The note to reviewer says this stands alone. Reader, it does not, not really.
It's the fourth book in the series, and I came in knowing very little, expecting certain things because of the blurb, and not quite getting what I signed up for.
It didn't help that "Branded by Fire" reads very much to the urban fantasy side of the spectrum, so there's not a whole lot of real hero/heroine emotional back and forth to help solidify their romance for me. Nor did the sorta-kinda-odd triangle thing with Inarus that was throwing me off the scent for a long time.
Things happen. Aria has issues controlling her magic. Declan has to somehow keep her safe while also keeping the world safe from her. But -- I honestly couldn't get into it because it was too much, too fast, and I didn't have any emotional bonds to the characters to truly care about what was happening.
I thought I was signing up for a love story between two people who just needed to work past their stuff, but what I actually got was two people who seemed to barely know/like each other but who have lots of chemistry and baggage and who are also trying to save the world at the same time. It wasn't bad - it just didn't work for me, not coming in on the fourth book.
Aria Naveed can't decide what's worse--being mate-bonded to Declan Valkenaar, the Alpha of the Pacific Northwest Pack, or owning up to the fact that she's developing feelings for him.
Her bond to Declan is the one thing keeping her grounded and preventing her new power from destroying everything and everyone around her.
If Aria doesn't tread carefully, especially where her heart is concerned, she'll learn the hard way that if you play with fire, you'll always get burned.
A Paranormal Urban Fantasy Series