Innocent Fire [Bragg Saga #1] by Brenda Joyce

Publication Date: June 1st, 1988
Avon
Format: Kindle Edition
RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

SUMMARY

Leaving behind the sheltered life of a French convent, Miranda journeyed to the New World and an arranged marriage to a prosperous Texas rancher. Arriving in America, the innocent European met her fiancé’s friend, Derek Bragg, a rough-hewn Texas Ranger, whose harsh manner and candid comments about her beauty enraged the shy miss.

Although Bragg fought to deny his feelings for his charge, he knew that he was falling in love with her. Miranda, too, was struggling with her desire for her escort as they trekked across the treacherous wilderness. Drawn to the lawman—enflamed by his raw masculine virility—will Miranda sacrifice her innocence to the fire blazing out of control in her heart?


Surprisingly enough, my foray into Historical Romance started off quite well – though not without instances of frustration with the heroine. Set at a time when women were raised to be pure and virginal until they find the worthy males to have their children, it was hard not to snigger at how ridiculous the dictates of what was proper and what wasn’t. 

Anyway, this saga starts off with the story of Miranda, an English belle who was to marry a Texan rancher. Escorted by Derek Bragg a half-breed Ranger who’s every bit the definition of a man Miranda was taught to avoid. The journey they had to take across the plains to Texas was fraught with peril: Indians, outlaws, and all different sorts of trouble one delicate beauty had to endure. The most troubling of all was Captain Bragg himself: lurid, lawless, godless, careless, sensual, dark and handsome. Derek Bragg promised to take the virginal bride to his blood brother. Whether in one piece or even intact would be the challenge he’s determined not to fail.
This is the type of novel where the land plays a major role in the overall credibility of story. Brenda Joyce knew her history and as well the economic thematic of the times. I’ve always had this stigma that Historical Fictions are a tedious read but this series is definitely proving me wrong so far. 
I’ve had to curb the snark every time the heroine blushed or said something as ridiculous as having monkey sex with her husband made her a slut. But that’s just the way it goes back then. It also didn’t help that she grew up in a convent so her opinions about men and sex was a little skewed.  She was sometimes sporadic about how she felt. She would have moments when she wanted to please her husband and the next, a complete 180 and would tell Derek to jump from the nearest cliff.
The story also had painted the Comanche Indians as savages; you know, pillaging the village, raping the women, torturing and killing of men. I haven’t a clue how close to the truth the author was but it wasn’t fun times reading those scenes. And dear God, just how many times would this woman be raped anyway? That wasn’t fun times as well.
Bragg Saga is turning out to be my fantastic baptism into Historical Romance. It wasn’t as boring as I thought it would be. Just a warning though, you need to leave all your feminist views at the door because, damn. This girl tried my patience. 
  • Thank you for the recommendations! I'll keep my eyes peeled for these books. 🙂

  • If you want truly spunky heroines, give Julia Quinn's novels a try. She writes Regency Historical Romance. She's about the only romance author I still enthusiastically follow.

    Before I kind of burned out on romance, Johanna Lindsey was a favorite author. She wrote mostly historical but ventured into fantasy a couple of times. Very talented.