Of Fire and Roses by Danielle Belwater
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (130 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3 Stars
Review by Astilbe
Nathaniel West’s mother is dead, his father a lost cause. Anger has become a way of life, until he meets and falls in love with Cora Ewell. Only Cora has a secret, one that could kill them both.
An age old dark magic resurfaces and it becomes a race against time for Cora and Nate to find the long buried secrets to saving everyone they love and each other.
After a near fatal accident leaves Nate in limbo, he must find a way to get through to Cora before time runs out and she is forced into life eternal with the evil wizard, Elias Stafford.
Some things can be stalled or avoided altogether, but destiny isn’t one of them.
As soon as Nathaniel began narrating his tale I knew he was going to have something worthwhile to say. His personality had a lot of rough edges. They occasionally made me wish he’d slow down and think about the consequences of his actions first, but his impulsivity and tendency to be blunt also rounded out his personality. Is he likable? No, not always. He is intriguing, though, and that matters a lot more to this reader.
Nathaniel and Cora’s relationship moved incredibly fast. While I’m not opposed to the idea of two people instantly being attracted to one another, it was hard for me to understand why these particular characters fell in love when they knew nothing about each other. Their personalities and interests were quite different from one another. I don’t expect as many details from a short story as I would from a full length novel, but seeing them discover more similarities over the course of a few conversations first would have made their blossoming love more believable.
The villain in this tale is deliciously frightening. Other characters discuss him for a while before he shows up, and the anticipation of seeing what he’s actually like kept me glued to the page. I learned enough about Elias to understand why everyone was so anxious about him. The scenes that included him were my favorite ones, though, and I looked forward to every single one of them.
I’d recommend Of Fire and Roses to anyone in the mood for something paranormal and romantic that most definitely is not actually a paranormal romance. This a unique twist on themes that are common in both genres, and I, for one, am glad I read it.