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Militine Scott, twenty-two, is in training at the Madison School for Brides in Seattle, Washington. Though she has no intention of pursuing marriagebelieving no man will have hershe has found the school provides the perfect opportunity to hide her unsavory past. Thane Patton, though fun loving and fiercely loyal to his friends, hides a dark secret, as well. He finds himself Militine Scott, twenty-two, is in training at the Madison School for Brides in Seattle, Washington. Though she has no intention of pursuing marriage–believing no man will have her–she has found the school provides the perfect opportunity to hide her unsavory past. Thane Patton, though fun loving and fiercely loyal to his friends, hides a dark secret, as well. He finds himself drawn to Militine, sensing a haunting pain similar to his own. Will they finally allow God to make something new and beautiful from the debris of the past?


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Militine Scott, twenty-two, is in training at the Madison School for Brides in Seattle, Washington. Though she has no intention of pursuing marriagebelieving no man will have hershe has found the school provides the perfect opportunity to hide her unsavory past. Thane Patton, though fun loving and fiercely loyal to his friends, hides a dark secret, as well. He finds himself Militine Scott, twenty-two, is in training at the Madison School for Brides in Seattle, Washington. Though she has no intention of pursuing marriage–believing no man will have her–she has found the school provides the perfect opportunity to hide her unsavory past. Thane Patton, though fun loving and fiercely loyal to his friends, hides a dark secret, as well. He finds himself drawn to Militine, sensing a haunting pain similar to his own. Will they finally allow God to make something new and beautiful from the debris of the past?

30 review for Refining Fire

  1. 5 out of 5

    Aerykah

    Okay so... this book was good. Definitely not as good as the first one, but still an enjoyable read. I'm mostly reading this series because of Abrianna & Wade so I am really excited to get my hands on the final book!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}

    DNF on page 30. I can't seem to get into this.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC, and here is my honest review. I struggled to really get into this story, based in a Seattle School for Brides, where Militine is hiding, as she does not want to get married herself, very slow moving, and even though lots of elements are brought into this book, with some topics, I just found it difficult to grasp the characters, who were a little predictable. Sometimes too much is written in trying to attempt a conversation, that the same thing goes on for Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC, and here is my honest review. I struggled to really get into this story, based in a Seattle School for Brides, where Militine is hiding, as she does not want to get married herself, very slow moving, and even though lots of elements are brought into this book, with some topics, I just found it difficult to grasp the characters, who were a little predictable. Sometimes too much is written in trying to attempt a conversation, that the same thing goes on for pages and seems never ending. This is first book I have read by this author and I am not sure I would read another. Maybe? I have not read the first in this series so I can't say whether or not I have missed something, though it seemed pretty straight forward. I couldn't really connect with Militine & though Thane seems likeable, his character lacked some mystery.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I have read many of Tracie Peterson's books and I know she is a great writer. This book was so terribly slow for me and really hard to get into. I felt like there wasn't very much character depth or really a strong storyline. It was so predictable and I wish I could say otherwise. I didn't really like Militine's character though I did like the setting. Who knew there was a Madison School for Brides?! I love the historical setting I just wanted more out of the storyline. Four stars.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bailey

    Refining Fire is the second novel in the Brides of Seattle series, mostly centered around the life of Abrianna Cunningham. There was more about Militine, the character in the blurb, in this book than there was about Lenore in the last book, but it was still predominantly focused on Abriannas story. For the most part this story was good. The romance was very heartfelt throughout. From the fire on was very exciting and entertaining, a good end to the book. However throughout the novel, I couldnt Refining Fire is the second novel in the Brides of Seattle series, mostly centered around the life of Abrianna Cunningham. There was more about Militine, the character in the blurb, in this book than there was about Lenore in the last book, but it was still predominantly focused on Abrianna’s story. For the most part this story was good. The romance was very heartfelt throughout. From the fire on was very exciting and entertaining, a good end to the book. However throughout the novel, I couldn’t help but wonder what the point of it all was. It seems to lack an overarching goal or purpose. We are reading about the lives of these people, and while entertaining, it makes you wonder what they are working toward. Usually in a story there is some achievement being sought after, but in this case it was more just hearing about their lives with different circumstances popping up along the way. So while the things happening are very dramatic, it is a flip flop off of the normal structure of a story that makes me long for some larger accomplishment as the ultimate focus. It was also severely annoying how they believed Welby’s story about the women. It makes them seem very foolish, and it didn’t line up in my mind with how astute they perceived everything else. It will be interesting to see what happens in the future and how these circumstances resolve themselves.

  6. 5 out of 5

    ❌Chelsea❌(Misfit)❌Owens

    A historical fiction book, Refining Fire is the second in the Brides of Seattle series, set in Seattle Washington 1889. This book is about the Madison Bridal School, where young women come to learn the etiquette to run a household and the hopes of finding a husband. Militine Scott has come to the school, not to a life of marriage, but an escape from a pain past no thanks to her father. Due to her lack of trust in men, Militine is not quick to realize that she has caught the eye of Thane Patton. A historical fiction book, Refining Fire is the second in the Brides of Seattle series, set in Seattle Washington 1889. This book is about the Madison Bridal School, where young women come to learn the etiquette to run a household and the hopes of finding a husband. Militine Scott has come to the school, not to a life of marriage, but an escape from a pain past no thanks to her father. Due to her lack of trust in men, Militine is not quick to realize that she has caught the eye of Thane Patton. He too has a past to hide. Together they begin to trust in God and follow His path, causing them to grow in their love and to heal from the past in their lives. Tracie Peterson's beautiful use of historical periods, along with the deep struggle her characters face, really makes me continue to love and read her books. As I have been a fan of Christian fiction books for quite a few years, I believe that Mrs. Peterson has always done a remarkable job introducing her readers to their faith at just the right time in her books. She did not disappoint me with Refining Fire, and I am anxiously waiting for the next book in the series

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Much like the first in the series (Steadfast Heart), I had difficulty getting interested in the beginning of the tale. Even though I was already familiar with the majority of the characters (since they all featured in the first Brides of Seattle novel), I still felt that the first chapter or so moved slowly. However, once I began reading it and the story began to take shape around Militine and Thane, I couldn't put the book down. I read the Refining Fire in one night. We are learning more about Much like the first in the series (Steadfast Heart), I had difficulty getting interested in the beginning of the tale. Even though I was already familiar with the majority of the characters (since they all featured in the first Brides of Seattle novel), I still felt that the first chapter or so moved slowly. However, once I began reading it and the story began to take shape around Militine and Thane, I couldn't put the book down. I read the Refining Fire in one night. We are learning more about the Madison Bridal School and the inhabitants of Seattle during the late 1800s. The characters face many hardships including the death of their beloved pastor, a new venture, blossoming relationships, and a devastating fire. I would recommend Refining Fire to those interested in Christian fiction. If you enjoyed the first in the Brides of Seattle series, I do not think this will disappoint you.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Watros

    I'm a huge fan of Tracie Peterson and have read almost all of her books. The 2nd book took longer to get into than the first book. It didn't get that interesting until around the 15th chapter, after that, it flooded with lots of chaos and became very intense that I finished the remaining of the book all in one day. I love the 3 old Aunts, they are quite funny and I think Tracie could have spiced up things by adding some disputes among the three sisters. I haven't read the scene for the next book, I'm a huge fan of Tracie Peterson and have read almost all of her books. The 2nd book took longer to get into than the first book. It didn't get that interesting until around the 15th chapter, after that, it flooded with lots of chaos and became very intense that I finished the remaining of the book all in one day. I love the 3 old Aunts, they are quite funny and I think Tracie could have spiced up things by adding some disputes among the three sisters. I haven't read the scene for the next book, hopefully there will be some silly and fun disputes among the 3 older sister trio.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Meagan

    I love Tracie's books, and this is on par with the rest of hers. It started off a bit slow, but by a third of the way in, I was hooked and couldn't wait to find out what happened. Definitely recommended!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michael & Deborah Stoker

    Boook2 Enjoyed it very much. Would recommend it to anyone. It kept my interest and made me want to see what was going to happen.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Loved this book! After reading some reviews I was going to skip it but I decided to try it and enjoyed it even better then the first one! Great story line!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Couldn't get into this one and I love Tracie Peterson's books!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Deb O'Flanagan

    This book had a slow start; but, it was excellent after that.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joni

    Really good book. Liking this series and first time I have read this author. Will check out more. There is a storyline underlying on human trafficking. Wish it was stronger and developing fast.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Edward L

    A historical romance set in old Seattle Washington written within a Christian setting. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel within a school for future brides.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Morrell

    I loved the development of the characters . I am looking forward to the next book in the series .

  17. 5 out of 5

    Claudia {SparrowHawk}

    Refining Fire was a wonderfully woven story of love and self-discovery, but it did not stop there as the added suspense and drama propelled each page forward. Too, this story is peppered with topics on forgiveness, irreligion, remorse, humor, love and sacrifice to name a few. If you are a fan of Christian historical romance, then you might find pleasure in reading this series. The romance, tension, and emotional strife can all be felt as this alluring story unfolds. Refining Fire was a wonderfully woven story of love and self-discovery, but it did not stop there as the added suspense and drama propelled each page forward. Too, this story is peppered with topics on forgiveness, irreligion, remorse, humor, love and sacrifice to name a few. If you are a fan of Christian historical romance, then you might find pleasure in reading this series. The romance, tension, and emotional strife can all be felt as this alluring story unfolds. ___________________________________________ WHAT I LIKED: + It was so wonderful to catch up with the lovely cast in Brides of Seattle, but boy was I ever delighted to see our witty feminist Abrianna Cunningham take the spotlight once more. It’s always refreshing and uplifting to read a tale that features a strong independent-minded woman who does not settle for less but yet, remains forthright and honest in manner despite the stratified society she finds herself in. Which stands to reason, I was utterly absorbed with the emotional and intellectual conflict Abrianna found herself in. More respectively, with the fuss between her and Mr. Welby, and the emotional tension between her and Wade ― it all worked together so perfectly + Tracie Peterson’s writing and storytelling is one of my absolute favorites; truly it is. Namely, because she holds the capacity to make any reader escape into a time where marriage and courtships were handled with formality, where etiquette and social decency was held to a high regard, where young women sought a new independence, all while inspiring the reader to seek their own inner strength and purpose in life ― in the most sarcastic and romantic ways possible if I may add. Peterson’s genius in her storytelling however, truly lies in her ability to allow the reader to see the events unfold ― like a movie, and is this not what makes a book ever so memorable? + The plot ―for the most part ― was engaging. The storyline was well-developed and the pacing was fair, I found the last quarter of the book however, to be the most thrilling. All the same, Refining Fire is full of romance and adventure; that’s for sure, and there’s a bit of mystery and suspense too which is sure to hold your attention. What is more, Refining Fire gave me a greater understanding of the repressive societies―which were deeply segregated by class, gender, and social pretension―the women of yesteryear found themselves in WHAT I DIDN’T LIKED: – I’m rather confused when it comes to the book covers in this series. One would naturally assume, in view of the women shown on the front cover of the book, that the story would remain in relation to them; however this is not the case. In as much as I adore the character of Abrianna Cunningham, it seems as though Refining Fire―as well as, Steadfast Heart ―is more reflective of Abrianna. I would even go as far as to say that 25% of the narrative echos around Militine’s character arc. Perhaps if the cover art included a picture of Abrianna somewhere in the background, the covers would have been fittingly appropriate? Nevertheless, this is but a minor quibble – Which sadly brings me to my next point, I reluctantly admit that I was not too fond of Militine’s character arc. I’m not sure why, but she seemed withdrawn and insociable bringing no energy to her character; though, this was the true nature of her personality. Be that as it may, this was unfortunate, because this owed to my disinterest in her personal journey within the narrative. Quite frankly, I was more amused and absorbed with Abrianna’s faring. Still and all, Militine’s and Thane’s story line was a beautiful testimony of the power of redemption and this more than made up for the lack of delight in their prose AFTERTHOUGHTS: At any rate, I am eagerly awaiting the third book in the series, Love Everlasting― which will resolve Abrianna’s muddle with the cunning Mr. Welby, and the romantic affair between Abrianna and Wade; be still my heart <3

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brices Mice Christian Book Reviews

    When I first started Refining Fire by Tracie Peterson, I thought oh dear, just when are we going to find out what was the main idea for this book? A lot of Christian daily life was happening, and that was ok, as I always love a clean and wholesome read. I feel that starting off with book two of the series was ok, since the author did catch the reader up on who was who, and placed the setting in Seattle, Washington Territory...January 1889. The story takes place at the Madison Bridal School in When I first started Refining Fire by Tracie Peterson, I thought oh dear, just when are we going to find out what was the main idea for this book? A lot of Christian daily life was happening, and that was ok, as I always love a clean and wholesome read. I feel that starting off with book two of the series was ok, since the author did catch the reader up on who was who, and placed the setting in Seattle, Washington Territory...January 1889. The story takes place at the Madison Bridal School in Seattle, where young girls live and train to be sophisticated, loving knowledgeable brides. Abrianna takes the main attention of the story, as a fiery red headed strong willed young woman, along with her best friend Militine who hides a deep secret from her past. A lot of restrictions are put on young women of those times, but Abrianna pushes the limits in her own endearing ways. Love finds its way to the girls, each in a different manor and surprisingly in unexpected ways. The end result leaves you having to actually read book three to find a satisfying ending. I feel the author researched the time period accurately, as the book had an authentic feel to it and tied the cover of the book into the last chapters of the story. A wonderful, wholesome read but just a bit of extra "fillers" to drag the story down to a slow pace.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Vera mallard

    Christian Romance This is the 2nd book in the Brides of Seattle Series, however it can be read as stand alone. Militine is a very bitter young woman in 1889 Seattle Washington. She has turned her back on God. Her best friend Abrianna Cunningham is the adopted daughter of the prioress of the Madison Bridal School, very religious and zealous in her beliefs, to the point of being obnoxious at times. Both young women live at the Madison Bridal School of Seattle. Militine has a past that she is running Christian Romance This is the 2nd book in the Brides of Seattle Series, however it can be read as stand alone. Militine is a very bitter young woman in 1889 Seattle Washington. She has turned her back on God. Her best friend Abrianna Cunningham is the adopted daughter of the prioress of the Madison Bridal School, very religious and zealous in her beliefs, to the point of being obnoxious at times. Both young women live at the Madison Bridal School of Seattle. Militine has a past that she is running from and what better place to hide than the Bride School. Abrianna is a little general and determined to open a food house (soup kitchen in our time) on the docks for the homeless, poor, and disenfranchised. She pulls in Militine and 2 young men that watch out for the women at the school, Thane and Wade. Thane is a voluntary fireman and boat repairman, he never talks about his violent past to anyone except Wade; Wade is a Christian and a carpenter by trade; he loves Abrianna. The food house is a resounding success. Ms. Peterson painted a vivid picture of how we fight spiritual battles with ourselves. Thane is fighting such a battle but his friend Wade is diligent in presenting the message of God, his forgiveness, and his love. Of course there is a villain, Priam Welby who is very sly in hiding his true nature from Abrianna whom he desires. The history of human traffic is long and our villain is in the illegal trade of foreign antiques and human trafficking. Ms. Peterson used this unsavory history in her story. Ms Peterson also portrayed Seattle’s history of water shortage due antiquated water and hydrant system to fight fires and the great Seattle fire. Ms. Peterson did a great job of showing the growth of our characters spiritually. We watch Militine and Thane become loving, forgiving, trusting people; they fall in love. The message of Gods love and forgiveness is throughout this story, but presented in such a way as to not be preachy or pushy. Ms Peterson gave Abrianna several hurdles to overcome, her fathers sudden appearance, a new Pastor that doesn’t like woman in positions of power and wants to subdue Abrianna, a villain that is courting her, and sweet Christian Wade that loves Abrianna. We have 2 very different personalities in Abrianna and Militine. Abrianna is an extrovert very forceful in her presentation of God and I felt Ms Peterson was showing how each of us can appear when we are in the mist of doing the jobs we feel God wants us to undertake. She is force to be reckoned with. We watch as she travels the snares of courting. Militine is an introvert. She is hiding her feelings and her past, terrified of being hurt again and the past rising its head. She believes God has abandoned her, and we get to watch her grow into a wonderful and loving person as she comes to know Gods love and the love of Thane. The story never lags, it kept me interested from the first chapter. It has a lot of action, the history in the story was fascinating, and a woman’s place in that time period was illuminating, especially as portrayed by the Pastor of her church. I found Abrianna refreshing as she would not fit in the woman’s mold as it was thought in 1889. The romance in the story is very clean. Ms. Peterson included mystery, faith, selfishness and unselfishness, forgiveness, guile, reunion,evil and love into a wonderful book anyone should enjoy. I would highly recommend this book. I received this book from the publisher and Netgalley in return for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Just Commonly

    "Refining Fire" by Tracie Peterson is the second book in her 'Brides of Seattle' series. Like the first book of the series, "Steadfast Heart", the description of the book features one couple, but I felt the main focus lies with Abrianna Cunningham and her endeavors. Per the description, Refining Fire is about Militine (cross between Milicent and Christine) and Thane, who both struggles with their frightening and painful past, and together, learn to trust each other, and especially God. I really "Refining Fire" by Tracie Peterson is the second book in her 'Brides of Seattle' series. Like the first book of the series, "Steadfast Heart", the description of the book features one couple, but I felt the main focus lies with Abrianna Cunningham and her endeavors. Per the description, Refining Fire is about Militine (cross between Milicent and Christine) and Thane, who both struggles with their frightening and painful past, and together, learn to trust each other, and especially God. I really enjoyed "Refining Fire" and how it can be read as a standalone book, as well as be able to connect to "Steadfast Heart" so seamlessly. With repeat performance of characters as the 3 ladies of Madison School for Brides, Wade and previous subjected couple, Kolbien & Lenore, we are thrilled to continue our journey in 1885 Seattle. Ms. Peterson has made me truly be immersed in the character of Abrianna, who I've found out will be the subject of the final book in this series. With two books as a strong (and sometimes felt like a main) supporting character, we grew to know and even like Abrianna, for her forwardness and for her love of the Lord. She brings excitement to the plot with her many adventures and her knack for being in the heat of action. With the main couple of the story, Militine and Thane, we see how they grapple with accepting God because of all the pain and evil they encountered, even part of the plot of the book. With their struggles, and with the responses of characters in the book, we see how and why Ms. Peterson is indeed a leading author in the field of inspirational / faith-based fictions. Understanding, forgiveness and trust are difficult when your heart are marred by pain and even physical scars and nightmares as constant reminders. Sometimes when bad things happened, we just don't know why. Believing in God does not mean bad things will stop happening. Let Him be your source of comfort. "All we can do is trust Him and believe" (loc 3541). I enjoyed reading how two unbelieving and somewhat resentful individuals came together to trust God and to seek Him. One aspect of this novel that I respect is during the early parts. Early on, we as readers (as well as Abrianna in the book), received a humbling message. "God only desires that you see to your own soul and pray for others. He wants you to seek Him and know Him for yourself. Then, by this knowledge you must live a life that reflects His mercy...Be a living witness of Jesus, not just a vocal one" (loc 193, 195). Together with the message of trusting God, I am reminded of an old song from Vineyards, sung by many, and popular during praise time before service. Coincidentally, the title is "Refiner's Fire". It truly speak volumes. We need to constantly refine our hearts, purify it from sin, and to choose God. Thank you, Ms. Peterson for a novel that feels true to heart on many levels, and a great storyline that was unexpected. NOTE: I received a complimentary proof copy of this e-book from the publisher, Bethany House, through Net Galley for an honest review. Please also check out my blog for further reviews, and a monthly book giveaway. http://justcommonly.blogspot.com. Thanks!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Johnson

    Title: Refining Fire (Seattle Brides #2) Author: Tracie Peterson Pages: 320 Year: 2015 Publisher: Bethany My rating is 5 stars. Tracie Peterson is a favorite author of mine from way back when I read her series of stories set in Alaska. There is romance in Refining Fire, but what is more captivating is the faith exhibited by one young woman named Abrianna. Abrianna could be referred to as a spit-fire of a woman, who has deep convictions based on the Word of God. Now occasionally she gets herself into Title: Refining Fire (Seattle Brides #2) Author: Tracie Peterson Pages: 320 Year: 2015 Publisher: Bethany My rating is 5 stars. Tracie Peterson is a favorite author of mine from way back when I read her series of stories set in Alaska. There is romance in Refining Fire, but what is more captivating is the faith exhibited by one young woman named Abrianna. Abrianna could be referred to as a spit-fire of a woman, who has deep convictions based on the Word of God. Now occasionally she gets herself into trouble, but her impulsiveness at times brings out the desire to act in the hearts of others. Militine Scott is a young lady who lives at the Madison Bridal School with no living relatives. She is woman fraught with nightmares and questions. Militine is afraid to get near any one person for fear of being hurt, but especially men due to the abuse she suffered at the hands of her earthly father. Militine seems like her character is a little bit skeptic with a whole lot of seeking. I think that is probably true of many real people who have suffered abuse of all kinds. Militine’s life is ordered and she tends to erect walls around her heart; she fears that if anyone knows her secrets they will abandon her in a heartbeat. As I read further into the tale, it was enjoyable to watch the change that slowly came into the heart of this young woman. Militine is not impulsive like Abrianna, but she sticks close to her side and ventures into many escapades that are dangerous. Tracie Peterson’s writing is captivating because it isn’t all romance nor is the ending wrapped up nice and neat in a tidy bow. There is action, adventure, questions expressed externally by characters and contemplated internally and not always easy to answer. Throughout the book the author has the characters point to God whether they understand how God or even why God is allowing experiences to come their way. I liked how answers weren’t always quick or spoken without any thought. If her characters did not know the answers to inquiries, they shared their personal experiences or pointed to the Bible. At times they even said they didn’t have the answers to some of the questions raised by other characters and isn’t that the truth for real people? I hope you enjoy reading Refining Fire as much as I did and will share it with someone you know who loves a good story! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cathryn

    If you frequently read book series, you probably understand the long wait until the next book is released. Tracie Peterson's books are no exception - I have eagerly awaited the rest of the story in several of her series. With the Brides of Seattle , I was so excited to start reading the next book, Refining Fire. After the first book, Steadfast Heart, I was ready to continue in the drama of the Madison Bridal School and the ladies living there. Refining Fire is the story of a bridal student, If you frequently read book series, you probably understand the long wait until the next book is released. Tracie Peterson's books are no exception - I have eagerly awaited the rest of the story in several of her series. With the Brides of Seattle , I was so excited to start reading the next book, Refining Fire. After the first book, Steadfast Heart, I was ready to continue in the drama of the Madison Bridal School and the ladies living there. Refining Fire is the story of a bridal student, Militine Scott, and her surprising relationship with a local boat maker, Thane Patton. I say the relationship was surprising because Militine had no interest in a husband (she was a student in order to seek shelter from her past). I really enjoyed their story in the book because both Militine and Thane had pasts filled with violence and remorse that with God's help they would overcome. Each found their refuge in Seattle and were surrounded by friends who were strong in their faith. Neither had a strong spiritual life, but together they began to grow in their faith and discovered true love. We all have something in our past that we wish to escape and the question is where and in Whom we find our refuge. If you have been enjoying this series, it is obvious that the heroine is Abrianna Cunningham and she continues to be the primary character. Abrianna does not let you down in this book as she finds herself in several predicaments and also a love triangle. The two suitors are local carriage maker, Wade Ackerman, and the wealthy businessman, Priam Welby. I enjoy Abrianna's addition to the series due to her spunk and determination to serve her Lord and minister to those in need. What a spirit she has! Her comebacks to the new pastor, Ralston Walker, were witty and had me laughing as I read them. At first I thought maybe Abrianna and Pastor Walker might have an "opposites attract" relationship start, but I was very relieved that was not in the plot-line. Pastor Walker was definitely a character I was not sad to see exit the story. I think if I was a character in this book, I would have to give him a good "what for". Tracie Peterson never fails to deliver a book with vivid imagery and an interesting plot-line that is rich in history. I was not aware of the 1889 Seattle Fire and cannot imagine seeing my entire city engulfed in flames. I think her choice in title, Refining Fire, was reflective of the burdensome fire in Militine and Thane that wore at their hearts. God is no stranger to overwhelming fires and He can certainly tame them and bring about a beautiful refinement. Beauty from ashes! I was provided this book for free as an Advanced Reader Copy by Bethany House, a division of Baker House Publishing, for my honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Narita

    In the late 1800s the utmost on most girls minds was getting married, but not twenty-two year old Militine. In fact she never wants to marry. Yet her home is the Madison Bridal School in Seattle Washington. The three sisters who run the school have taken her in and provide for her in every way. They think they are also preparing her for marriage. Their niece, Abrianna, is of the same mind as Militine. Her desire is to serve God and help others, not find a husband. The two are best friends except In the late 1800’s the utmost on most girl’s minds was getting married, but not twenty-two year old Militine. In fact she never wants to marry. Yet her home is the Madison Bridal School in Seattle Washington. The three sisters who run the school have taken her in and provide for her in every way. They “think” they are also preparing her for marriage. Their niece, Abrianna, is of the same mind as Militine. Her desire is to serve God and help others, not find a husband. The two are best friends except in the area of God. Militine shuns Him as much as Abrianna embraces Him. Militine has secrets that keep her from trusting anyone, including the Lord and fearful her past may resurface at any time. Thane and Wade are two upstanding young men that Abrianna’s aunts trust explicitly. They help around the school and are also good friends of the two girls. Thane also carries a dark and painful past of his own. Militine and Thane begin to build a relationship. Is it possible with their personal problems and lack of faith in God? Abrianna secretly sets up a soup kitchen on skid row to help those in need. She throws all her heart into it, dragging the other 3 along as unwilling partners. Little did she know how this would affect each of their lives. Together the four face dangerous criminal situations and a massive city fire. I was fascinated to learn historical information about fire departments during that time. I knew they were far from what we have now, but I never realized how helpless firemen were in these emergency situations. Militine and Thane’s story reminded me so much of when people cannot understand how God is love when bad things have happened to them. I loved the way the author works through the characters bring about understanding. I loved Abrianna’s spit fire courage and desire to follow the Lord completely. Her no nonsense, determined personality was frustrating to her friends, but she got things done. In her eyes, no sacrifice was too great nor any obstacle to large for her to follow through with what God had shown her. I wish more of us were like that. The story is like a roller coaster. There is calm and sweetness, then the suspense builds until the reader is caught off guard by unexpected turns. I thoroughly enjoyed it! I received a copy of this book free from Bethany House, a division of Baker Books as part of a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    There was no easy way to move a dead body. From this opening sentence, Refining Fire was an entertaining journey to Seattle at the end of the 19th century. The story returned me to the Madison Bridal School and the quirky characters I've come to adore. Militine Scott and Thane Patton both have secrets from their pasts that they'd rather keep hidden. Because of this, Militine has no intention of marrying, but enjoys the friendships at the bridal school. When Thane expresses his desire to court There was no easy way to move a dead body. From this opening sentence, Refining Fire was an entertaining journey to Seattle at the end of the 19th century. The story returned me to the Madison Bridal School and the quirky characters I've come to adore. Militine Scott and Thane Patton both have secrets from their pasts that they'd rather keep hidden. Because of this, Militine has no intention of marrying, but enjoys the friendships at the bridal school. When Thane expresses his desire to court her, Militine is hesitant. She has her reasons not to trust men. Meanwhile, Abrianna Cunningham's idea of starting a soup kitchen to feed the poor and homeless may end up putting both young women in danger, especially when Abrianna agrees to court the wealthy Priam Welby if he will provide a larger building for her charity. It's up to Thane and Wade Ackerman, the long-time family friend, to keep them safe. While Militine and Thane are supposed to be the main characters, they share a good portion of their book with Abrianna and Wade. I liked having the multiple points of view, but Militine was in the shadow of Abrianna's strong and independent personality. I would have liked to see a little more of Militine. The majority of the characters were introduced in the previous book, Steadfast Heart, and I'd recommend reading that one first, as there are some plot threads that are continued from that story. I enjoyed this story more than I did the first book of this series. Instead of a couple falling immediately in love, the characters in this story have known each other and been friends for a while. Their relationships have blossomed slowly over time. I love the moment when the characters start recognizing their feelings. There were a few things that weren't resolved in this book, which I'm sure are leaving a set-up for the third book, but I felt like it needed a little bit more closure. As for the spiritual threads, I enjoyed the conflict between Abrianna and the new Pastor Walker. I liked how the author used Abrianna's actions to show Christ's example rather than the man that should have been the religious leader. This is definitely categorized as Christian fiction, with many discussions taking place between characters on spiritual matters. I'd recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction and heroines who speak their mind and don't conform to society's expectations in those days. It was enjoyable and had plenty of action and antagonists to keep the story interesting. I'd give this book 3.5/5 stars. I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Victoria W.

    Tracie Peterson has long been recognized as a leader in Christian historical fiction. Often featuring memorable female leads, Peterson weaves life int these characters while providing readers landmarks of events, places, or advancements to help anchor her stories, Refining Fire is no different in this vein, featuring many memorable characters while centering on Militine, Thane, Abrianna, and Wade in Seattle of 1889. Militine and Thane both have painful pasts that are, in their minds, best left Tracie Peterson has long been recognized as a leader in Christian historical fiction. Often featuring memorable female leads, Peterson weaves life int these characters while providing readers landmarks of events, places, or advancements to help anchor her stories, Refining Fire is no different in this vein, featuring many memorable characters while centering on Militine, Thane, Abrianna, and Wade in Seattle of 1889. Militine and Thane both have painful pasts that are, in their minds, best left behind them, not only for the bad memories but also for the potential cost to their newly rebuilding lives. For Militine, this involves hiding out at the Madison Bridal School. For Thane, through his work as a volunteer firefighter. Neither are overly concerned with the Christian life and God their friends continually propose through word or deed. I really enjoy Militine. I like the wounded character and by now it should come as no surprise the Militine was an instant draw in this book. Her backstory, slowly unfolded was fascinating to guess at although it's abrupt reveal did feel a little anticlimactic. Thane rounded out a wonderful pairing as Peterson captured a great dynamic. The counsellor in me cringed slightly as, in real life, this pairing and the speed with which they progressed could spell disaster but for a fictional account I was willing to simply read and enjoy without getting overly critical. Wade and Abrianna provided an interest counterpoint to Militine and Thane's intensity. Wade's longsuffering at Abrianna's ideas and lack of awareness provided a lightness to the narrative (although at the same time couldn't be faulted Abrianna's lack of awareness did become an aggravation at times). I appreciated that the Christian models in Refining Fire weren't perfect: Wade struggled with his future, Abrianna with her . . . let's call it intensity, and the Aunt's also had their own little quirks to help them feel less archtype and more human. Even the climactic adventure, though somewhat expected given Abrianna and Militine's friendship, provided an exciting finish that kept me emotionally invested (an element I often find missing in this genre) as I worried with Militine over her friends safety. I would definitely pick up other books in the Brides of Seattle series and heartily recommend this to other fans of the genre. I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jalynn Patterson

    About the Book: Militine Scott, twenty-two, is in training at the Madison School for Brides in Seattle, Washington. Though she has no intention of pursuing marriagebelieving no man will have hershe has found the school provides the perfect opportunity to hide her unsavory past. Thane Patton, though fun loving and fiercely loyal to his friends, hides a dark secret, as well. He finds himself drawn to Militine, sensing a haunting pain similar to his own. Will they finally allow God to make something About the Book: Militine Scott, twenty-two, is in training at the Madison School for Brides in Seattle, Washington. Though she has no intention of pursuing marriage–believing no man will have her–she has found the school provides the perfect opportunity to hide her unsavory past. Thane Patton, though fun loving and fiercely loyal to his friends, hides a dark secret, as well. He finds himself drawn to Militine, sensing a haunting pain similar to his own. Will they finally allow God to make something new and beautiful from the debris of the past? My Review: Militine Scott isn’t sure if she believes all she hears about God. How can He love someone like her? Someone with a past like her? It just isn’t possible. She’s not sure if it’s her or the preachers, but every time she hears one something just doesn’t set right. But with other things to worry about, she just doesn’t have the time to worry about such things. Soon Militine is roped into helping the poor, something her ecstatic Christian friend wants to do. With a building to fix and tons of homeless people and orphans to help, they have their work cut out for them. And all they need is a little help from two handsome men. Thane Patton fixes boats for a living, not something he wishes to do forever, but for now it pays the bills. Hiding a dark secret, he does his best to stay happy, to be the best friend he can be. But when he meets Militine and begins working with his best friend on a building to feed the poor, his secret threatens to spill out. Although pretty Militine seems to have everything altogether, Thane notices something about her that isn’t quite right. Maybe that’s why he’s so drawn to her. With their friends constantly talking about God, they must decide if they will give it all to Him. So much to do and so little time, this is something they will have to figure out on their own. Refining Fire is book two in the Brides of Seattle series. Tracie Peterson is one of my all time favorite authors. And compared to her other books, this one didn’t lack in the least. This book had just as must adventure! I love her books and I can’t wait to see what comes next! **Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from Bethany House.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kav

    This is the second book in the Brides of Seattle series which centers around the young women enrolled in the Madison Bridal School in 1889. The crazy aunts are back, running the school, and I adore them! Their scenes are hysterical, their dialogue witty as they bring wisdom and chuckles to the story in measured doses. Best quote in the book comes from Aunt Miriam: "Abrianna, it is not our job to win converts. It is our job to show people the love of God and share the truth of the gospel. You can This is the second book in the Brides of Seattle series which centers around the young women enrolled in the Madison Bridal School in 1889. The crazy aunts are back, running the school, and I adore them! Their scenes are hysterical, their dialogue witty as they bring wisdom and chuckles to the story in measured doses. Best quote in the book comes from Aunt Miriam: "Abrianna, it is not our job to win converts. It is our job to show people the love of God and share the truth of the gospel. You can hardly do that hitting them over the head with the cross." You will note that Aunt Miriam is speaking to Abrianna and that's because, once again, she (and her potential love interest, Wade) steal the show. As in the first book, this one is all about them. Militine and Thane are relegated to secondary character status which makes the back blurb very misleading. This was the same problem with Steadfast Heart. Abrianna is larger than life and in nearly every scene. She's like a revved up Anne of Green Gables and so over the top she can be annoying. But she's endearing as well. She's the heroine who makes things happen. All the action revolves around her and her scheming. Sometimes she comes across as holier than thou (hence the above admonishment from Aunt Miriam) but her heart is in the right place so I found myself forgiving some of her impetuous statements. Militine is a pale shadow in comparison -- and there's a reason for that. She can't shake free from her unsavory past and lives in fear of discovery. Thane is dealing with his own troubled past as well. There was such scope for depth and emotional connection in their storyline but after an intriguing build up everything was resolved in one anti-climatic scene. On the other hand, the relationship between Abrianna and Wade heats up with definite promise. I am hoping the third book finally brings them resolution -- along with a suspense thread (carried on from the first book) that has been left hanging most precariously. Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

  28. 5 out of 5

    June Jacobs

    Tracie Peterson is one of my favorite authors, and I have read many of her novels. Her recent Land of Shining Water series was one of my favorite historical fiction series ever. This is the second book in the Brides of Seattle series. I have not yet read the first installment, Steadfast Heart. The book blurb on the back cover of Refining Fire leads readers to think this book is about Militine and Thane; however, it is the story of Abrianna and Wademostly Abrianna. The two young women live at the Tracie Peterson is one of my favorite authors, and I have read many of her novels. Her recent ‘Land of Shining Water’ series was one of my favorite historical fiction series ever. This is the second book in the ‘Brides of Seattle’ series. I have not yet read the first installment, ‘Steadfast Heart’. The book blurb on the back cover of ‘Refining Fire’ leads readers to think this book is about Militine and Thane; however, it is the story of Abrianna and Wade—mostly Abrianna. The two young women live at the Madison Bridal School in Seattle where they are trained for the skills needed to make a good wife. Sewing, cooking, housekeeping, and laundry are their studied subjects. Militine has escaped a horrid life with her father at a trading post in Canada. He is verbally and physically abusive toward his only child, and she is searching for some peace in her life. She shies away from social events and is uncomfortable sharing her past with others. Militine Scott and Thane Patton, a firefighter, are kindred spirits due to their shared history of parental verbal and physical abuse. Abrianna’s main focus is on feeding the unemployed, hungry men of Seattle in 1889. She works diligently to secure funding from donors to update a dilapidated building and purchase food for a lunchtime meal served Monday through Saturdays. Wade Ackerman is Abrianna’s devoted friend. I felt from the beginning of the book he wanted to be much more than a friend to Abrianna. Unfortunately, she is focused on what she wants. She seems to trample on his feelings and the feelings of the other characters often. To her credit, Abrianna does seem to mature some as the story progresses. **As always with the author’s novels, the setting and plot were well-developed. I love the authenticity this author lends to all of her books with her in-depth research of the fashions, customs, and events of the period she is writing about.** NOTE: I was given a paperback copy of this book by Bethany House Books in exchange for an honest review of this book. The thoughts shared here are entirely my own. I was not compensated for posting my review on this site or any other site.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I thoroughly enjoyed this story, #2 in the Brides of Seattle series. This bride was from a very different economic strata than the first bride. She had some deep secrets that would beset any young lady of any time. She overcame her obstacles and endured the great Seattle fire. I am looking for the next book in the series, now.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gail Johnson

    This book reads like a mini-series. The second in the series, Refining Fire, is Militine Scotts story or so you think when reading the first chapter. However, Abrianna Cunningham is the engine that moves the story along. Nothing wrong with that, if you are aware of it at the beginning of the series. Personally, I like the fact that there are multiple POVs. I enjoyed learning about everyone at once. And the conversations? Wow. True to the character and filled with scripture. Often, I laughed out This book reads like a mini-series. The second in the series, Refining Fire, is Militine Scott’s story or so you think when reading the first chapter. However, Abrianna Cunningham is the engine that moves the story along. Nothing wrong with that, if you are aware of it at the beginning of the series. Personally, I like the fact that there are multiple POVs. I enjoyed learning about everyone at once. And the conversations? Wow. True to the character and filled with scripture. Often, I laughed out loud as I envisioned the actions of the character. The heart of Refining Fire is the residents of the Madison Bridal School in Seattle Washington during the late 1800s. The owners, Miss Selma, Miss Miriam, and Miss Poisie instruct young ladies in the art of homemaking. Unfortunately, Militine Scott has no desire to become a wife. A runaway, Militine is hiding from an abusive father. She doesn’t trust anyone, including God. Then, Thane Patton asks to court her. A flame of hope kindles and Militine must choose between her past and Thane. Can she find the courage to trust God with her future? Militine’s friend, Abrianna Cunningham has no time for romance either. Her days are spent taking care of the homeless. If she had a mantra it would be, faith without works is dead. The problem? Her idea of works usually gets everyone in trouble! As Militine, Thane, Abrianna, and Wade go about their daily lives helping others, we watch relationships change as they discover their love for each other. Ms. Peterson packs her story with historical facts of the Seattle fire. She addresses the subjects of feeding the hungry, women in leadership, human trafficking, abusive authority within the church, forgiveness, healing from past wounds, and finding the will of God for one’s life. Although I would have liked a little more from Thane and Militine, I loved this book. If you are a fan of Anne of Green Gables, Cranford, or Larkrise to Candleford, you will enjoy reading this series. I received this book from Bethany House Publishers via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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