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Monday, April 14, 2008

Review: Secret Fire

Secret Fire
by Nancy Lindley-Gauthier

Who will be taming who? Or will there be meeting of the spirits?

It is the bright and modern world of 1953; Miss Sybil is determined to prove herself as capable as any man. She has crossed two continents on a quest to find the perfect horses to become the foundation stock for her stables.

In a small bazaar in a West African city, she believes the mare she has found is a perfect example of the Arabian Horse breed. Sybil's dreams seem within her grasp, even as she realizes that she has found not only the horse of her dreams, but a man who is more than she ever imagined.

This horse-lover's romance twines horses, one incredible handsome man, and a lovely young woman with a quest…

With sights, sounds, and smells, the author made me feel like I was in Timbuktu right alongside Sybil as she searched for a legendary horse. Strong, but a bit spolied, I like how Sybil breaks the traditional female mold of the 1950's, traveling the world and not marrying the men her father would have her marry. I also learned a thing or two about horses as the author expertly describes horse trading but without getting into a lecture.

Just as Sybil finds the horse of her dreams, he is stolen. I admired Sybil as she takes off across the desert with the horsetrader to reclaim her horse. Sybil finds something much more important and learns a lesson as well. As much as I loved Sybil, the hero of this story was undeveloped, which the made the romance itself seem sudden instead of it unfolding naturally. However, the passionate and heartfelt ending made me sigh in delight. If you want to be transported to another time and place and go on adventure, Secret Fire is the tale for you.

Review by Heather