Series: Only #6, Maxwells #6
Published by Avon on October 1st 1997
Genres: Historical Romance, American West
Reading Challenges: Oldie But A Goodie Reading Challenge, TBR Reading Challenge
Orphaned at thirteen, a mail-order bride at fourteen, widowed at sixteen, Sarah Kennedy has learned to depend upon no one but herself--reserving all her love for her younger brother Conner, and for the wounded hawks she heals and returns to the air.
A hardened Civil War veteran, personal tragedy has taught Case Maxwell three things: to be a patient, deadly fighter, to love nothing that can die; and that justice is blind. But when a confrontation with his sworn enemies, the Culpepper clan, leaves him near death, Case finds himself, like many another damaged wild creature, under the tender, unwanted care of Sarah Kennedy.
Destiny has brought the healer and the warrior together to brave chilling risks and dangerous truths in a hard, magnificent land--two souls haunted by a perilous present and the bitter ghosts of the past. But the intense emotion both Case and Sarah fear--the passion that burns like fire in the very heart of winter--is the only thing that can truly save them, as together they seek the courage to face the greatest risk of all: love.
Sarah Kennedy hasn’t had a easy time of it, married at fourteen, widowed a couple years later and she has learned to be strong and independent and fight for herself and those she protects, including her younger brother. Sarah is overprotective of her brother, and a healer of damaged beings including her hawks. But while out on her ranch, she finds a new protector, not one she wants. Case Maxwell, is out for revenge for the murder of his family while he and his brother were out fighting in the civil war. Case is determined to get rid of all of the Culpepper’s. The Culpeppers are in the area, because they know that there is gold on Sarah’s ranch and they are willing to kill for it. Case finds himself injured and at the tender mercies of Sarah. Sarah and Case will discover thrills, adventures and the will to fight and defend..
Case Maxwell, is a bitter veteran of the Civil War. Case once was full of excitement before the war. But he changed much since then, including losing his family but his twin brother. Case is a talented fighter, knows his way around guns, and is a defender especially of those defenseless against the Culpepper family, he knows personally how brutal that they can be. Case is very hardened and full of ghosts of the past, he hasn’t resolved his past or the way certain events changed him. He is closed off until he meets Sarah, who forces him to face the past so he can have a future not full of pain and grief. I adored Case as the hero though…he makes for great material for a solid hero character. Even though he is very hardened in many ways, wanting revenge more than anything…he has many redeeming qualities that we see. I truly adored seeing how he changes from beginning to end of the story. It was truly heartwarming to see him go from this cold man who never could smile or laugh….to a man full of love and laughter in the end.
Sarah Kennedy hasn’t had a easy time of it, and had to grow up very quickly, because she has always had to look out for her younger brother. I loved her strength and courage and how versatile that she is. She doesn’t like sex since her husband was pretty brutal with her in the bedroom and we see how much she fears any kind of sexual touch. But despite her experiences in the past, I loved how she isn’t meek or scared of every little thing. She is quite fierce in many ways, especially when it comes to her brother. Man I loved how passionate she is about certain things in life, and her brother is her main focus. She does have a solid support system which has helped in many ways. Definitely a heroine you can stand behind.
Plot and Story Line
Winter Fire is the last book of the series, now I had no idea about this when I picked this one. I was doing a browse through my library’s e-book titles, and came across this one. It sounds pretty good, and I have had some fun times with this author especially her HR…but had never read her western titles and knew I had to try it out. I am pretty glad that I did. There was something so fun about reconnecting with this author once again. Now I love her writing, but I did have to get used to it again. So at first, I had this off center feeling of kinda being into the story and not really. But once I gave it a few chapters I was really intrigued by this story and most especially the characters that this author writes. If I can say anything about her talent as a writer, its how she writes and portrays her characters. They win me over every time, and I couldn’t get enough of these characters. It was a unique experience seeing how they all connect together and I loved seeing Sarah, her brother and the other two characters that make a great support system for this group. They were all a hoot and I just adored seeing how they stand by each other no matter what happens. Now if you like Louis L’Amour at all…you would love this book. I almost could imagine him writing a book like this only this one had a very more focus on the romance (which I love). I did find the set up of the story very intriguing especially with the battles against this Culpepper clan. Now this family is scary, and I got plenty of chill vibes which really adds intensity to the story. But boy they make great villains, and the author portrayed them in such a way that intrigues you. Now the biggest downside to this book is how engaging it is. I liked it quite a bit, but didn’t necessarily love it mostly because I couldn’t stay focused. Not sure if it was the book or me. But overall a solid likeable romance!!
I just love this cover—-its different, unique and bold. I like the pink and reddish tones.
Winter Fire is a western romance full of self discovery, healing and embracing the future!! Exciting and real!!