Mortal Fire by C.F. Dunn
It is one of the perils of reviewing brand new books: that horrible realization that you loved, loved, loved the book, only to discover that it is book one of a multi-book series. I'm in distress after finishing Mortal Fire by C.F. Dunn.
Emma is a professor of history at Cambridge. Emma studies an unusual subject- torture used as punishment for religious purposes. She takes a position at a small New England college so that she can have access to an old family journal that is housed in the college library. While settling into the college, Emma meets Matthew Lynes, a medical doctor and professor. There is something different about Dr. Lynes, but Emma cannot figure him out. As their relationship grows and Emma is thrown into danger multiple times, she is more and more aware that Matthew is very different.
There is romance here. There is suspense. There is history. There is the wonderful character of feisty and compelling Emma. There is a dashing and obscure hero. Who could ask for anything more?
I was taken in by Emma's story almost immediately. (I have to admit that the first chapter or so passed rather slowly.) As Emma learned more about Matthew and other characters at the small college where she is residing, I was quickly pulled in to the story. I couldn't wait to find out more, but at the same time, I didn't want to be through with the reading because I knew I would be frustrated by the lack of a follow up book.
As an American reader, I loved the English feel to this novel. First published in the UK by an English author, the style and feel of this novel is decidedly British in a very charming way. I liked the occasional British spelling and the fact that Emma had a very hard time calling fries, "fries", instead of "chips".
There is not much I can say I didn't like about Mortal Fire. My only complaint is the cliff hanger ending with no book two on the horizon. At least a chapter of the coming book is included, so readers can hang on to Emma and her life a little longer.
I rate this one a strong 5 stars and a PG for the suspenseful and sometimes frightening situations.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are entirely my own.