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mistress firebrand book coverReviewed by A.D. Cole

I’m officially a Donna Thorland fan girl. After reading the first two books in the Renegades of the American Revolution series, I had pretty high expectations for Mistress Firebrand, and it did not disappoint. Jennifer Leighton is an ambitious playwright about to sell her soul for the chance at fame in London. Severin Devere is societal outcast turned British assassin, whose task it is to assist Jennifer by delivering her to her would-be patron, General Burgoyne. But the price for Burgoyne’s patronage proves too high, and Severin is forced to help Jennifer escape.

The events that follow thrust the two characters into the heart of the dangerous intrigue that lies beneath the surface of the war. And when Jennifer and Severin fall in love, they realize just how much they’re willing to sacrifice to be together. Now they must battle the tides of politics and war in order to survive and find their way back into each other’s arms.

What I love most about Donna Thorland’s romances is that she recognizes the significance of the meeting of two like minds. Her characters always share more than a mutual attraction. They share wit and intelligence and, above all, mutual respect. In this aspect, I like Severin and Jennifer the most of all of her characters so far. Severin is first attracted to Jennifer’s realness, her intelligence, and the love of theater that he shares. She captures his respect before his heart, and that’s what makes the romance so compelling to me.

For anyone not a fan of romance, Mistress Firebrand is just as much a historical adventure novel. There is action and danger at every turn. Historical figures and events are woven seamlessly into the story. In fact, I’m always just as intrigued by the setting as I am by the story. I knew nothing of the Simsbury Copper Mine until reading this novel, and it brought to life the brutality of war during this time period. Thorland delivers a vivid backdrop including not only historical events and figures, but all elements of the culture, from clothing and food, to gender and sexual politics.

I highly recommend this, along with the first two books in the series, to anyone who loves romance, adventure, historical fiction, or all three. Each book is a standalone so that the series can be read out of order.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

A.D. Cole is a homeschooling mother and aspiring romance novelist. She lives in the Ozark foothills and spends her free time reading, writing, baking and pondering life’s little mysteries.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by NAL. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.