Bound in Flame
Passionflower Press 2019
Leticia Liliuokalani Lang, better known as Letty, has good intentions, but her strong will and quick temper tend to get in her way. Banished from her Hawaiian home due to a conflict with her stepmother, Letty winds up in a California boarding school, where she decides to devote her career to healing animals—even though female veterinarians are scarcer than the proverbial hen’s teeth in 1906.
On the ship back to her beloved islands, Letty notices a beautiful racehorse and realizes the horse’s trainer is abusing him. An accident in the harbor sends the stallion into the ocean, and Letty dives in to save him without a second thought. That sets her on a collision course with the horse’s owner and trainer after she insults the former and reports on the latter’s mistreatment. All this before Letty even reaches her home and confronts the stepmother who sent her away.
Letty learns that she has a magical gift that challenges her self-control but acts as a source of strength and connection. She is one of nine Gates, bound to the earth, born with the ability to harness its power—represented by the flames of her spirit—to direct her intentions, for good or for ill. But Letty resists her destiny, knowing that her gift comes at a cost: a lifetime alone.
In this delightful debut novel Katherine Kayne sweeps us back to a Hawaii still mourning its lost kingdom, where ladies—their ballgowns covered in yards of protective fabric—gallop across the mountains and down the city streets on their way to polo matches and parties, men dance the hula as well as women, and flowers are everywhere. It’s no accident that Bound in Flame (Passionflower Press, 2019) kicks off a brand-new series, aptly called The Hawaiian Ladies Riding Society.
C. P. Lesley is the author of nine novels, including Legends of the Five Directions (The Golden Lynx, The Winged Horse, The Swan Princess, The Vermilion Bird, andThe Shattered Drum), a historical fiction series set during the childhood of Ivan the Terrible, and Song of the Siren, published in 2019. Find out more about her at http://www.cplesley.com.