Spirit On Fire by Katlyn Conrad

Spirit On Fire by Katlyn Conrad
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (101 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Verbena

Samantha wants a normal life but the were world won’t leave the sexy new shaman alone. An outcast, she has the potential to control were spirits of all kinds—if only she can figure out how. When she encounters a red-hot demon were, everything she never wanted to know about the supernatural gets turned on its head.

The fire demon Marek claims he’s been ordered to kill Samantha but he’s disobeying the command. He’s come to save her instead, so they can work together against his sadistic vampire master. Demons are notorious liars, so Samantha has her doubts but no choice. A common cause—survival—draws them together and cool suspicion turns to sexual heat.

Everywhere Samantha goes, she runs into people who want to make use of her shaman powers for their own purposes. You could say she’s a wanted woman, but not in a good way. While Samantha yearns for a solid relationship with someone who truly cares for her, she knows that’s probably something she’ll never have. Every relationship turns bad; some have nearly cost her her life. When Marek kidnaps and holds her hostage, forcing her to do his bidding, she really has no reason to think that he’s any different than the rest. His up-and-down moods and questionable character keep her on a roller coaster of emotions, causing her to wonder what his intent really is. When she learns the truth about her abilities, she discovers her life is in more danger than she realized, and she may just have to make a deal with the devil to stay alive.

When Marek is ordered to kill Samantha, he realizes she may be his only means of escape from an overbearing master who uses him as a personal hitman to eliminate anyone he sees fit. Marek is tired of being a pawn in his brother’s sick games. He’s tired of killing. He may be a demon, but he’s not an evil man. The things Roger makes him do go against the sliver of humanity he desperately clings to. If he’s successful, he may manage to escape his brother yet and perhaps save Samantha at the same time. But it’s going to take joint cooperation and effort. Despite their precarious situation and tenuous bond, he finds himself falling for the little spitfire shaman and falling hard. There’s only one way they can truly be safe: Roger has to die. If the prophecies are right, Samantha is the only one who can kill him.

It took me a while to figure out the author’s use of the word “were”. From what I understand, a “were” is someone that has the spirit of another form living inside, like a wolf, bear, fox, rabbit, etc. It’s definitely a different use for the word, and certainly creative. In Spirit On Fire, the author focuses mainly on demon weres, particularly one named Marek, who hopes to use Samantha’s powers to free himself from the one who enslaved him many years ago, his brother Roger.

One thing I noticed right from the start is a point of view violation when Samantha runs into a male wolf in the coffee shop. The main character can’t describe herself as the wolf sees her. We’re in her point of view, not his. We’d have to be in the wolf’s point of view to describe her hair color, body structure, attractiveness, etc. Otherwise, it just makes the character seem arrogant or conceited to describe herself that way. It’s a common mistake author’s make when trying to portray a character’s physical attributes. It really didn’t detract from the story, but it is something the author needs to be aware of for future books.

There’s definitely a heated chemistry between Samantha and Marek. I really liked Sam’s honesty and spunk. While she certainly wants to get rid of Roger—after all, he’d ordered her death— she won’t risk hurting innocent bystanders. In a way, she helps Marek hold onto that small measure of humanity when his desperation to be free threatens to make him careless when other lives are at stake.

Samantha really struggles with her growing feelings for Marek. Her heart says one thing while her brain says another. Marek struggles no less. Part of him wants to acknowledge the feelings he has for Samantha, while the other demand he hold her at arm’s length, if for no other reason than to protect her.

Spirit On Fire has an interesting plot. As Samantha’s true shaman powers unfolded, I began to see how unique Ms. Conrad’s ideas are. Her writing is creative and entertaining, and her book proved to be well worth my time.

If you love shape-shifters, magic, and demonic possession, then you’ll surely want to grab a copy of Ms. Katlyn Conrad’s Spirit On Fire. This book has it all. Throw in a psychotic bad-guy with a God complex and a simmering attraction that threatens to boil over if given a little push, and you have the recipe for a story that promises to entertain and delight. I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Conrad’s Spirit On Fire and would recommend it to all my BFF’s.

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