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Night Fires    by Karen Harbaugh order for
Night Fires
by Karen Harbaugh
Order:  USA  Can
Dell, 2003 (2003)
Paperback, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

When Simone de la Fer was young and headstrong, one night of adventure cost her everything: her humanity, her faith and in the end, her family. Condemned to walk in the shadows as an immortal, she accepts a heavy penance. Her trusted priest and friend (the only other person who knows her secret) suggests she use her newfound powers to rescue fellow citizens from certain death. Simone's exploits anger those who would see all aristocrats fall under the blade of Madame Guillotine and they put a hefty price on the head of 'La Flamme'. But Simone does not care, certain that every soul she saves will bring her closer to redemption.

Michael Corday has been sent to France to find and dispatch a fellow agent who's already killed several of his counterparts. Michael's target has an agenda of his own that involves bringing the ideals of the French Revolution to England. The night of Michael's secretive arrival on French soil, he encounters a mysterious and powerful stranger dressed in the rags of a leper. In short order he discovers they have similar goals and suggests that they travel to Paris together. During the trip they must deal with various attempts on their lives, not to mention a growing attraction. Simone has no intention of falling in love -- the damned do not deserve love. But fate, along with Michael's persistence and understanding, are soon her undoing.

Night Fires is a bit off the norm of the typical vampire romance. Karen Harbaugh focuses not so much on the horror of what Simone is, or the circumstances surrounding her affliction - she concentrates instead on the horror of the French Revolution and how it impacted an entire country's social structure. She matches that kind of thinking in her hero, Michael, who recognizes and accepts Simone for what she is - a vampire. He's intrigued by her difference and helps her believe in herself again. Night Fires is well written, well researched and well worth a second look, whether you enjoy straight historical romance or a tale with a dark twist.

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