Thursday, January 16, 2014

eBook Review: Temptation by Fire

Visions of death haunt her . . .

Ava Keller sees the future. When she suffers a horrifying vision of a man's violent death, she knows from experience nothing she does will stop it from becoming a reality. But when she meets a strong, broken man, he makes her want to believe in second chances.

Vengeance consumes him . . .

Tortured by his past, Karson has worked tirelessly to wreak vengeance on the demons who murdered his family. But when Ava inadvertently disrupts his intricate plan for revenge, his focus shifts to an all-consuming need to keep her alive and in his arms.

Love could save their souls . . .

Thrown together by fate, Ava and Karson explore their new feelings and discover hope for the future. But they must battle the demons threatening humanity to find a destiny worthy of their love.

Allee pretty much has a steadfast and devoted reader in me.  With the exception of I think one of her stories, I've read them and barring some minor quibbles, enjoyed them all a lot.  I recently told her I stalk her release dates and preorder as soon as I can because its true.  This is on the longer side of her works (which range from roughly 150pgs to 200pgs), but the increased action make this is a very fast read.

This is a darker book then her previous paranormals.  Grittier, with a Hero who openly admits he's done terrible terrible things in the name of survival and vengeance. Karson doesn't believe he deserves someone like Ava, and honestly part of the time I agreed with him.  Sure he had a normal life once, but after the demon butchered (not just murdered, but gleefully butchered) his family there was nothing else for him.  Soft and fuzzy was replaced with a deep pit of rage and violence.  He knows that his path will one day lead him into a dark place he may not be able to come back from.  He takes that risk not out of an altruistic need to save humanity, but the very real human need to make right what went horribly wrong.

Ava by contrast seems...soft.  Naive.  Vulnerable because she is afraid of everything.  Her power, or curse, has made her life painful as well.  Not the blood soaked pain that Karson's is, but an emotional trauma that has her cringing away from human contact, even from her best friend.  Whereas Karson stares at the darkness in the world and then chops it into bitty pieces, Ava hides beneath her bed and hums until it goes away.

Until she no longer can.  The first third is filled with Ava trying to help the man she sees dying in her vision and running up against Karson who is set against her NOT helping.  For very good reasons.  Very, very good reasons. 

Ava makes quite a few rather large mistakes.  Mostly out of cluelessness.  She thinks she is doing the right thing.  She believes she is doing the right thing and doesn't want a repeat of what happened with her family to happen again.  But its a stacked deck very much against her with Karson keeping her in the dark about everything until it becomes apparent that's counter purposeful for everyone. 

While Ava will never win asskicker of the year, she is a determined person.  After years of living afraid of what could happen, her first forays into helping others is murky, but she keeps at it until they finally find a way to make her powers work for them.  And she makes some fair points to Karson.  He's so hellbent on saving her from the world that he ignored some very useful intel.  Also made a couple rookie mistakes.  Which he does own up to.  He doesn't sugarcoat how badly Ava screwed his plans up, but he doesn't entirely blame her either.  He knows his culpability in the botches.

For many this will feel more like an urban fantasy, with a lot of the emphasis more on coming to terms with yourself and what that means in the larger world of paranormal creatures.  Ava has to come to terms with and learn to control her psychic powers while Karson just needs to take a step back and realize maybe going full tilt is NOT the best way to get his goals. 

Engaging characters, fast-paced action, slow burn romance and lots of clever quips make this a must read!