Willow’s Review of Charred Heart by Lizzy Ford

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CharredHeartRating: paw4

Publisher: Guerrilla Wordfare

Date Published: November 23, 2013

Series: Heart of Fire #1

Goodreads Description:

A modern day retelling of “Beauty and the Beast”

***Recommended for ages 18+ due to multiple, creative, detailed, steamy, sexy-time adult situations.***

For a thousand years, Chace has searched for a way to break the curse placed on him by a jilted lover. He’s a dragon shifter, one who can’t control when the magic will force him into a different form. He’s already lost everyone he ever cared about a few times over and doesn’t know how much longer he’s meant to suffer.

At his wit’s end, he makes a deal with a mysterious figure that offers him what he wants most – an end to his misery – in exchange for everything that’s his: His life, his power. His heart.

The next day, he meets Skylar, a modern day dragon slayer whose mission is to cage him – or kill him. Sexy, witty and brave, she is the yin to his yang, the woman destined to break the curse, balance his magic and make his broken heart whole.

Except it’s too late. Not only has he sealed his fate, but an innocent one-night-stand with Skylar has dragged her into the middle of a deal with the devil, one she won’t escape, if he can’t convince her that dragon shifters aren’t her enemies.

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This is the first of Ford’s novels that I’ve had the pleasure to read, and given that I rather enjoyed it, I doubt that it will be the last. I definitely intend to check out the other two books in the series at some point, and I may pick up one of her other series as well later. Charred Heart was a wonderful start to what promises to be a fun series.

Though I’m not entirely sure I’d call this a Beauty and the Beast retelling, the idea of this being such a story was the first thing that attracted me to check out the book (I always love a good spin on the classic fairy tale). Chace (Beast) is a shapeshifter who came by his powers through a curse who meets Skylar (Beauty), a slayer of dragons who is struggling to understand the dreams that are plaguing her while trying to understand her attraction to Chace. And there, in my opinion, does the feeling that this is a modern day retelling end. At least for me. Now this doesn’t mean that I didn’t like the book. As I said, I found this an enjoyable read, I’m just not sure about the comparison.

Regardless, Chace is an interesting character who I liked instantly and couldn’t help feel a bit sorry for. Living with a curse for a thousand years  sucks, so I couldn’t blame him for wanting to find a way to end it all, but I did want to smack him for not thinking about the consequences that could come from his actions. Still, he’s strong, loyal, and not afraid to fight for those under his protection. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s a Viking. Hello, hotty! ~purrs~ Now Skyler took a while for me to get into. While I can understand where her naivety and suspicious nature comes from, it didn’t stop me from getting annoyed every time she accused Chace of being a dangerous dragon. How many times does the poor guy have to prove that he’s not the real threat before she gets a clue? Pretty much three-quarters of the book. ~Sigh~ Mr. Nothing is probably the one character whom I was intrigued by the most. He’s mysterious and little is known about him. I spent much of the book whenever he appeared trying to figure out exactly who he was, and by the end I was surprised by what I discovered. As for Chace’s shifter friends, I really hope that I get to see more of them as the series goes on because they seem like a fun group.

Pacing wise, the story was well written and there’s very little lag. Each key event flows smoothly into the next, and there’s enough suspense to keep any reader engaged. Likewise the scenes between Chace and Skyler are rather steamy.

My only complaint about the novel was that I got tired of the whole touching/sex is what is necessary to calm Chace’s magic down when he gets upset or when Skyler doesn’t want to deal with a problem routine. Yes, I get that Chace’s magic gets out of control when he’s angry, but having touch be the only way to calm him down was a bit much, and having Skyler resort to sex every time she’s uncomfortable with a situation was completely unnecessary. Especially when it happens continually throughout the book. At one point in the story Chace tells Skyler that she can’t kiss away her problems … and yet she does, a lot. I’ll admit to being frustrated by this, but as I said before, it still didn’t keep me from enjoying the story as a whole.

So when all is said and done, would I recommend this book to others? Most definitely. I think fans of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and fantasy in general will enjoy this title. There’s a little something for everyone. And don’t even get me started on the surprise ending! Yeah, you are going to have to get a copy of the book for yourself to find out what happens there because I’m not going to give anything away. Heehee =^.^=

About the Author:

LIZZY FORD AUTHORLizzy Ford is the author of over twenty books written for young adult and adult paranormal romance readers, to include the internationally bestselling “Rhyn Trilogy,” “Witchling Series” and the “War of Gods” series. Considered a freak of nature by her peers for the ability to write and release a commercial quality novel in under a month, Lizzy has focused on keeping her readers happy by producing brilliant, gritty romances that remind people why true love is a trial worth enduring.

Lizzy’s books can be found on every major ereader library, to include: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Sony and Smashwords. She lives in southern Arizona with her husband, three dogs and a cat.

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