The Hostage by Susan Wiggs description:
A sweeping tale of love born from the ashes of revenge. . .
October 8, 1871 — One small spark ignites the entire city of Chicago, sending its residents into panic. But amid the chaos, a chance encounter leads to an unexpected new love.
Unaware of the fire sweeping toward them, Deborah Sinclair confronts her wealthy, powerful father, determined to refuse the society marriage he has arranged for her. Suddenly, out of the smoke and flames, a stranger appears — gun in hand, intent on avenging an unforgivable crime. As fire consumes the elegant mansion, the ruthless man takes the fragile, sheltered heiress hostage.
Swept off to mist-shrouded Isle Royale, Deborah finds herself the pawn in Tom Silver’s dangerous game of revenge. Despite her horror at being kidnapped, she finds herself drawn to the people of the close-knit community and to the startling beauty of the island. As she engages in a battle of wits with her brooding captor, she begins to understand the injustice that fuels his anger, an injustice wrought by her own family. And as winter imprisons the isolated land, she realizes she’s a hostage of her own heart. . .
When I first read this book I thought perhaps some of the things in it were a bit farfetched. I mean it is back in the day, but not that far back, but the more I learn about this time period the more realistic this book actually seems. Although the love angle is a whole other thing, but who doesn’t love a good love story about forbidden romance. I love how both Tom and Deborah have secrets that the reader has to slowly pull apart to discover what is truly motivating both of them and what has damaged them both. It isn’t just that Tom is some kidnapper and Deborah is like mmm nice hunk of man, it isn’t completely ridiculous. Deborah is having her own struggles before hand and when she gets to the island and actually mingles with the other people her life is changed and in many ways for the better, and so she gets a chance to face the secret she’s hiding that is hurting her so badly. Tom is also a great character that you can see is wanting to right a terrible wrong, and though he didn’t mean to grab a hostage he kind of rolls with it to continue this crusade even as he’s beginning to question what any of it will truly accomplish. It’s a great historical novel that does a good job as far as I’m concern in portraying that era (though I’m sure a real historian might disagree) and creates a wonderful love story that makes you want to find her next novel as quickly as possible.
The Chicago Fire Trilogy is one of those where each story is about 1 of 3 friends who gets separated in the fire. They are their views of what happens to them, however, because they’re friends the stories are intertwined in some ways, but you can really read them in any order. As usual I some how managed to read them in reverse but loved them just the same.