A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Series:
Narrator: Mia Barron
A Promise of Fire Book Cover A Promise of Fire
Kingmaker Chronicles #1
Amanda Bouchet
Fantasy; Romance
Sourcebooks Casablanca
August 2nd, 2016
e-book; audiobook
448
Edelweiss

Catalia "Cat" Fisa is a powerful clairvoyant known as the Kingmaker. This smart-mouthed soothsayer has no interest in her powers and would much rather fly under the radar, far from the clutches of her homicidal mother. But when an ambitious warlord captures her, she may not have a choice…

Griffin is intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm in the magic-deprived south. When he discovers Cat is the Kingmaker, he abducts her. But Cat will do everything in her power to avoid her dangerous destiny and battle her captor at every turn. Although up for the battle, Griffin would prefer for Cat to help his people willingly, and he's ready to do whatever it takes to coax her…even if that means falling in love with her.

This was a breath of fresh air in a sea of young adult assassin stories. I loved that the heroine relied more cunning than magic and sword. Catalia “Cat” Fisa was a mysterious girl with special powers. She is hiding from someone and is constantly on the run. She found refuge blending into a crowd of circus but was discovered by soldiers sent by the ruling class, the Sinta. Cat immediately clashes with Griffin, the Beta of the Sinta.

From her capture, Cat and Griffin matched wits trying to outmaneuver the other. In the course of their constant bickering, the tension turns into fierce attraction.
In the beginning, it felt like the author was a setting a foundation for an awesome fantasy. Cat had this secretive background which was unveiled little by little. First, we saw she can absorb the powers of others. WE also saw the gods sent her messages or visions. Then it was revealed that she can tell when someone is telling a lie. Cat seemed to have a real assortment of gifts.

But her background and what she was running from started to take a back seat to the romance with the Beta Sinta, and that’s when I felt the story started running out of steam. While I love romance, the plot between the ruling classes and the usurpers was interesting enough. I would like have liked the romance to be a subplot and not used to distract from the drop off in the development of the story.
I will still read book 2 to find out more about Cat’s family and the ruling family, but I hope the author is more attentive to the world building.

Gideon by Ashe Barker

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

gideonGideon: by Ashe Barker
Series: Order of the Black Knights, #1
Release Date: October 5, 2016
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAReAmazon

Gideon Maybury enjoys a life of wealth and privilege, not to mention the advantages his position offers him in his career as a merchant banker and his less public life as a high-class, skilled, and very well-paid assassin for Her Majesty’s government. When his brother dies unexpectedly, he becomes the Duke of Westmoreland.

Michael Mathison has hated Gideon since they were at university together. He’s convinced Gideon had a hand in the death of Michael’s college lover, Christopher, and that he had something to do with the death of his own brother. So he gets a job as Gideon’s driver, enabling him to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the elder Maybury sibling. At first his suspicions seem to be confirmed, but clues emerge that suggest all is not as it appears at Maybury Hall.

As the mystery deepens, so does the attraction between the two implacable enemies, as does the feeling that they have met before—under dark and terrible circumstances. Each has reasons not to trust the other, but neither is averse to a bit of kinky play. Gideon and Michael end up owing each other their lives, and it results in consequences neither could have imagined.

three-half-stars

What happens is death people. I’m surprised that I did like this story so much. I’m not happy with the tags, because once you get passed the prologue it’s nothing but a contemporary story until the very end. I didn’t have a problem with that per say, but I wanted the fantasy element to play a major part. Without it all I’m reading is a mystery with a sociopath and a determined guy. Not that it was bad again. I liked it. I did wish it was more British. If we are going to be set there and then I would have liked for it to read like British guys instead.

Gideon Maybury is sociopath. No if and buts about it. He’s a Duke, but also part time assassin. I don’t even know how that happens. He’s cold, mean, and rich as hell. He doesn’t like people, and if you irritate him then you are probably going to end up dying. No big deal to him, he’s going to mosey right along with his life. Until Michael shows up as his chauffeur. Michael is on his personal vendetta to find out the truth about his ex’s death. He knows Gideon had something to do with it, and to prove it he has a plan. I don’t know how thought out his plan was. I mean, initially I was thinking “What can an everyday bloke like you do to someone with this much status?” What would stop Gideon from making you disappear? He didn’t mention this plan to anyone else, so if he had died then no one would know the truth about him and his actions. Of course these were my feelings while reading this story.

After I started reading, it was just a little mystery with a whole lot of smutty goodness. Somebody must have said that enemies and lovers burn up the sheets way more then friends to lovers. I don’t get Michael’s reason for jumping in bed with Gideon so soon. You had this grand plan and some way his charisma led you astray? Naw, I’m not buying that. By all rights this is a book I would normally rate like a 2.5 at best, and for some reason I’m giving it a 3.5. It wasn’t the mystery, that was pretty obvious if I do say so myself. The whole reason by the mystery didn’t even make sense. A lot of these people died for no reason.

I am disappointed in the abrupt ending. That’s all? I didn’t care about Gideon and Michael being together, I wanted the “fantasy” aspect dealt with. One of the reasons I was so happy was to see how reincarnation would work. But I felt completely let down on that aspect. I guess my rating is solely based on the cheesiness that I felt while reading this. I will definitely read book two.

About Ashe Barker

Until 2010, Ashe was a director of a regeneration company before deciding there had to be more to life and leaving to pursue a lifetime goal of self-employment.

Ashe has been an avid reader of women’s fiction for many years—erotic, historical, contemporary, fantasy, romance—you name it. Now, at last in control of her own time and working from her home in rural West Yorkshire, she has been able to realise her dream of writing erotic romance herself.

She draws on settings and anecdotes from her previous and current experience to lend colour, detail and realism to her plots and characters, but her stories of love, challenge, resilience and compassion are the conjurings of her own imagination. She loves to craft strong, enigmatic men and bright, sassy women to give them a hard time—in every sense of the word.

When she’s not writing, Ashe’s time is divided between her role as resident taxi driver for her teenage daughter, and caring for a menagerie of dogs, rabbits, tortoises and a grumpy cockatiel.