Friday 9 May 2014

Review - Flame by Clarissa Wild

Title: Flame
Series: Fierce # 2
Author: Clarissa Wild
Release Date: May 8, 2014
When trust is challenged and desire takes control, is love enough to conquer fear?

When geeky book nerd Autumn Blakewood falls for the cocky, confident fighter Hunter Bane she knows she’s in for life. Their undeniable connection, fueled by the desire to protect, grows stronger every passing second. However, the need to feel cherished threatens her college graduation, family bonds, and future, tearing her apart, but she won’t give up on Hunter so easily …

After he was abandoned by his family, Hunter Bane struggles to cope with daily life. Having a learning disability turns every task into a challenge. With his brother now free, Hunter feels the pressure to succeed and take care of the people he loves, forcing him to choose between college and a job. Hunter’s devotion to Autumn keeps him on the right path. His infatuation with her turns lust into passion, drawing out his alpha tendencies. But with affection comes admission, putting a strain on their relationship as secrets are exposed and unforeseen circumstances spiral out of control.

Being complete opposites, their love is flaming hot, but it burns away all inhibitions, unveiling the fears that were locked deep inside. As past and present collide, difficult choices must be made. Can Autumn and Hunter’s love survive this ultimate test?
Before I get into my review of Flame, I  think I owe the parents of the cover model a big THANK YOU. Because he's hot. Seriously hot. I-can't-take-my-eyes-off-the-cover-long-enough-to-read-the-book hot. In fact, the covers for all three of the Fierce books, and the novella, have been visually delightful. Man, I do love a good cover. Not just a hot man cover - although I think we can all agree that they are in a class of their own - but anything that's eye-catching. And these covers are definitely that. But as much as I enjoy judging a book by its cover (don't even pretend y'all don't do the same thing), I should probably move onto the actual story....

Starting after the events of Fierce and Fury, we see Hunter and his Leafy - Autumn - picking up Hunter's recently-released brother from jail. They're ready now to face life and college together, somewhat confident in their love for one another. Any new relationship comes with challenges and as two kids struggling to deal with terrible childhoods and parenting failures, Hunter and Autumn have more to overcome than most. As they learn more about one another and stare-down the expectations of themselves and others, they're tested in ways they never imagined.

I admittedly struggled with Fierce - I didn't really like Hunter all that much until I'd read Fury and felt I understood him better - so I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this book and the characters this time around. I was eager to get into though and found from page one that I was engaged. The alternating POV was much more effective in allowing me to connect with Hunter and Autumn and understand why they did the things they did. The story seemed to come in waves rather than constantly building to a major incident. I kept waiting for the "big event" and it never came. Instead it was a series of little issues that were resolved before they could get out of hand. Perhaps it's because the major plot point of the final third was so familiar as to almost be a trope, but I didn't feel any pressure in the story. Hunter and Autumn were never in doubt, even when they were separated by circumstance or anger. However, I don't necessary believe that that is a bad thing. I'm not someone that typically seeks out over overly emotional, angsty stories so Flame was a nice break from the norm. I'm thrilled that the continuation of Hunter and Autumn's story didn't rehash old ground in their relationship - although the aforementioned plot point felt old to me as a reader, it was new to the characters and it allowed them to grow. I'm glad I stuck with this series through to its end. Clarissa Wilde wrapped it up in a story that was different from the first two installments and, in some ways, far superior. And she put an amazing cover on it.

This is book two in the Fierce series (Fierce is book 1, Fury book 1.5) and cannot be read as a standalone. There is no cliffhanger.

 4.5 stars (5 stars for the cover).

~ Review by Beth


Also Available in the Fierce Series

#0.5 Fight

#1 Fierce
#1.5 Fury

Clarissa Wild is the Amazon Bestselling Romance author of FIERCE, a top 200 and top 15 New Adult Romance novel. She is also a writer of erotic romance such as the Blissful Series, The Billionaire's Bet series, the Doing It Series and the Enflamed Series. She is an avid reader and writer of sexy stories about hot men and feisty women. Her other loves include her furry cat friend and learning about different cultures. In her free time she enjoys watching all sorts of movies, reading tons of books and cooking her favorite meals.


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