Book #4 was Night Fire, the first book in Catherine Coulter’s Night Trilogy. The back of the book reads:
Night Fire, the first of the Night Trilogy, was first published in early 1989. I haven’t rewritten it, just cleaned it up a bit and Avon books has given it a wonderful new cover.
Arielle Leslie is a sixteen-year-old girl forced to wed Paisley Cochrane, a sadistic old man who abuses her. When he dies, she believes herself free. But she’s not.
Burke Drummond, Earl of Ravensworth — a young man she’d worshipped three years before — is home from the wars, and he wants her. When he catches her, he’s in for an appalling surprise.
I hope Burke and Arielle are two people who will touch you as deeply as they touched me. They face problems and obstacles never spoken of in Regency times.
If you haven’t yet read Night Fire, do give it a try.
— Catherine Coulter
I have mixed feelings about this. Arielle is horribly abused by her first husband, but frankly, Burke wasn’t much better for much of the book. He decided that he wanted to have Arielle as his wife, and who cares what she thinks about it. Surely, if she’s forced to spend all her time with him, she’ll come around eventually! Burke may have never physically hurt her, but the beginning of their relationship was no less abusive. That being said, I did like Arielle and Burke and I liked them together, in the end. There’s some interesting conflict here, and a recurring theme of how husbands and wives relate to each other. Her groom, Geordie, was also an interesting character — I wish he’d been used more in the story. I’ll read the rest of this trilogy, but I hope the subject matter isn’t so difficult in the others.
Page count: 400 | Word count: 99,867