Fireworks At Dusk by Stephanie Bedwell-Grime

Fireworks At Dusk by Stephanie Bedwell-Grime
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

In a city divided by a deep river valley, one side is stricken with a deadly outbreak. In order to protect themselves, the citizens on the other side of the valley destroy the connecting bridges and sever all transportation and communications links.

Brielle lives on the western side of the city in the epicenter of the outbreak. Rayden is a native of the east side. On the eve of the outbreak, he’s on his way to see Brielle when the two sides of the city are separated. With little information getting out, and no way to contact her, he’s desperate to know if Brielle is safe.

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Brielle and Rayden had slowly but surely built a lovely relationship even though they lived on opposite sides of the city. When a strange virus strikes the entire city is thrown into chaos and communications are down along with the bridge that joins the two ends. Brielle and Rayden are separated – but their love for each other helps guide them to a new way to communicate and be together while they’re apart.

Considering these current times I haven’t been reading too many of the “plague kills everyone” or “post-apocalypse” style of stories because it’s not really “paranormal” or “dystopian” fiction anymore rather than another day checking out our global news. The plot of this one, however, really captured my interest. I was relieved and really pleased to find it hopeful and sweet – which is I feel is totally what we all need right now – and I loved how Brielle and Rayden were both determined to reconnect and be together even when they were physically divided.

I wasn’t too keen on the jumping around in the timeline – from the present back into the past of Rayden and Brielle starting their courtship, back and forth, but I admit I did enjoy seeing more of these two main characters interacting together and watching their story on how they fell in love and came to be together. I’m not sure the bouncing around will suit every readers tastes, but overall I felt the gain from getting more of an insight into Brielle and Rayden’s relationship was worth the headache of the jumping around.

Readers looking for an intensely erotic story won’t find that here. While Brielle and Rayden are in a relationship their physical separation means there isn’t much sex really to speak of in the story – just one flashback scene. The story focuses more around the steaminess and emotional connection between them. I found this different perspective refreshing and quite enjoyed it, though I would understand readers wanting and expecting an explicit and sexy story might not be satisfied with this aspect to the story.

I was nervous that the story mightn’t have a happy ending but I was delighted to be proven wrong. This story has a satisfying and very happy finish and I feel readers will be really pleased with this. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this story even though it hit a bit close to home. I really feel readers can give this a chance and they shouldn’t find themselves disappointed.

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