- Playing with Fire reads a bit as though R. J. Blain took whatever mythical and magical ideas she had on hand, added in the kitchen sink, and tossed the whole lot at her word processor program.
I don't mean that in a bad way. Because what she ended up with is a fun, silly, ribald romp of a story that serves as an excellent palette cleanser in between courses of more serious reading.
And again, I don't mean that in a bad way either.
Sometimes the best thing to read is a book that takes nothing seriously, least of all itself.
There's a lot going on, some of it absurd, some of it sexy, some of it high drama (tempered with more absurdities and steaminess), none of it really graphic. There are action scenes. There are gorgons and angels, incubi and succubi, old Egyptian gods and glass coffins that serve as containment cells for viral contaminations. There's pixie dust that creates a high, and a purple unicorn that breathes fire. There's...
Well, you get the idea.
Of course this only works if the author has the skills to pull it all off. Happily, Blain is up to the task, making sense out of all the disparate elements and providing a highly entertaining journey that brings the puzzle of madcap contradictions together by the time we get to the end. If you're prudish and don't like to laugh, avoid Playing with Fire. Otherwise, you'll have a ball. - Charles de Lint, Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Sept/Oct 2017.
- Playing with Fire is an eccentric, charming, and humorous oddity, a rare gem, and definitely unique. RJ Blain brings a refreshing whimsy to well-known mythology. - Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
- With an abundance of humor, barely suppressed sexual tension, plenty of paranormal rules, regulations and fireworks, and a cast of characters including the lowest of evil creatures to faeries, centaurs and even the Divine, Playing with Fire pulls out all the stops for a great read that keeps you turning pages to see just how Bailey can manage the next disaster and if her dreams regarding Chief Quinn will come true. - Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite
- The story is a heady combination of magic, excitement, fun, adventure, and romance, and the author weaves these elements effortless through the plot, making the book a compelling read. - Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite