Just when it seems that we have seen enough paranormal vampire romances, along comes a refreshing new twist on the genre. Karen Harbaugh’s Night Fires is one of those books. From the hauntingly beautiful cover to the very last page, Night Fires brings the readers a different sort of romance.
The setting, while completely apropos, is one we do not encounter very often - the terror and turmoil of the French Revolution. Simone de la Fer, estranged from her family for past misdeeds, returns home to urge her relatives to flee. She finds that they have been killed along with so many other aristocrats. She vows to save as many other families as she can. She becomes La Flamme, notorious, mysterious, the shadowy savior in the darkness. Her vampiric powers are her greatest asset.
Michael Corday has a different mission. Entering France under the cover of night, this English spy is searching for a traitor, responsible for the death of fellow operatives in the field. Upon his arrival, he encounters La Flamme as she herds fleeing families onto the boat that provided his transport across the Channel. When the mission is attacked by agents of the Republic, Michael willingly assists the cloaked rescuer complete the mission. He is intrigued by the rag-shrouded youth, and mistakenly believes it is a boy, for no woman could have the strength or skills necessary to fight the agents. He proposes an alliance of sorts - he will take La Flamme to Paris, where there are many to rescue, and requires information in return.
This page-turning novel of suspense and passion will bring readers a new perspective on the events following the Revolution. Ms. Harbaugh’s research has been thorough, and is evident throughout the book. From the smallest details, like innkeepers who must remember to say citoyen instead of monsieur, to the broad strokes, she tells the story with a sharp quill. The plot is taut and well-paced, the characters believable.
I recommend this book to both historical and paranormal romance readers. It will satisfy both appetites with its blend of dark passions and the background of revolution. I believe that this is the beginning of a trilogy or series of stories. I will be watching for the next installment.