- Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Jove Books (Jan 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0515132403
- ISBN-13: 978-0515132403
- Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.7 x 2.3 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,623,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
I have conquered fierce enemies upon the battlefield. I have fought the shame of being a highwayman's son. But my strongest challenge ever is a maiden named Sarah Banks...
Ah, those lips, those eyes! Any normal man would gladly surrender heart and soul to her charms. But I am not a normal man. My father's wild outlaw blood surges through me, nearly boilding over with a single glimpse of Sarah's curving body. I am drawn to the girl, yet I cannot trust my own dark nature. Oh, the sweet torment of my double bind!
Now all I can do is swear to protect her from my other side - even if it means giving up my one chance at bliss....
Although Colin eventually stops fearing the Earl, the legacy remains that he fears himself. As the son of Jack Cady, Colin fears the dragon within that might harm others. But with the approach of his twenty-eighth birthday, word comes that he must marry to retain stewardship of orphans at St. George. It is unthinkable that the stewardship would pass to others -- St. George is Colin's means of atoning for the sins of his father. Worse, Colin fears marriage and the lust that accompanies it -- that same lustful dragon which risks releasing the sins his father committed. From the first moment he sees Sarah Banks, Colin's heart is captured, yet he mercilessly denies his passionate response.
Sarah Banks runs a profitable gaming establishment that she inherited from her father. As a child, Sarah spent her nights "haunting the gaming hells learning how to win, no matter the price." Her father was gallant and brave, protecting her from the razor-sharp tongues of society. Unfortunately, her father is also the reason that at twenty-three, she's never married. The few that might offer are only interested in her money, and no man has ever captured her heart. For years Sarah has dreamed of a man with sherry-colored eyes who would only want her heart. The night she sees Colin, she knows she's found the man of her dreams.
Colin, however, intends to marry another. He wants a marriage as cold and as sterile as possible, to protect his prospective mate from the fire within. As gossip and rumor cast them together, Colin and Sarah find their fortunes thrown together, even as Colin is determined to remain distanced. Despite the rebuffs and the damage to her pride, however, Sarah is equally determines that she will win, no matter the cost. The question remains, though, if Colin can be caught, and if she'll be able to pay the price.
TOUCHED BY FIRE is Kathleen O'Reilly's first novel, but promises great things for this remarkable author. With the touch of a master, she lends the old metaphor of the dragon a startling original power. Indeed, O'Reilly's tightly woven plot, balance of characterization, and attention to historical detail create a memorable novel that I regretted to finish, wishing to linger a bit longer with these wonderful characters -- including the very proper butler with a heart of gold. I do hope that O'Reilly's pen has been busy, because I long to immerse myself in her words again soon. Very highly recommended.
Sarah Banks has lived on the fringe of Society all her life. Her infamous father ran a gaming hell which she has inherited. She has been the target of cruel remarks and indecent proposals all her life and has done her best to ignore it. But when she meets Colin, she feels she has finally met the man who can protect her and make her feel safe. She pursues him relentlessly, but he is just as determined to avoid her. She makes him feel things he's never felt before. He certainly cannot marry her - he desires her too much and will only wind up hurting her. But he cannot deny his strong attraction to her and he fights it mightily. But when some tries to kill her, he changes his mind and decides to marry her if only to protect her. But Sarah is determined to woo him and make him her husband in more than name only. And a Banks never loses!
I loved this book. Colin was such a different kind of hero. Almost child-like with his obsession with dragons and dragonslayers, he was the exact opposite of what he had been brainwashed to believe about himself. Sweet, kind, gentle, naive he's adorable! But don't get me wrong, he's not a wimp. He's strong and capable of violence when those he loves are threatened. And Sarah is proud, determined and single-minded. A great couple, great secondary characters (especially Colin's valet/mentor Giles) and a great book!
Though a rookie (except for a Duet), Kathleen O'Reilly provides fans with the kind of exciting character driven story usually told by a veteran. TOUCHED BY FIRE engages the audience as Colin struggles with his father's lessons about his gene pool vs. the chance to embrace love for the first in his life. Though Sarah is a fine heroine and the support cast adds depth even if the Earl overdoes the blaming of the father's sins on the son, this novel belongs to Colin, a protagonist that readers will cherish.
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