Monday, January 17, 2011

Review: Hearts of Fire anthology

Entwined Hearts: Hearts of Fire by Nicole Austin, TJ Michaels, Ciana Stone and N.J. Walters

Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Heat Rating:2



The Chosen. Eight strong individuals gifted with unique paranormal abilities and tasked with protecting shards of an ancient crystal—the Heart of Fire.

Brought together by destiny, each couple has managed to bond and fuse their crystal pairs through a hot and intense sexual joining. The four couples have overcome great personal challenges and remained apart, preparing to face an ancient evil once again.

Now the time has come for the eight Chosen to join forces and defeat Asmodeus, Prince of Hell, once and for all. Their plan is clear yet complex—activate a hidden energy network, gather on spiritual lands and fight an epic battle between good and evil, which will impact mankind for eternity.

Of course, nothing ever goes as planned. And Asmodeus has some tricks the Chosen never anticipated.

Claudette’s Review

Firstly this book is book five in the ‘Hearts of Fire’ series.
Four couples who each have been born with a destiny to hold a piece of a powerful jewel and destroy a major demon, the prince of Hell no less. Gifted with psychic powers, their love and sexual energy make them even more formidable in their quest to defeat their enemy.

This is not a book that can be read as a standalone. Like me unless you’ve read the previous books you’ll not only be hopelessly lost and barely be able to distinguish one couple from another, you’ll find that you can’t emotionally connect to any of the characters either. The book drops you straight into the action right from the beginning. Entwined Hearts is a short novel and by rights, it should have been added to the previous book; but because the previous books were each written by different authors, the concluding book is the one which all the authors have written the parts about their individual characters.

For me reading this book was like catching a film three quarters of the way in and enjoying it because it’s your kind of film, but not getting into it because you missed all the important bits.

By rights, this book would have very much benefitted from a long prologue covering the characters childhoods, how they each met and fell in love, and giving more insight into their individual characters and temperament. By book five the couples are all in love and established, and each set on the course to complete their destinies and reunite the powerful jewel -The Heart of Fire, so that it can be used for good and not be touched by the prince of Hell Asmodeus.
Since not even the couples visual appearance is described, it’s hard to have even a mental picture as a reader.

There are many times that I’ve read a book in a series and it has taken great lengths (sometimes way too much) recapping past events to get the reader up to speed with what had happened previously. It is so important to be able to understand the characters and their motivations. This alone would not have been enough in this case; the plot centred so much on them finally completing their destinies that they forgot to let us into the heart of the characters themselves.

I was really looking forward to this book, because I know that it was written by authors with amazing writing skills, especially since several of them are favourites of mine. This book is an exciting paranormal romantic adventure – but only if you have read all the previous books in the series.

2 Tea Cups!


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