sea fires franco

Historical Romance Review: Sea Fires by Christine Dorsey

historical romance review
Sea Fires by Christine Dorsey
Rating: four-stars
Published: 1992
Illustrator: Franco Accornero
Imprint or Line: Zebra Lovegram
Book Series: Blackstone Trilogy #1
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Colonial Era Romance, Historical Romance, Pirate Romance
Pages: 430
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader

Historical Romance Review: Sea Fires by Christine Dorsey


The Book

Sea Fires, a Zebra Lovegram written by Christine Dorsey, is an exciting pirate romance set in the late 17th century and takes place on the high seas and in the American colonies.

The Characters and the Setup

The heroine is a bookish and feisty Englishwoman, Miranda Chadwick. Her only interests are her microscope–which had specially ground lenses designed by the Leuwenhoek himself–and examining the animalcules of various flora and fauna.

(If I ever have to hear that irritating word “animalcule again,” I swear I will go screaming around like a raging madwoman.)

Our dashing hero is Captain Gentleman Jack Blackstone, who has to avenge the death of his family at the hands of the evil Spanish.

(Sigh, I’ve seen that plot before, many times over. Oh, well. Que sera sera.)

Sea Fires begins with tragedy striking the Blackstone family when Spaniards attack their Port Royal, Carolina settlement, and the parents are killed. As he is beaten and about to be knocked unconscious, Jack sees his younger sister taken prisoner. For 15 years, he yearns for vengeance for his loss.

The Plot

Fast forward to 1699 in England, as Miranda prepares for a trip across the Atlantic to be with her father. She hasn’t seen him in years as her deceased mother’s family did not approve of him.

Miranda’s father has some shady dealings with Jack; the two are both smugglers. Now he’s under investigation by the Crown, so he convinces Jack to kidnap Miranda for several weeks until the magistrate leaves town. Miranda is such a do-gooder that she wouldn’t think twice about ratting them out and exposing her father’s—and Jack’s–pirate enterprise.

Jack is on the gray side of the law, certainly no villain. Jack is a pirate. However, he was forced into the lifestyle to seek revenge. His soul was destroyed, and he could never hope for a genuinely happy life.

Jack never wanted to be a pirate. He says this over and over so often that…

Gar! I had visions of Jerry Seinfeld in a ruffled white shirt whining repeatedly, “But I don’t wanna be a pirate!”

Miranda battles wits with Jack as they fight their attraction. The sexual tension is high between the two, but it takes a while to heat up.

Meanwhile, Miranda spends much of her time on the ship getting to know the individual men who make up the crew.

These are tough, grizzled sailors with names like Scar, King, and Phin. No, these aren’t criminal buccaneers, just solid, salt-of-the-earth guys who got into a bad situation. They appreciate having an elegant lady on board. Miranda educates them on biology, and they are charmed by her beauty and brains.

Jack keeps himself at a distance, not wanting to fall for the lovely girl when he must focus on… revenge!

Miranda and Jack eventually give in to their desires, but many perilous adventures await them before they can have a HEA.

sea fires christine dorsey

Final Analysis of Sea Fires

I’ve read Christine Dorsey’s Sea Fires twice; the first time liked it very much. I enjoyed it even more recently this second time, as it was just the right book at the right moment. Last month was a bit crazy, and Sea Fires was a pleasant diversion from it all.

Despite the well-worn setup, this romance is sweetly entertaining. The love scenes were erotic, and a tart sense of humor shone throughout the book. It was funny but a little too cutesy for me to consider it a perfect read.

Sea Fires is the first in a series of a generation of sea-faring Blackstones. I might give those a try. As far as Zebra’s romances go, Christine Dorsey appears to have been one of the more talented authors in their writer’s stable.

4 Stars

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 3.8


Spirited, impetuous Miranda Chadwick arrived in the untamed New World prepared for any peril. So when the notorious pirate Jack Blackstone kidnapped her, she was certain she could somehow make the insufferable golden-haired rogue surrender to justice. But Miranda soon found that she was the one surrendering — to the shameless desires that the scoundrel’s bronzed, lean body and demanding caresses ignited … and her own reckless hunger for more!

Jack Blackstone regarded the furious Miranda Chadwick with a triumphant grin. He would hold this feisty wench just long enough to fulfill his secret plans, then he’d toss her back and return to the sea. But he’d reckoned without the temptation that made him fall under the spell of her deep blue eyes, hunger again and again for her meltingly soft, slender body, and yield to an all-consuming passion from which he could never escape!