Title: Phoenix Burn
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 18th September 2020
BLURB from Goodreads
I didn’t expect to survive death, but here I am and I’ve got questions—lots of them. Questions that lead me to a world I never knew existed in the shadows of the mundane. When I come face to face with a vampire who seems to have the answers I’m looking for, I find myself trapped in a game where I’m the pawn.
Someone is hunting me. No one is safe until I’m caught, but I refuse to be the prey. When the hunter becomes the hunted, they’ll learn I’m not as naïve as they think. That is, until the mastermind is revealed and nothing is ever the same again.
Will I be able to reclaim my old life? Or is the game just getting started …
I have read another series of books by this author and loved it, but that doesn’t mean I automatically read anything at all by an author I have read before. In fact, if I have read and loved a certain series by an author it can make me reluctant to try other series by that same author. Weird? I guess it is a bit! I view each cover and blurb on its own merit and then once I have read the book, do I give my 100% honest own opinion.
I’ll be totally honest it was this brilliantly striking cover that attracted my attention. Then I read the blurb and immediately wanted to read the book. I liked the sound of the main female character in the blurb, the way she isn’t going to hide, she is going to hunt the one who has made her his prey. The book begins with the main female character, Camila Cortez being shot . . . well I say shot, but she doesn’t die. The fact is Camila doesn’t really know how she didn’t die, she also doesn’t know who shot her or why, but she is determined to find out. Camila makes herself disappear and changes her appearance, rents a studio apartment and sets about finding out who tried to kill her. Camila dyes her hair and changes her name to Octavia Cruz.
Octavia has a private investigator researching the disappearance of her friend Camila Cortez. The private investigator has told her she needs to be at a seedy bar in a bad part of town to find the man that shot her. So of course, Octavia doesn’t do things by half measures and she gets a job working there as a shot girl. It’s there she meets the arrogant Mr Monroe and his friends in the VIP area, there’s instant dislike between them as he has her removed from serving the VIP area. However, it is Mr Monroe that comes to her aid later when a fight takes place. Octavia is on a dance podium and desperately trying to escape the fighting, she waits for an opportunity to attempt to escape until the point comes its move or possibly be right in the middle of the massacre the fight has turned into. Unfortunately for Octavia she ends up getting her stomach ripped open by some monster guy with claws! Octavia is aware of seeing Mr Monroe attack the monster guy, literally throwing him away from her and then feeling faint and being caught by Mr Monroe, who she really doesn’t have a very good opinion of! When Octavia awakens, she finds herself in the rather luxurious suite belonging to Mr Monroe from the bar who is extremely reluctant to allow her to go anywhere. As it is revealed in the blurb there are vampires in this book and I will also add other paranormal beings. Of course, Octavia discovers she is a type of paranormal being, she has now survived being shot at almost point, blank range, as well as being attacked and her stomach ripped open by a monster with claws all without dying! In fact, when she removes the dressing on her stomach it reveals not even the tiniest scratch!
The book is about finding out who is so determined to capture Octavia and why. Octavia has a lot of decisions to make and doesn’t know who to trust. Should she trust Tristan “Mr up himself from the VIP area” Monroe (though Octavia does describe him a little more bluntly than I have!), or Killian, “leader of the scary monsters” that were fighting in the club. Who can help her find out and eliminate the man determined to capture her? Who can protect her parents, brother and sister? There’s also the question of who on earth keeps sending her black dahlia’s and why? In fact, maybe more importantly how are they leaving them so close to her, without her ever seeing them?
I immediately adored the character of Camila/Octavia. I know it is like two sides of the same coin and though we don’t have a lot about Camila, she works hard, enjoys a night out with the girls, and she is in what seems like a stale relationship with Ben, they guy with the increasingly irritating habit of leaving unending amounts of toe nail clippings all over!
When Camila transforms herself into Octavia, she becomes her bolder, sassy, and takes no hassle from anyone. Octavia isn’t the only kick butt character in the book either, there’s Echo, the vampire that works at the local Police precinct. Echo is smart, has an even smarter mouth and yet has a soft side that makes you believe she cares deeply for those she considers part of her clan and family. Another tough cookie is Mikaela who quickly becomes a trusted friend to Octavia whilst she is with their group for a weekend. I really hope we see more of Mikaela in the future of this series.
So now onto the book boyfriend material characters! Really you are spoiled for choice with this book. In fact, I honestly couldn’t choose between the three main male characters at all. There’s cold (in more ways than one), serious, used to being in charge Tristan, who often comes across brusque and bossy and he is so used to people doing as he says without question. Though you can’t help liking him, he has a softer side under that outer shell which sometimes glints through when he is interacting with those close to him. Maverick is the easy going, affectionate, wears his heart on his sleeve, prankster who is totally loyal to Tristan, like a brother, he also treats Echo like a sister. Then finally, the last of the three main male characters is Killian, another strong, male leader, used to people doing as he says, yet he has a softer character, more playful and outwardly shows he cares, along with handling all the responsibilities he has as leader. I mean how could you possibly choose from those three great male lead characters, definitely all book boyfriend material.
There’s lots of action, some great humour, along with lots of supernatural politics, vampires against monsters with claws. Both Tristan and Killian seem insistent that their race is the one closest to what Octavia is. They both think she will be safer, learn to control her powers better that the other. When I look back at one of the notes, I made at around 35% of the way into the book, it kind of makes me laugh as I had put Wow! Vampires! Tristan....er, and Maverick......and is Killian really the bad one? I don't know which side I am on......or could Phoenix bring the Clan & the Pack together? And who, what and why was she shot?" I’ll be honest I still couldn’t choose a definitive “side” to be on at the end of the book. I’m hoping both supernatural leaders, Tristan & Killian will come together to help Octavia. There’s also some subtle, and some outright flirting going on in the book. There’s Octavia & Tristan, it is so clear they care for each other but Tristan comes across so cold at times, could that be because of his vampire race, or vampire age? Will he confess he has feelings for Octavia? Octavia & Maverick are like the great friends immediately, are they destined to be more than just friends though. I think there is also the strong possibility of a relationship between Killian & Octavia they have so many supernatural race similarities.
My immediate thoughts upon finishing this book were Wow! What a journey, what an ending, what a cliff-hanger to end on!! Can't wait to read more as soon as I can. Even if Octavia escapes how will she live on with what she was made to do? Will the vampires & monster with claws unite in an attempt to help Octavia? If it comes down to a choice between Vampires/Tristan & his Clan or Monster with claws/Killian & his group would/could/how would Octavia choose?
To sum up my intention in this review was not to reveal too much and not go on and on about the book like I’d love to. I don’t want to spoil the book for new readers which is why I only revealed one supernatural race, vampires as they are mentioned in the blurb. The other races are revealed in time within the book as and when you need to know what they are. I thought I had it sussed out what Octavia was quite early in the book but I hadn’t though by the time what she is, was revealed it totally fits. If you love different supernatural beings you won’t be disappointed with this book. I thoroughly enjoyed, in fact, love, love, loved this book and am eagerly, somewhat impatiently looking forward to reading more of this trilogy.