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Fire Bound: There’s Just Not Enough Fire in this Plot

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Fire Bound (Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart, #5)

Fire Bound (Sea Haven, #5)

Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart Book 5
Goodreads Rating: 4.16 Stars
400 Pages
Jove Publishing
Publication Date: April 26th, 2016
Get a copy here!

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sea Haven novels returns to the circle of the six sisters of the heart, bound by the elements—and to one who possesses the power to inflame the most dangerous passions of all.

Flame-haired Lissa Piner is a skilled glass blower whose delicate gift conceals a burning inner strength that can destroy as exquisitely as it can create. Commissioned to design chandeliers for a string of luxury hotels, her remarkable skills have taken her to Italy. But Lissa’s real mission there is a secret. For her entire life has been a lie, leading to a chance to avenge a terrible wrong.

Enlisted as her bodyguard is Casmir Prakenskii, a trained assassin living off the grid. In Lissa, he sees a kindred spirit—something unexpected and wicked, mysterious and sensual. But more than desire is about to bring them together: because both of their pasts cry out for revenge. And for two people with this many secrets, this much passion, and this many enemies, someone is bound to get burned.

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Quick Reasons: a good amount of action/adventure; this wasn’t all sex, which I’m celebrating!; I’m not sure I believed the romance, regardless (maybe I’m just more cynical than I used to be?); stubborn, sassy characters; the banter was lively and fun; this is much more like the Feehan I used to adore

HALLELUJAH, for this book Feehan seems to be much more like the writer I used to adore! I mean, yeah, this still got only a 3-penguin rating from me…but GUYS! GUYS, this book wasn’t just sex scenes! This book didn’t only take place in the bedroom! It might seem like a little thing to celebrate, but I’m celebrating it anyway, because I can. You’re just going to have to deal.

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So let’s get into this, yes? I’ve always had a soft spot for Feehan’s Sea Haven characters. I think I started my obsession with one of the Drake sister novels–there’s just something fun and whimsical about the magical realism in these books, I guess. Although honestly, this one? Didn’t really focus on the Sisters of the Heart…. and I’m slightly disappointed with that, thinking about it now. Lissa, instead, spends the entire book AWAY from Sea Haven–and her chosen family–and instead the focus is upon her. Overcoming the demons of the past, figuring out the mysteries of things she never thought to question before, the budding romance with Casimir. You get what I’m driving at here, yes? And we didn’t even get much of THEIR powers, honestly. Casimir loses control all of ONCE, and sets a building on fire….but aside from that, the magical realism in this? Falls very, very flat overall.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong–there is action and adventure in this book. But…again, even then the writing is a BIT sub-par compared to the action/adventure scenes of books prior to this. While there’s a lot of fighting the bad guys, overcoming their struggles, etc… I feel like we only got a very small glimpse into this world, and this couple.

 

In fact, the romance itself seems flat to me. I’m not entirely sure I bought it completely. It feels like lately, Feehan has stopped trying to write up a romance realistically–with the fun arguments, and the entertaining drama, and the lively banter–and instead has been crafting more “insta-love.” Which, ICK?! What happened to our feisty characters who “fought” the romance? HELL, what happened to LISSA in this?! One second she’s snarling, claiming she’ll never ever let a Prakenskii brother brand her like the others have done to her “sisters”……..and the next, she’s doing exactly that very thing. What? I miss the badass characters who stood up for themselves, who didn’t immediately swoon at the sight of their destined partners, who put up a bit of a fight. The loves Feehan’s been crafting lately? Flat. And boring. And predictable, all things considered.

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So… while I was entertained, and enjoyed this read for the most part, I’m still pretty disappointed. Maybe I’ve just grown more cynical than I used to be? I don’t know. Regardless, this romance felt a bit like taffy–pulled and molded into some sort of rubberized mockery of love. Still, given how some of her recent novels have been for me, I’d recommend this to those who’ve read the rest of the Sisters of the Heart series–it’s cutesy, and dark, and there are some pretty steamy scenes (that HORSE scene, guys. That horse scene is my favorite).

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A Review of Earth Bound, by Christine Feehan

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The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Air Bound returns to the mysterious coastal town of Sea Haven where six sisters of the heart are bound by the elements, and one is stalked by an inescapable past…

After escaping from a cult, Lexi found refuge with her sisters on the farm that more than sustained her body—it nurtured her soul as well. But she never forgot the terror she left behind or the always present fear that the cult would find her again, and claim her. Then her nightmare came true.

Lexi was discovered and threatened—only to be suddenly saved by a stranger. He is Gavriil Prakenskii, and he’s awestruck by the woman he’s rescued. She is destined for him. He can feel it in his soul. But how can Lexi find happiness with a man steeped in secrets and shadows, one intimately acquainted with violence, and whose very love could be the death of them?

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Rating: 3/5 Stars

Quick Reasons: great character growth/development; a heart-wrenching backstory; a strong focus on family and friend relationships; a mixed bag of suspense and romance; not a lot of action overall

Now, THIS is more like the Christine Feehan I fell in love with! I’m still a bit disappointed—I’ll get to the reasons why in a few minutes—but I liked this read MUCH better than the last two from her, and I have hope things will get back to where they once were in regards to her story telling capabilities.

The characters in this are strong, independent, and supportive in their roles; they battle their own unique struggles, come to terms with the changes and chances thrown at them, and still maintain a clear sense of vulnerability and reckless heart-following. It IS a case of insta-love—or something rather close to it, at least. Maybe…insta-infatuation? That makes a little more sense. So if you’re not an insta-love sort of person…well, I don’t think the romance genre is going to be for you at all, but here’s your warning for this book regardless.

Our main female protagonist, Lexi, has a backstory that is BOUND to rip out your heart and leave you sobbing. She went through so, so much as a child…her emotions, her turmoils with change and paranoia and self-loathing, are a mixing pot of drama and heartache, and readers are sure to empathize with her immediately.

Gavriil, on the other hand, is not such an easy character to pin down. I feel like we didn’t get nearly as much from him as we usually do with our male love interests; he fell a bit flat, felt a bit like a stranger left stranded on the side of the road: you know he’s there, you know he’s got substance and potential, but he doesn’t quite live up to it all. This was the first reason I felt slightly disappointed by this read. I like to know both characters equally; in the past, Christine Feehan has made sure to delve into each character and their pasts without reservation. It felt as if Gavriil was a character she maybe hadn’t had the chance to get to know so well; as if in the process of writing, he leaped off the page and forged his own path without her permission. He just didn’t feel quite as human to me as Lexi; I wish we’d gotten more of him.

There’s also not much in the way of nail-biting action. I fell in love with Christine Feehan’s writing after reading my first Ghostwalkers novel; the suspense, the action, the romantic sub-plot…all of these things really came to life for me. Having read this novel… It’s not quite as action-packed as I’ve grown to know her for. It’s more…a carriage ride through the rain with maybe a hill or two of mud to overcome, where her past novels leaned more toward tornadoes and torrential downpour. While it’s not a bad journey, I wish we’d gotten the same level of “action” from this as from past pursuits.

What this book DID do well, however, was focus on things like family, friendship, the determination and willpower that can be found despite being broken down or cast aside. This novel was an awesome example of finding strength in yourself, finding confidence in who you are, BEING confident in being yourself. While the action and some character development were sorely lacking, I ADORED the fact that Christine Feehan took the time in this novel to put a few important morals to the forefront. And while there were a few well-chosen steamy moments, this book did something I haven’t seen from Christine Feehan before: it pulled away from the “sex” and instead focused on the creation of healthy, happy relationships. It’s like the author decided she needed to take a step back and rediscover what she started writing for…and succeeded. I really love that this book wasn’t as focused on the physical, but instead put importance on the emotional and mental aspects of a relationship—and the ways to find/create a lasting connection outside of the bedroom.

Overall, I enjoyed this read about ten times more than I did the last two I read from her; here’s hoping future installments from Christine Feehan continue on this path and become even better. Highly recommended to lovers of paranormal romance, and to those who have tried her last few books and been disappointed. THIS is more like it.

Trigger warning: there are references to rape, child molestation, kidnapping, abuse and violence.  If these things bother or trigger you, take them into consideration before reading.