Read the firebrand by Susan Wiggs Online


Chicago is burningAnd Lucy Hathaway is running for her life.As she rushes past a fine hotel engulfed in flames, a wrapped bundletumbles from a window into her arms. Seconds later the buildingcrumbles--and Lucy is astonished to discover the swaddled blanketcontains a baby. Five years later Lucy walks into RandHiggins's bank and knows: the orphan she rescued that day actualChicago is burningAnd Lucy Hathaway is running for her life.As she rushes past a fine hotel engulfed in flames, a wrapped bundletumbles from a window into her arms. Seconds later the buildingcrumbles--and Lucy is astonished to discover the swaddled blanketcontains a baby. Five years later Lucy walks into RandHiggins's bank and knows: the orphan she rescued that day actuallybelongs to this ruthless financier. Now, to keep the child she's come to love, she'll have to give up her hard-won freedom and become his wife.But giving Rand her heart? That, she could never have expected......

Title : the firebrand
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 11872215
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 374 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

the firebrand Reviews

  • Fani *loves angst*
    2019-02-05 15:15

    This was a very uneven book; there were parts that were great and parts that were simply bad. The story starts with the hero and the heroine meeting and though there is an attraction between them, they're not meant to be because he's already married. Later that night, the big fire that ruined Chicago in 1871 starts and in the flaming city, the heroine rescues a baby girl while the hero gets severely hurt and scarred for life.Five years later they meet again: she is applying for a loan in the bank he's directing. While in his office the heroine sees a photo of a baby girl; the girl she saved 5 years ago in the fire. It turns out she's his daughter which he believes dead. Divorced and alone, the charming, handsome man she once met has turned into a scarred, brooding, intimidating man. A man who still attracts her, but it is now the child's interest that she must think first of all. This is obviously a very emotional story and the role's child is elemental in its progress. It became also its greatest weakness in my opinion. The child unfortunately is the usual romance kid that talks and acts like a teen or even an adult rather than a six years old (that's my son's age so I know exactly what's normal and not in that age). A whole 100 pages in the middle of the book are dedicated to the child: who's going to take custody, how are they going to approach the issue with her, how does she feel, etc etc. So, for 100 pages, the focus is away from the romance.Luckily, after that point the romance picks up, only to stumble again near the end. The heroine is a suffragette; she protests, writes banners, going on marches and owns a ladies' bookstore. Those acts of hers not only cause trouble to her husband's job in the bank, but put her in a dilemma too: should she choose her family or her cause? IMO, there was no way out of that dilemma, not in any way that could guarantee a true HEA. The heroine often thinks show she likes the comforts her husband's paycheck is providing her and that she dislikes being the object of ridicule for so many years. She also feels guilty when her own daughter tells her she prefers her not working in her bookshop, because now they have more time together. But in the end she can't abandon so many women who don't have her resources and wants to fight for them. I will agree with other reviewers that in the end, I wasn't convinced about the love between the hero and heroine; they still kept a big part of themselves from each other and were way too different to be happy together. That the heroine actually accused him of doing something atrocious against her 30 pages before the end, confirmed how little they knew each other and how improbable a HEA between them would ever be. Still, there were some scenes that moved me inordinately and made this better than average. I just wish the author hadn't dug such a hole for her heroes that they couldn't get out no matter what:(

  • Jacqueline
    2019-02-02 08:39

    This is the second book I have tried by this author. I enjoyed it much more than the first one. It had a lot of real strong elements. It had a setting and time which are different than normal in historical romances, the Chicago fire of 1871. The story of a woman who catches a baby tosses from a burning building and raises her as her own was very interesting. The heroine, Lucy, is a suffragette. She was well written. Many times in romance novels the women are supposedly all about being modern women but they turn out to be just silly girls spouting feminist lines until the right man comes along. Here Lucy was really a suffragette and had the courage of her convictions.The part of the story where she discovers her daughter's father is still alive is very poignant and well written. The story for me went down hill after the girl went to live with her father. Then the hero and heroine marry to give their daughter a family. There was a lot of potential in this part of the story but there was so little of the book left by that point that they fell in love at the blink of an eye. It was just too rushed and hurried. Feelings made brief appearances but there just wasn't enough development. I just didn't feel the love. I liked this one well enough that I think I will try the other two in the series though.

  • Susan
    2019-01-23 15:42

    I love Susan Wiggs writing but did not enjoy this one as well as others I have read. I had a hard time relating to the characters unlike the previous 2 in this trilogy. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that most of the book was Lucy fighting for women’s rights. Though interesting to view that portion of history, I became frustrated with her obsession with women’s rights. Refusing to embrace the wonderful aspects of womanhood, she never really gained a balance. I felt that Rand was forced to give in their relationship much more than she was. Their struggles came from their differing views which were never resolved or compromised adequately. Lucy seemed to lack trust as well, which was hard for us to understand given all that she had in her life and as well as Rand treated her given that he did not share her passion of Woman's Rights.There is still much to love in the story: instant attraction, a disaster that brings people together, a rescued baby, and second chances. It is written well as all of Susan Wiggs books are.

  • R.G.
    2019-01-22 12:24

    I love how each of these plots vary. They’re very distinct from one another, and while the other two really took place right during the the time of the fire and right afterwards, this one is long after the city has rebuilt itself. Yet the fire is what puts the stories’ wheels in motion. I love how Lucy is a feminist, but not the stereotypical one. She believes women should have the freedom to do as the please just as men should, but she doesn’t use that as an excuse to not do things women are expected to do. She raises a baby girl that isn’t hers, and she even tries to be respectable for her. Though she doesn’t mind sharing her opinion with everyone, and that little girl is completely adorable. It’s a really great end to the trilogy, and a sweet love story. I think Wiggs did a great job of spinning a rather historically accurate series, and it makes me want to go find more by her.

  • Dorothy (D. J.) Emry
    2019-01-19 14:38

    I love a good old fashioned romance (as in no explicit sex) that can still get me all hot and bothered. Two bonus points for me are that it's set in Chicago, my home town, and that the protagonist runs a bookshop, a place where I'm always at home.The story begins in Chicago, 1871, the day that the Great Fire breaks out. Lucy Hathaway is a woman ahead of her time: independent, outspoken single, a business woman. An outcast in society even before the fire, she seems to ruin all chances of being accepted when she adopts an orphan girl whose parents died in the fire. Years later, she must seek a loan to keep her bookstore, The Firebrand, afloat. The banker she approaches turns out to be an old love interest, Randolph Higgins. Rand, a scared and bitter survivor of the Great Fire, may have a hold on more than Lucy's heart: he may be her adopted daughter's father.

  • July
    2019-01-27 09:43

    Lucy Hathaway adopts a child after rescuing her during the the Chicago Fire on October 8, 1871. That day will forever change the lives of so many people. Her adopted daughter Maggie loves the story of how she was given to her mother during a fire to save her life while her real mother's live could not be saved.Lucy finds herself at the bank asking for an extension on a loan from Randolph Higgins. On his desk is the picture of his infant daughter who he believes to have died in the fire five years before.Lucy has to tell Maggie and Rand that they are father and daughter, but she may loose her daughter.This is a great book. I was brought to tears. It was a powerful and wonderful story....

  • Martha
    2019-02-17 15:34

    This is a wonderful tale of love found and lost, and found again...of moral beliefs and the hard road one must travel to stand up for those beliefs. And what binds this all together is a zeal for life. The child in this story is endearing and will capture your heart. The story line and its characters are believable and make this a page-turner. Well done, Susan Wiggs!

  • Angela
    2019-01-20 07:20

    The Firebrand follows Lucy Hathaway, a widely disliked "New Woman" or suffragette after the events of the Great Chicago Fire. On the other side of the romance is Rand Higgins, a trusted and important banker. When the pair meet, there is a small kindling of attraction, but Rand is married and the father of an infant. While Lucy is running for her life during the fire, she passes by a burning building where a woman is trapped on the second floor. The woman tosses the child down where Lucy catches her, as the unknown woman perishes in the flames.Jump forward five years, Lucy is now the adopted mother to a daughter, Maggie, and Rand is a father without a child and a scarred (literally and emotionally) man struggling with the loss of his daughter and wife. The pair (re)-meet when Lucy goes to the bank where Rand works.  It is there she realizes Rand's lost child is now her beloved, adoptive daughter. Romance and chaos ensues from there.I really like Lucy; typically when I read historical romances the only New Woman type I see just wants to be able to do things around the home without needing permission. In this case, Lucy was genuinely working towards women rights. Her efforts for women's suffrage are an important part of her character and one I enjoyed. I particularly enjoyed the character development that Lucy goes through; her ideas on free love and equal rights in the beginning seemed to fall more on the side of weakness. However, by the end of the novel, Lucy had grown to see that equal rights means that women should be allowed to choose to stay at home, and that choice doesn't make a women weak. I loved the growth and overall, I think her character was fully sketched by Wiggs.Rand, on the other hand I felt was less clearly defined. He was sharply sketched on the edges, but wasn't quite as colored in as Lucy. Several chapters were from his point of view, but even with that there was little exploration of his personality. You could tell he was a callous man, who took great pride in his appearance, and the 'horrible scarring' devastated him. His scars seemed to be an outward reflection of how he felt about his losses. I think I understood what Wiggs was trying to imply about Rand, but it never fully came across in the story, which was unfortunate.The third major character, Maggie, also had a few chapters from her point of view. I found it interesting and unique to have part of the story told from the child's perspective in this genre, but ultimately those parts of the story were the weakest for me. They were dull and Maggie's only the age of 6 in the story, making her point of view unrealistically precocious for the thought process of a child.I know I've focused pretty heavily on characters, but for me, romances hinge on characters and the chemistry they have. I really enjoyed this story despite Rand being less developed; the bond the two romantic leads shared was enough to keep me enthralled. At the end of the story, I had become so attached to Lucy and the relationship that when it seemed to be in peril, my heart was in my throat. I genuinely felt as though I would be sick if things didn't work out. I think its this feeling that has led me to give the story 4 stars instead of 3.Generally, when you read this genre, you have an assured happy ever after, but it didn't feel guaranteed here. I realize this is a problem for some people, but it was so refreshing to sweat for their love to work. Normally, I never get nervous with historical romances but this one made me experience them like I'd never read one before. The pair did get their happy ending, but the perils of the book made me wonder, which was a welcome relief. This wouldn't always work, but in this instance I think it worked well.TL;DR: Of the romantic duo, one was less developed than the other. However, Wiggs took a refreshing take on the story that kept me flipping pages deep into the night.

  • N W
    2019-01-24 14:41

    This book was honestly terrible. I was really into the description. A feminist finds a baby and raises it as her own only to face the father and be forced to marry him years later? Yep. Right up my ally. Then I started to read the book. At first I thought I had accidentally stumbled upon a Christian romance. I didn't find any indication that it was in fact a Christian Romance, so I continued to read. I really regret that decision. This book had no passion or romance to it. The official Amazon review gives it a sensuality score of 7. I have to assume that this is a 7 out of 100. The characters don't even kiss until about 70% into the book. The whole time I read I knew Rand was supposed to be the romantic lead, but to me he read like a villain. I felt nothing for him. I was rooting for him to end up alone. As for Lucy, she was a very strange feminist. I also found her childish throughout the whole book. Her character didn't have any growth. All of the side characters were one dimensional and boring.There is honestly not one thing I can recommend about this book.

  • Bekki Holzkamm
    2019-01-30 08:33

    Not a bad historicalI liked the plot. The story makes you believe in fate. However, it is obvious that this is a historical written in this millennium. Some of the actions of the characters are not very believable to the era. I know that some people were ahead of their time, but there was no realism here. Those that have modern ideas are the good guys, and those that were old fashioned were the bad guys. It is unrealistic and makes the novel less enjoyable than if the characters were multi-layered. I would have enjoyed it more if the characters were more true to the time period. It seemed like a modern story that was simply using the historical events as a backdrop. It would make a good episode of DC's Legends of Tomorrow instead of pretending to be a historical novel. Considering that this novel was written over 15 years ago, I'm confident that this author has improved her storylines since then.This book is worth reading if you are looking for a quick read and are able to suspend reality. I won't reread it or add it to my permanent library, but it is worth finishing.

  • Susan Gottfried
    2019-02-16 15:32

    This was a fun one, with elements of Beauty and the Beast mixed into a story of families real versus made and a nice dash of political activism that's strangely timely. In a sense, I wish Wiggs had done more with the Beauty and the Beast idea, since so much of it makes up for who our hero has become. Interestingly, the trope is turned on its head by Lucy, who is no beauty by anyone's measure -- so it's nice to see a story where a man falls for a woman not for her looks but for her character. I hadn't realized this was a trilogy, but I'm not surprised by that discovery, either. The secondary characters are strong and woven into the story in a way that we see in series. Although I do have to say that Patience and Willa Jean were more interesting than Deborah and Kathleen, and I'm sorry they don't have books of their own. Or do they?

  • Plum-crazy
    2019-02-03 07:23

    The story in short is that when Lucy first meets Rand she makes him a proposition, which to her embarrassment, he turns down. Five years pass before she meets him again, which is when she discovers that a baby she saved from a fire is in fact Rand's daughter...does this bring them together? Of course it does! This maybe a bit predictable in many ways, another one being that it features a strong feisty heroine who lives life differently to the majority of women of her day but it's still a good read.

  • IrishFan
    2019-02-05 11:35

    This last book in the trilogy was much more enjoyable. I read this one in 2 days. I really liked Lucy and even liked Rand, as hard of a man as he was. The story kept me turning the pages to see what was going to happen. I was glad to see them find their love and for him to see that Lucy was a strong woman but still not a threat to him. Good ending to this tale!

  • Marsha
    2019-01-25 09:15

    The Firebrand by Susan Wiggs is a really terrific historical romance. I was not even aware that it was part of a trilogy, but I am thrilled that there are other books for these amazing characters. I have been told that true love includes sacrifices and is blessed with grace and understanding. This book definitely reflects that. It reads well as a stand alone.

  • Kathleen Nalley
    2019-02-13 11:32

    Chick lit.

  • Kim
    2019-01-24 07:24

    Different style than the last few books I've read and I enjoyed it.

  • Dee Gasa
    2019-02-17 14:34

    I really loved it.

  • Kazia Gemmill
    2019-02-12 15:35

    Enjoyed. Spunky characters with issues and nice little peak into the early women's rights movement.

  • Michele
    2019-01-21 15:19

    Women's Suffrage...."proper" deportment by a female....just the beginning. This third installment of the series is just as entertaining as the other two.

  • Patt
    2019-02-18 08:18

    The third novel in the Chicago Fire trilogy was the best of the three in my opinion. A single woman rescues a baby the night of the great fire. She puts out flyers and newspaper ads but no one claims her. She begins to love her as her own and with the help of her mother, opens her own bookstore. She is a suffragist and carries materials that are not approved by many of the townspeople. Read this to find out what happens when she surprisingly learns that the father and mother of "her" child actually did survive the fire. Lots of interesting facts about the suffragist movement are included in this story and it was very good.

  • Ns
    2019-02-15 12:23

    Here is a story whose idea you love, but yet in which the story itself you did not as much as you wanted to. The Firebrand was one of those. By all account there is much to love: instant attraction, a disaster that brings people together, a rescued baby, and second chances. The story had all these and more. Plenty to tug on the heartstrings and perhaps shed a few tears along the way. Lucy Hathaway, self-appointed social reformer and Randolf Higgins, powerful businessmen are two imperfect characters who are perfect for one another. It takes a disaster, the Chicago Fire of 1871, a rescued baby to build the circumstances for their life-changing reunion five years later. Pain can transform lives in many ways, something Rand is very aware of. A bitter, scarred man, he has lost everything; the family he once had, the child her loved and the confidence only a man who has it made can have. He is still powerful, a successful banker, but his loneliness is measured in the hours spent at work. Lucy, the once independent, outspoken carefree woman, is now a mother. Her pampered life died in the Chicago Fire. Starting from nothing, she operates The Firebrand, a radical bookstore. Her voice is heard among protests, marches and in the literature of her bookstore. There is only one thing, a bitter man and a self-proclaimed social reformer have in common. Maggie. The baby Lucy rescued is Rand's natural child. Their discovery leads to the greatest joys they will experience. They have a chance at love and a happy family. Their conflicts stems from their differing views, something that is never resolved nor is a middle ground reached. The end was a little disappointment, especially when Lucy's distrust of Rand still existed and was voiced. Trust and communication are two things that can make a relationship and break it Considering much of these were lacking, it made Lucy and Rand's happily-ever-after not quite believable. Although, I readily accepted that ending and liked the potential for their future. The story had a lot of heart from beginning to end.

  • Clarke
    2019-01-26 12:33

    3.9 Stars. Public Library 11/22/15. I'm new to this author and series but Firebrand was a delightful surprise. Lucy has never been good at being the dutiful daughter no matter how hard she has tried, causing scandal wherever she goes. The great fire changed many people's lives but for Lucy she both lost and gained everything. That night she lost her father and her fortune but she gained her little girl. Acting on instinct Lucy caught a bundle that had been dropped from a burning building. Thinking it was a treasured pet she was surprised to discover it was a baby. Five years later Lucy discovers her little girl's parents are still alive. Coming forward to tell the truth could cost her everything but not being honest isn't really an option either. Lucy has two passions in life her family and pursuing woman's rights. When the custody and happiness of her daughter becomes a problem Lucy must question her ideals. Will she be forced to put aside her passion for the sake of her daughter or is there another choice? I liked that the book talked about women's rights as well as referenced different authors of the time. Lucy struggled to find the balance between work, family, and self. She struggles the most with losing her independence when becoming someone's wife. She has spent her life fighting for womens independence and feels marriage is a betrayal of everything she has fought for. Yet she secretly yearns to be loved and accepted for who she is. It's not until she accepts that having one doesn't mean sacrificing the other that she finds happiness.

  • Sara
    2019-01-18 10:24

    If you're looking for a good historical romance with a strong plan and characters, this series is for you. Susan Wiggs is my all-time favorite romance author, and there is a good reason why. In the Great Chicago Fire Trilogy, you get a taste of her talents at creating a believable relationship build over the course of the novel. The characters struggle to overcome obstacles within their own lives, and are challenged by societal and natural disasters. Yet, by the end, they characters find that they are stronger together than apart. Wiggs has a talent for drama and action. Most of her historical novels move along quite quickly.In the Firebrand, Lucy brings a conclusion to the trio of friends' tales of heartache, passion, and self-discover among the wreckage of the Great Chicago Fire. Lucy is a young woman with a passion for righting wrongs and pioneering women's rights. She finds herself in a situation she never expected when she becomes the adoptive mother of an infant child the night of the great fire. Years later, she finds herself torn between love for her daughter, and loyalty to her cause. Can she have both love and independence, family and business?

  • Marleen
    2019-02-03 11:20

    The Firebrand is the third instalment in the Chicago Fire trilogy by Susan Wiggs and probably the best out of the three. This historical romance just did what it was meant to do; it was light and engaging, it charmed and entertained me. I liked that Lucy Hathaway was a Women’s Rights activist in the 1870ies and was not going to compromise her principles so easily, not even when she finally finds a man she might be able to love.The main winning argument in this read is certainly Lucy’s role as a mother to Maggie, the little girl she saved from the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 and that Lucy raises as her own until she finds out that Maggie’s father is still alive and grieving for a daughter he thinks he has lost in the fire. Little Maggie was simply adorable and disarmingly honest, maybe a little precautious for a six-year old, but I’ll forgive the author that little imperfection.Without looking for too much depth, this is an absolute pleasant read if - like me – you prefer your historical romance heroines to be unconventional and independent.

  • Sarah
    2019-02-11 10:34

    Randolph and Lucy meet early the night of the Great Chicago Fire when he began flirting with her. Lucy, in a strange turn of event's was very much a woman born with ideas and thoughts well before her time, saw his flirting and raised him a proposition to be her lover... seconds before meeting his wife. Later when running from the fire Lucy caught a bundle that had been thrown from a hotel window just before the hotel collapsed. It would be five years later that she would once again meet with Rand, and when meeting with him discover that her adopted daughter Maggie was also Christine, the daughter Rand thought to have parishes in the fire.So, very story oriented. There is romance in here but it's slow going and the vast majority of the book is devoted to Lucy's cause, reuniting Maggie/Christine with Rand, and then Rand and Lucy working on making their family work. Rather emotional, and you don't really end up liking one more than the other as both Rand and Lucy had their own valid reasons for their beliefs. 4 stars in the end.

  • Marilyn
    2019-01-21 11:35

    Lucy Hathaway is an adamantly outspoken woman of women's rights in a country that isn't quite "there" yet. Running for her life during the Chicago fire of 1871 (October 8), Lucy catches a bundle dropped from a second floor window of a fully engulfed hotel, only to discover it is a baby girl. Having no inklings toward marriage, Lucy finds herself wrapping her life around this child when she's unable to locate the parents. Four years later, when her bookstore looks financially in crisis, Lucy goes to the banker to plead her cause & ability to recover. In horror, Lucy discovers the banker to be little Maggie's father, without a doubt. Now she must decide whether to reveal her findings to the father with the possibility of losing Maggie, or live a lie.

  • Vickie McKeehan
    2019-01-28 08:39

    Yes, I know this book is two years old but because I'm a fairly new Goodreads member I'm playing catch up when it comes to all the fantastic books I've read over the years and didn't leave a review for the author. I enjoyed The Firebrand on so many levels. One of the best historical novels that uses the great Chicago fire of 1871 as the backdrop and does so in a very entertaining way. If you love strong female characters, you will love Lucy Hathaway and her unconventional views. Loved the way Ms. Wiggs kept me on the edge of my seat through all three books. As this trilogy came to its conclusion, fans of historical romance should not miss any of the books in the Great Chicago Fire series.

  • Linda
    2019-02-05 08:25

    I love all of Susan Wigg's books. This one is part of a trilogy set around the Chicago Great Fire. I seemed to have started backwards as I think this is the last in the trilogy and I read it first. Susan explores the friendships of three women from different spheres of society at the time. The fire leveled the social strata of the time. These friendships held fast even in light of each of the ladies' stories. Susan does a great job of digging into the deeper recesses of our lives. No matter the presenting issue in a story, her characters must overcome by facing their fears and prejudices. It makes us do the same as we read. Thank you, Susan, for this wonderful story.

  • Sandra
    2019-02-11 09:28

    While escaping the great fire of Chicago, unconventional Lucy Hathaway saves a baby dropped from a burning building. Years later, Lucy discovers that the baby she raised as her own is the daughter of banker Rand Higgins who Lucy daringly propositioned one embarrassing night 5 years ago.Another tour de force from sensational author Wiggs. Wiggs has done it again and created a novel that is in part a romance story and historical novel wrapped into one complete complex and lovable characters. Wiggs has written a refined and sophisticated novel worth reading.

  • El
    2019-02-08 13:31

    This is a very solid historical romance novel. There is a lot less emphasis on the romance than in others, which I appreciated. I loved the amount of detail on the main character's shop and her involvement in the women's suffrage movement. So often romance novels either involve characters who are disappointments to me in how they completely subordinate themselves to the men in their lives, or involve characters who are completely anachronistic, so to me the suffrage movement subplot of this book was really refreshing.