The Flame Eater

Barbara Gaskell

HISTORICAL:  After the murder of her beloved fiancé, Peter, Emeline is horrified to learn that she now must marry his brother, Nicholas - the man many think is his murderer.  The wedding is a disaster, with the groom drowning his disgust in drink then leaving Emeline alone and in tears. Fire breaks out during the night, however, and as the castle goes up in flames, Emeline is saved by the very man she claims to loathe.  Badly burned, Nicholas now fights for his own life and Emeline must decide the direction her future will take. 


Nicholas isn’t the wastrel everyone claims him to be but it is useful when working undercover for the King.  As the danger intensifies and the death toll rises, however, he is in a race to apprehend the criminals before they destroy everything and everyone around him - especially the wife he is coming to love more than he ever thought possible.


This story is such an odd combination of historical romance, mystery, suspense and comedy that is almost slapstick at times!  It is a testament to Ms. Denvil’s amazing gift for writing that it actually works - and works quite beautifully for the most part! There are times when the characters tip into the silly and unbelievable and the length did become a problem and needed to be tightened down considerably.  Still the ease and flow of the words as well as the delightful banter and intelligence in the writing make it well worth the read!


Ruth Lynn Ritter