August 26, 2008

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Back Cover:
Gorgeous flame-haired Cynda Flynn knows fire—its heat, its power, its magic. A fully trained Sybil warrior priestess, Cynda’s weapon is flame. But she’s unprepared for the passion ignited by Nick Lowell, an undercover cop in the NYPD’s Occult Crime Unit. He’s half human, half demon, and hotter than hell, with fathomless black eyes that ignite something buried deep inside Cynda, making her melt in all the right places.

Luckily, Nick has found a way to control his dark side, but he’s done it old-school—through steel-willed self-control. And after five years working secretly within the deadly Legion cult, he’s unbreakable. Or he was, until Cynda came along. Now it’s personal—and even his big bad love may not be enough to halt a terrible new evil snuffing out fire Sybils like Cynda. It’s nasty. And if it can’t be stopped, they’re all going to fry.


Four months after the battle with the Legion members who were out to destroy the Sibyls, a carefully planned and coordinated attack with invisible demons takes out a big part of the Fire Sibyls all over the world. Afterwards the triads are faced with a challenge. They have to find out who is targeting the Fire Sibyls and why. In New York City they have the help from the Occult Crime Unit (OCU).

Cynda Flynn, the Upper East Side Triad's Fire Sibyl is paired up with Nick Lowell, her triad sister's brother in law.
They face an enemy other than the Legion trying to destroy the Sibyls and as if that isn't enough they also find themselves fighting the attraction they have for each other because while Motherhouse Russia was lenient in allowing Creed to marry Riana, Motherhouse Ireland doesn't accept a half-demon as a partner of their most promising Fire Sibyl. But Cynda and Nick follow their hearts regardless of the severe threats from both their enemy and their friends.

Cynda learned at a young age that she could only rely on herself and she's very picky as to who she loves and trusts. Her Sibyl Mother Keara and her fellow Sibyls are the only ones worthy of her affections. Until she meets Nick and though she fights it with a vengeance, she can't deny her feelings for him. They confuse her at first but when she acknowledges them, she is willing to sacrifice everything for his love.

The chemistry between Nick and Cynda is flammable and I mean that in the literal sense too. Cynda is a Fire Sibyl so any emotion; anger, joy, pleasure, sorrow, causes her to burn both herself and others. Nick's boldness has cost him several pairs of boots and items of clothing. But Cynda's clothes also need to be made fire resistant.

Actually Nick is the only one who has some measure of control over her explosive character. It's small but it's there. He can absorb her flames and he has the ability to calm her down. Nick accepts the attraction between them better than Cynda does. But he understands that Cynda has to be the one to make the first move in their relationship, that's the only way she can accept it fully.
And when she does she has a terrible choice to make. The choice between her loyalty to her Sibyl family and her love for Nick.

The most important secondary characters are Cynda's triad: Riana and Merilee. Their bond is strong and their love for each other is unconditional. They stand behind each other no matter what.
But there are also Nick's brothers Creed and Jake. Jake a minor but crucial character in book 1 and he is the hero of the next book but in this book he won my heart with his actions. Of the three brothers he is the one who has gone through the most and his story is yet to come.
And of course Andy, Creed's partner, is a recurring secondary character. I really can't wait for her full story, especially after the revelations in this installment and her sarcastic wit just cracks me up! Though it was missing for the greater part of the book, for a very good reason, it returned at the end and I had a few laughs courtesy of Andy.

In this book the Legion who are the Sibyls' archenemy, played a slightly smaller role than in the first book. There is another enemy out to destroy the Sibyls, Fire Sibyls in particular. At the end this enemy is used by the Legion to deliver a blow that could change the balance between the Sibyls and the Legion. But luckily reinforcement from unexpected allies comes to the rescue but this it is far from over. This battle was won but the Legion isn't done with the Sibyls yet.

After BOUND BY SHADOW I couldn't wait to throw myself back into the world of Sibyls, demons, the OCU and the Legion again and BOUND BY FLAME appeased my craving in the most satisfactory way. From the prologue to the last word I was captivated yet again by Anna Windsor's writing skills and her creative imagination.

With this installment of the series she provides a deeper look into the world she created. She takes it up a notch, giving more and specific information about the Sibyls and the Legion. She expands the initial world and plot by delivering a layered and extensive novel that appeals to readers who like action-filled urban fantasy as well as emotional paranormal romance.

Against a background of battles between Sibyls and demons, Anna Windsor also manages to create a beautiful and intriguing love story between Cynda and Nick. The romance build-up is natural, even-paced in the midst of a thrilling and action-packed plot. I did have a feeling that for me it was less emotional and more action-driven but this doesn't take away the quality of the book or its place in the series. It fits the main characters that are very different from Creed and Riana from book 1.

Again Windsor does a great job with the storylines. She combines small and enticing side stories with the main plot, setting them up to come together in a grand finale with a undeniably heart-stopping battle of battles.
Along with the suspense, action and steamy sensuality the book is sprinkled with wit, from subtle sarcastic banter to playful, laugh-out-loud humor. And it's this combination of and balance between these components that makes it a great read.

If I go by what I'm used to in romance novels, relatively speaking, there aren't many love scenes (only three) but Anne Windsor makes them count. Each one is fiery (literally), steamy and intense and they fit Nick and Cynda's personalities and the development of their relationship.

Anna Windsor sure knows how to light my fire because this book is flammable and explosive, both in figuratively and literally. I was melted to the pages, taking it all in like sweet candy. I am really enjoying this new voice in the paranormal genre and she has made her way to my favorite list after only two books. My anticipation is cranked up sky-high waiting for book number 3!


Quotes:
"Back...off," she said through her teeth.
Nick's smile was so sensual it sent ripples of liquid desire through her entire body.
"If that's what you really want," he murmured in that unbelievable sexy bass, "make me."

After everything they'd just been through at the Sweetbriar house, if Nick's inner demon was going to hurt her, then let it show up and swallow her whole. She hoped she gave the friggin' thing indigestion.



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Pearl
Netherlands
39, married to my real life romance hero, addicted to TV shows, reading romance novels and Twitter. I'm a chronic (e)book hoarder and my absolute favorite genres within romance fiction are contemporary romance and romantic suspense, but I don't shy away from historical, paranormal or erotic romance either. Even the occasional (urban) fantasy romance, futuristic and sci fi romance may make it to my Mount TBR. This is my corner of the world wide web where I let you know what books I'm hoarding, reading and reviewing.
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On My TBR Shelf

  • Unforgivable - Laura Griffin
  • Snapped - Laura Griffin
  • Darkness at Dawn - Elizabeth Jennings
  • Sizzle and Burn - Alexis Grant
  • No Mercy - Lori Armstrong
  • Animal Magnetism - Jill Shalvis
  • Crazy for Love - Victoria Dahl
  • Kink - Saskia Walker/Sasha White
  • So Sensitive - Anne Rainey
  • Dark Taste of Rapture - Gena Showalter
  • The Darkest Secret - Gena Showalter
  • Vampire in Atlantis - Alyssa Day
  • Vampire Dragon - Annette Blair
  • Captive Spirit - Anna Windsor
  • Chosen by Blood - Virna DePaul
  • Rebel - Zoe Archer
  • Stranger - Zoe Archer
  • A Taste of Desire - Beverley Kendall
  • Mistress by Midnight - Maggie Robinson
  • To Desire a Devil - Elizabeth Hoyt
  • To Tame a Dangerous Lord - Nicole Jordan

Digital TBR Next

  • Driven - Jayne Rylon (reread)
  • Shifting Gears - Jayne Rylon
  • Beg Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Tempt Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Jazz Baby - Lorelie Brown
  • Playboy Prankster - Pamela Britton
  • Just Like That - Erin Nicholas
  • Sweet Inspiration - Penny Watson
  • Breathe - Donna Alward
  • My Gigolo - Molly Burkhart
  • Scent of Persuason - Nikki Duncan

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