I was craving a book that had a real emotional impact. I wanted some characters that I could care about, that I would cheer for and truly be happy when the end came for them. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d find it in an author I hadn’t read since I was a teenager.

You’ll recall a couple of weeks ago, I posted about how Laura Kinsale was cool enough to fire me off a sample chapter of her new book, Lessons in French. I thought it was pretty neat, considering that A) she’s quite possibly the best romance writer out there and B) I’ve been a fan of hers for years. One of the few books I’ve held on to over my many PCS moves has been The Shadow and The Star.

Somehow, I’d never read Seize the Fire and as I’d fallen away from historical romances in general as I moved from adolescence into adulthood, I’d set her books on my shelf. But when my idea sparked for my next book delving into PTSD, I thought that I needed to go back to the true master of tortured heros. I’d originally planned on My Sweet Folly but discovered that Seize the Fire was truly about a tortured war hero.

It takes a lot to make me cry. I haven’t cried at the end of a fiction book in years. But when I finished Seize the Fire, I felt this incredible sigh, this powerful emotion. She wrote it years ago, when VietNam was still a fresh wound on our nation’s veterans. There were still VietNam vets in the army back then and they were still held up among our younger soldiers with the eyes of a generation untested in war’s dark secret.

Ms Kinsale did wrote an absolutely amazing story. I’m grateful that she did not trivialize what her hero had done and that the heroine loved him regardless. I only hope that all of our returning heros somehow find the same love and acceptance from their families and our society when the war is long gone.