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Heaven's Fire Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1996

4.5 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

When Rainulf Fairfax first meets Constance of Cuxham, she is a raven haired beauty in the first stages of the pox. Rainulf is a teaching priest tormented by self-doubt and trying to leave the priesthood. He is drawn to the attractive, clever young woman. He does what he can to ease her suffering and returns to Oxford thinking she will recover from her illness. He is grief stricken when he finds out she died-- and overwhelmed with relief when Constance arrives in Oxford calling herself Corliss and dressed as a man. He offers to help her-- but for a man seeking the chancellorship of Oxford, it's in his best interests if everyone believes Corliss is male. Corliss is on the run from Sir Roger Foliot-- an evil man who seeks to make her his mistress willingly or not. In the past, she has had the protection of first her elderly husband and then after his death, a kindly priest who wanted more from her than housekeeping. Corliss is tired of selling her body for protection and she seeks the safety of men's clothes and Oxford. But Sir Roger has sent someone after her-- a man named Pigot. Corliss has never seen him but she has seen his work-- mutilated women who are returned to Sir Roger so he may do what he wants with them. Corliss is determined not to let this happen to her. At Rainulf's insistence, she moves in with him and assumes a life as a young man and a very talented book illuminator. Rainulf has been celibate ever since he took his vows eleven years ago. Now an ex-priest, he is determined to maintain his celibacy in order to become Chancellor. But his attraction to Corliss grows as he gets to know her. Corliss is determined to never marry again, never to allow a man to have power over her. But Rainulf is different-- he respects her feelings and doesn't try to control her. He seems to care about her-- but it is foolish of her to have feelings for him when they can never be together. A marvelous medieval romance from an incredibly gifted author! A fascinating glimpse of the past as only Patricia Ryan can tell it! Suspenseful and passionate! Heaven's Fire will leave you breathless! Patricia Ryan creates memorable characters that will warm your heart, and sensual tension that will raise your temperature! Fans of medieval romance will not be disappointed with Patricia Ryan's newest book! Heaven's Fire is a page turner up until the nail biting end! Treat yourself to something special by Patricia Ryan!Kristina Wright -- Copyright © 1994-97 Literary Times, Inc. All rights reserved -- From Literary Times
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Topaz (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451406990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451406996
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,663,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sarah E. Oliver on November 12, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved, loved, loved this book. The story itself is described above, so I won't go into the details other than saying it's about a woman (Constance/Corliss) who is hiding from an evil man who wants her for his own sadistic purposes, and the struggling priest (Rainulf) that protects her. Both main characters in this book are exquisite. I loved their humor, their sincerity, their honesty, their complexity, and the sweet love that develops between them. Constance/Corliss (she changes her name and poses as a boy to hide) is one in a million. She is not the typical romance heroine. She is smart and intellectual, has a wonderful sense of humor, and is refreshingly honest and open. Rainulf - as the priest who is suffering a crisis of faith - is equally wonderful. He is gentle, caring, and surprisingly innocent in comparison with most virile, sexual, aggressively male characters in this genre. Yet he still possesses passion, desire, strength, and masculinity. The two do not consummate their love until after almost 200 pages, but once they do, it is sensual, romantic - some of my absolute favorite scenes I've read. Usually I am impatient for the hero and heroine to make love because it seems that in most romance novels, that's where the intensity of the plot really grabs you and the emotional investment you have in the characters escalates. However, I found myself so caught up in this story and the evolution of the sweet love between Corliss and Rainulf that I knew things could only unfold as they did. And when the two finally give in to their love and their desire for each other, it is all the sweeter for the journey it took to get there.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I enjoyed every word on every page.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Excellent medieval fiction, wonderful storyline. For those of you who want stories written about how women would have really behaved during these times - well, this isn't your story. But Ryan has a wonderful knack for taking characters from this time, making then adapt some "modern" characteristics - but in a way that melds them seamlessly into medieval society. I'd read two others by her - Sun and the Moon and Silken Threads (both wonderful) and tracked this one down. It was worth the effort. Corliss and Rainulf are spectacular, two individuals who need to be their own person but also need each other. The supporting characters create a fascinating story that will keep you up late at night, not wanting to put the story down. Ryan also does a fabulous job of building the passionate tension between Corliss and Rainulf and bringing them together in a memorable fashion.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I must admit, I mainly get on here to write reviews when I've finished a totally awful book, mostly to warn people so they do not waste their time. However, then there are times like now (rarely) where I'm just amazed at a book and I just want to tell EVERYONE how wonderful it was. This is one of those how-spectacular-I-found-this book moments.

HEAVEN'S FIRE, is a emotional, angst filled love story about a low-born peasant girl falling in love with a high-born devouted priest. Great writing, wonderful character development, highly sexual when they do end up in bed and just "interesting"...

To add further info to this very unusual love story, the heroine is 23 yrs old, by this time she's already berried a husband (older man)... been a mistress to another priest for 4 years.... The hero is very devout, a true hero in every sense.

If you're looking for a romance book where you see the H/H in bed every 5 pages, skip this... what you'll get from reading this is a great love story. They do have passionate sex, but not until much later ( then they go at it like rabbits lol ).... and then, you'll cry some, then cry some more because you'll be happy for them.

I haven't been this impressed with a romance book in SO long.. THIS book was absolutely wonderful.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the best books I have ever read! I am baffled at the news that it is out of print. What is wrong with the reading public? The story was so touching, so filled with emotion and tenderness. I loved it and hope I did not give away my copy.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It is the twelfth century when women are usually treated as objects to serve men. Reading about true love is rare and times are harsh. Marriages among high society are usually arranged and rarely do you hear of love between a commoner and someone from the upper class.

Young Constance attracts the evil Sir Roger's attention and agrees to live with a much older man and a member of the cloth. She loses her virginity to pay the price of being safe. During this time she is taught to read.

Some years later the pox is going around and the priest dies. Rainulf Fairfax, a scholar and visiting priest, meets the young woman during this time. Constance catches the illness and Rainulf helps her. He finds her special and kind. Believing her to be on the mend, he continues on his way not realizing how much she has affected him. In the meantime, Constance finds out that Sir Roger still wants her but not for a healthy relationship. She fixes her 'death' and takes off.

In the meantime Rainulf is shocked when he hears that she passed away. Hiding her identity now, Constance is now Corliss and looks like a boy. She meets Rainulf again and he guesses who she is and decides to protect her. Though no longer a priest he has plans that will take him higher up the ladder in the church. Celibate for years he must continue sexual abstinence if he wants the position he covets. Corliss' actions and wisdom slowly chip away at Rainulf's shell. Can he protect her from Sir Roger? Is he willing to give up his dreams and love another above what he wants the most?

While an enjoyable romance, some elements were hard to believe. This is a difficult time to write about since many people were illiterate and it is an era where much about the lay people is not known.
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