Flames of Auriel by Erin Bedford

Genres:  Romance , Fantasy
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Publication Date: January 28th 2016

1 OUT OF 5 STARS

Disclaimer: I received a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

** Please note that the final version of the novel has significant changes to the ARC version**

“Are you getting it, Zoe? No matter how much you fight me, in the end, you will be mine.”

Asher and Zoe have never been the best of friends. An arranged marriage only adds more fuel to the fire. They can hardly be around one another without fighting. However they soon start discover that their fiery fights may come from a passion of a different kind. Before they can truly discover each other Zoe goes missing and Asher is left to search for his lost princess. To save his heart, and her kingdom.

Zoe is a very common archetype. The princess who’s a tomboy and a hot head. Stubborn and uncooperative she’s still incredibly beautiful and leaves almost every man wanting after her. Despite this the story starts with a lot of potential. It hints at a lore that has good potential. each kingdom has a patron angel that watches over them and effects them. The book hardly expands on that subject however, we get little glimmers of lore which are pushed aside to make room for the focal point of the novel.

Which of course is the lovely romance. I am a sucker for good romance, especially when the partners start out as rivals/enemies. Asher and Zoe’s relationship developed…very uncomfortably however. There is very rarely any interaction between them that doesn’t involve lust. In fact it was hard to see them as in love, and not just two people who wanted to get down to business. They go from hating each other to realizing their love in very few interactions.

The interactions that they do have are rape-y. Now, I’m always very hesitant to refer to anything as rape-y in literature. However this book features scenes with Zoe refusing Asher and him forcing her into submission, including a scene with him literally prying her mouth open so he can kiss her.

Roughly half the novel focuses on Asher and Zoe figuring themselves out with quite a few awkward sex scenes. It’s a lot of set up to get to the main conflict of the plot. The ending half of the novel picks up speed, it gets exciting, and then ends far too quickly and conveniently. All the build up feels like it was towards nothing.

It does have quite a few sex scenes, and not all of them are as uncomfortable as the others. It’s a good sexually-charged fantasy novel, but the sex doesn’t leave much room for anything else.

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Read this if you’re a fan of: Snow Like Ashes

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