Judgement By Fire
by Lydia Grace
What happens when old sins demand redemption?
Lauren, a love-shy wildlife artist and the two powerful men who love her are caught in a sinister triangle of deceit and betrayal when old sins demand redemption…
When I first started Judgement By Fire, I was afraid it was going to be one of those "mysterious unnamed antagonist" plots. You know, the kind where the hero and heroine are chased around and tortured by someone who obviously has something against one of them but his identity and motivation is never revealed to the reader until the author realizes she really needs to wrap things up at the very end? I'm not a fan of that particular device. So that's why I was really delighted with the plot in this particular book. Instead of the antagonist being an afterthought, he's an actual person. As fleshed out and well constructed as Lauren and Jon. Blurry in the beginning, Ms. Grace carefully lays down breadcrumbs for the reader to follow throughout the novel until everything culminates in a big way at the end. The climax has meaning for all of the characters. Not just the protagonists. This is the way the authors of the "mysterious unnamed antagonists" plots intend for their books to read. Ms. Grace is one of those rare writers who can pull it off.
As much as I enjoyed watching the plot unfurl, I had difficulty getting through some of the sections where the prose turned purple. I tend to enjoy plain speaking though, so this won't bother most readers. And a lot of the romantic tension seemed to come out of the protagonists making assumptions and leaping to conclusions. It was frustrating to watch the two of them unnecessarily hurt each other. But this was consistent with the character development and made their love affair a little more realistic.
Jon and Lauren are one of those couples who you want to revisit, just to see how they're doing now, make sure they're all right, even though you know in your heart that they are. Judgement By Fire is recommended for fans of Harlequin's Intrigue line.
Reviewed by Daisy