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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Haunting Flame by Janice Bennett

Haunting Flame by Janice Bennett
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Short (137 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

When Captain Anthony, Lord Lambeth, returns from the Peninsular War, he is crippled in both body and spirit. He has just inherited an estate in desperate need of repairs and no money to make them. He can’t stomach making the marriage of convenience his family urges on him, avoiding it by vowing to fulfill a promise to his dying friend to look after his impoverished little sister—by marrying her.

The lively Calpurnia Rycroft has worshipped Tony since they were children and is appalled by his depression. She agrees to an engagement to give him time to recover—though it will break her heart when he eventually marries someone more suitable.

The ring he gives her turns icy on her hand and a ghostly flame emerges from it. Callie realizes the ghost wants something from her, but is it revenge or help? The search is on to find the answers, but as Tony’s spirits improve, Callie sees her chance of love slipping away.

Can one broken body and one broken soul find healing with the help of two lovelorn ghosts? Pick up a copy of Janice Bennett’s Haunted Flame to find out!

Nobody does Regency Romance quite like Janice Bennett. This reviewer’s first foray into the traditionally sweet side of Regency Romance was guided by the early 80’s works of Janice Bennett. She has been a favorite writer ever since.

Haunted Flame has all the best elements of a sweet romance. The Hero: Captain Anthony “Tony” Lambreth is a war hero with more scars than just the physical kind. His return home is met with demanding creditors, crumbling tenant homes and failing crops rather than parties and fair maidens. Even facing all this, Tony is determined to meet his obligations including a promise to a childhood friend and fallen comrade to watch over his only sister, Callie.

The Heroine: Calpurnia Rycroft, remembered by Tony as a hot tempered little firebrand, who helped Tony and her brother get into as many scrapes as she helped talk them out of. She is a strong independent woman and I couldn’t help but love her! Callie doesn’t sit and wallow in her sad circumstances, nor will she let Tony dwell on his inabilities.

Tony has a plan to watch out for Callie until he can find her a better match. Callie has a plan to help Tony heal physically and emotionally from his battle scars. Lucky for both of them the resident specter, Anne, has a plan to solve a centuries old mystery and bring healing to all parties involved.

This short story has me sighing at the sweetly shared kisses and lovable bantering of two characters that were meant for each other since childhood. I think you’ll agree that Haunted Flame is a refreshing romance with a well developed ghostly subplot.

This reviewer looks forward to opportunity to read more from Ms. Bennett in the very near future.