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Night Fires Mass Market Paperback – 5 Jan 2004

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
More Like a Flicker Than a Blaze 15 Jun. 2004
By L. J Lewis - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I completely agree with the reviewer that said there is absolutely no reason to make Simone a vampire. The only purpose it serves is to turn this character into an unpleasant, humorless walking pity party. Night Fires would have worked better as a straigh forward historical for all the impact the vampire gimmick made on the story.
As others have said, this takes place during the choas and terror of the French Revolution. Simone returns to her family estate to find the family that turned their backs on her murdered. She slays the killers, and then runs off to church to beg forgiveness. The priest instructs her to dedicate her life to help other flee from the agents of the revolution. Hence, Simone becomes La Flamme, a Scarlet Pimpernel minus the brains clone, dedicated to rescuing imprisoned aristocrats. At the same time, the English government sends over a spy named I'm drawing a blank... let me check... (I just finished the book an hour ago) yes... Micheal Corday to seek out and assasinate the one financing a revolutionary movement in England.
As a historical spy romance, the book is also a dud. Simone is again the problem. For someone who risks danger at every turn, she sure is stupid and ineffective as a spy. I can't see why a seasoned expert like Corday is so adament that he must enlist the help of La Flamme when he isn't sure can trust a third party and Simone is more of a help than a hinderance. In fact, if Corday just went to Paris without her, the book would have been finished in a third of the time and we'd all be spared Simone's endless self-flagellation. She's cursed, she's evil, she's wicked, she must suffer, she must wear a hairsuit, and she must give us every detail of her pain and agony because we must suffer along with her.
But honestly, in particularly silly scene Simone is vowing to herself not to sleep with Corday and reveal her true name and other information. Not three pages later, Simone has succomed to his charms and answers every one of his questions, spilling all her secrets as they do it! A few pages later, the government spy keeping an eye on them mentions how inept women are at keeping secrets. I laughed. I sure hope the author meant for the irony to be there. There is also a another part were Corday wants Simone to pretend to be his wife, but she can't because lying is bad and marriage is scacred or some other nonsense. She nearly gives them both away in front of hostile French agents! Simone, even though her life's misson is to decieve and ellude the revolution's agents, isn't even flexiable enough to act outside the Moral Code of Virtuous Romance Historical Womyn That Make Them Pure and Likeable to Ye Puritanical Readers to save her own life!
In the end, they finally make it to Paris and do what they need to and everything is hunky dory even though the plot elements just come together out of Serendipity rather than actual spy work. Corday and Simone live happily ever after. The End.
This book is readable but not much else. A more complex story, lack of vampire gimmick, tigher pacing, and characters not determined to wallow in misery would have improved this spy novel. It's head over heels better than all those idiotic vampire comedies that have been flooding the market in the last few months, but that's a back-handed compliment.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Excellent 31 Dec. 2003
By BlueCapeSky - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was a great book. Usually I don't read books about French Revolutionary times, but I liked Karen Harbaugh's previous Regency romances, and this plot turned out to be engaging and cool. Unlike other vampire books, in this novel, the heroine is the vampire, and vampirism isn't glorified the way it is in other books. Instead, becoming human again is something possible and sought for. If you only want to read about sexy/scary immortal male vampires, then this isn't the book for you. If you want to read about a strong woman who made a mistake when she was young and now uses her vampiric powers to save people from the Revolution and how her good deeds allow her to win back her humanity, find true love, and live happily ever after, then this is the book for you. The heroine is smart, determined and has a nifty disguise. The hero is more than a match for the vampiress and as an assassin, he's very cool under pressure. They had great chemistry. The plot was very realistic, in the way they interacted, travelled, etc., and author's description of that period. What I enjoyed the most was the surprise twist in the ending involving the children. I highly recommend this. I don't read historical romance anymore, but this book is definitely a keeper. I will buy the sequel as soon as it comes out.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely teriffic 2 Dec. 2003
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When Simone de la Fer reaches her family's Chateau in Normandy in 1793 she discovered that her family was slaughtered by the citizens who hated the aristocrats. Being a vampire she killed them all and then confesses to her priest who gave her an unusual penance. She is to rescue as many people from the Reign of Terror as possible and only kill in self-defense. Her prowess soon earns her the hatred of the board of the committee of public safety who put a price on the head of La Flamme as she is known.
Simone's path crosses that of Michael Corday, a British spy dispatched to Paris to assassinate the person who has killed several British agents and wants to bring the revolution to England. Simone hopes to redeem herself and regain her humanity and sees this opportunity by succeeding in their respective missions. Danger stalks them from Normandy to Paris and it is only due to Simone's powers that they have a chance of carrying out what looks to be mission impossible.
NIGHT FIRES is a very special vampire romance starring a protagonist who believes she can be redeemed through good works, and a hero who accepts her for what she is and falls in love with her. Readers who crave something different and unique will want to read this historical supernatural romance that is filled with intrigue and action.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Sensual 22 May 2008
By BellaDonna - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am almost finished reading this book and don't want it to end. Ms. Harbaugh draws you in to her world like the trademark trance of the vampire. Her descriptions are vivid, and Corday is as sensual as they come. Both characters are flawed, Simone is a Vampire and Corday an assasin, both deal in death. Together they find comfort. There is humor and lust, along with raw emotions.
I was very pleasantly surprised by this book, and admire the author's writing style.
Unusual Vampire Heroine 22 Jan. 2013
By Rhonda Valverde - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Set during the violent and bloody French Revolution, Night Fires gives us a tale of an unusual vampire heroine. Simone is both pious and dangerous. She's committed to helping people escape from unjust persecution. She forms an untrusting alliance with an enigmatic assassin. Known only as Corday, an English spy with single-minded purpose to complete his mission, Corday can't help but be intrigued by the mysterious woman who can break through his ennui and make him crack a smile. In an atmosphere of tension and suspicion, Karen Harbaugh slowly peels back the layers to reveal the depths of her two lead characters.

While the character development was certainly strong, Ms. Harbaugh could use a little help beefing up her action scenes, which were sadly lacking in detail. I would have loved to read of bones cracking, bodies flying through the air to smack into something, and the tangy, copper taste of blood. I had to supply the details in my imagination. Additional details in this regard would have made for a more exciting read.

The plot was good if a bit too coincidental. I also got a lot of insight into the terror and unrest that was going on in France at that time. I would certainly be willing to read the sequel, Dark Enchantment.

**Reviewed by Olivia C. for**
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