by Julie Moffett

March 2002
ISBN: 0-8217-7270-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Youíve got to love a book that can hold you enthralled from the very first paragraph. The opening line of Light A Single Candle grabs your attention, and from there you just have to know what happens next.

Bridget Goodwell has always been different, different from the others in her family and different from the other people in her town. Naturally headstrong and stubborn in a time when women are expected to be meek and docile (at least publicly) she constantly struggles to fit in and still be true to herself. When you add the ability to conjure fire to the mix, things for Bridget can get a bit confusing and chaotic.

Benjamin Hawkes has been a constant in Bridgetís life since she was six. There relationship has always been filled with hostility but then itís also always been filled with affection. Thereís always been a curious combination of rivalry and affection between them. When they werenít sticking small squirmy animals down each otherís clothing they were supporting and bolstering each other.

After an extended time away from Salem, the town in which they live, Ben returns and destiny awaits Bridget in his arms. The road to getting there is however is rocky. Neither realizes their love for the other, which for this reader was frustrating but also realistic and understandable. Ben did a great deal of growing up during this story. All his life people have been oblivious to his faults, with the exception of his two closest friends. Unwittingly he hurt both of them. And as that is one of my pet peeves when it comes to heroes in historicals Iím especially pleased to see an author address the matter. Itís always rubbed me the wrong way when the male lead doesnít take into consideration how his actions affect others, particularly the heroine. In Light A Single Candle Ben realizes that heís been the cause of a great many of Bridgetís problems. And by starting the story off there, the author has allowed us to understand the man Ben was and appreciate the man he becomes.

But there are other obstacles in the way of Ben and Bridgetís life together. One of the biggest is Bridgetís engagement to their mutual friend, Peter Holton. The author could have gone either way with Peter but she chose to make him an almost totally unsympathetic character. His reasons for becoming involved with Bridget are atrocious and if this book has one flaw, itís that it took Bridget so long to realize that Peter was all wrong for her. Iíd also have liked to see Peter get a bit more stomped on than he was. For what he did to Bridget he got off pretty lightly, in my opinion.

There are so many parts of this story that I could touch on and comment on, but I think it suffices to say that Julie Moffett took a pretty complicated plot and wove a strong, highly entertaining story from it. And then she took it a step further and made this story the first of a series, The MacInnes Legacy. In this series, itís obvious just from this book that danger, magic as well as incredible passion and love will abound. I absolutely cannot wait Ďtil the next book is released.

Reviewed in March 2002 by JaToya.

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