Large scale events such as Urban Fires make wonderful settings for Romance Novels. They give the reader a natural conflict and a depth of history.
Here are some marvelous love stories set during the Great Urban Fires of San Fransico, London, Edinburgh, and Chicago.
My lists are never in any particular order.
1. The Hostage (The Chicago Fire Trilogy Book 1) by Susan Wiggs
Deborah Sinclair is a beautiful, accomplished young heiress with a staggering dowry. But her fortune does her no good when, one horrible night, Chicago is engulfed in flames.
Tom Silver will walk through fire to avenge a terrible injustice—and he may have to. But when he makes Deborah a pawn in his revenge, the heat of the inferno fades next to the attraction he feels for his captive. And the further he takes her from everything she's known, the stronger their passion grows, until it threatens to consume them both.
2. Rancher Wants a Wife (Mail-Order Weddings Book 1) by Kate Bridges
A marriage to save them both…
Among the responses Cassandra Hamilton receives to her advertizement as a mail-order bride, one stands out—Jack McColton's. The last time she saw him, she was a carefree girl, but tragedy has made her a cautious woman.
Jack is mesmerized by his new bride—Cassandra might bear the scars of recent events, but she's even more beautiful than he remembers. They both have pasts that are hard to forget, but under the cloak of night, can their passion banish the shadows forever?
3. The Spice Merchant's Wife by Charlotte Betts
666. Newly married to a wealthy spice merchant, Kate Finche believes all her dreams of a happy family life are just around the corner until the Great Fire rages through London. She watches in horror as their livelihood goes up in flames, filling the air with the heady scents of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
As the city is devastated, Kate's husband Robert is forced to seek employment to ensure their survival, but when he is found drowned, Kate refuses to believe that he has taken his own life. Widowed and penniless, she seeks refuge in The House of Perfume, the home of blind perfumer Gabriel Harte, who awakens Kate's senses to a whole new world. But as she flees from this forbidden love, her husband's murderer comes looking for her . . .
4. Journey's End by Patricia Crossley
Dr. Kari Lunne is ready to leave London in order to fulfill her dream of practicing medicine in the third world. On a last walk on Hampstead Heath, Kari and her dog bump into Mr. Tall, Dark and Mysterious and are catapulted four hundred years into the past - to Tudor England.Somewhere in the twenty-fourth century, maverick historian Aidan Torrance plans to make good his mistake by picking up the annoying woman—and her dog—and depositing them back into their own time, like a wrongly directed parcel. He has the technology. It should be simple.Aidan does not reckon on Kari's strong will. Kari does not expect to have to make choices that threaten her whole future. Neither of them expects to find love and happiness with someone far removed from their own space and time.Lovers meeting after a wild ride through time.
5. The Marigold Chain by Stella Riley
It is 1666 - the year when people who take prophecy seriously believe that the world is going to end.
For Chloe Herveaux - twenty years old, half-French and practical - marriage to wild, unpredictable Alex Deveril offers escape from a home she hates. For Alex, it is a refuge of a different kind. But while the marriage remains in name only and both, for reasons of their own, agree to seek an annulment, other forces are gathering.
England is once again at war with the Dutch and Prince Rupert, now commanding the Royal Navy, suspects that sabotage is at work within the fleet. Instructed to find the arch-traitor, Alex enters a dark labyrinth of intrigue - where no life is safe and nothing is what it seems.
Chloe, meanwhile, navigates the malice and scandal of Charles 11's licentious Court and plots a course of her own aimed at financial independence. But as the surprising facets of Mr Deveril's personality are gradually revealed to her, the long-awaited annulment becomes a double-edged sword.
Absorbed in his search for a traitor, Alex spares little thought for his bride - until a hot June night on the Falcon Stairs when he and Chloe stand united by tragedy.
As the flames of the Great Fire sweep over London, Alex and Chloe face their ultimate test. Their world is at risk ... their choices may save it.
6. The Vagabond Duchess by Claire Thornton
He'd promised to return
But Jack Bow is dead. And Temperance Challinor's quietly respectable life is changed forever.
Practical Temperance has no time to grieve for the irresistible rogue who gave her one night of comfort in a blazing city. She must protect her unborn child—by pretending to be Jack's widow.
A foolproof plan. Until she arrives at Jack's home…and the counterfeit widow of a vagabond becomes the real wife of a very much alive duke!
7. Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden
In Whispers of Love, Civil War widow Jessie Wagstaff must fend for herself and her son. When a stranger, Lee Smith, befriends Jessie's son, even though she recognizes nine-year-old Linc's need for a father figure, she's reluctant to let a new man into their life. When the Great Chicago Fire blazes, every heart is pushed to its limits.
In Lost In His Love, Jessie's son Linc, a social activist and reporter, charms his way through the upper class of San Francisco to build much-needed support for his fight against child labor. His main target is Cecilia Jackson, a beautiful heiress who doesn't recognize the crucial part she plays in this dangerous exploitation. As the secrets of her family's dark past are exposed, Cecilia must revive her own wounded spirit and find the strength to lean on the never-failing love of Christ. But when the 1906 earthquake hits, everyone's faith will be put to the test.
In Echoes of Mercy, Meg Wagstaff challenges the racial barriers of 1920s New Orleans in order to prove that her childhood friend did not commit murder. The stubborn lawyer prosecuting the case, Gabriel St. Clair, is an authentic Southern gentleman who makes the mistake of underestimating Meg, both her tenacity and her charm. Despite their many differences, sparks begin to fly. But when Meg discovers the truth, will Gabe be able to protect her from those who can't afford to have justice prevail?
Did I miss one? Gimme!
To vote for the best of the best and add your brain power to the list, go to my Goodreads list: Conflagrations: Great Urban Fires in Romance Novels