Saturday, August 18

Secret Fire by Johanna Lindsey

He'd caught only a glimpse of her from the window of his carriage, but the young prince knew he had to have her. Within minutes, Lady Katherine St. John was dragged from the London street and carried off to a sumptuous town house -- for the pleasure of her royal admirer...

From the tempestuous passion of their first encounter, across stormy seas, to the golden splendor of palaces in Moscow, she was his prisoner -- obsessed with rage toward her captor even as an all-consuming need made her his slave. Yet theirs was a fervor beyond her understanding, carrying them irrevocably toward final surrender to the power of undeniable love.

I know a lot of people prolly don't like this book. After all, it's easily one of the books with one of the most chauvinistic heroes in the fictional world. Honest to goodness I wanna kick his ass for all his faults. But there's just something about this story that pulls at me. It's difficult to explain since I myself can't paint it exactly.Although I think the hero and the heroine clashed nicely.
Kate St John was following her sister in the streets of London when Prince Dimitri Alexandrov saw her and had her picked up, thinking that she was nothing more than a peasant girl. Because she refused to bend down to their will, his servants had no choice but to drug her--with an aphrodisiac, no less, so that she would be more "amenable" to her purpose. It was in that state that Dimitri saw her again and willingly "helped" her to appease her condition all through the night. And when morning came, he had no choice but to bring her back to Russia when she threatened to make known of his abduction of her. He had planned to just pay her off but with the imminent visit of the Russian czar to England, he was left with no choice.
But he unexpectedly began to like her as a person on their long journey north. He could only make her his mistress since his refusal that she was high-born prevented her from being wife material. So he installed her in his home and went searching for the Russian princess he had been planning to propose to as siring as heir had become the main object of his position as head of the family after his older half-brother had been declared dead. So he went away while Kate was left to suffer in his aunt's accusation's that she was a thief and her caned. She was beaten so badly that she was nearly crippled and after her attempted escape, she was banished to the kitchens.
Dimitri returned only to find that Kate wasn't in the room he installed her in and thinking it was another of her tricks in refusing his generosity, never bothered to sought her out--until one of the servants confessed to him what really happened. Hence my favorite scene: Dimitri humbling himself in front of his household to fetch Kate from the kitchens--begged her to believe that he never knew anything about her beating. I think that was really something of a big step for a proud person in his position to do.
So Dimitri proposed to her--for Kate to become his mistress. Despite her refusal, insisting that whatever children she would one day have would have a father (Kate had already found out she was pregnant), Dimitri proclaimed that she was not marrying, ever. And especially not to somebody else. And then decided not marry after all if he couldn't marry Kate--family heir be damned, he could always adopt any children he and Kate would have. This was Russia, not bloody England.
But then he found out that Kate was really the high-born lady she had been claiming from the start and consumed with guilt, he proposed marriage to her. She refused seeing as how knowing who she really was made any difference--after all, she had heard talks that very same evening that he was just using her to make the princess he had intended to be his bride (who had already chosen somebody else over him) jealous. Then it got even worse when he got trapped in a snowstorm, got sick for weeks, and lost track of Katherine. Until he traced her back to England, more demanding than ever even without the knowledge of his son.
Nevertheless, charm and honesty about telling her that he really loved her got him what he wanted in the end. It would have been a lot nicer if the ending didn't seem too rushed. It did tell of how many times she refused his gifts or how many times he was tunred away when he asked for an audience; and these things was causing a stir in the ton.
Final verdict: 7/10. Good read.


Chantal said...

I have not read this book, but I'm sure that I will sometime soon.

I either love or hate her books. Can't wait to see which side I fall on with this one.

Zeek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zeek said...

I LOVED this one. I bet people hate it because of "how they got together" but I fell for it hook line and sinker and I Still re read it every once and awhile.

My favorite bit too is when she's left alone at his place in Russia and his Aunt thinks she's less than nothing to him- and then has her beaten. Well the caning bit isn't my favorite but the entire scene and situation was so emotional! I cried and cried just waiting for him to come back! Yeah, I know it's politically incorrect, but I still love when heroines are "rescued". BUT there is one thing about Kate- she is not sniveling and she is NOT a wuss. I think that's what made it good for me too. She did get him to grovel in the end so who's the wimp now?

Kookie said...

You should give this book a try...To be honest, the story didn't quite impress from the first reading but when I did a reread, man oh man, I just loved it. :o)

I know. She's one brave little lady. I always get butterflies in my stomach when I read that part when Dimitri first learned about what happened to her. You can just imagine what was going through his head at that time, when his servant Rodion told him that Kate was in the kitchens but not by choice. And the rescue part, oh my. And his offer to have her beat him just so that she could get even with him. Gotta love him there. :o)

Chantal said...

I just got it out of the library :)

Kookie said...

Good for ya, girl. Hope you enjoy(ed) it!!!

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