I enjoy books that take place in Hawaii. As much as I love Montana, our 50th state holds a special place in my heart. I thank the publisher for sending me a copy of Bound in Flame by Katherine Kayne at no charge for my honest review.
About Bound in Flame:
Letty Lang is a suffragist of the most fearless kind, with a bullwhip, big plans, and ancient power she doesn’t understand. Will a fast horse and a stubborn man derail her dreams?
Banished to boarding school to tame her wild temper, Leticia Lili‘uokalani Lang sails home to Hawaii, bringing her devotion to animals with her. She’ll be among the first female veterinarians in history—most remarkable in 1909 when women still cannot vote.
With one mad leap into the ocean to save a horse, Letty sets another destiny in motion. She is a mākāhā, a Gate to the healing fires of the land, her beloved ‘aina. Letty must fight to harness the ancient power that lives within her, fueled by her connection to the islands. But the price of power is steep. Her inner flame burns hot—hot enough that her kisses can actually kill, a precarious inconvenience since the horse’s owner, Timothy Rowley, lights another kind of fire.
Can Letty learn to master her power to have a chance at life and love? Or is the danger of the flame too great?
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About the Author:
Katherine Kayne now writes the romances she only dreamed of reading as a girl. With horses and magic and happily ever after . . . and heroes strong enough to follow their heroine’s lead. Counting herself fortunate to live in Hawaii a part of each year, Katherine created the world of the Hawaiian Ladies’ Riding Society to tell the stories of the fearless horsewomen of the islands’ ranches. Because who doesn’t love a suffragist on horseback? With a bullwhip? Wearing flowers? If you come along for the ride, be prepared for almost anything to happen. Katherine can promise you fiery kisses, charming cowboys, women who ride like the rainbow to save the day, and that rarest of beasts-handsome men who like to dance.
Bound in Flame takes place in the time after the American takeover of Hawaii and the fall of the Hawaiian monarchy. The members of the royal family are still important to the native Hawaiians and in the society that has developed among the planters but they are not completely trusted to not be plotting to try and regain control of the Islands.
As the reader enters into this complex political setting he/she is introduced to Letty Lang, a goddaughter to the Princess who is returning from school in San Francisco. She is a young woman of remarkable intelligence and passion and it’s that passion that caused her to be sent away. It was in the hope that she would learn to temper her responses to situations. Alas, it is not to be as on her arrival at Hilo Harbor she leaps into the bay to save a horse and then berate its owner. Little does she know how these two actions will impact her future.
Letty is also one of a long line with ancient powers. She has long felt the presence of her “flames” but did not understand what they were, where they came from or what they could do. The Princess soon notices that Letty is manifesting magic and gathers help to tell her but Letty does not want to believe it. She is a woman who wants to go back to school and become a veterinarian – how can this be happening. But it is and soon she learns to live with and work with her power.
I enjoyed this trip back into Hawaii’s history. It’s a place that I know well and love. There is magic there. I also enjoy a book that takes me out of reality now and then and this book does it quite well. The characters were all believable and likable – except of course, for the bad guys. There is never any liking of the bad guys. The plot was a good one with a mix of history, romance, family, friendship, and fantasy to keep you turning the pages. It’s the first of hopefully many installments in the Hawaiian Ladies Riding Society Series.