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I Belong


Review: Fire in the Darkness by Stacey Marie Brown

Fire in the DarknessTitleFire in the Darkness

AuthorStacey Marie Brown

Genre: NA Paranormal Romance

Series: Darkness Series (Book #2)

Publication Date: September 16, 2013

Format: Paperback, 328 Pages

ISBN-100989013138 (Twisted Fairy)

ISBN-13978-0989013130 (Twisted Fairy)

Reviewed by: Kelly

Synopsis:

It’s been four weeks since Ember Brycin witnessed what her powers are capable of. The Electrical Current Storm (ECS) has turned Seattle, Washington into a natural disaster zone. The death toll is in the thousands with countless others homeless and hungry.

And Ember is the one who caused it. Something she will have to live with every day.

Those people who were unable to escape either turned quickly into gangs or live in shelters. Ember, on the other hand, can’t do either. With a price on her head and a Dark Dweller on her ass, she is constantly on the move. Both Light and Dark are hunting her for their own purpose to use her as a weapon or a pawn in the war between the Unseelie King of the Dark and the Seelie Queen of the Light.

Em needs help but doesn’t know who to trust: Lars, the mystery man Torin told her to find? Torin, the Seelie Queen’s personal knight, who has sworn to keep Em safe? Or Eli, who wants to turn her over to the Unseelie King, but whom she has an undeniable, intense connection with?

No matter what she chooses she will probably lose—her life or everything and everyone she loves.

Quick & Dirty: Fire in the Darkness was everything I hoped the story would be and more! The sexual tension between Eli and Ember is just as scorching as in the first book but their relationship is definitely changing as they face more challenges. Even though I would have been content to keep the entire focus on the two of them, the introduction of several other characters was a welcomed change and ultimately prevented the story from becoming dull. It’s not necessary but I still suggest reading the first book in the series for no other reason than to spend more time with Eli.

Opening Sentence: The acrid aroma of cheap, processed coffee and burnt beans seeped down the long food line, assaulting my nose.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Learning she’s not human has been both a blessing and a curse for Ember Brycin. On the one hand, learning the Fay world exists means she’s not losing her mind. On the other, learning her true heritage as a Dae -a Demon-Fae hybrid that’s both feared and detested by pretty much everyone in the Fay world – means she has no one willing to help her evade the Seelie Queen’s soldiers.

Penniless, hungry and overwhelmed with guilt over her role in the destruction of Seattle, Ember is determined not to ask for help from the Dark Dweller who’s kept so many secrets from her. Unfortunately, the blood bond she shares with Eli Dragen is like a tracking beacon: there’s nowhere she can hide where he can’t – or won’t -find her. The connection may be a painful reminder of Eli’s duplicity but it comes in handy after finding herself cornered by a group of Fay mercenaries in an empty warehouse.

Reuniting Eli and Ember is like putting oil on fire. Ember’s anger is completely understandable given the fact that she believes Eli only pretended to be attracted to her in order to use her for his own means. Just because she’s devastated over Eli’s betrayal doesn’t mean the girl is going to be stupid though. Ember’s character is evolving in this book, moving away from thinking of the world in strict black or white terms. She’s tired of being treated as a pawn in a game she doesn’t understand and is learning how to play by the Fay rules. Ember knows there’s nothing Eli won’t do to help his family return to the Fay world – including trading her to the Unseelie King – but at least he won’t try to use her powers to harm others. Regardless of their agenda, she understands the Dark Dwellers are the best shot she currently has of staying out of the Seelie Queen’s hands while rescuing her stepfather.

They also happen to be pretty badass fighters. Knowing a sweaty Ember and Eli in close physical contact would result in even more sexual tension had me gleefully clapping my hands together. Yes, Eli was a douche by keeping numerous secrets from Ember and allowing her to believe she meant nothing to him. Yes, he’s egotistical and attempts to control Ember. He acts like an Alpha Male because he is one, still closer to his beast side despite being in the human realm for years. He is, afterall, a Dark Dweller and not a human male. That said, Eli’s character also evolved in this book. His jealousy over Ember’s continued dreamscaping relationship with Torin is proof he cared, but he’s still torn between his duty to his family and his feelings for her. He does everything he can to avoid turning Ember over to the Unseelie King, even finding another way for his family to return to the Fay world. Learning why his feelings for Ember were so conflicted put a lot of his actions into perspective and I felt infinitely better about wanting the crazy kids to work things out. Though he’ll never be the kind of guy who brings her flowers, Eli’s relationship with Ember has grown into something not quite sweet yet still romantic.

Then, just as Ember finally starts to get a handle on being a Dae, Brown tosses the written equivalent of several hand grenades into the mix. Ember may not understand why she still feels such a strong connection with Torin after learning he’s the Seelie Queen’s plaything, but she believes that he’s the only one who truly cares for her without a secret agenda. With the help from two pixies, Torin is able to arrange for Ember to slip between the realms…and away from Eli. It’s a true test of whether Ember has learned enough about her powers to rescue her loved ones, avoid capture and return to face the wrath of a powerful Demon who’s helped her along the way.

I actually enjoyed this book more than Darkness of Light, the first book in the series. The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, so I was extremely grateful that the third book in the series is already out. I’m both anxious and looking forward to seeing where Brown takes these characters now that the mythology has been established.

Notable Scene:

“Let’s try this again, shall we?” My voice was playfully sinister. “When I say run, you run, and this time we’ll see who gets the other first.”

“Brycin?” Eli’s voice rang out behind me. I was so focused on my prey it was hard for me to take my eyes off it. A repeat of my name forced me to turn around and acknowledge Eli, who stood back on two legs in nothing more than a pair of shredded pants. When my eyes met his, his head jerked back and sucked in a hiss of air. He stood there with blood all over him, staring at me. I’d never seen him look so visibly startled before, and something about it made me feel unsure and frightened.

“Ember, move off him.”

“Mine,” my mouth uttered before I even realized I’d spoken.

“Now, Brycin. That’s an order.”

I wanted to protest, to declare my rights to the kill. It had attacked me. I have the right. But my objections never made it out, feeling the weight of his authority. Once more I looked down on Vek. The longing to destroy him was strong, but Eli’s demand was stronger. Bitterly I stepped off of him, standing up, angry that Eli was taking my kill away from me. He walked up to Vek, tugging the knife from his sheath, and leaned down over Vek’s body. Vek watched him nervously; the confidence he held earlier had vanished.

The Darkness Series:

1. Darkness of Light

2. Fire in the Darkness

2.5 Beast In The Darkness (An Elighan Dragen Novelette)

3. Dwellers of Darkness

4. Blood Beyond Darkness (August 2014)

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FTC Advisory: I purchased an eBook copy of Fire in the Darkness. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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