by Elizabeth Lowell

January 2002 Reissue of Fires of Eden
ISBN: 0-06-621274-X
Reviewer Graphic Button William Morrow
Mass Market Paperback

It may be a “re-imagined classic” and it may be “based on” an older story, but when you cut through all the publisher’s hype, what you have is a wonderful, old-fashioned, heart-grabbing Romance. And that is definitely with a capital “R”!

We have read articles lately on how times and books have changed, and how romance writers have adjusted to the march of progress. Every now and then, we find a jewel out there – written years ago, that gleams as brightly today as it must have done when it was first released. Eden Burning is truly one of these gems! Dr. Chase Wilcox, renowned volcanologist, arrives in Hawaii – home of the goddess “Pele” who rules volcanoes. “Pele” is also the stage name of Nicole Ballard, fiery beauty and research assistant, who dances as if she has been touched by her namesake’s magic! Chase, fighting demons from his past, is convinced that Nicole is a typical out-for-what-she-can-get bimbo, and determines to show the world just that!!!

Of course, he’s wrong, but by the time he finds out the damage has been done. Chase is stubborn, arrogant (to a degree, but not unpleasantly so), and so obviously a victim of his past experiences that no matter how dreadful his behavior or how obnoxiously blind he seems, we can’t hate the guy! Nicole too, has a lot of prior baggage that she’s dragging around with her and it is very plain to see exactly where she is coming from when she makes her rather unwise decisions about Chase Wilcox.

But the first time Chase sits at the drums and lets his hands speak for him to the flame haired goddess moving to his rhythms on the stage, we know that there is something very, very special between these two people. Intelligent though they are, love can make fools of the best of us, and so it does here; Elizabeth Lowell keeps us on tenterhooks wondering if there’s a chance that these two can make it past the obstacles they have created for themselves and unite in the way that has been so clearly intended! The Hawaiian settings are magnificent, of course, and the principal secondary character might well be Kilauea itself! Ms. Lowell always manages to slip information into her novels – here we learn about lava! Never boring, but always instructive, we come away from her books with a sense of joy and an increased knowledge about some subject that was so much part of the story we never realized how much we were learning at the same time! Sensual and satisfying, this is a wonderful romance in the truest sense of the word, full of passion, love, and fire – and some even comes from the volcano!!

Reviewed in March 2002 by Celia.

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