'After paying two millennia's penance to Osiris, world-weary phoenix Ice has had enough. Saving souls without any hope for her own redemption isn't how she imagined spending eternity. Fed up, she decides her next death will be her last. But when she sacrifices her own life for a sexy Texan in a catastrophic plane crash, she has no idea the consequences will be so great...or that she'll end up back in his life for her next assignment.
Now that Turner Alcott has survived the worst, finding a wife and mother for his son matters more than ever before. When the mysterious Ice comes into his life, Turner knows she's the one--but love is the last thing Ice wants. If he wants to win her heart, Turner must teach Ice how to forgive herself, and prove that love is the ultimate sacrifice.'
Worth the read?
I absolutely loved The Last Rising! I rarely read romance novellas, mainly because I like my romances to have a lengthy period of time for the two protagonists to develop their chemistry. And basically i just want as much to read as possible, should I like the characters.
Despite my preference on length this novella was written with a convincing finesse. The plot was solid with unexpected revelations occurring throughout, along with the unanswered questions unfolding nicely during the final chapters. Some came as a shock, one or two predicted but entertaining none the less.
The characters were written as equally strong as the plot instead of one carrying the other. For a short piece Firasek managed to create perfectedly rounded characters: memorable and believable personalities, the likability factor, depth and flashes of their histories. Plus created a personal journey for each of them brilliantly. It wasn't hard to conjure up the characters as real people and relate to them and their problems.
Dying over and over again has got to be pretty annoying! I expected protagonist Ice to moan a hell of a lot more, but she didn't. It was made clear she was more than fed up with her situation but she was written as a very strong-headed character who knew exactly what she wanted. Yet in order to get there, she had to realise a few things.
...Cue handsome Texan cowboy, Turner.
On black and white Turner's character is a winner. Good-looking man, hard-worker, doting father (though maybe works too much) seeking a woman to settle down with and live happily ever after.
But does that make for a boring read? You'd maybe think so, but no.
Pining for Ice to be his and for answers from her, whilst contending with being a single parent and work being an important factor, he was actually written with a fiery and tenacious side too. But still adorable.
The tension, both sexual and from irritation, simmered throughout the pages until it really boiled!
The other supporting characters were relevant to the story, my favourite being Brodie, Turner's son. He was absolutely adorable and though he came across quite grown up for his years, he was still written convincingly given his situation. The hardship he faced while not having his mother around and his dad constantly having to work was heartbreaking! His scenes were written brilliantly by Firasek and really pulled your emotions to the surface.
Fellow phoenixes' serving penance alongside Ice, I've got to admit, were a bit forgettable and only one really stood out to me. In fear of giving too much away I can't/ won't elaborate.
Perhaps it was because the other leading characters had such big voices, I'm not sure. But I'll be reading about one of them again in the sequel, there'll be room for their character to grow then, so i look forward to that.
I'm always sad when a series features new characters in each installment, leaving the ones you've grown to love, behind. But it worked for The Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R Ward among others and I don't see why it can't work for Curse of the Phoenix series.
I look forward to becoming enthralled with the story of another phoenix, which I know will be magically crafted by Firasek.
All in all an incredibly creative, entertaining and easy read. Firasek created such a journey within a short amount of time I finished reading with a "Noooooo!"
The characters, plot and atmosphere were completely captivating. For me, the high points of the novella were the depth of the characters, their convincing chemistry and sizzling sexual tension. Plus the inclusion of Egyptian mythology, the phoenix angle and little Brodie's character.
Definitely worth a read and recommended to all fans of romance.
Oh, and the cover is gorgeous!
Four stars from me.
The Last Rising is available on Kindle for £1.88.
If you haven't made the Kindle leap and don't own one yet (I don't either) you can download an app for your PC and read it on that instead. On Amazon simply click purchase and it'll come up with the instructions. It is really simple and only takes a moment.
Entangled Publishing 3rd Sept 2011
Thanks for reading.
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