Embraced by Fire by Louise Delamore

Embraced by Fire by Louise Delamore
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full length (354 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Daisy

The last thing Ryu McKay needs on a mission to expose a black market information ring is a simmering attraction to his boss. Not only is he undercover, he needs to keep his shape-shifter identity a secret. Despite his desire, he dare not act on his attraction.

For Kait, excitement and that one special man exist only in her dreams. However, everything changes when Ryu walks into her office looking for a job as a fire-eater. Now she wants nothing more than to turn her dreams into reality.

Kait’s attraction to Ryu grows, but can it survive the secrets he’s hiding? Like the fire with which he plays, this man is dangerous.

Embraced by Fire is a book which draws on the hypnotism of flame and the heat of sexual attraction. Ryu and Kait – the main characters – are drawn to each other physically and thrown together through dangerous circumstances.

This is a romance which revolves around a secret dealer in Kait’s company. The stakes get higher as the lust between the main characters blossoms into romance. The kisses are hot but I found the sexual scenes were downplayed and not as satisfying as I would have wanted due to sex scenes being fully played out in dreams as well as reality.

I also felt the beginning was cliché and ineffective – “Today was just like yesterday, and like yesterday’s yesterday”. The depression from the first line doesn’t draw me into the sparky and lively romance this turns into and it doesn’t put me on the character’s side from the beginning. “The only place anything exciting happened was in her dreams” was also not particularly promising for the rest of the book. Grammatically, there were a fair number of comma splices throughout but not many typos.

Ryu, as the love interest, is introduced quickly and described in great detail. I found this to be too much too quick and more of an info dump than a brilliant illustration of the character. Kait obviously finds Ryu to be incredibly attractive but I didn’t pick up on what made this man so special until much later in the story, when he’s playing with fire (literally). The descriptions of characters in movement were much better, more alive on the page.

That said, the book did turn out pretty good and I enjoyed reading it. Kait is a logical character who comes undone under Ryu’s skilled hands, developing her into a much more emotional and sexual person. I did feel at times her logical actions did not fit with her overly emotional thoughts but that may just be me and those only looking for romance could overlook these small inconsistencies.

On the whole, I found the book an enjoyable romance read, as long as I did not look too closely at the plot (which I found a little predictable). The characters are strong in dialogue and individuality and don’t match any stereotypes I’ve found to be worn out in romance fiction. Kait is an ambitious businesswoman undone by a fire eating god of a man and Ryu is a man who realises commitment isn’t such a bad thing.

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