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Flame's Dawn: A Hell to Pay Novella Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
As an independent reviewer for Romance Authors that Rock, I give her five full bleeding hearts for his story and an awesome closure to the circle of characters I have grown to love so much. As always, the sex scenes are both steamy and sweet at the same time. I'll be rereading these over and over for sure!!
I enjoyed how well-developed David’s characters were, without ever going overboard on character development. I felt as if I really got to know them, while still wanting to know more. It was a true introduction to new friends. I also enjoyed getting to know these two. While I may not have always agreed with their choices, they did make for a fantastic story.
With this novella David has created a tale that not only sets the stage for her Hell to Pay series, but also is a fantastic read on its own.
Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
Good Lord, what was this prequel?!?! And here I was, always hesitant about the stories before everything in a series "really" began! Well, OK, except in this case, because Barnaby was a secondary character who played a major role in the four other Indebted getting free - I needed to know his story!
And I sure as hell wasn't disappointed! I finally got to see how Barnaby was in his... umm, can we call it youth if we're talking about an immortal guy...?
OK, I'll call it that for now. In any case, just as I was curious to see Barnaby in the same light I saw Peter, Dante, and Odie, I also wanted to meet his Jane. And to witness the moment he broke his contract, because, yeah, that's a major part in every book of this series.
Now, I may have read all the books coming AFTER this one, but that didn't take the fun out of reading Flame's Dawn. I have finally come to the conclusion that Jillian David never gives the same kind of surprises in her stories. The main theme and the concept may be the same, but each book delivers different shocks, different expectations, and all in completely different patterns. Each of her stories feels like a hidden treasure - one that has a giant red bow on top of the chest, because it also comes as an early birthday/Christmas present! You simply have no idea where it will lead, or how it will get to the climax that will leave you breathless, but you're certain it will be spectacular!
Apart from the 'HOLY-WOW-THIS-IS-AMAZEBALLS' feeling that you get when you see the events in her stories unfold in the most unexpected of ways, there's no denying that she can also scare the crap out of anyone like there's no tomorrow. It's not that she has the goriest stuff in there, or the psychological warfare she unleashes is something we haven't experienced in such books before. It's the fact that she weaves her words in a spell full of tension in the air, and the constant fear that something is either behind the next corner, or chasing after you, and you're not sure how to mentally proceed - that traitorous mixture of false safety and well-earned caution does wonders to keep the pages turning and your heart trying to thump its way out of your chest.
She's one of the few writers who can keep scaring me and making me try to climb the chair I'm sitting on backwards. I really won't mind at all! Her work is exceptional, and believe you me, her characters never fail to impress. Deep, complex, with real fears and flaws and honest mistakes that any true human being would make. And when they come to be together, as one, the result is simply hot! And magical - but also, hot, did I mention that?
“There’s nothing I want more than to be with you for whatever forever means for us.” – Jane Larson
***I was given a review copy via Reeading Alley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***
I’ve been looking forward to Flame’s Dawn, the prequel to Jillian David’s Hell to Pay series, since learning it would feature the great love story of Barnaby Blackstone, the former Indebted who was so helpful during the books published earlier in the series. Learning it would take place during the period around the Vietnam War only made me more excited, as I grew up watching TV show China Beach and movies like Forrest Gump; Good Morning, Vietnam; Born on the Fourth of July; and Heaven & Earth. What sealed it was David’s playlist for Flame’s Dawn, which she recently shared with Will Read for Feels.
When I finally got to sit down with this book, I was pleased to see that the author had definitely decided to start the action in medias res. Chapter 1 drops us down right in the middle of the Vietnam War, where the world has gone to hell. Our two main characters, Barnaby and Jane, find each other here. And they have a moment in time that means more than they expected it to, but when the promise of a future is almost in their grasp, it is snatched away and they must find each other again. Of course, a whole world of nasty happens between then and a happy ending.
This book is jam-packed with action, and the two characters have one essential thing in common: they’ve both got spines of steel. It’s something that shines through over and over again, by the very truth of everything they’ve survived to get to the point where they can achieve a happy ending.
Barnaby’s is the character that really shines through the most in this novel, something we’ve seen hints of in earlier books. He exhibits a combination of caring, a need for restitution, and a desperate desire to get out of the terrible life he is trapped in, where he is a slave forced to kill the evildoer. Jane was someone you had to admire for her ideals and what she was willing to go through for them, but I did find myself on occasion wishing she had taken a more active role in the butt-kicking.
This was an intense, action-packed read that was definitely a great bookend (in many ways front and back) to the Hell to Pay series. If there’s one major item I would’ve wanted to see here, it was that the author saw the story through all the way to their happy, settled lives, in which Barnaby achieves his Meaningful Kill and settles into life with Jane.
All things considered, this book, and the way each read in this series has improved with every installation, left me pretty excited for Jillian David’s next projects—she shared that she currently has the starts to two new series in the works, and one even has ties to the Hell to Pay series, so keep an eye out for more information on those to come in the future!
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Although this is called a 'Prequel', I feel it should be read...Read more
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