*Review* Circle of Fire (Damask Circle #1) – Keri Arthur

Circle of Fire

Expected Release Date: January 28th 2014

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18302268-circle-of-fire
Pre-Order on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00EBRU00I



Sixteen teenagers taken from their homes. Eleven bodies recovered, each completely drained of blood. Some believe vampires are responsible. Jon Barnett knows that what’s happening is far worse. Sent by a group of paranormal investigators known as the Damask Circle, Jon quickly becomes enmeshed in a web of black magic and realizes he needs help. But fate gives him only one choice.

Madeline Smith has retreated to an isolated farmhouse, afraid of the abilities she cannot control—abilities that have killed. But when a “ghost” brings a warning of danger and her nephew goes missing, Maddie not only has to leave her haven, she has to place her trust in a man who is neither ghost nor human. As the noose of sorcery tightens, the search for the teenagers becomes a race against time. But the greatest danger to Maddie and Jon could be the intense feelings they refuse to acknowledge but cannot ignore.

My Review: (May Contain Spoilers!) 4 Stars out of 5 ****

I would like to thank Netgalley and Random House Publishing for allowing me to read this prior to its publication.

So we have Madeline (Maddie) Smith, a tortured, self made recluse hiding herself away from a terrible past and hidden secrets. When Maddie is visited by the ‘ghost’ of a stranger asking for her to save him it sets her off on an adventure of terror, self discovery, love and possibly a way to redeem herself for crimes she believes she has committed.

I was hooked from the very first paragraph!

Children are going missing, taken by a dark and ancient force and drained of their blood. Jon Barnett, a shape shifter with an equally dark past sets out to save the two that are still missing. One of them Maddie’s nephew.

What I loved about this book was our two MC’s each had their own turmoil, hidden pasts and conflict to keep the hint of romance nicely bubbling along without it overwhelming the story. The story itself had plenty of hidden subplots to keep the twist and turns coming and while it has some cheesy and somewhat predictable scenes it also had enough Sherrilyn Kenyon vibe to keep me interested.

I also loved the fact that as the characters played out they stayed true to who they were in the beginning, non of this mushy over love at the end. Maddie’s brother in law cop still hated her, he didn’t even change his ways despite knowing his son, who also had Maddie’s abilities would one day walk away from him.

Mack the FBI agent still wanted to arrest and haul Jon and Maddie’s butts to jail, despite the fact they fought all manner of evil.

Then there was the evil that was kidnapping the children. I really liked that it wasn’t vampires, I’m still not over my vampire burn out. The ancient sorceress was a hoot, tempting Jon and kidnapping Maddie, it was an easy read and a fun ride. For me there was enough darkness to keep me happy, but not enough to have me waking up at night in a cold, scardy sweat that something might get me.

What I didn’t like too much was there was a little bit of repetition, I wish I had a dollar for everytime Jon told himself he couldn’t be with Maddie, for the amount of times Maddie wished Jon could love her and how many times Jon told Maddie to go home. But it wasn’t enough to put me off the story.

All in all I’m glad I read it, I’m doing a jiggy dance that I’ve got books 2 and 3 to read also. If you haven’t read anything from this author I recommend you pick up some of her work, it’s good.


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