Lucy Hathaway loses everything the night the fire blazes through Chicago, but she does receive one amazing gift, a baby girl literally flung into her arms as she flees the inferno.

Five years later Lucy needs a loan to finance her book shop, The Firebrand, and must ask Randolph Higgins, a prominent banker, for the money. Rand is an angry, bitter man outwardly scarred by the flames of the great fire, but inwardly he carries wounds from losing his baby daughter that terrible night.

The instant she sees Rand, Lucy sees her daughter Maggies resemblance to this man and knows she must tell Rand the truth. She sees his pain and wants to ease it by letting him know his child is alive and well.

But life is not that simple: Maggie does not want to lose her mother, and Lucy is falling in love with a man who can shatter her entire world. The powerful emotions that swirl around this trio hold you spellbound as Ms. Wiggs shows us how to find a silver lining through the darkest of clouds.

The concluding volume of the Chicago Fire Trilogy is a wonderful stand-alone story. Ms. Wiggs intelligent characters and brilliant plotline set this apart from the ordinary. Well crafted and meticulously detailed, THE FIREBRAND is both a heartwarming romance and a story that stimulates the mind. Susan Wiggs speaks to the readers heart and feminist beliefs. SENSUAL (Apr., 398 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin