This is a wonderful novel in the Shadow Kissed series. While I’ve only read this novel, I’m impressed enough with this plot and the overall arc of the series, I’m planning on acquiring the rest soon. The characters are complex, and the plot gripped me from the beginning. The Prologue stages a host of emotions ranging from despair, hope, fear, and confusion to understanding, and has heavy parental complex overtones, which is cast throughout the book. There are questions which yield partial answers throughout the story to entice the reader to continue into the night until the end. If you loved the dramas of soap operas, then this is the novel (and perhaps the series) for you. This story has the good vs. evil complexities mixed up with religious, political, and philosophical views making the plot more challenging. It also has romance, fantasy, drama, mysteries, and murder and mayhem along the way.
This story starts with Kaye Brand’s marriage contract day. She’s in a cellar because she overheard a snippet of conversation regarding Kaye’s “gift” in the cellar. Kaye is insatiable when it comes to mysterious gifts for/from her. She just has to peek and see what’s in the cellar. Her knowledge comes at a high price for herself (burn marks on her face and body) and her family. For years she is affected by that day, and by the end of this story, that day comes back to haunt or taunt her.
Kaye is a very determined character who boldly goes forth in this novel to get the answers to find out who and why people are trying to kidnap or kill her. Jack is an Angel, whose side wants to kill mages like Kaye. Both sides are on tenuous grounds at the beginning of the novel. The Angel side is trying to find out how/which mages are working with Wraiths and how to stop them, so they need someone from the inside who is already established and is highly considered to be on the mage side. Since Kaye is a mage operating on the outer fringes of the mage council, the Angels consider her a possible ally to aid in retrieving this information for them.
Fire: It is Kaye Brand's power to wield. But outcast from her kind, she's been selling herself to the highest bidder - money for her survival in exchange for a magic glimpse into the flames of the future. As one of the angelic Order, Jack Bastian has no use for a female like Kaye, as provocative and unexpected as her blazing beauty. Yet he has no choice but to hire her to uncover the secrets of his sworn enemy and her former fiance, Ferrol Grey. War is inevitable between the defenders of the Order and the mage houses who threaten to engulf the world in Shadow. For Jack, mage-born Kaye is off limits, no matter how hot the impossible attraction between them. But in the coming darkness, beset by danger and desire, everything is about to change...
Kensington / Zebra