"An unusual time-travel romance"

In 1692 Salem, eighteen-year-old good witch Morgana Stuart confronts her best friend and cousin, Adair, with the deaths of her father, Duncan Stuart, as well as that of two other men. Adair doesn't bother to deny it, and Morgana begs that Adair give herself up to head off the witch- trials that are sure to follow. After all, Adair has broken the coven rule to "do no harm". But Adair has become evil and has another plan. She's built a special fire to help her escape into another century. In the flames both women see the future, and Adair sees more... she sees Morgana's fate, a man to love her and give her children. Morgana and the enraged Adair struggle and Morgana falls into the flames, but instead of being burned alive she arrived unscathed in the modern-day flower garden of a kindly old woman named Hilda Jones who takes her in.

Eight years later, Morgana, now called Morgan, is a successful artist in Billings Montana. She lives a quiet and happy life, if lonely since Hilda died years earlier. At a showing for her paintings she meets rich and famous mystery writer Alex Beaumont and both are smitten. He seems familiar and it doesn't take long for Morgan to realize he's one of the faces that she saw in the fire. But as their attraction grows, Morgan becomes aware of someone else lurking in the shadows, a hidden presence in her house and watching her from afar. Adair didn't die as Morgan had thought. Instead she reached this century, and jealous of Morgan's future happiness has determined to steal it from her, using the upcoming Ostara, the spring equinox, as the right time to send Morgan back to the past and into the waiting arms of the Salem witch-hunters. In her insanity, Adair believes she will then be able to take Morgan's place with Alex.

Shadows in the Fire is an intensely creepy tale at times, with Adair forever watching and scheming in the background, while Alex and Morgan discover and explore their new love. Adair comes off as mildly wicked in the beginning, to completely insane by the end of the book. Alex is strong and noble who manages restraint when it comes to the inexperienced Morgan, waiting for her to be ready to accept him as a lover. He's had relationships before but hasn't found true love yet. Morgan is a strong witch who prefers not to use her powers unless necessary, and generally keeps to healing. She's cautious with Alex until she knows he's the one for her... and then she throws caution to the winds.

Around Alex and Morgan are a wealth of other characters who are fun and supportive, and much attention is given to making them seem real, such as Alex's housekeeper, Emma, and her husband, Will, Kyle, Morgan's best friend and owner of the art gallery, Shelly, his secretary and right hand girl, and Alex's wayward sister, Josie. Since these minor characters become Adair's targets, it's important that we care about them. Even Penny, Morgan's dog, has a part to play in the story.

The writing is strong with lots of great descriptions particularly of the beautiful Montana winter countryside and Morgan's evocative paintings. There is a running bit about Morgan's broken down furnace that I found delightful. It seems she can fix human bodies and broken plumbing, but not mechanical things. Of course having evil Adair playing nasty tricks doesn't help any. The descriptions of the magical interludes, where Adair and Morgan "meet" during the course of the book were excellent.

Overall, this was a fine book, an unusual time-travel about a man and woman from different worlds overcoming their hesitancy about love, while a madwoman stalks their happiness.

Reviewed by Janet Miller
Posted February 3, 2003


also available in electronic format

Ostara...when the hours of the day and night are equal. The perfect time for a time travel spell...

Morgan Stuart has a secret. Torn from a Seventeenth Century Salem Village in a spell that backfired, she's made a new life for herself as an artist in modern-day Montana. She considers her life normal...until she meets Alexander Beaumont.

But when Morgan realizes that the handsome mystery writer is her destiny, her life turns upside down. Her enemy from the Seventeenth Century will stop at nothing to keep her from finding the elusive happiness she seeks. The deeper her love grows for Alex, the more imperiled her life becomes.

Alex soon finds out that the beautiful artist has a troubled past...a past he can't even begin to imagine. Strange things happen when they are together, things that are only explained by magic. As the hours of night and day advance on one another, Alex realizes he must fight a supernatural force to keep the woman who has captured his heart, before Ostara falls and he loses her forever.


Shadows in the Fire
by Jacqueline Elliott

Treble Heart Books
January 1, 2002
ISBN #1931742650
289 pages
Trade Size
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Other Books by
Jacqueline Elliott

Full Moon Inheritance
Shadows In The Fire

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