Sunday, March 9, 2014

Circle of Fire by Keri Arthur

Circle Of Fire

by Keri Arthur



Sixteen teenagers taken from their homes. Eleven bodies recovered, each completely drained of blood. Some believe vampires are responsible. Jon Barnett knows that what’s happening is far worse. Sent by a group of paranormal investigators known as the Damask Circle, Jon quickly becomes enmeshed in a web of black magic and realizes he needs help. But fate gives him only one choice.

Madeline Smith has retreated to an isolated farmhouse, afraid of the abilities she cannot control—abilities that have killed. But when a “ghost” brings a warning of danger and her nephew goes missing, Maddie not only has to leave her haven, she has to place her trust in a man who is neither ghost nor human. As the noose of sorcery tightens, the search for the teenagers becomes a race against time. But the greatest danger to Maddie and Jon could be the intense feelings they refuse to acknowledge but cannot ignore.

I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley.

Wow.  I really enjoyed this book, even more than I thought I would.  I haven't read anything by Keri Arthur for years and I had almost forgotten how much I really enjoy her writing.
It took me a few pages to really get into the story because of the way it starts.  My very first impression was that my copy was missing a chapter because we're thrown into the middle of a scene, and the first meeting between the characters is off-page and only mentioned very briefly.  I understand the reason for beginning with some sort of action but I think it could have been smoother.
Besides that rather small critique, I have nothing but good to say about the book.  I quickly grew interested in the storyline and emotionally invested in the characters.  Jon and Maddie were not cardboard characters.  They were wonderfully written and had a life of their own.  Like any great character they had faults, hopes, and dreams.  Maddie was allowed to be weak without the author feeling the need to make her invincible later in the story.  That made me value Maddie's character even more.
I loved the romance and sexual tension between the two characters.  I especially love how Keri Arthur allowed the characters to orbit each other for quite a while before anything happened between them.  It allowed the tension to really build and left me in suspense.
My favorite aspect of the book was that it had an actual solid plot, which is sometimes lacking in the paranormal romance-type books.  I have read too many PNR books that seem to have been written solely as an excuse to write romance with some added supernatural elements.  This book wasn't like that at all.  The plot was strong and present throughout the entire book, and in fact there were times when the building romance took a backseat to the plot.  I would have liked to learn even more about the Damask Circle, but I know that will probably come later in the series.   It was a great book and very well done, in my opinion.  I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

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