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Hidden Fires by Sandra Brown: A Review

If you are looking for a captivating historical romance novel with a twist of mystery and suspense, you might want to check out Hidden Fires by Sandra Brown. This book was first published in 1982 and has been reissued several times since then. It tells the story of a young woman who falls in love with a handsome rancher in Texas, but soon discovers that he has a dark past and a dangerous enemy. In this article, I will give you an overview of the plot, the characters, and the themes of Hidden Fires, as well as my personal opinion and rating of the book.

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What is Hidden Fires?

Hidden Fires is a historical romance novel by Sandra Brown, one of the best-selling authors of all time. She has written over 80 books in various genres, including thrillers, mysteries, and romantic suspense. Hidden Fires is one of her early works, and it belongs to the category of western romance. It is set in the late 19th century in Texas, during the era of cattle ranching and railroad expansion. It features a strong-willed heroine, a brooding hero, and a ruthless villain, as well as plenty of action, drama, and passion.

Who is Sandra Brown?

Sandra Brown is an American author who was born in 1948 in Waco, Texas. She started her writing career in 1981, after working as a model and a television reporter. She initially wrote under several pseudonyms, such as Rachel Ryan, Laura Jordan, and Erin St. Claire, before using her real name in 1987. She has won numerous awards and accolades for her books, such as the Romance Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award, the International Thriller Writers' Thriller Master Award, and the Texas Medal of Arts Award. She is also a member of the Texas Literary Hall of Fame and the International Crime Writing Hall of Fame.

Why should you read Hidden Fires?

You should read Hidden Fires if you enjoy historical romance novels that combine romance with adventure, intrigue, and danger. You will be transported to a different time and place, where you will witness the struggles and triumphs of the characters as they face various challenges and obstacles. You will also experience the emotions and feelings of the characters as they fall in love, fight for their lives, and overcome their fears. You will be hooked by the fast-paced plot, the engaging dialogue, and the vivid descriptions. You will also appreciate the author's research and attention to detail, as she brings to life the historical setting and context.

Plot summary

The setting

The story takes place in 1875 in Texas, mainly in San Antonio and on a ranch called King's Meadow. Texas is undergoing a period of change and growth, as new technologies such as railroads and telegraphs are introduced. However, there are also conflicts and tensions between different groups of people, such as Native Americans, Mexicans, Americans, ranchers, farmers, outlaws, and lawmen.

The main characters

The protagonist of the story is Lauren Holbrook, a 19-year-old orphan who travels from Philadelphia to San Antonio to marry her fiancé, Oscar Williams. Oscar is a wealthy banker who has arranged their marriage through correspondence. Lauren hopes to find happiness and security with Oscar, as she has no other family or friends. However, she soon realizes that Oscar is not the man she expected him to be. He is cold, cruel, and abusive, and he only wants to use her as a pawn in his schemes.

The hero of the story is Jared Lockett, a 32-year-old rancher who owns King's Meadow. Jared is a former Confederate soldier who fought in the Civil War and lost his wife and child in a fire. He is bitter, angry, and lonely, and he has a reputation of being a ruthless and violent man. He also has a secret that he has been hiding for years, which involves his family and his enemy.

The villain of the story is Thaddeus Lambert, a 40-year-old railroad tycoon who is obsessed with building a railroad across Texas. Thaddeus is a greedy, power-hungry, and sadistic man who will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. He has a personal vendetta against Jared, and he will use any means necessary to destroy him and take his land.

The main conflict

The main conflict of the story is the clash between Jared and Thaddeus, who are rivals in business and in love. Thaddeus wants to build his railroad through King's Meadow, but Jared refuses to sell his land or allow the railroad to cross it. Thaddeus also wants to marry Lauren, who is his former lover and the mother of his illegitimate son. However, Lauren escapes from Oscar and ends up on Jared's ranch, where she falls in love with Jared. Thaddeus then plots to kidnap Lauren and force her to marry him, as well as to kill Jared and burn his ranch.

The resolution

The resolution of the story is the triumph of love over hate, and of good over evil. Lauren and Jared manage to escape from Thaddeus's clutches and expose his crimes to the authorities. They also discover that they are not strangers, but actually have a connection from the past. They confess their love for each other and decide to start a new life together on King's Meadow. Thaddeus is arrested and sentenced to death for his crimes.


The theme of love and betrayal

One of the main themes of Hidden Fires is the theme of love and betrayal. The characters in the story experience different forms of love and betrayal, such as romantic love, familial love, friendship, loyalty, deception, infidelity, revenge, and forgiveness. For example:

  • Lauren loves Oscar at first, but he betrays her by abusing her and trying to sell her to Thaddeus.

  • Jared loves his wife and child, but they are betrayed by someone who sets fire to their house.

  • Thaddeus loves Lauren in his own twisted way, but he betrays her by lying to her about their son and trying to force her to marry him.

  • Lauren and Jared fall in love with each other, but they also betray each other by keeping secrets from each other.

  • Lauren and Jared are betrayed by someone close to them who works for Thaddeus.

  • Lauren and Jared eventually forgive each other and themselves for their mistakes and betrayals.

The historical accuracy and relevance

Another theme of Hidden Fires is the theme of historical accuracy and relevance. The author does a good job of portraying the historical setting and context of the story, as well as incorporating real historical events and figures into the plot. For example:

  • The story depicts the social and economic conditions of Texas in the late 19th century, such as the role of women, the class system, the racial discrimination, the land disputes, the lawlessness, and the violence.

  • The story also reflects the political and cultural changes that Texas was undergoing at that time, such as the reconstruction after the Civil War, the expansion of railroads and telegraphs, the immigration of settlers from other states and countries, and the conflicts with Native Americans.

  • The story mentions some historical events that happened in Texas in 1875 or around that time, such as the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon (1874), the founding of Texas A&M University (1876), and the assassination of Governor Richard Coke (1876).

The writing style and techniques

The final theme of Hidden Fires is the theme of writing style and techniques. The author uses various writing devices and methods to create an engaging and effective story, such as:

  • The author uses a third-person omniscient point of view, which allows her to switch between the perspectives and thoughts of different characters, and to provide background information and commentary on the events.

  • The author uses descriptive language and imagery, which helps her to paint a vivid picture of the setting, the characters, and the action. She uses sensory details, metaphors, similes, and personification to enhance her descriptions.

  • The author uses dialogue and narration, which helps her to develop the characters, advance the plot, and convey the tone and mood of the story. She uses realistic and natural dialogue, as well as internal monologue, to reveal the personalities and emotions of the characters. She also uses narration to explain the actions and motivations of the characters, as well as to provide transitions and foreshadowing.

  • The author uses suspense and tension, which helps her to keep the reader interested and invested in the outcome of the story. She creates suspense by introducing mysteries, secrets, conflicts, dangers, and twists. She also creates tension by building up anticipation, uncertainty, and anxiety in the reader.

  • The author uses romance and passion, which helps her to appeal to the reader's emotions and fantasies. She creates romance by developing the attraction, chemistry, and relationship between Lauren and Jared. She also creates passion by describing their physical intimacy in a sensual and tasteful way.


Summary of the main points

In conclusion, Hidden Fires by Sandra Brown is a historical romance novel that offers a thrilling and satisfying reading experience. It has a compelling plot that involves love, betrayal, revenge, and redemption. It has well-developed characters that are complex and relatable. It has rich themes that explore historical accuracy and relevance, love and betrayal, and writing style and techniques. It is a book that will keep you entertained, engaged, and emotionally invested from start to finish.

Recommendation and rating

I would highly recommend Hidden Fires by Sandra Brown to anyone who enjoys historical romance novels that are full of action, drama, and passion. I would also recommend it to anyone who appreciates good writing that is descriptive, realistic, suspenseful, and romantic. I would give this book a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.


Here are some frequently asked questions about Hidden Fires by Sandra Brown:

  • Where can I find Hidden Fires by Sandra Brown epub torrent?

You can find Hidden Fires by Sandra Brown epub torrent on various websites that offer free ebooks downloads. However, you should be careful about downloading ebooks from unverified sources, as they may contain viruses or malware that can harm your device or compromise your privacy. You should also respect the author's rights and avoid pirating her books.

  • Is Hidden Fires by Sandra Brown based on a true story?

No, Hidden Fires by Sandra Brown is not based on a true story. It is a fictional story that was inspired by the author's imagination and research. However, some aspects of the story are based on real historical facts and events that happened in Texas in the late 19th century.

  • Is Hidden Fires by Sandra Brown part of a series?

No, Hidden Fires by Sandra Brown is not part of a series. It is a standalone novel that has no sequels or prequels. However, some of the characters in Hidden Fires appear in other books by Sandra Brown that are set in the same historical period or genre.

  • What are some other books by Sandra Brown that are similar to Hidden Fires?

Some other books by Sandra Brown that are similar to Hidden Fires are:

  • Sunset Embrace (1985): A historical romance novel that follows the love story of a mail-order bride and a wagon train scout in Texas in 1869.

  • Another Dawn (1985): A historical romance novel that follows the love story of a rebellious heiress and a rugged rancher in Texas in 1876.

  • Led Astray (1985): A historical romance novel that follows the love story of a runaway bride and a bounty hunter in Texas in 1877.

  • Temperatures Rising (1989): A contemporary romance novel that follows the love story of a nurse and a doctor in a remote Texas town that is threatened by a wildfire.

  • Texas! Trilogy (1991-1992): A contemporary romance series that follows the love stories of three siblings who run a ranch in Texas.

  • What are some other authors that write similar books to Sandra Brown?

Some other authors that write similar books to Sandra Brown are:

  • Linda Lael Miller: An author who writes historical and contemporary romance novels, especially western romance novels that feature cowboys, ranchers, and frontier women.

  • Diana Palmer: An author who writes contemporary romance novels, especially western romance novels that feature rugged heroes, spirited heroines, and small-town settings.

  • Jude Deveraux: An author who writes historical and contemporary romance novels, especially historical romance novels that feature strong-willed heroines, dashing heroes, and time-travel elements.

  • Nora Roberts: An author who writes contemporary romance novels, especially romantic suspense novels that feature compelling plots, complex characters, and thrilling twists.

  • Julie Garwood: An author who writes historical and contemporary romance novels, especially historical romance novels that feature medieval settings, noble warriors, and feisty ladies.


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