorm (Avon Historical Romance)
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reissue edition (29 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380755610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380755615
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.7 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,205,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Brenda Joyce is the bestselling, award-winning author of Promise of the Rose,Scandalous Love and The Fires of Paradise. All nine of her historical romances have been highly acclaimed, and four of them, including the first three novels in the "Bragg" saga Innpocent Fire, Firestorm, and Violet Fire have won six awards from Romantic Times and Affaire de Coeur. She has also won three industry awards for her trendsetting promotional bookmarks from Affaire de Coeur. Brenda Joyce is currently working on her next novel.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Miranda was afraid. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Left me upset and distressed 30 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have previously read Splendour by the same author and I much enjoyed the book even though there were some very dark moments. This book was "uncomfortable" from the beginning but that is not a problem - you could say that it had grit - until it really began. I do not want to spoil the storyline but I will dwell on a major part of it just because I wish I had been warned before I read this book. There is attempted and finally actual rape....don't get me wrong I have nothing against the female sexual fantasy of rape - Johanna Lindsey has been slammed for using it in one of her books - but she made the two characters involved fall in love....(in fact I actually like that book) In Innocent Fire,however, the female character is raped by another man during the course of the book. I suppose that the whole point of the book is that the "hero" loves the woman and deals in a positive manner with her ordeal and her subsequent pregancy as a result of the rape. In that sense you could call it very loving.......but it was not what I wanted to read. It left me upset and distressed.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable!!! 15 Sep 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love this book! I have read it several times. One of Ms. Joyce's best. Will keep you up all night. It is the first of the Bragg saga. After you read this you will definitely go on to read the rest which are also must reads.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly Done! 30 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the best romance book I have ever, ever read! Authors should look at this book for inspiration. A MUST READ!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.8 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: This is a steaming bowl ringer of epic proportions 10 Mar 2012
By Romance Reader - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Seldom am I moved to write a review. A book must either be excellent, or a steaming bowl ringer of epic odiferousness to motivate me to invest my precious time. Unfortunately, this exceedingly tedious tome falls into the latter category. It is one of the top two or three most dreadful romance novels I've read. It is really, really, really, bad. I cannot emphasize this enough. It... is... bad.

This review is a public service and hopefully a word of caution to Avon, whose new releases are generally excellent, but this re-release of a book first published in 1988 was a BIG mistake. I expect clever, well-written, sexy historicals from Avon. Perhaps they wanted to prevent the title from being backlisted, but that is exactly what should have happened. Avon should have consigned it to the dungheap of history and disavowed all prior connection. A sexy new cover cannot compensate for the crappity-crap-crap-crap fouling the pages inside. It is 80 chapters long plus the obligatory happy ending epilogue. That's 80 chapters and an obligatory happy ending epilogue too long. (I won't even get into the maudlin histrionics of the seven-page prologue, presumably intended to give depth and backstory to the otherwise shallow, insipid main character. It doesn't.)

The heroine Miranda is the daughter of an English earl, a "sheltered and naive" girl raised in a convent. For unfathomable reasons, her father arranges a marriage between Miranda and a rancher in the most dangerous, lawless section of Texas, where Comancheros rape, pillage, capture women to sell into prostitution or slavery, commit arson, murder, and generally bedevil the good folk of that newly independent state at will and on a regular basis. Into this lawless land the annoying Miranda is thrust.

The foul-mouthed, rude, rough, but incredibly hot Derek Bragg, a Texas Ranger (what else?) is sent by his best friend John (Miranda's fiancee), who is unable to escort her himself due to a riding accident. John fell in love with Miranda simply from seeing her portrait when she was but a tween (kinda gross). How and when he saw it is unclear, considering that the Earl lives in England and John in Texas... an otherwise unexplained "business" trip. It is just one of the many things that make no sense in this tragic literary contretemps.

We learn Derek is an ultra-lusty sort of man who "takes" a different woman nearly every night, whores, bar wenches, laundresses, snaggletoothed squaws, whatever. He's not particular. Being preternaturally horny and handsome would seem to make him a poor choice to escort the innocent young Miranda, but John evidently trusts Derek, an Apache half-breed with mad manly skills. You can guess where it goes from there... of course Derek is attracted to tiny, violet-eyed Miranda. The reader is not. Miranda whines endlessly about everything; she is not so much innocent as stupid and annoying. She is forever "gasping in indignation" or "crying out in indignation" or "screaming in indignation" then "lifting her skirts and fleeing into the woods" or some such place where Derek must save her hapless self from plummeting ravines, lacerated feet, roving predators, marauding Indians, etc. Miranda is shocked and confused by all that wanton pulsing between her legs when she looks at the "stallion" Bragg who takes his shirt off more often than a redneck at a tractor pull. She is always asking to go to confession (to tell a priest about the wanton pulsing, I presume). At times I suspected Miranda might be "special"... if you catch my meaning... but then she'd trot out some random brainy factoid intended to let the reader know she's not a complete cabbage head.

The reader keeps slogging through, hoping irritating Miranda will soon run into a tree and knock some sense into herself. No such luck.

Because she's so durn pretty, a cut-throat Comanchero named Chavez (who is, of course, also incredibly hot) decides he must have her. His sexy malevolent presence is woven throughout. He abducts her no less than twice, the first time violating her digitally after she frigidly denies him, but leaving her still "innocent". Derek rescues her and severely wounds the digital fondler, then delivers her to John. She frigidly denies her new husband his marital rights, giving in but thrice amidst much weeping and bleeding. Oy! Love-struck John does not suffer long because he is soon murdered after Miranda complains of being felt up at a ho down by a very dangerous man (who all but told her he would murder John if she told him... thanks for that, Miranda). Love-struck Derek then weds her and she frigidly denies him. Then the love-struck Comanchero abducts and wants to marry her. She of course, frigidly denies him, just as she did before he digitally raped her, then he rapes her in the more conventional fashion. Derek rescues her and Lorena Bobbits the Comanchero before killing him. Miranda is abducted one final time near the end of the book and I was screaming, "Oh God, no! Not again!" Derek eventually finds her, sort of on accident, at a whorehouse just before she turns her first trick. Did I mention she's pregnant with the Comanchero's wee nipper who Derek is having a hard time accepting? By this time, I was thinking, "Shoot me! Shoot me, now!"

The entire time I was reading Innocent Fire, I hoped in vain that the book would spontaneously combust, but it didn't and Miranda continued to annoy me, John, Chavez, and Derek for way too many chapters. I would have bailed, but it's not in my nature to give up when the going gets tough. I simply had to see if every layer exposed another layer as cheesy and vacuous as the last. I'd give this zero stars, if that was an option.

P. U.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Truly unlikeable female lead 5 July 2006
By JJN-1313 - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was irritating in many ways. I wouldn't go so far as to say it was bad, just irritating.

For one thing, the plot was way too similar to Kat Martin's Natchez Flame - though I believe Joyce's book was written first. The plots were different, but the entire premise was nearly identical. It hasn't been that long since I read Martin's book, so to read one so similar was a little boring and annoying.

Aside from that, Miranda was an overwhelmingly tiring character. She was the very extreme of the typical naive miss of the time, to the point where she just seemed damn stupid. I realize that innocence and naivte was the norm back then for women, but she was and extreme and it got freakin' annoying to constantly read all her witless babble. And it seemed kind of unfitting that such a wordly man as Derek would become so connected to her.

The plot was a bit long and tedious and repetitive. I mean, Miranda is kidnapped three times in the book. Once or twice, okay fine, but three times? It was a bit much.

I also thought that the resolution of Miranda's feelings and her situation was poorly dealt with. It was like *snap* she'd changed her mind about certain things and all was right. There was also this side storyline dealing with Miranda's father. There were some serious issues there, but that's never resolved. At the end, he comes to see Miranda. She spends about a half hour with him, where they talk about nothing serious, and Miranda suddenly thinks to herself that he's not the beast she thought he was. That was it. It was a really cheap way to resolve something that had such an impact on the story.

Anyway, Innocent Fire wasn't a horrible book, but it's not one I'd recommend to others for reading.

Rating: 2 / 5
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super 26 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is an excellant book. It is the first in the wonderful Bragg series. Get this book. Miranda is a beautiful, sensitive woman from a convent in France. She comes to America to meet and marry her husband, and meets her husband's friend, a wild, half-breed named Derek. Derek falls for Miranda on the spot, and she is attracted to this rugged man but she is going to marry his friend. Together the battle each other, a passion, the wild west, an a crazy madman who wants Miranda for his own. This is an excellant, sensual book.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Original Plot, Dreadful Heroine... 4 Jun 2007
By Reader10 - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Book was written around 80s, this means you'll see some rape scenes, an spineless heroine, an alpha hero or/and a plot that will have you grinding your teeth if you're a strong woman.

With that said, this book was worth 4 stars if you can ignore the heroine. Yes, she gets raped a couple of times... but what made this book awful was NOT due to this harsh treatment... it was the fact you could not stand the heroines who was shy, naive, dim witted... frankly, she was an IDIOT! OMG, I've yet to come across a heroine who was this stupid. She was raised in a convent, ok fine... this does not make someone dumb!

She blushes every 5 mins, she cries every ten, everything hurts and she's scared of EVERYTHING! In addition to all this sickening weakness, she comes across as a judgmental, opinionated, bible thumping cold fish, til the end of the story. I wished through out the book the hero would just dump her off somewhere....

INNOCENT FIRE..... this title is a joke, innocent -- she was more then an innocent, she was an idiot... Fire, WHAT fire? never seen such spineless heroine in ANY romance novel, period.

DOnt waste your time with this book if you can't stand doormat heroines, it'll have you grinding your teeth all night.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rape, Rape, and more Rape 7 Oct 2006
By Mariam - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found this book to be one of the most disturbing books I have ever read. The heroine is continually raped. I read romance novels to enter a world of fantasy and joy not a world of crime and pain! I had to force myself to finish this book to put it behind me. After reading it I was depressed and disgusted for three days! I loved Brenda Joyce's other books so I just wanted to tell you that they are usually great. I can't say I would recommend this book to a friend, an enemy definitely.
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