Pocket, Feb 2002, 6.99, 408 pp.
In 1805 London, the Ton concludes that Lady Kassandra “Kitt” Wentworth is too reckless for any respectable man to marry even if she is the daughter of a viscount. That is fine as far as Kitt is concerned as she refuses to bow to any male including her father just because society rigidly insists she must. Duh! Kitt believes that is all a female can expect from a nation ruled exclusively by males.
Clayton Harcourt, heir to a dukedom, has no plans to wed in the foreseeable future until he meets Kitt. He finds her wild behavior intoxicating, but he also sees beneath the veneer to her vulnerability. Clayton wants to hold her until she realizes that whatever her secret is that has forced her to don a mask of not caring what others think, his hugs will always be there. Though they fall in love, he worries about ever cracking the shell that keeps them from a lifetime of happiness.
Kat Martin, one of the top authors of Regency romances, enhances her high esteem of entertaining the sub-genre fans with her latest novel, THE FIRE INSIDE. The story line is exciting as Clayton sets his strategic goal, mounts a campaign, and deals with setbacks by revising his plan without losing sight of his mission. Though readers will want to adopt this caring hunk, Clayton's actions tend to limit the strife between he and Kitt. Still as only Ms. Martin can induce out of her audience, readers will feel Kitt's obvious defenselessness in spite of her shield, and hope she can finally open up to her beloved.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner