Published by: Avon
Genres: Historical Romance, Bodice Ripper, Forced Seduction, Regency Era Romance
Buy on: Amazon, AbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader
SPOILER ALERT ⚠
Anne Carsley’s This Triumphant Fire is an okay bodice ripper with a more interesting villain than the hero.
A Great Villain and a Missing-in-Action Hero
The heroine, Carlotta, is a beautiful French girl who fled her home country after the Revolution. She is living off the charity of her English guardians.
Simon, the hero, is a rakish fellow who is having a romance with one of the daughters in the family. He also has a secret life as a highwayman. Carlotta cannot help but be attracted to the handsome blond man.
After a brutal rape attempt by one of the family’s sons, Carlotta kills her attacker and flees into the night.
Carlotta and Simon meet again. He sees her distress and comforts her. Simon takes her to his cabin in the woods.
They make passionate love and spend an idyllic time together before the “hero” abandons her. Carlotta catches him cheating on her with another woman.
She confronts him, and in the typical jerky-hero style, he is unrepentant.
The lovers are separated, and Carlotta finds her way on a ship to the American south. There she enters in a marriage of convenience with a suave, attractive, older man named Austin.
Her husband is virile in the bedroom, bringing her to the brink of passion. But only needs Carlotta for her womb, as he prefers hot voodoo lovemaking sessions with his male lover.
Carlotta is eventually taken to the harsh jungles of Haiti, where voodoo magic plays a prominent role. Then, who should show up out of the blue but Simon, her long, lost, er–love. He saves her, and the pair flee together, vowing eternal love.
Final Analysis of This Triumphant Fire
While Anne Carsely’s prose was very poignant and romantic, I remember enjoying This Triumphant Fire for everything except the love story.
The villain was magnetic, and the fast, action-packed pacing, combined with the author’s style of writing, were strong points. However, the lackluster romance failed to make this one a favorite.
One pet peeve/ minor factoid: the cover portrays the heroine with the wrong hair color. She’s got reddish hair, not black. Carsley also had the same issue with her lovely cover of This Ravished Rose.
HER PAST DESTROYED, HER DESTINY WAS A HIGHWAYMAN’S LOVE
The family and home she’d lost as a girl in the French Revolution were now only shadows in Carlotta’s haunted dreams. And when murder forced her from the English manor where she’d been reduced to servitude, she was penniless and alone in the world.
Dressed as a boy, Carlotta sought safety with Simon, a roguish highwayman–who quickly saw the exquisite beauty beneath her disguise and possessed her with a passion that left her consumed by desire.
THIS TRIUMPHANT FIRE
But Carlotta’s beauty caught the eye of a vicious aristocrat who took what he wanted. What he wanted was Carlotta–to bear him a son and heir. Her happiness, her life, meant nothing to him.
Carried off to a Caribbean Island throbbing with slave rebellion, then to New Orleans stirring with French intrigue–Carlotta endured her degrading captivity, hoping against hope that her highwayman wouldn’t forget her… That if her heart was her fate, Simon was her destiny.THIS TRIUMPHANT FIRE BY ANNE CARSLEY