I couldn't wait to continue reading more of Foley and when my reading group selected her as the Author of the Month for April, I found the perfect excuse. Lord of Fire is the second book in the Knight Miscellany Series. I think I enjoyed this one alot because I had a good idea what to expect since I had read a bit about the book on Foley's website.
Lucien Knight is the youngest of the twin boys born to the Hawkcliffe Harlot by her most faithful lover. The boys father were part of their lives and left them an inheritance. Lucian was to inherit estates and money while Damien is to be given a title, although not that one of his natural father. Lucien has a close relationship with his brother but the Napoleonic war has torn them apart. After following Damien into the army, Lucien found the deaths and violence too much to handle and decided to trade in his red coat for a position as a spy. Well, it seems that the role of spy is considered dishonorable and this puts more emotional distance between the twins. I mention this because Lucien carries a bit of a chip on his shoulder of being the bad twin and, although his love for Damien is unquestionable, there is a bit of sibling rivalry.
When the book starts we find Lucien pretending to be enamored by the widow Caroline. She has been playing both sides of the Knight twin bed, so to say. She is trying to wiggle out a proposal from the War Hero, Damien while enjoying the bed favors of his brother Lucien. Lucien allows this because he knows Damien is planning on marrying the unfaithful witch and he wants to help Damien, by uncovering the woman's true nature. Anyway, after Damien breaks up with her, Caro follows Lucien to one of his mysterious parties, which he uses as a front to gather information.
Alice Montague is the sister in law of Caro. Her brother Phillip was a good man but was ill used by his wife. He went to war to prove his manliness and returned wounded and dying. Alice promised her brother that she would care for his son, Harry and his Wife. When Alice hears that Caro has gone off with Lucien to his estate for a party instead of returning home to her ill child, she is infuriated and goes off to fetch her. Alice sees a part of life she has never experienced when she finds her way into a party that is as exclusive as it is sinful.
At first Lucien thinks this beauty of a woman is a spy and has her hauled into his room for questioning, but quickly discovers his error, but not before getting a quick taste of what innocence is. He is enamored, although he doesn't really know it. He just knows that he needs to keep her with him, so the next morning he sets out to do just that when he tells her that only one woman can leave, either Caro or Alice. Alice's commitment to Harry has her staying behind so that Caro can return to the sick boy. She is to stay one week in the home of Lucifer. During that week Lucien discovers the wonders of friendship and Alice discovers she is more of a woman than she expected.
This book pulls you in from the first word and although you expect to see this alpha male (he is a spy, you know!), you find a vulnerable man that has never thought he measures up. You find someone that is so alone that, as a reader, you can feel it. Not only has Foley written memorable characters but also storyline that has you NEEDING to turn the page.
Lucien has to decide on going after love or getting the revenge he has yearned for over many years. He had been captured at one point in his career and was tortured for several weeks until he betrayed a friend and got that person killed. He thought the French spy was dead but he is in London preparing to create havoc . Lucien has to decide whether living in the past with his desire for revenge is enough, or can he put that aside and embrace the future Alice offers him.
Foley at her best!